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Old 01-26-2008, 09:59 AM
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Default Welding with car batteries



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Folks,
I found some interesting resources relating welding with car batteries.
First, here is an article relating welding rods.
Here is a photo with connections

What you believe? Can be possible?

Bogdan
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:19 AM
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I can not see it working unless the steal is very light . My welder at the shop requires 220 volt . The thicker the steel, the more heat needed. It is not enough just to fill the crack with a small amount of beed from a welding rod. You want the beed to penetrate the steel to make it stronger.
Old 01-26-2008, 01:55 PM
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I don't think it's the volts that weld, but the amps. My pickup batteries are 600-800 amps. Put three together and you have 1800-2400 amps. My 110 volt wire welder is 130 amps I think. I may be wrong on that. So yes it will probably work just not for long periods, and some types of batteries may not like being discharged that fast. Besides I saw McGyver do it, so it must work
Old 01-26-2008, 02:17 PM
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the bad thing if it works is you have no control over the settings. Like if you want to weld thin stuff and you have way to much amps you will blow a hole right through your material. If it has more than 200+ amps i do not recommend using it. All the welders in my shop don't let you get much higer than that. I have never even needed to use that much. A good working range with amps is about 80-120 with stick electrode. My little 110 volt only has about 70 amps and is fine for the thin stuff. You can find little stick welders for less than a $100.00 I would recommend that for household use. I bet you can run them off a generator to.
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Old 01-26-2008, 02:30 PM
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Interesting concept! I have often wondered about this after accidentally shorting out the terminals of a 12V battery with a box wrench. It quickly cut half way through the hardened steel of the wrench before I managed to knock it off the terminals. IMO this is worthy information and, at least in theory, should work for a bit of spot welding. I must give this one a try. Although I prefer acetylene myself, information such as this on alternatives is right up our alley.
Old 01-26-2008, 04:19 PM
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It's the amps that count. If you hook three batteries in series that's a lot of amps. Just don't expect to do a lot of heavy duty welding with it but it can get you out of a jam when need be.
Old 01-26-2008, 07:56 PM
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Default fence repair

light welding around work...allways makes me stand
back....and hope the battery does not go boom!
Old 01-26-2008, 08:12 PM
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MIG or stick, it "works" but is not normally enough for the long term. It might get you off the trail without walking but alot of the time you may only get 20 seconds of weld time with a stick welder (which is not bad if you can weld) but in a trail enviroment 20 seconds is FAST. I like this welder but it costs a good amount of money http://www.rocky-road.com/jeepreadyweld.html The problem I have heard with this exact model is off two 12v batts. (24v) this welder has been known to operate for only 30 seconds or less (like 10). Its a tough call to make but for some it could "save" them.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:08 PM
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It's hard to weld with a cheap welder, let alone an improvized one. I have never tried it, but I really don't think it would work very well.
Old 01-27-2008, 08:25 PM
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Open your mind guys. Offroaders (jeep guys Moab etc) have been battery welding for years. It works. It takes practice, but it works. If you bust a link out on the trail you only usually have a couple of choices. Tacking a couple of good spot welds might be the thing that takes you and your rig off the trail and back to help.

An onboard welder (on a bug out truck) is a great option.

As for home use I wouldn't use the battery method, but then again I have torches or a mig.
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:38 PM
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Well, it is scary but it does work. Tried it this morning while in my shop. Impovised techniques can seldom compare to and are not meant to be a replacement for established eqipment and procedures. They are not in the same league. The battery setup will work well for spot welds in a pinch. I am not sure if you even need 3 batteries, as pictured. I am not crazy enough (yet) to attempt extended welding time with this, just spot welds. Definately worthwhile information.
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Old 01-28-2008, 02:09 PM
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Be careful Scruggs, I wouldn't want to attempt to spot weld with my car batteries, mainly cause I wouldn't know what the *%@# I'd be getting myself into, but regardless, are you guys factoring in weather? I wouldn't want to be doing this stuff unless it was a clearly sunny day.

