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Unread 08-07-2010, 10:44 AM   #1
Jerry Bransford
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Putting together an emergency stick welding kit for trail use, thoughts?

After a wheeling trip last weekend where no one had a welder to fix a torn off track bar bracket, I decided I have to put a small emergency stick weld kit that I can store in a bag. I can't afford a Ready-Welder, Premier Power Welder, etc. for the trail so this will have to do when there is just no other alternative.

I have MIG welding experience but not stick so I'll be using what I gather below to learn to do it well enough for emergency trail repairs.

I'll be connecting two 12v automotive batteries in series for when I need to do an emergency weld.

So far, this is what I've come up with...

1) A single short 2 gauge or better battery connector between the - and + posts of the two batteries.
2) A standard stick welding rod holder and ground connection.
3) Auto-darkening leather hood or goggles. Suggestions? I don't want to have to carry a full-size hood on the trail with me.
4) Rod: 6011 or 6018? 1/8"? 3/16"?
5) Wire brush, small slag hammer.

I ended up having to chain the guy's track bar mount to his motor mount and even that gave him wishy-washy steering for driving down the S-curves on the mountain (Big Bear in Calif.) we were on. I felt bad that even though I know how to MIG weld, I couldn't help him.

I'll pick up the stick welding on my own, I just need a sanity check on the kit. Thanks!

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Unread 08-07-2010, 11:23 AM   #2
Joe Dillard
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I think you're on the right track, Jerry.

If I had a RW I'd loan it to you, but since I don't....

One alternative would be for somebody in the group to bring a small welder & leave it in camp & make repairs there. I've used that method more than my fair share of times.

I generally bring my generator along with me which makes use of a small welder doable if no power is available.
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Unread 08-07-2010, 11:50 AM   #3
Jerry Bransford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Dillard View Post
I think you're on the right track, Jerry.

If I had a RW I'd loan it to you, but since I don't....

One alternative would be for somebody in the group to bring a small welder & leave it in camp & make repairs there. I've used that method more than my fair share of times.

I generally bring my generator along with me which makes use of a small welder doable if no power is available.
That's a very good idea Joe, especially for JV. But I don't trailer my Jeep so it'd be hard to carry both a generator and my MIG welder. I'm gonna have to make do with just some emergency stick welding when there's no other alternative. My rig needed some emergency trail welding last summer on Pumpkin Eater and it's a good thing someone in my group had a welder. I lucked out then so it's time for me to be more ready for when this happens again.
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Unread 08-07-2010, 11:56 AM   #4
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^^^
Agreed.
About the rod, the 6011 are what I use on a regular basis as my welder is crap and thats all it is rated for.
The only downfall of using 6011 (I havent used 6018 so no comment) is splatter and also it can be hard to start the weld with it.
For some reason it almost seems as though the rod needs to get warmed up before it works well same as 6013, (this is just an observation not a fact).
And trying to warm up the rod is difficult, time consumming and also draws alot of power (I feel that two 12V batteries would have a hard time doing this).
If possible I would use a 7018 or even the 6018 if you can 7024 is really nice, its my favorite, or something like that, It has alot of slag but it produces a clean, deep and quick weld.
I would keep a welder at base camp and a generator.
If it so happens that a driver breaks down and they cannot make it back, send someone to get the welder and generator.

As for the helmet, pick up a set of welding goggles.
They allow you to keep them on but also flip up so you can see, plus they are small and lightweight.
They are handy for under a vehicle as they don't get snagged on things.

I have never thought about having a welder handy for trips, good idea
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Unread 08-07-2010, 12:03 PM   #5
Jerry Bransford
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So 24 volts may not be enough? Maybe I better add a second short battery cable so I can connect three batteries in series. Thanks for the suggestions!

I wish I had a spare $300 for a used Ready-Welder and then I wouldn't have to worry about any of this.
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Unread 08-07-2010, 02:46 PM   #6
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I've never tried the "battery welding",,but i would think if you get some 6010 1/16" rod you should be able to run that on a quick emergency fix to get you home,plus 6010 is an easy rod to run and burns through anything,,grease,,paint,,dirt etc. Are you sure this can be done safely?..like i said i've never seen it besides internet myths..i would think you are shorting the battery out just like as if you would put a peice of metal from post to post and possibly burn/blow up the battery???

bigboss1030....I've never heard of a rod having to warm up,,you mean the puddle getting hotter as the pass is run?

