Build an Arc Welder from Microwave Ovens: Part 4

The Story So Far

Paul obtained his microwave ovens, wired the garage for 220 volts, extracted the first transformer, and rewinded the secondary. In this segment all he will be doing is to practice with a real arc-welder.

Paul practicing his arc-welding

Paul practicing his arc-welding

Paul decided before he used his homebrew arc-welder (not yet built) he would practice with a factory built arc-welder. He borrowed his grandfather’s arc-welder and tried it out today. He needed a suitable piece of scrap metal which he found in the middle of the road while driving home.

At a suitable distance I took several photographs. My son Steven tells me later that the arc light could damage the sensor in my camera. The welder has the old style 220 volt plug so Paul wasn’t able to use his new outlet in the garage. Our oven uses the older style 220 volt socket so Paul ran the welder from the kitchen.

Paul will be finished with his studies this December so maybe he will have time to finish his own arc-welder. In the meantime check out this video:

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Build an Arc Welder from Microwave Ovens: Part 3

The Story So Far

Paul obtained his microwave ovens, wired the garage for 220 volts, and extracted the first transformer. In this segment he replaces the old secondary windings with new, thicker wire.


Sawed off secondary.

One side of the secondary winding was sawed off with a hacksaw.

Bash out the secondary.

The secondary windings were in so tight they had to be knocked out.

Tear out the secondary.

Tearing out a few windings loosened the rest.

Secondary removed.

The secondary is completely removed.

Wire guides.

Using short lengths of 6 gauge wire as guides.

New secondary.

The completed secondary consists of 11 feet of 6 gauge wire wound in 11 turns.

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Build an Arc Welder from Microwave Ovens: Part 2


220 volts source for the arc welder

220 volts source for the arc welder

220 Volt Source

After acquiring more than the necessary microwave ovens Paul turned his attention to a source of 220 volts. My electric range is plugged into the wall that separates the kitchen from the garage. Paul simply placed a 125 amp main lug load center in the garage side of the wall and tapped into the 220 volt source. He then ran a line to a 220 volt wall socket he installed in the garage.

Transformers

To power the arc welder Paul needs six transformers. At a cost of $5 for 33 microwaves, one transformer sets him back 15 cents. He dismantled his first microwave oven and extracted the transformer. Anyone need a used microwave oven? With school and work pressing in on him the rest of the transformers will have to wait.


The transformer on the right is all that is required

The transformer on the right is all that is required


The transformer on the right is all that is required

The 15 cent transformer

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Build an Arc Welder from Microwave Ovens


Paul with his microwave ovens

Paul with his 33 microwave ovens to turn into one or more arc welders

Microwave Ovens

I came home from work to be greeted by Paul, “Hey dad, do you want to see my latest project?” He showed me his purchase of 33 microwave ovens that he will turn into an arc welder. He said that he only needs two microwave oven transformers for the arc welder. Some designs use eight, and besides, “I can always make more than one.” Great, Paul with an arc welder in each hand!

$5 A Pallet

Paul said that he got the microwaves from Tech Cycle that advertised the microwave ovens on Craigslist for $5 a pallet. Here is what the ad said:

Tech Cycle
801-886-6050
1499 So 700 W
Salt Lake City, UT 84104
.
Here is a deal of a lifetime. If you need a microwave, now is the time to buy. We are a business trying to make some room in are [sic] warehouse. We have a pallet of microwaves for 5.00 but here is the catch. YOU MUST TAKE THE WHOLE PALLET. If interested call me or come by.

It appears that Tech Cycle may be connected with Executive Recycling who don’t seem too particular where their electronic waste ends up. The Salt Lake address (1499 S. 700 W.) on their former website is the same as Tech Cycle’s. Some of the microwaves came from Deseret Industries. Anyway, Paul is going to recycle these microwaves into welders. He’s really cookin’ now so standby for updates.

External Articles

Build a Microwave Transformer Homemade Stick/Arc Welder Learn from the experts.
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