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Old 26-11-2016, 13:10   #16
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Re: Welder on a boat - equipment

If you want to do aluminum, this one works pretty darn well. Eastwood TIG200 AC/DC Welder Of course, it's not a Miller, but it's not $3k+ either.
Square wave AC, offsettable for dirty metal, foot pedal, 110volt. And Eastwood stands behind their products.
Just my $0.02 worth.
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Old 26-11-2016, 13:44   #17
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Re: Welder on a boat - equipment

Tig only.

I have an inverter ac/dc pulse machine on board. I have an AHP unit. Buttery smooth arc, very consistent pulse. As good as a unit 5x the price.

The 110v is fine for SS. Ti and Al less than 1/8" thk. You'll also need dedicated sanders, linishers, etc. Cleanliness is key with tig.

Stick or mig are for non decorative finishes. I wouldnt bother with either on a boat.

I have 30+ years of experience as an aerospace welder and engineer including a masters in materials welding and joining. Probably makes me biased but I can't stand to see cocky sh#t welds or slag.

I havent tried running it from our inverter or generator. The inverter tig units now would probably work ok, on pulse, but you're asking a lot of low duty cycle marine equipment.

Our argon 20# bottle is hooked up as a fire suppresion system.

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Old 26-11-2016, 14:08   #18
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Re: Welder on a boat - equipment

I have three options, my little inverter MMA welder for steel and stainless, when I have access to shore power or a genset. With practice very servicable stainless welds can be done, even on thin walled stuff.

I have a basic set of jumpers to crudely weld off my batteries with the rods, and a readywelder for aluminium running off the batteries.

Ive seen plans to modify an alternator to make a engine driven welder. I think this is what Brent Swain uses.

None of this welding is decorative, but I don't really care, as long as it is strong. Many of the pretty tigged up stainless jewelry on yachts ends up cracking around the far to small tig filets welds.
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Old 26-11-2016, 14:12   #19
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Re: Welder on a boat - equipment

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Just reading another thread about welding SS water tanks and the use of mig or tig. I am not a profecional welder but I do a lot of it for fun and profit. At some point in the future I will transition from couch sailing to an actual real life boat. But in the meantime just planning. Both my welder so are 220v and I would like to have one on the boat for repairs and maybe help subserdise my cruising.

Any one have any experience with this? Using a generator v dock power? Gas fills? Corrosion under the waterline...!

I would much prefer the tig for this purpose.
Hi. TIG is ok for new fabrications, but for repairs especially in the marine environment it's not very practical. Your weldments MUST be clean (no rust, no scale, no grease or paint) and DRY. Plus you've gotta haul a argon bottle around, gauge & hose, etc. TIG is clean; minimal fumes & no sparks or spatter, but at a cost.
Wire-feed is slightly better on the water; Innershield and similar products work OK if there is a little rust...but no matter what the sales guys at the weld store says they will NOT weld if there is any moisture, or contaminants.
I'd agree with the previous recommendation and try a little Miller Maxstar or something like it from Lincoln. Stick welding (SMAW) RULES in this environment, and welding rods from Nassau (the manufacturer not the town) and similar manufacturers are pricey but WILL weld where it's damp, even wet.
A little stick machine will run stick rod smooth as butter all day long - mild-steel, Cor-Ten, no problem. Alloys (s.s.) need a little more prep, and a higher skill level but it can work.
But compact stick welders (which will run TIG if you insist) need a true 30 amps (115 volts) to run properly. They won't like 15 or 20 amps, and you won't either. Some small wire-feed machines can run on 20 amps, and some say they'll 'work' on 15 amps/115 volts but they are very 'weak' and you can fall asleep under your hood! Remember a good CLEAN ground, and keep it close to to your work or you'll fry the electronics onboard.
Aluminum needs specialized equipment and is best weld ashore or somewhere near it.
Best of luck.
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Old 26-11-2016, 14:21   #20
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Re: Welder on a boat - equipment

I like the idea of using the Argon for fire suppression, that makes having it worthwhile, even if not welding
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Old 26-11-2016, 14:44   #21
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Re: Welder on a boat - equipment

Wow! I've got to try that! It harkens back to diesel-electric submarines welding off their battery supplies.

On another note, though, I'm wondering what scenarios will likely result in needing a welder while cruising. Most failures are of the replace a part variety, and the part in my experience has only once been something I could have repaired with a welder en route. That time having the right bolt in steerage did the job. I use mine when I want to change something, such as moving the dinghy from a frame over the transom to a new rack on the top of the boat, or building a new anchor pulpit. What failures do you experience or anticipate that can best be addressed by having a welder on board?
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Old 26-11-2016, 15:25   #22
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Re: Welder on a boat - equipment

We had to do some serous aluminium repairs to a boat in the falkland islands. No argon so the amazingly resourceful islanders used aluminium rods on a stick machine to reweld in a new set of chainplates. Another plus to the humble stick machine.

