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Old 28-03-2022, 12:18   #46
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Boat: Beneteau 432, C&C Landfall 42, Roberts Offshore 38
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Re: Welder on board?

Here's a real life scenario.

I built a 38' boat out of steel some years back..

While I went to welding school, I also practiced back home.
I would take pieces of 2" x1/4" flat bar and weld them together.

When done, I'd stand back and admire my work. I would also test the weld.
My first few efforts were laughable. I could break the welded joint with a flick of my wrist.

This continued for some time. All my welds broke. While I had set the machine to the recommended setting for the rod I was using, I did not account for the voltage drop from the plug to machine, a distance of about 30' or so.
A welder friend came by one night, quickly understood the problem, and cranked that 'ole Miller up, several notches.
Voila, what a difference.

This time my welds were much improved.
When I could no longer break a joint with a sledgehammer, I deemed myself ready to actually start building my boat.

During the construction of my frames, I had more guidance from pro welders. They undoubtable saved me from a litany of mistakes I was doing. It wasn't until I started the plating, that I finally felt secure enuff in my welding prowess.

I really owe my successful build to the many that helped me.
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Old 28-03-2022, 12:34   #47
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Location: Deale, MD
Boat: PDQ Altair, 32/34
Posts: 9,361
Re: Welder on board?

Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
As a former welder and having worked as a welding engineer some in aerospace, IMO "a strong weld will be good looking, but not all good looking welds will be strong."

Yes, this^^ (20 years as steel tank and weld inspector).

So a few years ago I decided to teach myself stick welding. The short story is that it is a painful process for a weld inspector, because you see ALL of your mistakes and are ashamed of anything substandard!

The greatest challenge for most boat work, stick welding steel or SS, is welding thin materials without burn through. I chose stick because my actual need was small repairs on large oil tanks (mostly 1/4" to 3/8" steel), which it does well.
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Old 29-03-2022, 20:52   #48
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Boat: Lagoon 400S2
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Re: Welder on board?

I have a 200A AC / DC TIG welder on board, it can also weld with electrodes without Argon if necessary.

Works on the Victron Quattro 12-5000-220 100-100 inverter and LFP batteries.
Lagoon 400S2 refit for cruising: LiFeYPO4, solar and electric galley...
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Old 30-03-2022, 02:19   #49
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Location: Australia
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Re: Welder on board?

I carried a 140 amp inverter welder on my steel boat for years, also had a 2.5 kW genset. I did not do much welding but found the combo very handy for starting the main engine the main engine when the batteries were flat.

I would jam the throttle wide open on the genset, wind the current control in the welder to max and simultaneously hit the starter button and jam the welding cable onto the battery terminal. Worked every time but when I got to town I'd have to go to the motor rewind shop and buy a replacement excitation capacitor for the genset.

I also use the welder with SS trace wire for cutting polystyrene.

Handy things to have inverter welders.
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Old 30-03-2022, 07:48   #50
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Location: Kennebunk ME
Boat: Owner built 60’ Aluminum Expedition Yacht.
Posts: 1,855
Re: Welder on board?

Aluminum argon tanks. About chest high and the diameter of a scuba tank.
Easy to move even in a dinghy. We have two.
Miller Inverter TIG. Worth the price. Does everything perfectly.
Miller tech guys are great.
Our Dynasty runs off an 8 kw Northern Lights .
Study every video in Welding Tips and Tricks with Jody.
Keep all the wind off...tent it well.
Clean. Then clean again. It’s the most common problem.
Happy welding.
Mark and the manatee crew
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