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Thread: How is this setup? Low cost /entry level aluminum welding setup (Beginner)

  1. #51
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    Re: How is this setup? Low cost /entry level aluminum welding setup (Beginner)

    Back to the point of using a generator.

    I weld with my buz box on a 30a circuit in the shop. It's wired up for a 50a, but I had a 30a breaker so I used that. Breaker has never tripped, even digging in at max amps.

    I have an 8000w generator w/ a 30 amp 240v breaker. So I figured that would be good enough to run my welder. Wrong. Trying to weld some 1/8th 7018, @ 110a or so, I would trip the breaker every time I stuck an arch.

    I haven't looked at the breakers to compare if the one on the gen has a short trip curve or not, so it's possible it does.


    Point being, just because on paper the gen looks like you should be able to run the welder, doesn't mean it will. Most likely the 5k will be to run anything more then a small inverter welding thin sheet steel.
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  3. #52
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    Re: How is this setup? Low cost /entry level aluminum welding setup (Beginner)

    I tend to agree with others, this isnt really a beginner project but also think a guy shouldnt "wait" till some perfect time for this. It will never come, buy a machine now. There is no better place to scrape together what you can for this, a new stereo or tv or car payment is a liability, this will earn its keep if a guy isnt a total slug.

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  5. #53
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    Re: How is this setup? Low cost /entry level aluminum welding setup (Beginner)

    I agree 👍

    In pasts I recommend using steel frame and aluminum deck.
    Has guy ever did any welding?

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Sberry View Post
    I tend to agree with others, this isnt really a beginner project but also think a guy shouldnt "wait" till some perfect time for this. It will never come, buy a machine now. There is no better place to scrape together what you can for this, a new stereo or tv or car payment is a liability, this will earn its keep if a guy isnt a total slug.
    Last edited by smithdoor; 07-31-2022 at 09:07 AM.

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  7. #54
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    Re: How is this setup? Low cost /entry level aluminum welding setup (Beginner)

    I suppose if the ramp needs to be aluminum, the OP could always design and build it bolted together rather than welded. This would present its own difficulties but it is only 40" by 48".
    ---Meltedmetal

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  9. #55
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    Re: How is this setup? Low cost /entry level aluminum welding setup (Beginner)

    Dave makes a good point.

    A steel frame with an Aluminum deck bolted on would be a lot easier for a beginner to build, would be cheaper, and would required less expensive equipment.

    It'll be a bit heavier, but the aluminum deck should save a good bit of weight.



    If you build it with a steel frame and aluminum deck, buying a setup to weld steel. If you decide it is too heavy, you already have the welder, so you can go and build the aluminum frame at some later point when time and money allows. Spreading the cost over time for the equipment and material.
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  10. #56
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    Re: How is this setup? Low cost /entry level aluminum welding setup (Beginner)

    Thats a good idea.

  11. #57
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    Re: How is this setup? Low cost /entry level aluminum welding setup (Beginner)

    Quote Originally Posted by welding1 View Post
    Take the $2500 that a fab shop would charge and buy a slightly used miller or Lincoln, 250 amp CV MIg machine, get set up with a bottle of Argon for aluminum and 75/25 for steel and you'll have a machine for life that will have good customer support.
    Lincoln doesn't really support machines older than about 10 years old now.
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  12. #58
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    Re: How is this setup? Low cost /entry level aluminum welding setup (Beginner)

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    I agree 👍

    In pasts I recommend using steel frame and aluminum deck.
    Has guy ever did any welding?

    Dave
    This is a great idea. The trailer is all aluminum, but there isn't anything wrong with building a steel frame, bolting aluminum plate to the top, and bolting aluminum hinges to the trailer and ramp.

    I can buy aluminum hinges - and the steel frame will be much stronger than the equivalently sized aluminum frame.

    I am still going to move forward and buy the primeweld 180 mig and argon tank - and I can just practice on odd things until I get a handle on welding aluminum. There isn't ever going to be a perfect time to buy a welder - but this is as good a time as ever.

    And to alleviate some of the concern from a few members concerning strength of the frame - the industry standard for ramps on higher end horse trailers is shockingly low. The ramps on these trailers consist of 1/8'' aluminum channel that is welded into a square - with 7/8'' laminated INTERIOR grade plywood fit into the square. There are no bottom framing members. The ramp is "waterproofed" so that the plywood doesn't rot - at least not right away. I have always been amazed that these ramps are able to stand up to an angry 1500 lb animal - but I have never seen one fail. I will not be copying this frame design and will be putting framing members under the square frame.

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  14. #59
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    How is this setup? Low cost /entry level aluminum welding setup (Beginner)

    if you go the route of steel frame buy weldable hinges.

    one set steel and one set aluminum of the same size.

    reassemble them steel/aluminum and steel/aluminum to weld the steel ramp
    frame to your aluminum trailer

    this is what i did for the aluminum
    lid on my steel truck tank/tool box




    Last edited by Lis2323; 08-03-2022 at 03:05 PM.
    :

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