My solution to trail repairs is i have a Lincoln Ranger 225 gas engined welder on a smal trailer,and it also has 2 110v and 1 220v hook up on it..so i can put my Lincoln 180 wirefeed with fluxcore in the storage box on the welder trailer and tow it behind the jeep and leave it all at camp or a freinds place close by where we are trailing,someone just has to go back and bring out when needed.

Maybe if someone had a small generator and a small 110v wirefeed that would be more practicle for emergency repairs
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Unread 08-07-2010, 02:47 PM   #7
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I'd say definitely 6011 since you most like will be welding dirty/rusty materials. As for the rod size, maybe set it up and try both 3/16 and 1/8" and see which burns better with 2 batteries?
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Unread 08-07-2010, 05:05 PM   #8
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Ain't the 6010 & 6011 pretty much the same?
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Unread 08-07-2010, 06:19 PM   #9
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You should look into a weldernator instead.

Much more compact and plenty of output. All you need is a second alternator and some other odds and ends.
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Unread 08-07-2010, 06:23 PM   #10
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I've battery welded with 6010, 6011 and 7018 with pretty good results. Usually with 1/16 or 3/32" rods as they are easier to strike than 1/8" with just 2 batteries. 3 batteries is really hot.. I've burned through 3/16" plate with a 1/8" rod when playing around with 3 batteries.

I used thick jumper cables as my ground and electrode clamp. I have a set of old Army Jumper Cables that are as thick as welding cable. Just use one set of jumper cables to do the (+) and (-) connections and use the second set of cables to do the series jump on the batteries. For the limited amount of welding, jumper cables are fine. You can even run the second set of cables together when jumping between batteries since they're only going between one pair of terminals. Vise Grips clamped to the terminals can give you more to clamp your cables to if need be.

On the trail, I use a pair of Welding Goggles with a #10 flip up shade. I wrap a bandana around my lower face and snug down a baseball cap to keep from getting sunburned. That stuff fits well in my ammo cans.

I usually keep a few scraps of tube and angle iron in my trail boxes for trail repairs. I even used a Craftsman deepwell socket to splice a busted TJ steering linkage back together one time. Worse case scenario, you can use wrenches and other tools as your repair parts..

One note about battery welding. I've heard of a few cases of batteries exploding while welding. I suppose it makes sense since you're directly shorting the +/- together. Might want to toss a floor mat or something over the batteries to keep acid (and shrapnel) from flying all over everything in the event of a battery explosion.

I've had a Premier Power Welder for the past 8-9 years so I haven't had to battery weld for a few years. However, I've gone thru 2 voltage regulators over that time and both times the regulators died on the trail.

One thing I love about battery welding is doing it around someone who has never heard of it before.. the look of disbelief is priceless!
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Unread 08-07-2010, 07:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BESRK View Post
One thing I love about battery welding is doing it around someone who has never heard of it before.. the look of disbelief is priceless!
I've never doubted a battery had the actual amps to burn a rod,heck i just recently bought 2 new batteries for my Ford SuperDuty 7.3 diesel and they have over 900 cold cranking amps each...was just worried they'd blow up or short em out..
A boy in our Vo-Tech auto mechanics class in high school days had a battery blow up in his face while adjusting the twin holleys on an old Nova he had because the wiring was wrong somewhere because it was a strictly 1/4 mile car,,wasn't a good outcome..lost one eye and some burns on his face..just be safe if you do it and cover the batteries with something and keep them as far away as possible..even the gasses emitted from a battery are very explosive
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Unread 08-07-2010, 07:58 PM   #12
Jerry Bransford
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Thanks BESRK, especially on just using good set of suitable gauge jumper cables for the ground and stick holder. I was thinking along those lines really, especially since I need to buy a new set of jumpers since the last new set I bought was in my TJ that was stolen. I'll carry 2-3 sealed tubes full of different stick types so I should be covered. I was so frustrated last Saturday on the trail when I couldn't weld up the broken bracket. That poor guy in my group that had to have his track bar bracket welded back into place had to pay $100 to have it done in Big Bear City.
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Unread 08-08-2010, 11:32 PM   #13
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6011 and 6010 are close but not the same 6010 is a DC rod 6011 is an AC rod it will also run DC
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Unread 08-08-2010, 11:39 PM   #14
bryanm
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This link gives a good description of what the rod numbers mean:
AWS Classifications Explained | Lincoln Electric
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Unread 08-09-2010, 09:43 AM   #15
Jerry Bransford
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Cool info, thanks. And I'll switch to 6010 as I'll only be running DC.
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