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Aircraft Generator used as a welder

Surplus Aircraft Generators have long been used to make simple arc welders since WWII. The "how to" has been lost as commercial welders became more economical. This is the "how to" fundamentals for those wishing to get back to the basics.

How you construct the mechanical parts is up to you, but you will need a 10 hp to 20 hp motor to drive the generator at 3000 rpms. (200 amp to 400 amp respectively). Light duty welding may not require a cooling fan but continuous work will require some form of cooling. This is a good time to tell you that there is plenty of electricity to kill you. Respect it!

genschematic.jpg (14996 bytes)

The drawing pretty much tells you how to connect the wires. Your generator will probably have two additional terminals: a big "C+" and a little "D". These are use to even the load when it is being used as a generator on a multi-engine airplane.

The inductor evens the current flow, making it easier to maintain an arc and reduce the sparking at the brushes. The Inductor is made up of 15 turns of insulated 8-gauge wire tightly wrapped around a 1-1/2" steel pipe. It is not critical but even 8-gauge wire will drop voltage and get hot, a larger diameter won’t hurt.

We can’t endorse anyplace to get parts but you might start at www.surpluscenter.com

Our attorney tells us we must tell you that: this is for information only; we don’t recommend building a welder over buying one; electricity kills; We’re not responsible for any damage you may do to anything or yourself; Use eye protection; don’t stand on the top rung of a ladder; fast food is fattening; smoking causes lung cancer; breathing is dangerous; everybody is going to die sometime. In other words, be careful and if you do anything stupid, we are NOT to blame.

Copyright Assembled Products, Inc.
This page created July 2003 by Wizard
Updated September 10, 2014

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