View Full Version : Generator converted to a welding machine

07-26-2004, 06:41 AM

If possible? I was wondering if I could turn my 5500watt generator into a welder, and if so what would I need to do this???

Thanks in advance.

07-26-2004, 10:53 AM
No, you cannot do this. Thats a simple answer, if someone wants to elaborate with the technical issues,, great.

07-27-2004, 02:51 AM

I agree with Sberry's reply, big difference between your generator and a usable welder. A conversion is not really practical.

If you're looking to build a portable gas powered electric welder I've seen quite a few posts about using an auto alternator driven by a car, truck or stationary engine. I believe that one was even built out of an old rotary lawn mower. The circuit is quite simple, the only other major part they showed was a car battery used to get the alternator going. I've got no idea how well these home built rigs work but there is at least one company that makes a commercial alternator based welder for the off road community.

If you're interested in taking this approach and can't find the details in a search let me know and I'll try to dig some of the info up for you.

07-28-2004, 05:50 PM
Your thinking of Zena ( www.zena.net ). I bought one but haven't hooked it up yet. It's supose to have 100% duty cycle and can be made into a mig also. The cables look real nice and you can turn it on by the handle.


07-29-2004, 06:56 PM
Mobi-Arc makes a nice vehicle mounted welder that runs off the alternator too.
I have one on my CJ-7 Jeep and it works great.

You can see my writeup about it here:
n2jeepn.com Mobi-Arc writeup (http://myweb.cableone.net/wdohrn/mobiarc.htm)

08-02-2004, 11:18 AM
The simple answer is - yes, you can convert it to a welder. you can also add a contraption to it and use it as a welder with limited modifications. it all just depends on what other disturbances and costs you will put up with. most combo generator-welders have either two sets of coils ( one for welder, one for generator) on them so that either one can run, or they have a basic winding that is used in both modes by supplementing with an additional winding. the welder needs high current low voltage. the generator uses higher voltage and lower current, so a single fixed set of coils is not the easiest solution. to convert yours, you can remove the 120VAC alternator ( generator section) and put a welding alternator on it.


This is not conversions stuff now but add-ons to let you weld with the basic generator as the powerplant - you could use a welding controller. there are 2-3 brands and types that do this and work OK but generators are sensitive to speed changes and the welding may not be as stable as you like. some use a bank of 3-4 batteries and use the generator to run a battery charger circuit. there is a commonly available spoolgun ( readywelder) that can do this. another possibility is to get an inverter welder unit and use the 120VAC or 240VAC to power that. then you could also run a pulley off the mainshaft and run an automotive alternator set ups as a welder, from that pulley.

lots of ways to go here, look a few up on GOOGLE and see what suits your style.

08-02-2004, 11:25 AM

I have run a 70-90A AC stickwelder from my 2500W 120VAC portable generator with only a few problems. have to use small rods, make sure to keep the duty cycle in mind, dont over do it with the size of a job you expect to get done. no conversion to either unit and it welds just fine. im not doing any major steelwork here, just field repairs so it fills the bill at limited costs. you could probably find a small mig or stick welder that would run fine from a 5500 watt generator, with no mods necessary to either one

08-03-2004, 12:20 AM
We use to run a Hobart 110 volt Mig welder off a 3500 watt, Honda Generator. It was a suitcase style, with Argon gas. .025 wire. A nice machine to run. We had it in a little cart complete with O/A bottles, and pulled it around the farm with a Quad. If there was a job required in the field, the whole thing slid into the back of a pick up.
Maximum thickness for the welder was 5/16, I can't remember what the amp rating on the unit was, or the duty cycle, but under full load, the generator didn't even sound like it was working hard. I don't recall ever tripping anything out when using it either.