Think about all the tools you have, how many are for removing bits and how many can actually join them again?
Stretching my funds I was able to get a decent, cheap, TIG welder, however, even that is overkill or not apropriate sometimes.
So I went and tackled the spot welder I had long pending.
First, remove high voltage windings from the microwave transformer. Most people saw those and then hammer the shit out of them, however, I do not have an anvil, nor a table capable of withstanding such blows (the coils are resin bonded to the casing). So I tried to just drill the center and wait to see what happened.
Easy enough, once you have went through, you can just chisel flocks of wires with a screwdriver, with not much force at all. Keep in mind tough that to drill it, you must peck a lot. Going full blast with a drill will jam everything and possibly cause harm to the low voltage coil, wich is not that much protected. (Note I was working over some neoprene rubber matt).
Once freed from the wires, it’s time to wind some heavy duty cable in there. It will put up a fight, and if you are not careful, it will scrape the wire lining. I managed to do it without shorts, however, for the final version, I changed the cable and went much more slowly and carefully, even using some leather to slide the wire under the sharp metal corners.
To test it out, some carbide pieces (broken endmill at the bottom, TIG electrode on top)
Sure enough, the contraption worked:
Test on titanium rod:
As I was using a foot pedal, power control was not the greatest, wich lent some interesting results:
Add a timer for good ‘ol control:
Yep, MUCH better:
Altough good for TIG and some other uses, tungsten electrodes are not the best option for spot welding, they have the bad habit of welding themselves into the pieces, leaving sharp bits and broken tips. You should use copper electrodes, more or less sharp, depending on the amount of area you want to heat.
END OF WARNING
And because yes, I tried welding brass to steel…It sorta worked. XD!
Having the electrodes nailed into the cables doesn’t maketh for a very practical setup, so I dived into some support making:
Do they come in pairs?
Yes, they do!
Drilling holes for 3 and 6mm electrodes.
Can you spot the raccord error? (see what I did there too? XDDDD)
Sweet electrode holders IMO.
Time to put your
dick junk in a box:
Blue switch is main power (cutting mains and return). Black switch is enable (connected to just one wire in the mains coil).
The enable serves two purposes:
- On power up, the timer activates itself once, wich is an undesirable behaviour that must be bypassed.
- Preventing unwanted activation of the welding core, either because “1”, or other causes (missteped on the pedal, for example).
First practical use, smt tweezer repair:
If you switch one of the electrodes for some rod, you can spot weld some fancy legs to steel sheet:
Also, welding cage style supports is now super easy:
And one last view of the slowmo titanium weld: