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Thread: Quarry work, what I've been up to.

  1. #1
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    Quarry work, what I've been up to.

    Since starting my business I've kind of gone back to my roots in a way, I had a short contract building the greenhouse, but my biggest client has been a quarry company working on crushers, pug mill's and conveyors which is what I did as an apprentice before I got into power stations, coal mines and the oil and gas industry.

    So this is kind of a picture thread, kind of an update to working for myself has been like, but nothing here is a grand in scale as what I have been posting with the power station work.

    So I started out with the machine I bought in 2007 when I started my apprenticeship, a Unimig ARC 160 which got me going, even for a basic scratch start TIG/stick machine it's far from great, but still made some nice welds.





    One of my first jobs was patching a hopper.



    The next was to build a new roof for a remote inspection hut reusing as much of the existing steel and roofing sheet as I could.



    And this is where I made the decision that I needed a MIG welder, stick wasn't going to cut it for this sort of work, stick is to slow.



    Initially my plan was to buy something around the 180 amp mark, but to get a high end machine in that range that was as lightweight as possible, and that's what I did, I bought an EWM Picomig 180 Puls on sale for 50% off for just over 2 grand AUD, and boy what a machine it is, the pulsed functions on thin steel of excellent although its to small for pulse to make much difference on thicker material and I never got to try it on aluminium although I'm sure it would be just as good, and the efficiency allows it to run off of a way smaller generator than it should, the weld quality is excellent.

    Flat but weld.



    and overhead.



    Vertical.



    And even spray transfer with .030 and 5% Co2 2% oxygen, from a 180 amp machine that s under 40 pounds with a 11lb spool, whip and earth I think that's pretty good.



    Last edited by ttoks; 07-20-2021 at 09:05 AM.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Quarry work, what I've been up to.

    with this setup I built and installed some roof sections, the fabrication in the workshop was done with .030 ER70S-6 and 5/2 gas, and the outside work was done with ESAB coreshield 11 E71T-11 self shield.







    I've been doing some maintenance and upgrade work as well, extending the seal plates on a conveyor.



    drilling holes for the sealing skirts, I bought a rotor broach brand magnetic base drill, I like it for a few reasons, one was that it was only $950 with a set of 5 annular cutters, they're a fairly well known brand for reliability, but mostly it's because the handle can be moved to either side in a few seconds and its nice and small for on site work like this.



    My first time ever running self shielded wire, I can see the appeal, this is 160 IPM at 20 volts and it's so easy to run, for repair work I am fan.





    So far I've been running everything off of a Saber 9KVA generator, rated for 7200 watt's continuous power, Honestly for the price this is nice, pure sine wave, under 5% THD and only just over a grand new, but for reasons i'll get into I wish I had of gone bigger, suites the 180 amp EMW perfectly though.



    It's around this point that I realised that although the EWM Picomig 180 was great, it wasn't big enough, one of my requirements is that I have to be able to use dual shield due to the company I'm doing work for running Komatsu equipment, and Komatsu specs requiring E71T-1C/1M or E71-9C/9M dual shield wire being used for all repair work, and the picomig would only run .035 dual shield which would have been fine if I could get it at a reasonable price, but it turns out that the combination of needing 8 inch spools and .035 meant that I'd have to pay upwards of $12 a pound to buy it internationally (or $130 for a 10lb spool) and more of a problem, have a month plus lead time.

    So I needed to get a machine that would run .045 dual shield and will take 12 inch (33lb) spools while also still being somewhat portable, luckily due to the very generous returns policy where I bought the EWM from I was able to return it for a full refund, and I found a Lincoln Powercraft 250C machine for $1140 AUD which fits the bill, not perfectly mind you it is far heavier than I would like at 45 pounds plus wire whip and earth, I would have rathered a Fronius transsteel 2200 but at $4500 wasn't going to happen and still only took 8 inch spools, but I am pretty happy with this for the time being.



    And it does make nice welds, this is Kobelco familiarc DW-50 E71T-9C/9M .045 wire with 100% Co2, overhead at 25 volts 320 IPM, I'd like to run hotter but now the limiting factor is my generator, I really need to upgrade to something in the 15KVA range.


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    Re: Quarry work, what I've been up to.

    Which brings me to the latest project, which is installing a rockbreaker and its control box, the hardest part being installing beams while hanging in a harness over a 30 foot drop.



    And then figuring out how to get the control box through the steel, but we got it done and welded in place.





    I had to cut out the old rock breaker and have it lifted off with a 100 ton crane, weld on the new baseplate (the dual shield pic above) and then direct the new rock breaker into place and bolt it in, I think it went pretty well.



