Archives for June 2009

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.

Related Articles

Build a Microwave Transformer Homemade Stick/Arc Welder Learn from the experts.
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Missionary Dan Email #21 from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Ehx gerel baptism.

Ehx gerel baptism. Daniel on right.

Presented here are portions of Elder Daniel Willoughby’s twenty first email from the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission. If anyone wishes to send Daniel a message, write it in the comments and I will make sure he receives it.

Thanks for the great pictures and the updates about the family. It is always fun to read about it all.

Missionary Work

Ehx gerel was baptized and it went well. She asked me to confirm the Holy Ghost for her. It was good for me to learn how to do it my first time in Mongolian and also first time ever. It went well and I felt the Spirit. She is a good new member with lots of friends.

This week a lot of interesting things happened. My companion for the past couple of weeks has had problems with his eye. He has way bad eyesight so this week they did surgery to fix it. While he was at surgery I went to zone conference with a mini missionary. A mini missionary is a church member preparing to go on a mission. Depending on the circumstances they can do a mini mission for 2 weeks or so, where they are complete full time missionaries. It was fun to be with one at zone conference. Afterwards we went to investigator’s houses and taught a lesson while my companion recovered. Right now he is doing great and recovering quickly.

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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.


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

Related Articles

Build a Microwave Transformer Homemade Stick/Arc Welder Learn from the experts
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Foreign Holders of Treasury Securities

The top ten foreign holders of treasury securities.

The top ten foreign holders of treasury securities.

China Buying Fewer Securities?

I have read in the news several times this year that China [is] Losing [its] Taste for Debt From [the] U.S. If that was true last year it appears that China has changed its mind. Chinese holdings of U.S. debt have risen in 12 of the last 14 months for an increase of 52% (see table below). Of the ten nations in the chart above, eight have also increased their share of the U.S. debt since April 2008. Of the 32 nations and “all others” tallied in the table below, their purchases of U.S. debt has risen a collective 26% in a year.

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Missionary Dan Email #20 from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Presented here are portions of Elder Daniel Willoughby’s twentieth email from the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission. If anyone wishes to send Daniel a message, write it in the comments and I will make sure he receives it.

All the missionaries in Daniel's zone

All the missionaries in Daniel’s zone (Daniel second row, far right).


That is insane! That is a lot of microwaves. With those I could cook 33 corn dogs in 1 minute. I heard Olive Garden cooks their food with microwaves. That is probably a rumor. Was it really 5 dollars? Sounds like a good project. It sounds like the summer is going great for everyone. Thanks for the continued support and love.

Mongolian countryside.

Mongolian sunset.

Missionary Work

We keep on working here. Yesterday some people in the ward were called to stake callings. I was able to talk to a member about patriarchal blessings. They all seem to be really excited to be able to get them. Right now we are still waiting for the stake presidency to submit a name for the calling.

The summer seems to be a slow time for missionary work. People are busy and are working. My companion and I have plenty of investigators that are progressing though. This Friday we have a baptism of a 17 year old. She is good friends with the people in the church and they contributed a lot in helping her attend church and have the desire to join. She was an excellent investigator and kept most of her commitments and is now regularly attending church.


The picture is of all the missionaries in my zone and one of the sunset we saw one day while returning to our apartment. It was a beautiful sunset that spread throughout the whole sky. We’ve had quite a few that have looked similar to this one.  The weather has been off and on of being cold and hot. On Friday there was snow in the mountains, but it was warm throughout the day.

To Mom

Thanks for writing about what you’re up to. Its great to hear about what going on. It is exciting that all the family is visiting and things. And right now we teach English in the churches, since most of the schools are closed down for the summer.

To Dad

Hey! It’s probably still Fathers Day. It is strange to think that I’m one day ahead of where you are. Anyway Happy Fathers Day! I love you Dad.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Related Articles

List of Daniel’s missionary posts.
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Defense Spending by Country

Defense Spending

The fifteen countries with the largest annual military budgets. See table below for actual dollar amounts.

This information is outdated. See this post for the latest in military spending.

Defense Spending In The Billions

The chart above shows the fifteen nations with the greatest annual military spending. The United States, with a budget of $535.9 billion annually, spends more on defense than the next fourteen nations combined. One wonders if all that spending by the United States is really necessary, considering that the U.S. military budget is more than four times that of the next largest spender, China, at $121.9 billion. If America’s NATO allies are included just from the chart above (which is not all of NATO), that adds another $207.2 billion in defense spending. Those countries are the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Spain.

Defense Spending By GDP

When spending is considered by percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the United States at 4.1% falls to eighth place. Saudi Arabia (10.0%), Russia (9.9%), and Israel (7.3%) take over first, second, and third place respectively.

Table Of Annual Defense Spending By Country

Click ONCE on column headers to sort.

