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Thread: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

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    Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    I have the opportunity to "upgrade" my old transformer 225 amp AC welder to a 350 amp DC inverter.

    The only need I have for DC are those aluminum reverse polarity rods.

    But do I really need AC when it comes to stick welding - would I be happy with DC only? (My use is basically maintenance or the occasional light structural (1/8-1/4") fabrication project with 1/2" steel maximum.)

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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    What are you using AC for that DC won't do? I rarely use AC on my t-bolt. Most guys will tell you that DC gives you a more stable arc and a smoother weld.
    What kind of machine is the DC inverter?
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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    what kinda AC machine? I would keep it if you can store it in the back of your shop. AC is nice if you have a job that is magnetically charged, no arc blow/wandering. there is a easy way to get around that with DC but sometimes it is just as easy to AC the job...
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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    People sell their old welders??

    Like said above - AC "fixes" arc blow - but most likely it won't become an issue anyway.

    I still like AC with 6013 and 7014 rods, but they run fine with DC too.
    Dave J.

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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    I have no use for an AC stick welder.

    I'll use my Invertecs till one of us dies....

    AC with 7018, is pretty violent, I would for sure buy the 7018 AC rods.

    I may sound like a complete illiterate, but I've not known what "arc blow" is....

    With 7018, I just weld.

    Who knows....
    Just a couple welders, big hammers, grinders, and torches.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    I always use DC, but once in a while I'll get near the end of a workpiece, and the arc just goes nutso because somehow I've induced a magnetic charge into the material. AC fixes that immediately, and for some reason I find the hum of the machine on AC somewhat comforting.... lol.


    But I guess the question is, do you have to get rid of the tombstone? I'm sure you'll greatly prefer the smooth inverter DC arc, but can you hang onto the old machine for when you want to use it?

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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    Regarding my current rig: Old Miller 225 Thunderbolt + Old Miller External Rectifier Bridge Box. New box considering is a Kemppi PS2800 which is a 350 amp 60% duty cycle machine (I think it is 100% @ 300 amps). It is very old but it is a quality machine but if I can snag it for $200, I think I will buy it.

    I was thinking that DC must be superior because of posts where people "finish off at the end with AC." This implies that the DC was worth doing the majority of the weld.

    Regarding Arc Blow, if you want to see something wild, take a candle flame and 2 wires coming of an ordinary 1.5v battery and put the flame between them. The flame will bend to one of the wires. What is really interesting was that I worked as an engineer for Robertshaw Controls and we were developing spark ignition modules for stoves and ovens. Flame detection was of great safety importance. And the phenomenon you see with the battery can be interpreted as "flame rectification." If a flame is present, there will be a weak diode effect to the extent that you actually have to move gas molecules transverse across the flow direction and since they have mass...

    NOTE: Aren't there some engine driven welders that are DC only?

    Thanks
    Tom
    Last edited by Cardinal Grammeter; 05-21-2014 at 02:07 PM.

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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    Hello cardinal, once you run a few rods on that inverter(especially E7018) you will know it was a good choice. Another, maybe not so important item now, but maybe later, you will have the ability to set-up and use a carbon arc on it as well, should you have the need to take apart or open up cracks on things that you are working on or repairing. For that price it's definitely worth the purchase and the capabilities that it will bring to you. Best regards, Allan
    aevald

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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    IF possible, keep the T-bolt, they are nice welders. I have a vintage Miller Model 88 250 amp AC machine, and have never felt that I needed DC, but I had a PowCon SM200, and the DC arc strikes were awesome.

