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Old 21-11-2013, 16:34   #16
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TIG is real similar to gas welding and is actually quite difficult, but if you know what your doing, you can't beat TIG. You can't or at least shouldn't TIG in an kind of wind as it will blow the shielding gasses away. MIG has the same problem wind wise, but it's real easy to learn, but the equipment isn't small or light weight and probably not suited to be on a boat. Long time ago I was a contract welder in the Tx and OK oil fields, there with heavy steels and constant wind plain ole stick welding was king, you can stick weld with a TIG machine. The one I posted about is a 150 amp machine that weighs 14 lbs and a little Honda 2000 should run it. It or one like it will be on my boat one day, when I get that boat anyway.
On edit, you guy's learning don't use 6011, 6013 etc. Use 7018, low hydrogen rod for steel, I think you will like it and get a stronger weld. AC machines aren't well though of and are called cracker or buzz boxes for the sounds they make, don't waste your time with those, in my opinion.
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Old 21-11-2013, 16:46   #17
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Re: Sailing with a welder aboard?

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I work at an aircraft manufacturing plant where we build the fuselages out of 4130 and everything we do is TIG, there exists a tiny little TIG machine that plugs into a regular 110V outlet and will weld steel, but I don't think it will weld aluminum, thing is no bigger than a battery charger and I don't see how it could work as it can't draw more than 15 amps at 110V, but it does work, but not on aluminum.

On edit I did some looking, look up a Miller Maxstar 150 I think
We have a Miller Maxstar aboard and love it. For its size it can't be beat.
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Old 21-11-2013, 17:25   #18
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Re: Sailing with a welder aboard?

http://www.millerwelds.com/products/multiprocess/product.php?model=M00361[/URL]

This is the new improved version of the Millermatic Passport that I carry onboard, may upgrade to it someday. Construction and repair is never ending here, so all metalworking tools are onboard and I have a diesel generator specifically to run the welder and power tools; it is not needed to run the boat.
Do respect your neighbors, lay at anchor or wait until the wind blows away from the other boats on the dock before grinding/welding....the plastic boat crowd will not be amused if you cause their boats to ' rust' with your grinding dust.
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Old 21-11-2013, 20:29   #19
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Re: Sailing with a welder aboard?

I had some welding done on Boracay just after I brought 'er - mainly removed a head crunching beam across the middle of the main cabin, had some stanchions repaired, an insert welded in for the echo sounder, main hatch rust repaired and a few holes in the transom welded up.

That's it. I did repair one stanchion myself (with a little DC welder I brought) but for the rest it was easier and cheaper to get the pros to do it. Probably cost less than a couple of boat bucks all up.

As a steel boat owner most welding is rust repairs or stainless. If it's above the waterline I'd do most in stainless these days.

The real problem in my experience is that marinas are not happy about any welding and are particularly not happy with grinding. Tends to cover that expensive plastic with hot bits of steel that imbeds then rusts. So most work would need to be done on moorings or in a boatyard.

That said I'm always on the lookout for a good stainless fabricator/welder. They can be very thin on the ground.
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Old 22-11-2013, 05:56   #20
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Re: Sailing with a welder aboard?

Boracay, if you have enough juice, you can obviate the grinding/rust problems by welding and grinding at anchor. That would be my game plan, although I would also consider tying up to a quiet corner of the commercial docks if it was permitted.

"Easier and cheaper" are relative to availability of a welder and the possibility of doing a simple seam or spot weld in return for a non-cash consideration for another cruiser, I suppose. I would anticipate only an occasional need for fixing things aboard our own steel beast (although who knows how creative I might get?), but one is always running into people with small failures in metalwork that any amount of lashings aren't really addressing.

As for noise, in marinas, I don't personally even like the "tink-tink" of improperly tensioned halyards, so short of an emergency, I wouldn't tend to grind, hammer or weld.
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Old 22-11-2013, 06:36   #21
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Re: Sailing with a welder aboard?

How about an Alternator Welder?

High Output Marine Alternators by ZENA, Inc.

Premier Power Welder high-frequency on board vehicle welders, high-amp alternators, battery clamps, charging systems, Ready Welder
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Old 22-11-2013, 10:43   #22
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Re: Sailing with a welder aboard?

Yep, there's that as a possibility. There's also welding with batteries...only a bit Mad Max...



How-To: Car Battery Welding | MAKE
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Old 22-11-2013, 11:05   #23
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Re: Sailing with a welder aboard?

Brent Swain, in his book, had a lash up to weld off an alternator.