Rank Country $Billion %GDP
1 United States 535.9 4.1
2 China 121.9 4.3
3 Russia 70.0 9.9
4 United Kingdom 55.4 2.4
5 France 54.0 2.6
6 Japan 41.1 0.8
7 Germany 37.8 1.5
8 Italy 30.6 1.8
9 Saudi Arabia 29.5 10.0
10 South Korea 24.6 2.7
11 India 22.4 2.5
12 Australia 17.2 2.4
13 Brazil 16.2 2.6
14 Canada 15.0 1.1
15 Spain 14.4 1.2
16 Turkey 11.6 5.3
17 Israel 11.0 7.3
18 Netherlands 9.9 1.6
19 United Arab Emirates 9.5 3.1
20 Indonesia 8.4 3.0
21 Taiwan 7.7 2.2
22 Greece 7.3 4.3
23 Iran 7.2 2.5
24 Myanmar (Burma) 6.9 2.1
25 Singapore 6.3 4.9
26 Poland 6.2 1.7
27 Ukraine 6.0 1.4
28 Sweden 5.8 1.5
29 Colombia 5.4 3.4
30 Norway 5.0 1.9


  • The Economist, “…and Wars”. Pocket World in Figures 2009 Edition. Profile Books. Dollar amounts are for 2006, except Indonesia which is for 2005.
  • The CIA World Factbook, listing spending on defense programs for the most recent year available as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP); the GDP is calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP).

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Green Jell-O Filled Orange Wedges

Green Jell-O filled orange wedges

Green Jell-O filled orange wedges

When Paul is not making arc-welders from microwaves he can be seen preparing treats for the Young Single Adult Ward Barbecue. His treat of choice is Jello-O jigglers. At the last YSA party Paul put bacon in his Jell-O jigglers. Fortunately for about everyone concerned Paul is out of bacon and so instead he is making Jell-O filled orange wedges. He got the idea from instructables. The blog Traditionally Modern Designs also likes Orange Jello Slices. They are easy to make:

  1. Cut the oranges in half and clean out the guts.
  2. Place the empty orange halves in 12oz. paper cups.
  3. Fill orange halves with Jell-O and refrigerate (use green Jell-O if you live in Utah).
  4. Place oranges face down and cut in half. Serve on a pretty tray.

Jell-O is the official state snack food of Utah and apparently Utahns have the highest per capita consumption of Jell-O in the world.

Using a gutted orange as a green Jell-O mold

Using gutted oranges as green Jell-O molds

Turn the orange on its face to cut in two

Turn the orange on its “Jell-O face” to cut in two

Closeup of the green Jell-O filled orange wedges

Closeup of the green Jell-O filled orange wedges

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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
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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Missionary Dan Email #19 from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Mongolian countryside.

Mongolian countryside

Presented here are portions of Elder Daniel Willoughby’s nineteenth email from the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission. If anyone wishes to send Daniel a message, write it in the comments and I will make sure he receives it.

The boating trip looked fun. Thanks for the pictures. They are always fun to look at.

Missionary Work

Missionary work here is moving right along. In the summer it slows down a bit because lots of people move to the countryside. My companion and I are doing the best we can. Yesterday was exciting with seven investigators that came to church. One of them my companion invited just once and he came. I like people that do things that they say they will. I’ve noticed a lot of the older Mongolian men keep to their word. It’s a good quality to have. Also church was refreshing. It was good to renew covenants and reflect on what the Savior did for me and all people.

Yesterday a 22 year old started talking to me. He read, “Book of Mormon” on my Book of Mormon. Normally people don’t talk to me first so I asked if we could meet with him later and he said yes. We went to his house that day and taught his family. It was a great experience. He said, “Please come. Please come” as we left indicating he wanted us to return.

There isn’t much more to say than that the stake was formed. Everything else is much the same and works just as normal as it did before. I know that soon they will get a Patriarch and he’ll be able to give blessings.

The Hike

Strange as it sounds hiking in Mongolia is like hiking in Utah. You start at the bottom of the mountain and walk up it. The faster you hike, the more exhausting it becomes and stopping to rest is always an option. I like to conquer the hill as quick as I can. Maybe there are some differences in hiking. I am on the other side of the world… so I’m hiking the opposite way I would be if I was in Utah. It doesn’t feel that way. It still seems like an upward direction to me. Anyway, it was great. The land was great to look at and it was relaxing to get out of the city for awhile. I really enjoyed it. I sent a few more pictures of the landscape.

To Mom

My companion is doing well. He is trying his best to learn English. We saw his sister in a mini bus while we were walking down the street. That is always exciting.

The picture of me in front of the city with the mountains in the background is my new area. All the way to up to the mountain and to the right. It’s big.

New Ulaanbataar area

Daniel’s new Ulaanbataar area

To Dad

Hey! Happy Fathers Day this Sunday. You are an awesome Dad and I love you a lot. I decided to give you pictures for Fathers Day (Mom probably likes them better). There should be 7 or so. Thanks for being so active in the church and honoring your priesthood. It is a great blessing for me to have a wonderful Dad like you.

Elder Caldwell (a couple missionary here) said you posted something on his blog. He found me at the fireside and said Hi. He said he had no clue how you found his blog. Not bad for being a little Rickety.

Love, Elder Willoughby

P.S. I think I got my mission call a year ago today.
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