Improvised & Home Built 'Stick' Welders


When I was young, I lived on a farm, and repairing things in the field was the norm.
Fences, Gates, Windmills/Water Pumps, Planting, Harvesting & Hay Making Equipment always broke down in the most in-accessible spots, and at the worst possible times.

(Thank you Mr. Murphy...)

After buying a shop welder, making and repairing things was much easier, but the broken parts were always in the far end of some far flung field, with no hope of electricity.
That lead us to the second purchase, a portable welder. Very expensive, and always three counties away when you needed it most, being borrowed by an uncle that never returned anything .
That lead to an idea... Each 'field' vehicle needed to have it's own welder, but the cost was VERY prohibitive!
My part time job in the local junk yard provided me with a solution...

Back in the early '70's, when most alternators were under 50 amps total output, and Ford wanted to power everything in the large Lincoln & Mercuries. Heated seats & windows demanded way more than the little 50 amp primary alternator could muster.
To accomplish this, they installed a second 'alternator', an unregulated heavy duty unit that would throw around 50 amps at voltages up to 150 volts!
This was perfect for short term (short duty cycle) welding!
Cheap, available, effective, easy to mount and wire! Every pickup on the farm could now have an 'On Board Welder'(OBW).

Along came the engine computer and put a stop to having 150 volts charging through what was primarily a 12 volt system, but the idea was born...

Later I found out I wasn't the only one that had stumbled onto the alternator/welder. I'd be surprised if I WAS the only one.

With the advent of lazier and lazier people, automatic everything has put demands on the charging system that have benefited the OBW builders.
Namely, alternators in excess of 200 amps!

The heavy duty and industrial markets have supplied us with alternators that are capable of effectively burning some of the largest consumer rods with excellent duty cycles in the process.

This page is here to help guide you through the building of your own OBW, and hopeful give you a few ideas you wouldn't normally have come up with.


WARNING!
These projects will produce voltages and currents that
WILL KILL A HUMAN!

I CAN NOT, & WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR SAFETY!
If you don't have a very good working knowledge of electrical safety procedures,
DO NOT ATTEMPT ANYTHING FOUND ON THIS PAGE!



Portable Gas Engine Welder (Stand Alone).

Leece-Neville Alternators Converted To Welders.

Delco Alternators Converted To Welders.

Motorcraft Alternators Converted To Welders.

Chrysler Alternators Converted To Welders.

Improvised Metal Disintegrator.


All content and web site screw-ups are entirely mine!