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Old 09-12-2019, 11:37   #1
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Welder on board?

Perhaps best posted in maintenance, but Ö
Does anyone carry a small welder on board, either for maintenance or to provide a service?
What kind of welder (rod or wire feed)?
Power input?
Recommended brand?
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:03   #2
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Re: Welder on board?

In terms of size, the small scratch-start TIG welders that are available are probably the best option. Small current draw off your inverter, capable of TIG and arc (stick) welding. I have one similar to the picture attached but Iíve never found a need to carry it on board. The welder itself is small, Iím guessing 400 long, 300 high, 200 wide.

TIG obviously has limitations on board because of the bottle of argon that is needed (even a small bottle is heavy and difficult to store safely). Very small disposable bottles can be bought but they are excruciatingly costly for the volume of gas they supply. But these little machines do a creditable job as a stick welder, anything from 40A up to 150A so TIG is not imperative.

While scratch-start can be irritating, the basic auto-darkening helmet make it easier and with a little practice good quality welds are not difficult to achieve.

As far as recommended make, there are a plethora of these, mostly Chinese manufacture, all similar in quality/performance.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:08   #3
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Re: Welder on board?

There are high-output charging alternators that can also serve as a stick / arc welder.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:25   #4
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Re: Welder on board?

I carry a 200 amp ac/DC Tig welder aboard and use it from my "32000" watt 240v Chinese inverter. Works pretty good but I need to run the main engine while welding to prevent too much voltage drop at the inverter. For big jobs I try to find 50 amp shore power.
The hardest part is definitely the argon tanks, I carry 2 300cfm large tanks . Which will provide quite a bit of weld time.
Also carry a tubing bender/notcher and have good luck making a living doing various welding projects on the water. Having a welder aboard has saved my ass many times
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:39   #5
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Re: Welder on board?

Why not carry a flux core wire welder?
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:41   #6
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Re: Welder on board?

I carry many stainless and aluminum stick welding rods for use with no argon. But only use for emergency type repairs where Tig is not practical or necessary.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:51   #7
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Re: Welder on board?

It sounds like you are a professional welder, or at least very experienced, so that makes sense. But for somebody who only has hobby/diy welding experience, would it be a good option to have a flux core welder with 316 flux wire just to be able to emergency fix a fitting or something, until you could reach a place with a professional welder to hire?
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Old 09-12-2019, 13:00   #8
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Re: Welder on board?

I think a small suitcase style arc welder like mentioned above would be the best for diy / emergency repair . Very very portable... small 110v mig welders/fluxcore have very little penetration and would be hard to make a good structural repair without a lot of pre heating .
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Old 09-12-2019, 13:10   #9
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Re: Welder on board?

I have a welder I carry in my 4x4, called ready-welder.it is a spoolgun type welder, It uses batteries, 6 volt, 12 volt or in series up to 48 volts . So you adjust the power by how many batteries you hook up. Works pretty good and might be good to have on a boat with fluxcore wire. Most boats have several batteries so you could weld up to 1/2" plate at 48 volts
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Old 09-12-2019, 13:20   #10
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Re: Welder on board?

What if your boat had a 5+kw genset?
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Old 09-12-2019, 13:25   #11
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Re: Welder on board?

What would be the best approach for a complete-welding-noob

far from shore power in remote primitive off-grid locations

wanting to start out learning on plain steel

but immediate goal is 5052 aluminium for structural load bearing applications?

Looks not important at all, only strength
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Old 09-12-2019, 13:39   #12
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Re: Welder on board?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muaddib1116 View Post
What if your boat had a 5+kw genset?


Iíd still run one of the little high freq tig machines.
But Iíd want a Miller or a Lincoln and not a cheap one.
like this one maybe, but I have not studied it just picked it off the internet. https://www.millerwelds.com/equipmen...welders-m30132
Welding with batteries or even an alternator is possible of course. But to put it nicely, itís crude at best.
Batteries are of course DC, while an alternator is AC and thatís two completely different types of welding and neither is TIG.
If I were to carry a TIG, Iíd want a full size bottle, and I believe Iíd plumb it to be an engine fire suppression system, it ought to put out any imaginable engine fire.
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Old 09-12-2019, 13:48   #13
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Welder on board?

I donít believe your going to run aluminum from any of these small machines.
Also aluminum isnít easy, if that is your desire, go sign up to take a welding class at the local Voctec school.
You donít just pick up TIG and especially aluminum. Iím am old contract oilfield welder from back in 79 until the oilfield collapsed in I guess 81?
Anyway we were pure stick welders with 200 amp ďportableĒ Lincoln welders, portable is in parentheses cause it took a 1 ton truck to carry it.
But later in life when I did a little TIG, I found it to be similar to gas welding with the torch in one hand and the filler in the other, except you used your foot to fine tune current with what was like an accelerator pedal.

Every time an old steel welder thinks he has the puddle right welding aluminum it collapses and he now has a hole to fill.

Forget aluminum with cave man welders like batteries and alternators etc.
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Old 09-12-2019, 13:56   #14
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Re: Welder on board?

I have a cored wire welder, gas welding tanks, and shielding gas. I weld aluminum, steel and stainless. I have helped a few people out, but don't go looking for welding jobs. It's mostly for my own use at my home dock. I was certified, but now just certifiable.
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Old 09-12-2019, 14:02   #15
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Re: Welder on board?

I have a digital SALDATRICE TIG AC/DC 200 INVERTER on board, I can run it on my inverter from my batteries or on generator, have a small one way Argon bottle with regulator and adapter for standard bottles just in case and sticks for aluminum and stainless steel welding, some spare TIG electrodes, an automatic protective shield for the eyes and welding gloves. You can also weld iron or other material with normal sticks with it.

It is ok for small projects. Click image for larger version

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