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Old 05-21-2016, 01:30 PM   #231
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Hey cadillackid, how do I calculate the alternator's ability to support a 3,000w inverter?
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Old 05-21-2016, 01:50 PM   #232
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I could use some welder input. I know rudimentary welding enough to get me through this project. What I don't know is if the Harbor Freight gas-less welder I just picked up for cheap off Craigslist will get the job done (yes it works).

I know it's borderline but it was so cheap I couldn't pass it up. I'd rather not upgrade if I don't absolutely have to since it will only take money away from the rest of the project. After seeing what it can do it sure seems like it will be adequate, if only barely.

I will be doing a roof raise and will build storage boxes below deck, so it will be used.

Thoughts?
Make/ Take some scrap pieces and practice welding the overlap or butt weld that you want to perform in place on a bench/ground,somewhere comfortable and play with it. Practice with the pieces vertical just like they will be on the final product. you can start flat for practice and work towards the upward positions you need.You want to Adjust the temperature and wire speed to where you get good penetration but not burn through all the way and coordinate both with your hand speed.
Whether overlap or butted up you actually want to see the two pieces melt together even if it means two passes? One to melt and one to cover for the overlap which means temperature settings and if you are butting the ends together then you want to burn through all the way and work that little keyhole from start to finish which means getting your temperature,wire speed and hand movement coordinated.
Sorry haven't had time to look at your thread very much?
Make sure your little machine is rated for the metal thickness you are welding and I am sure it will handle the ribs fine but when you get underside you might have some problems but we can discuss that when you get there.
Practice in a comfortable position until you are comfortable with your ability before you go for the real thing cause a position weld is always tougher than a bench.
Make sure your hood lens and gasket are good and wear your damn safety glasses when grinding.
Cause getting a sliver of steel drilled out of your eye while you have arc flash isn't the funnest thing to do.
Even if you wear leathers your still gonna get sparks down your neck and even though your boots are tied and your pants were over the top when you started your still gonna get sparks in your boots.
You will get used to it.
No longer than your ribs are and the guage of metal you don't need to stop because of a spark down you shirt are you could get some warpage from the metal temps if butt welding.
Hope I helped?
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Old 05-21-2016, 02:12 PM   #233
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I hear you Jolly Roger, yes, you helped.

You should be an instructor, you basically describe the welding 101 class I took. We welded simple, straight, flat rows for 2-3 hours and then moved on to horizontal and vertical angles. All seated comfortably as you say. I have not welded in a real world application yet but will do my best not to trash the world of welding when I do!
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Old 05-21-2016, 02:15 PM   #234
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as someone who has never welded 2 sticks together in his life, which is the best type of welding to start with as far as learning curve..
-Christopher
Doesn't matter because each type and manufacture for each type widely varies in the ability of how they operate. Each and every machine has a max capacity rating as for as the metal type and thickness for each machine model.
Flux core wire/gasless is the cheapest(Yugo) shielded arc with argon is the Cadillac of wire welding and you will notice the difference immediately but wire welding (mig) is wire welding. The same animal just different breeds.
My preference is Lincoln diesel and have used an old school gas that I loved for stick, miller shielded for mig(shop work) and have never had a flux core (pocket machine) that lasted but that is why I stress to check the metal size for capability of the machine.
In my opinion a 120 flux core will never provide an acceptable weld to the bus frame if and when needed?
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Old 05-21-2016, 02:17 PM   #235
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So I've just skimmed this thread so I'm sorry if this already came up....
A 3000k inverter for that price is pretty good but make sure you get a pure-sine wave inverter. It's much cleaner power and is much safer on your delicate electronics.
Eric

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Old 05-21-2016, 02:20 PM   #236
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I hear you Jolly Roger, yes, you helped.

You should be an instructor, you basically describe the welding 101 class I took. We welded simple, straight, flat rows for 2-3 hours and then moved on to horizontal and vertical angles. All seated comfortably as you say. I have not welded in a real world application yet but will do my best not to trash the world of welding when I do!
Don't worry about the world of welding? (Some tough men)Worry about your world and what you have ahead of you.
When you get underside let us know. I can help you make that little machine work for you.
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Old 05-21-2016, 03:13 PM   #237
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True that's a Ugo welder, but there is a beautiful simplicity to flux core welding. It's fast and cheap. I wouldn't attempt welding a truck frame with it, but it should be very adequate for ribs. These are light weight welders and they won't last if you try welding 1/4" plates together. They will do it but it obviously shortens the life of the cheapo.
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Old 05-21-2016, 06:35 PM   #238
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Thank you all, again, for the great input!

I was able to verify that the inverter is a modified sine wave model, so that and what appears to me as likely being oversized means I'll skip this one.

One question I have not yet answered is regarding the metal thickness a given welder can weld. I should have asked that instructor while I had the chance but it didn't occur to me...DOH...

Mine has a 3/16" thickness rating. Does that mean it can weld 3/16" all the way through in one pass, or just sufficiently to make a good weld?
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Old 05-21-2016, 06:41 PM   #239
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I'm just guessing, but your welder has a high and low setting? It should be able to weld ribs easily. You'll just have to try it on the different settings while you're taking a little time to practice. If the low setting looks like a scab on top of the metal, it's not getting enough heat. You'll see it melting. I'm pretty sure you'll like the high setting once you get used to it. It's faster.
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Old 05-21-2016, 06:55 PM   #240
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Jolly Roger, you are clear and concise and if you are not teaching welding you could make a living doing it. Thanks for your input you have given a lot of people reading this thread an idea about how to do it right.
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