Having the ability to weld onboard gives much more repair options. Engine fittings like alternator brackets, mounts and exhaust risers can be zapped up much easier than trying to hand machine something heavy enough to work. Windvanes can be repaired by welding easily were nothing else will work well.

Not essential, but it is reassuring to have the capability aboard to do simple welding jobs when you are well off the beaten track.

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Old 26-11-2016, 15:56   #23
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Re: Welder on a boat - equipment

As far as making a little money along the way... We anchored one year off Sand Dollar Beach in George Town in the Bahamas for a few weeks near a fellow who was almost continuously at work. He installed wind generators, repaired bow and stern pulpits, repaired a broken prop shaft, built a stern arch... Any low wind day he had another boat tied up alongside welding away. The ad at the bottom right of this page in Southwinds magazine is his. Transmarinepro His wife and kids were aboard. They were all nice people. https://issuu.com/southwinds/docs/so...january2010/38
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Old 26-11-2016, 19:42   #24
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Re: Welder on a boat - equipment

I'm going to look into the battery dc welding and modified alternator ideas, very mcguiver (just been watching the old shows on Netflix ), i do a bit of welding and small repair now so moving the current setup on board (when I have a board to move it onto) shouldn't be a big deal. I already have a real tube bender (not a pipe bender) and notcher.

Any issues with corrosion ?
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Old 26-11-2016, 20:13   #25
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Re: Welder on a boat - equipment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven UK View Post
I'm going to look into the battery dc welding and modified alternator ideas, very mcguiver (just been watching the old shows on Netflix ), i do a bit of welding and small repair now so moving the current setup on board (when I have a board to move it onto) shouldn't be a big deal. I already have a real tube bender (not a pipe bender) and notcher.

Any issues with corrosion ?
Saffa way actually. They have also "plug and play" alternator welding packages for RV's ..
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Old 26-11-2016, 22:29   #26
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Re: Welder on a boat - equipment

Scott Fratcher site has a DIY emergency welder using engine alternator.
Emergency welding with a high output alternator
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Old 28-11-2016, 06:12   #27
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Re: Welder on a boat - equipment

I have a 75' steel ketch.....always have some sort of welding project ...
I carry a Miller dynasty for all my ac/dc tig work , a hypertherm power max30 self contained plasma cutter (internal compressor), and a Miller 211 mig. A bottle of 75/25 and a bottle of argon. Also associated grinders,sanders and spares. I have a 10kw lugger on board and all my equipment is 120/240. Probably overkill for 99% of people but with a ketch weighing in at 50 tons the extra weight doesn't affect me.
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Old 28-11-2016, 10:25   #28
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Re: Welder on a boat - equipment

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v michaela View Post
I have a 75' steel ketch.....always have some sort of welding project ...
I carry a Miller dynasty for all my ac/dc tig work , a hypertherm power max30 self contained plasma cutter (internal compressor), and a Miller 211 mig. A bottle of 75/25 and a bottle of argon. Also associated grinders,sanders and spares. I have a 10kw lugger on board and all my equipment is 120/240. Probably overkill for 99% of people but with a ketch weighing in at 50 tons the extra weight doesn't affect me.
Sounds like a nice set up!
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Old 28-11-2016, 23:50   #29
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Re: Welder on a boat - equipment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven UK View Post
Just reading another thread about welding SS water tanks and the use of mig or tig. I am not a profecional welder but I do a lot of it for fun and profit. At some point in the future I will transition from couch sailing to an actual real life boat. But in the meantime just planning. Both my welder so are 220v and I would like to have one on the boat for repairs and maybe help subserdise my cruising.

Any one have any experience with this? Using a generator v dock power? Gas fills? Corrosion under the waterline...!

I would much prefer the tig for this purpose.
Where in MN?

Have you looked at the battery powered ReadyWelder or SpoolGun?

Ready Welder
https://www.tifco.com/pdfs/Brochures/Military/92866.pdf
GOWELD® - Portable MIG Welder - Broco-Rankin

Alternatively a spool gun meant for use with a regular welding power supply can be supplied from 2 or 3 batteries.
Spool Gun Handheld Wirefeed Welder Powered by Car Batteries
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Old 29-11-2016, 17:34   #30
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Re: Welder on a boat - equipment

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Where in MN?

Have you looked at the battery powered ReadyWelder or SpoolGun?

Ready Welder
https://www.tifco.com/pdfs/Brochures/Military/92866.pdf
GOWELD® - Portable MIG Welder - Broco-Rankin

Alternatively a spool gun meant for use with a regular welding power supply can be supplied from 2 or 3 batteries.
Spool Gun Handheld Wirefeed Welder Powered by Car Batteries
Thanks for the link, and I'm close to Spirit Lake.
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