There has been talk of developing a “minimum viable product” for welding in the space, because the prospect of installing extraction in the welding room is stalling a bit, for various reasons.
With that in mind, I spent yesterday investigating equipment, PPE, space, and consumables – with positive results. The goal is to set up some kind of outdoor welding space that is easy to set up and take down and can be used with 230V power.
We have two welders that run on 230V:
1. Small PowerCraft 3078 stick welder
Powers on OK and after a brief clean looks in good order and a relatively new machine
The electrode holder is broken, so have ordered a new one at £9
Will bring in some 6013 electrodes to test this unit
This should be suitable for electrodes/rods between 1.6mm and 4mm, which might be able to weld up to 5mm mild steel, HOWEVER
Reading up, this machine should have a 16A power supply, not a 13A one. Apparently it’s from Aldi, who supply it with no plug. If we were to use it with the 13A plug that is currently fitted, we might be limited in the power we use and consequently the thickness of metal we can weld.
2. Cebora Pocket MIG
This appears to power on at least, and the basic functions (power settings and wire feed) look to be working). Having played around with it, this looks like a very capable little unit.
According to the manual, it can do mild and stainless steel plus aluminium.
We have a reel of 0.6mm wire on there, which looks in OK order. Not rusty but a bit dusty.
The machine is missing the cover for the reel. This cover is optional but I think we should make one. The thin sheet steel in the metal area can be used for this. The handle is broken, and a new one would be beneficial as the whole unit incl. gas can be carried easily in one hand.
I have left the very large MIG and TIG machines alone for now as they run off 3-phase or at least higher 1-phase voltage.
- We need at least 2 pairs of gloves.
- We have a working auto-darkening mask and one traditional (always dark) mask. Both are filthy, so I have taken them home to clean them today.
- I propose users bring their own boiler suits or protective clothing to fit.
- It has been proposed that welding could take place outside the double fire doors in the snackspace.
- The doors are 1.6m wide and the outdoor area is bounded by the brick extension which protrudes approx 1m into the pavement.
- This gives a roughly 1.6x1m area, which would need screening on the remaining two sides by welding curtain (to be purchased).
- This space isn’t ideal. It’s kind of small and on a public pavement.
- Can we use the fire doors in snackspace as a “coming and going” exit? I do not know.
- The arc welder needs no gas, just welding rods (e.g. here)
- The Pocket MIG uses mini CO2 or CO2/argon mix bottles and small reels of MIG wire. We have wire, but will need to get some new gas (e.g. here). If we wanted to weld aluminium or stainless steel, we would need different wire and/or gas (see manual)
So what next?
- Please let me know if you have any thoughts, objections, advice etc. on the above
- Mike to purchase necessary items (stick electrodes, MIG gas, electrode holder)
- Properly test machines. Anyone is welcome to come and help me do this, but please bring your own welding PPE for now.
- If machines work, we can look at setting up the space for others, so buy welding screens, PPE, etc.