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Adventures in spot welding

566 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  tarawa
I finaly got to try my new 220v Harbour Freight spot welder. It took two trips to the hardware store to get the proper 220v plug. I don't know why they make them so confusing. I chucked up the lower prong in my milling machine and modified it according to "gunnysmiths" instructions. I used a 1/4-20 copper bolt, turned down to the same contour and tip diameter as the stock tip. I did this for clearance purposes. I had some 4130 test pieces that were left over from some of my not so successful attempts to make my own receivers. I set everthing up and did my first shot....POW. Nice weld, but the tip (1/4-20 copper bolt) disintegrated! There was nothing left but the stub that was screwed into the prong. It is a good thing that I made two tips.
Second shot and ....POW. Same thing happened. It was then that I decided to modify the stock tip for a better fit. After modification, I tried it and got a good 10 test welds.....I was ready for my first rail!
** I used my first Tapco flat receiver...saving the best for later.***
I lined it all up and clamped it in place and got (what I think) four good welds.
I then set-up the ejector side rail. I did one good weld and then disaster struck! I went to do the second weld and the switch stuck! I have a nice 3/16 hole through the reciever!!! It must have been a fluke, because I went back to the test pieces to make sure the switch was functional. I continued with the ejector side until it was complete. Good welds, but not so pretty ! I guess I have a hole to fill on the ejector side.

All in all, I am somewhat happy with my first attemp. I believe spot welding is the way to go on these welds (much cheaper than a TIG welder and much cleaner than a mig welder).
I believe that the 220v spot welder is an overkill because you can't control the weld as easy. You have to bump the trigger, because it takes just a split second to weld and a split second and a half to burn through.
Sorry to be so winded, but I thought this was interesting.
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Toten Kopf said:
Sorry to hear you had a burn through. I went with the 115VAC welder as I didn't have any 220VAC outlets handy. Hope you get that switch thing worked out, could cause problems in the future.
I always purchase the extended replacement warranty at HF. It pays off in the long run.
sks_hunter said:
FYI, and you probably already know about it....
when MIG welding with gasless flux-cored wire, you can use anti spatter spray on the welding tip, nozzle, and even the surface to be welded, and the spatter balls just wipe right off. makes using flux-core ALOT neater. no gasless welder should be without it.:thumbup1:
Thanks for the tip...I an going to get some.
mbadboyz said:
Do you think the 220V is over kill? Maybe the 115V wont burn too long?
If you are just going to build AKs, I think that they are a bit much. But for the same price as a 220v model, I would go for the big one.
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