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Thread: Help Me Build A Welding Machine

  1. #1

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    Help Me Build A Welding Machine

    Hi richkat here,

    I was searching for a way to make a few tools that I need or want.
    That's how I found this site.
    The first tool is a welding machine.

    What I'm looking for is a really simple way to make a "TIG" welding machine that can weld Aluminum it has to be AC current output with High Frequency or AC/DC output with High Frequency, 110volts and of course inexpensive(okay cheap).
    I've been to several different sites,most of them are done for people that have some knowledge in electrical circuits or there lacking in completeness, or using an old DC stick welder and converting it into a "TIG" welding machine DC out put only.
    Totally confusing to me.
    Basically I'm looking for a paint by numbers set and the game operation(Part#1 looks like this and it goes here,Part#2 looks like this and it goes here,and so on).
    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Weld Talk Message Board and Online Forum - Hobart Welders

    Try these guys. Ask around on there and see what they might have to offer, also weldingweb. I think you are going to find that the amount of complication and pricey components will make it more than you want to deal with. Theres guys out there who can fab this stuff but folks like us usually don't fare too well with the complicated stuff. You might also be interested in setting up a scratch start tig rig. That does away with the fancy foot pedal but still allows enough control to do the deed well and without most of the complication. I do know they were discussing that on the hobart forum last year. The pros didn't seem too impressed but then they have an entirely different standard to uphold and a lot more cash to play with having write offs and such.
    One other thing to consider and laugh all you like. If you aren't doing a lot of it and it's not going to kill someone if it fails try some of that magic aluminum weld rod from HF or Magic Misslie Rod if you can find it at the LWS. It's just a braze using a propane torch but I have used it in the past to fix some gnarly aluminum problems and it is stupid simple to use and very very strong. I fixed a wollowed out retainer hole on my Cessna's cowling inspection hatch years back. I got it a bit off center and ended up with the stainless screw rubbing on one side solidly. 2oo flight hours later it was solid and unchanged after being subjected to that shaky old Continental 4 banger. It's strong, just don't tell anyone you use it or they will laugh at you and make jokes.

  3. #3
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    Good tip on the aluminum rod and propane torch, driz. Thanks!

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    Thanks driz,
    I never heard of magic aluminum weld rod from HF or Magic Missile Rod.
    I went on ebay and did some research for different parts like torches,flowmeters,electric motors,alternators,ground cables and so forth,I'm going to figure this out or buy a AC welder and convert it to TIG.
    I'm thinking of building an airplane using aluminum welding and fabricating,fitting was my trade for over 30 years. I could go and buy a cheap MIG welder.Or once again buy a cheap stick welder and set it up for MIG welding.
    But I still like the idea of building my own.
    Thanks again driz.
    Last edited by richkat; 01-16-2015 at 03:38 PM. Reason: I wasn't given credit for a thank you,which is the first thing I did

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    Hey richkat,

    If you're talking about a full-scale homebuilt airplane, feel free to PM me with any questions. I built a Van's RV-8 (and part of a Model 12 Pitts) and was an EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor for a few years awhile back.

    Depending on what areas of the plane you're talking about welding, I'd be concerned about airworthiness with MIG welding. TIG or O/A is the way it's usually done.

    Anyway, drop me a note if you'd like to discuss at greater length.

    Ken

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    Thank You

    Thank You Ken,
    Yes that is what I'm talking about. It's been a long time coming and this is what I'm planning on doing. I wanted to build a TIG welder for aluminum welding, but I think I'LL just buy one instead.
    I don't know that much about composites so I'm going to stick with what I know. I realize O/A and TIG welding is the way to go. I've MIG welded aluminum many times but I agree with your opinion about airworthiness. It's better to go with what's tried and true that has stood the test of time.
    I like the Velocity V-Twin. I'm thinking of using wankel rotary engines out of a Mazda RX-7 or RX-8. But I'm just in the beginning
    of the planning stages.I've been trying to find all I can online about the V-Twin but there is not a lot of free flowing information
    out there.
    Once again thank you for your response, I'm sure I'll be in touch in the near future.
    Rich.

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    Hi Rich,

    Tried and true sounds good to me in this context. I've never worked on one of the various canard designs (though I was seriously interested in the Berkut at one point), but I could put you in touch with folks who could help.

    For my money (and neck), I've always been a proponent of using aviation engines in airplanes. See the "tried and true" concept; the duty and power cycles are far in excess of the demands for which automotive engines have been designed, even the Wankels. That said, it's called experimental aviation for a reason. Follow whichever path catches your interest, then do everything you can to mitigate risk.

    If I can be of any assistance whatsoever, please don't hesitate to reach out.

    Ken

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    GaryR's Tools
    Hi Rich,
    I have had a AC/DC welder for years and a couple years ago I bought a number 7 size tig torch and argon tank/gauge setup. I usually use it on DC but have tried to use it on the AC just to see how it works. Aluminum takes a lot of heat. I think I saw it on a site called "Mr. Tig" where he says if you already have the welder and only need to add the torch and tank, it makes sense to do so. However, it you need to buy a welder, torch, tank, and gauge setup you are money ahead to just shop around for an inexpensive tig welder to start with. Look at his site for information on tig welding. Also check out "WeldingTipsandTricks.com" as Jody, the host there, has a very good weekly posting on all sorts of welding. Good luck and fly safely.
    GaryR

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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryR View Post
    Hi Rich,
    I have had a AC/DC welder for years and a couple years ago I bought a number 7 size tig torch and argon tank/gauge setup. I usually use it on DC but have tried to use it on the AC just to see how it works. Aluminum takes a lot of heat. I think I saw it on a site called "Mr. Tig" where he says if you already have the welder and only need to add the torch and tank, it makes sense to do so. However, it you need to buy a welder, torch, tank, and gauge setup you are money ahead to just shop around for an inexpensive tig welder to start with. Look at his site for information on tig welding. Also check out "WeldingTipsandTricks.com" as Jody, the host there, has a very good weekly posting on all sorts of welding. Good luck and fly safely.
    GaryR
    Thank You GaryR
    I'll look into it,but your probably right on just buying a TIG machine, I thought about buying a A/C arc welder for $150.00 and adding the torch and tank to it.
    I really want to make one just to know how. And maybe just maybe I can make one that works really good that is affordable for me to make.

  10. #10

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    GaryR's Tools
    Hey Rich
    Jody on WeldingTipsandTricks.com has a video on using a ac/dc welder and torch setup you might be interested in viewing.

    Homemade Tig Welder - Tig Welding Old School with Scratch Start

    That address should get you where you want to be.
    Good luck.
    GaryR

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