    So right now things are going pretty well being self employed, I'm glad I did it, I have a better work life balance as I'm consistently working 20-30 hours a week at a rate I think I'm worth, and that rate is enough to live comfortably off of instead of 80-100+ hours during shut down season and no work the rest of the year like I used to, I've managed to cram everything I need into my 2008 Nissan Navara dual cab ute (think small truck a Toyota SR5 in the U.S, smaller than an F150), and cram in is the right word, i've got-

    9kva generator
    MIG welder plus earth and whip
    Stick welder plus earth and whip
    x2 90 foot extension leads
    x2 60 foot gas hoses
    Oxygen bottle
    Co2 bottle
    LPG bottle
    Oxy setup with 60 foot hoses
    x2 of each .030 solid wire, .045 self shield, .045 dual shield, 22lb 1/8 7016 and 3/32 7016 rod, 11lb 6013 3/32 rods.
    9 inch grinder
    5 inch grinder
    battery
    -5 inch grinder
    -drill
    -impact driver
    -impact wrench
    -circular saw
    -sawzall
    -5 batteries
    -charger
    speedglas adflo helmet
    fixed shade helmet
    mag base drill
    box of cutters for mag base
    normal assorted hand tools in bags
    1.5 ton come along
    1 ton chain hoist
    assorted slings, shackles ect.
    extension/ combo trestle ladder

    All crammed into a small truck PLUS 2 kids seats for my 4 and 6 year old and a travel bag for working away from home (which is every week), and yes, somehow the kids do actually fit.



    So overall things are going well.

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    Re: Quarry work, what I've been up to.

    So...you must be WeldingWeb's new resident "just a hobbyist"!

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    Re: Quarry work, what I've been up to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    So...you must be WeldingWeb's new resident "just a hobbyist"!
    I dont think I could ever fill Carls shoes there, the man was the ultimate hobbyist that's for sure.

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    Re: Quarry work, what I've been up to.

    I worked 32 yrs on rock crushers and I always said when you push the start button it's working to self destruct!!
    Ol' Stonebreaker
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    Re: Quarry work, what I've been up to.

    Quote Originally Posted by ttoks View Post
    I dont think I could ever fill Carls shoes there, the man was the ultimate hobbyist that's for sure.
    Carl would have been impressed with your work and happily welcomed you as a new hobbyist. Not everyone gets the distinction of being able to call themselves a hobbyist. Carl set the bar really high so to be in that same category is the ultimate compliment.

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    Re: Quarry work, what I've been up to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    So...you must be WeldingWeb's new resident "just a hobbyist"!
    Well in any case he could be the Aussie hobbyist.

    Still makes me tired just looking at the photos.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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    Re: Quarry work, what I've been up to.

    ttok....i think you will like usin that self shielded wire, its all I ever use out on the job...unless the customer request somethin different. What wire is it you were using there? I use Lincoln NR233 1/16.

    I was wondering though why dont you find a good engine drive welder like a trailblazer for mobile welding instead of using a generator to power a small welder? Just wondering I know its not my busness

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    Re: Quarry work, what I've been up to.

    Quote Originally Posted by old miner called Pop View Post
    ttok....i think you will like usin that self shielded wire, its all I ever use out on the job...unless the customer request somethin different. What wire is it you were using there? I use Lincoln NR233 1/16.

    I was wondering though why dont you find a good engine drive welder like a trailblazer for mobile welding instead of using a generator to power a small welder? Just wondering I know its not my busness
    I'm quickly becoming a big fan of self shield, I'm using ESAB coreshield 11 ATM, but will be switching to coreshield 8 (nr232/233 equivalent) once I run out now that I've got a machine big enough to run 1/16 wire and that takes 33lb spools., I don't trust the -11 wire on rock breakers and crushers, the -8 should hold up better with the vibration.

    I'd use Lincoln wire but for some reason they're self shield wire is twice the price of ESAB's here, they're other consumables are about normal for price.

    As for why no engine drive, it comes down to cost, the generator and welder combined was $2200 AUD, fits in my small dual cab and weighs 230 pounds for both, a new engine drive I'm looking at 7 grand starting price for a 250 bobcat plus a wirefeeder and at least 200 foot of leads, and any decent engine drive won't fit in the tray of my car while also being able to fit everything else, plus the weight is an issue, I can carry 1500 pounds in that car, a small engine drive is 500 lb on its own and I'm not a fan of trailers which I'd need if I went for an engine drive, or I'd need a bigger car, both are expensive.

    This setup was cheap, it's light enough for me to wheel around on my own, it fits in my car while still being able to fit everything else I need and it's powerful enough to do everything I need it to including .045 dual shield, and if any of it does get stolen/driven over by a wheel loader/just ****s itself I'm not out more than I can afford to replace on short notice ATM.
    Last edited by ttoks; 07-25-2021 at 07:43 AM.