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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    I've seen it on intake and exhaust fans up north here in the mines. If a small hole gets worn in the side they will patch it until a shutdown. Trouble is when it is operating the fan and ore dust that is in the air makes the casing have a charge and is hard to get the patch to tack to the main case. Not that they take any steps to ease this, usually all that is done is "cranker up! gob it in till shut downs!"
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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    this old video posted in another thread convinced me i wasnt nutz. How have my AC stick welds always been so nice compared to DC when every nooby says DC's best. The idealarc in our shop welds on AC with a nice low humm and welds smoooth as silk. Even on the Lincoln Squarwave, AC with 7018 or 6013 soooo nice

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    Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    The industrial world welds on DC. All code welding with stick is done with DC. I have ac on my home welding machine but never use it. DC only. My work machines are DC only. Stick welding out of position is far superior on DC+ polarity.
    Arc blow? You will rarely if ever see it welding at home. Forget about it.
    Jason
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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Grammeter View Post

    NOTE: Aren't there some engine driven welders that are DC only?

    Thanks
    Tom
    Most engine driven welders are DC only.
    There's a reason for that.
    Jason
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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    I'd say that really settles the AC -v- DC stick welding debate - the clear winner is DC. So it sounds like AC is only needed with TIG. Interesting.

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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    That GE documentary was great. I just love those technical films from back then. Like the ones from Bell Labs.

    How 'bout that 600 amp GE AC welder they were using! That crank on the top was pure art. That sure would be some "barn find!"

    I guess back then GE was pushing AC welders? It is interesting that they should be easier/cheaper to make since you don't need the bridge rectifier.

    The claim that arc blow is encountered in corners is of concern - especially when you weld to the intersection of 2 corners like the vertex of a box.

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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    After I converted my big craftsman AC buzz box to AC/DC I still use AC mostly.
    old Miller spectrum 625
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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    I started with the 225 AC T-bolt, then scrounged the rectifier box to run Aluminum DCrev rods. That was sort of necessary.

    If I started with a 225 DC welder, I'm guessing I would not have scrounged to get AC capability.

    You can weld just about anything with DC but not with AC. One point for DC?

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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    Just noticed your Cardinal Grammeter user name

    Thumbs up on the Turbo Encabulator! LOL
    Dave J.

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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    Congratulations MinnesotaDave! You are the FIRST PERSON to discover the meaning of my User Name!

    There are 2 major variants of the TE presentation. One of them has the chemistry references - your post is the one without which is a bit shorter. Many other people in other disciplines have "done the Encabulator" - its sort of like Shakespeare for that sort of thing! I mean its on Wiki!

    I can only wonder what people must think of me with the Cardinal Grammeter name! I wonder if they think I'm in the Clergy??? Woo Hoo!

    Another great name (its actually a name) is Tarquin Biscuit Barrel. Monty Python carried that one far beyond the limits of lunacy! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Election_Night_Special Hummm... seems like "Tiger-drawers Pratt Thompson" is another good name! LOL

    Of course what is relevant on this thread is can you use DC to weld base plates of prefabulated amulite without side-fumbling!

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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Grammeter View Post
    Of course what is relevant on this thread is can you use DC to weld base plates of prefabulated amulite without side-fumbling!
    Just don't trip over the ambifacient lunar wane shaft

    ....."side-fumbling" ?? How did my Minnesota Vikings get in that video?
    Dave J.

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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    Oh how true! The only sad thing about the TE is that it was done by an Electrical Engineer. But oh what a collection of jibberish! I just love it.

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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    It does not matter they both burn up the rods we had over 100 500 amp Hollups during WW-2 1/4 rods AC . the welds were fine TM-500 Lincolns are still used today .

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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    Did anyone just love that antique welder in that GE video? It's a piece of art!

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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Grammeter View Post
    Did anyone just love that antique welder in that GE video? It's a piece of art!
    I'm buying the first one I find near me

    Who doesn't want a welder the size of a large water heater right? LOL
    Dave J.

    Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

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    Re: Shortcomings of a DC only Stick Welder

    Hey, Industrial Antiques are in! I was thinking it belongs in the Living Room. I'll bet it has a stable arc and would work for 75 years without a hiccup. These electronic welders are all headed for the scrap yard.

    You know, in a way, that's partially why I'm attracted to this Kemppi - its like owning a Citroen if you are a Car Person. (well, maybe not that bad)

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