Dangerous, yes! Scruggs, you got balls, looking forward to hearing the report using three batteries. :D
Old 01-28-2008, 02:35 PM
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I sure do not intend to make a habit of using this. It would have to be an emergency and nothing else available. Using it gave me the same feeling one would get by pounding on a brick of .22 rimfires with a hammer. When you get as old as I am you tend to try the crazy stuff more since there isn't a heck of a lot to look forward to.
Old 01-28-2008, 06:39 PM
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I've read that this is possible, however I haven't tried it yet.

The total power of 12v x 3 x 400A batteries would be 29kW, and a small electric welder of 110V x 70A is ~8 kW. Could work, but you'd have to use some kind of current controller for the battery method.

I would suggest this ONLY as an emergency method.
Old 01-29-2008, 12:38 AM
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As has been said before, this is clearly a last resort sort of endeavor. Having done my time as an assistant manager at AutoZone (please don't ask...I don't want to remember those times, retail management is a most terrible existence)...automotive batteries are fickle little creatures. They are not manufactured to be either stable or reliable. Don't expect them to do anything but start your car.

I certainly wouldn't trust the set-up as presented by OP (although I know it wasn't his "idea"). If anything, I'd expect an explosion of sulferic acid...and a loss of skin and other body parts that don't grow back. Car batteries weren't meant to be connected in a series circuit...

i.e. BOOM!

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Old 01-29-2008, 12:57 AM
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If using more than one battery they should be hooked up in a parallel circuit, not in series. In a parallel circuit the current would be boosted and the voltage would remain the same. In series the voltage would be boosted and the current would remain the same. Welding requires high current, not voltage. But, you are correct. The picture provided by the OP seems to have 3 batteries in series. Don't know why they would hook them up in series.
Old 01-29-2008, 02:03 AM
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Not trying to be critical with everyone who is posting negatively on this but it has been around for a long time and 4wd people use it for emergency welding of oil pans that get cracked and need to be sealed up to hold oil to get back home. This is not meant to replace any commercial welding units or expected to perform as well as commercial units. It is used as an improvised method of fastening something temporarily. All the printed stuff I have seen only used 2 batteries and all were removed from the vehicles while welding was being done.
Old 01-29-2008, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scruggs View Post
If using more than one battery they should be hooked up in a parallel circuit, not in series. In a parallel circuit the current would be boosted and the voltage would remain the same. In series the voltage would be boosted and the current would remain the same. Welding requires high current, not voltage. But, you are correct. The picture provided by the OP seems to have 3 batteries in series. Don't know why they would hook them up in series.
Since we're dealing with batteries here, with no other mods, we're working in DC thus...

Ohm's Law: I (current) = V (voltage) / R (resistance)

More current, more power, more heat. If you run the battery setup in parallel, all you would be doing is increasing the capacitance (life) of the energy source.

Hope this helps.
Old 01-29-2008, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mk1 View Post
Since we're dealing with batteries here, with no other mods, we're working in DC thus...

Ohm's Law: I (current) = V (voltage) / R (resistance)

More current, more power, more heat. If you run the battery setup in parallel, all you would be doing is increasing the capacitance (life) of the energy source.

Hope this helps.
To determine the amount of heat generated, refer to Joule's First Law:

V=IR
P=VI
Therefore P=I^2R P =power

So if heat is Q, then P = Q/t t being time

Then Q/t = I^2 R
Q = I^2Rt = V^2/R t

Point being, you can work it either way, by current or by voltage, the effective current being determined by the resistance.

T%He resistance is going to change because of the materials, but more importantly because of the gap of the arc. Higher gap = higher resistance, until the resistance is so high the current stops.
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaserCool View Post
To determine the amount of heat generated, refer to Joule's First Law:

V=IR
P=VI
Therefore P=I^2R P =power

So if heat is Q, then P = Q/t t being time

Then Q/t = I^2 R
Q = I^2Rt = V^2/R t

Point being, you can work it either way, by current or by voltage, the effective current being determined by the resistance.

T%He resistance is going to change because of the materials, but more importantly because of the gap of the arc. Higher gap = higher resistance, until the resistance is so high the current stops.
Spot on Joule's 1st law. I was tempted to mention it, but because - in this example - we have no way of controlling the current or voltage, just the resistance, it was easier to work off the basic theory.

I need to go research how common welding equipment works, at the diagram level before I start talking out of my lane.

:D
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