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    Re: Quarry work, what I've been up to.

    Know a guy that went to Japan on a student exchange deal. They had small diesel trucks with PTO's to run a welder on the back. I think that would be a good set up with one of the small Hino 1 1/2 ton trucks.

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    Re: Quarry work, what I've been up to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Know a guy that went to Japan on a student exchange deal. They had small diesel trucks with PTO's to run a welder on the back. I think that would be a good set up with one of the small Hino 1 1/2 ton trucks.
    If I could find one of those Hinos with left hand drive and a small crane I would grab it.


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    Re: Quarry work, what I've been up to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    If I could find one of those Hinos with left hand drive and a small crane I would grab it.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Know a guy that went to Japan on a student exchange deal. They had small diesel trucks with PTO's to run a welder on the back. I think that would be a good set up with one of the small Hino 1 1/2 ton trucks.
    If I could get something like that I'd jump on it in a heartbeat, a good PTO driven generator is only about 3 grand for a nice 30kw unit that puts out both single and 3 phase, they're intended to be used on tractors but if you have a PTO output on a small truck then I dont see why not use it.

    But i've never actually seen one here, we sometimes get the small daihatsu, mitsubishi and Mazda trucks here but I've never actually seen one with a PTO except for a hydraulic one mounted under the cab for hydraulics.

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    Re: Quarry work, what I've been up to.

    Quote Originally Posted by ttoks View Post
    I'm quickly becoming a big fan of self shield, I'm using ESAB coreshield 11 ATM, but will be switching to coreshield 8 (nr232/233 equivalent) once I run out now that I've got a machine big enough to run 1/16 wire and that takes 33lb spools., I don't trust the -11 wire on rock breakers and crushers, the -8 should hold up better with the vibration.

    I'd use Lincoln wire but for some reason they're self shield wire is twice the price of ESAB's here, they're other consumables are about normal for price.

    As for why no engine drive, it comes down to cost, the generator and welder combined was $2200 AUD, fits in my small dual cab and weighs 230 pounds for both, a new engine drive I'm looking at 7 grand starting price for a 250 bobcat plus a wirefeeder and at least 200 foot of leads, and any decent engine drive won't fit in the tray of my car while also being able to fit everything else, plus the weight is an issue, I can carry 1500 pounds in that car, a small engine drive is 500 lb on its own and I'm not a fan of trailers which I'd need if I went for an engine drive, or I'd need a bigger car, both are expensive.

    This setup was cheap, it's light enough for me to wheel around on my own, it fits in my car while still being able to fit everything else I need and it's powerful enough to do everything I need it to including .045 dual shield, and if any of it does get stolen/driven over by a wheel loader/just ****s itself I'm not out more than I can afford to replace on short notice ATM.
    That makes sense I guess if there is enough power to do what you got to do with what youve got. For what I do I need all the amps voltage and whatnot I can get

    Gettin back to your roots is a good thing, I did that when I went back to work in the mines. Good luck and be safe doin that bullriggin...I did enough of that to know how quick bad stuff can happen

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  22. #15
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    Re: Quarry work, what I've been up to.

    nice looking stuff!

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    Re: Quarry work, what I've been up to.

    I always enjoyed your power station pics. I am sure your current endeavor will produce equally interesting posts. A good craftsman can make anything interesting
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    Re: Quarry work, what I've been up to.

    Quote Originally Posted by old miner called Pop View Post
    ttok....i think you will like usin that self shielded wire, its all I ever use out on the job...unless the customer request somethin different. What wire is it you were using there? I use Lincoln NR233 1/16.

    I was wondering though why dont you find a good engine drive welder like a trailblazer for mobile welding instead of using a generator to power a small welder? Just wondering I know its not my busness
    I think the days of welder generators for small uses under 300 amps is past. When these days you have machines like the ESAB Rebel 285 and lots of other choices of inverter welders of all flavours why would you go out and spend $10 000 on a Miller 250 (which are unsuitable in Australia anyway since they are 60Hz) then another $4000 on a wire feeder, and you still cannot run a decent plasma cutter.

    If you have something like a 13KVA single phase generator, you can get a 250+ amp multiprocess welder, and a decent 60 amp plasma cutter,and you can run the house when the wind stops blowing and the wind turbines stop working. Then if something breaks down you do not have the loss of everything unusable for maybe weeks at a time which when a welder generator breaks down the entire unit is useless until repaired.

    I currently have a 12kva generator I put together myself and run a 250 amp multiprocess welder, 60 amp plasma and the house and everything else 240V I can throw at it.

    Of course it is different once you get into heavy repairs where you need high duty cycles and high amps.

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