Gotta find that book.
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Old 22-11-2013, 11:41   #24
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Re: Sailing with a welder aboard?

Battery and alternator welding is a LONG ways off from TIG
Alternator and welding with batteries is like driving wood screws with a hammer, I'd put both in the, you have no choice it's an emergency category.
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Old 22-11-2013, 14:15   #25
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Re: Sailing with a welder aboard?

A friend of mine has a 220v TIG on his boat in the Western Caribbean. Powers it from his on board 12kw gen set. He has plenty of power to weld aluminum and make water at the same time. Gas is available at most big citys but twice they have contaminated his tank with O2. The first time they said they needed to change the tank fitting! He said WHOA! Second time it was just enough to cause issues with weld quality. A lot of people have issues with SS hand rails and he has built several Bimini tops and solar panel mounts out of aluminum. He gets all the work he wants at $50 an hour.
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Old 22-11-2013, 16:44   #26
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Re: Sailing with a welder aboard?

Alchemy,

I was just admiring your mast tabernacle. You do that yourself or did she come that way?
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Old 23-11-2013, 08:19   #27
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Re: Sailing with a welder aboard?

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Battery and alternator welding is a LONG ways off from TIG
Alternator and welding with batteries is like driving wood screws with a hammer, I'd put both in the, you have no choice it's an emergency category.
I don't think anyone is arguing otherwise, but if you needed only occassional, functional, ugly welding, it's an option to carrying a proper rig and the voltage/amperage methods and devices to power it.

For some people, that would be enough. I've seen relatively cheap "welding" kits that off-roaders can use to do a repair to their frames if they sustain a crack and so on.

I can see the logic of either a gifted amateur or a trained welder opting to bring along such a setup in, say, a 35 footer doing passagemaking. In the absence of sufficient JB Weld supplies, it's better than nought as my Northern English relatives might say.
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Old 23-11-2013, 08:20   #28
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Re: Sailing with a welder aboard?

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A friend of mine has a 220v TIG on his boat in the Western Caribbean. Powers it from his on board 12kw gen set. He has plenty of power to weld aluminum and make water at the same time. Gas is available at most big citys but twice they have contaminated his tank with O2. The first time they said they needed to change the tank fitting! He said WHOA! Second time it was just enough to cause issues with weld quality. A lot of people have issues with SS hand rails and he has built several Bimini tops and solar panel mounts out of aluminum. He gets all the work he wants at $50 an hour.
Sounds like a good way to cover the cost of diesel and sailcloth! But a 12kw genset is more than I'd want to carry...it might throw out my trim...
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Old 23-11-2013, 08:27   #29
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Re: Sailing with a welder aboard?

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Alchemy,

I was just admiring your mast tabernacle. You do that yourself or did she come that way?
Hpeer, she came that way. The boat is an early '80s design influenced, I suspect, by Dutch steel sailboat North Sea designs, and was drawn by the N.A. Phil Friedman, who lived in Toronto then and still works at Port Royal Group in Florida, a big yacht builder, as far as I know. We bought her in 2006 and Mr. Friedman sent three plan views which have been helpful in our slow refit.

Alchemy was built circa 1988 in Kingston and spent 17 years at Penetang on Lake Huron. We are the third owners. The tabernacle is original and has already proven quite handy...just put some sort of pillow/antichafe on the pilothouse roof and lower away with a halyard or two.

The tabernacle is supported below by a very substantial cross-beam linked to the hull frames via two four-inch pillars, which make good saloon handholds. It's a good, strong system. The boat, despite its age, has a number of clever ideas like that...the crazy part is that such a clearly ocean-oriented vessel has yet to see salt water. We'll be the first to sail her out of the Great Lakes.

Thank you for your interest.
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Old 23-11-2013, 09:02   #30
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Re: Sailing with a welder aboard?

" But a 12kw genset is more than I'd want to carry...it might throw out my trim..."

LOL. I'm sure that is more than required. I would talk to Lincoln or ? about what it would take to power a welder that would weld 1/4" aluminum (3/8" would be better for things like heavy brackets). Even that might be over kill as most of the work available would need the power to do neat welding on schedule 40 aluminum pipe. A pretty small machine will do that. Most of the places I've been in the western c. the 120v power at the docks where they might let you weld was pretty wimpy so I would plan on making my own electricty. I would lean towards 240v so your long cord to get the welder to the work can be a little lighter.

I think you would need to make good, nice welds in both aluminum and stainless steel to expect much income.
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