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Old November 7th, 2007, 05:41 PM   #1
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Default DIY: OnBoard Welder (OBW)

Looking to be able to weld on the trail? No looking to spend $1200 on a Mobiarc or preimer welder? Here is the answer. A homebrewed stand alone OnBoard welder.

You want to use an alternator that is 80amps or larger. I used a 100amp Ford Large Case Alternator. You want the alternator to be Externally regulated so that you don't have to modify the alternator to make it a weldernator.

The Alt I used was from like a mid 70's ford. The part number is GNC 7705-12. It cost about $90 new from a our local parts joint.


On my motor, I have a York compressor already mounted. I was able to use the other side of the york for the bottom mount:


This the upper mount that I made:


I ended up slotting the top hole to all for some more adjustment. I might end up remaking it to have some more adjustment.

Now, I really wanted a nice clean Control Panel/ Control box for this welder and could not find much online that I liked. I found the plastic box at Radio Shack. It was like $8 for it.





I used 2 toggles; 1 to turn on the welder, the other to turn on the outlets. The light is to signal when the welder is on. The two fuse holders on top are holding 30a fuses. The top one is for the outlets and the lower one is for the welder trigger.

I purchased the Panel Meter from China. Found it on ebay. You can get them for about $25. The guage reads from 0-200v's. You can find ones that will ready 0-150v's as well.

The last two things on the box are the + and - plug in's for the welding leads. I need to mark them better, but currently I have the right one for + and the left for -.

I purchased all the welding stuff from our local welding supply shop. It cost about $200 for the wire, rod, rod holder, ect.

Wiring Diagram:


Positive lead, 20 feet:


Negative lead, 20 feet:


3/32" rod 6011 and holder:


The welder is not strong enough to burn 1/8" rod, so you must use 3/32".

Purchased this bag from Youngs Army Navy for $9.


Did not like the idea of working under the hood without a guard on the alternator fins:


The inside wiring of the box:


System hooked up and on:






Cleaned weld:


On the trail use:




The entire cost of the project was about $375 + about 2 days of my time. I could probably build this setup for others installed for about $700. I could also build the control panels for those that need just that made.
I will put together a wiring diagram tomarrow and I will also get some pics of the hand throttle and some other things.
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Last edited by brimy311; November 8th, 2007 at 11:03 AM.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 05:47 PM   #2
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Is that Blackbeast2 holding for you and looking directly at the weld?

Last edited by PävementPounder; November 7th, 2007 at 05:52 PM.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 05:47 PM   #3
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great write up! lot-ah-info
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Old November 7th, 2007, 05:47 PM   #4
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thats a sweet setup
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Old November 7th, 2007, 06:03 PM   #5
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I'd love to see the hookup of the wires on the back of the alternator. Field, + and -. I have had a weldernator project on my back burner for a year now and already have an externally regulated alternator from a '76 Ford motorhome (I think...got specs at home and am at work now). I made an adjustable bracket to mount it in the same spot you have. Need a combo serp/v-belt alternator pulley to spin it tho. That control box you have is totally awesome. You mentioned making just the box...I'd be interested in that for sure. Then all I'd need is the cables and manual throttle. You got me fired up on my project again. Thanks!

Let us know how much you'd like for the box so I can get it together and send you some $.

Last edited by victorymike; November 7th, 2007 at 06:36 PM.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 06:20 PM   #6
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Awesome work.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 06:48 PM   #7
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I understand that if you use the hand throttle to dial in 115 volts DC on your guage that you can use those outlets to power any type of electrical device with brushes...like grinders and drills and such. Is this correct?
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Old November 7th, 2007, 07:59 PM   #8
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That is sweet!!
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Old November 7th, 2007, 08:07 PM   #9
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Wow cool post. Is it possible to use a ready welder with a system like this so you dont have to use two batteries?
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Old November 7th, 2007, 08:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victorymike View Post
I understand that if you use the hand throttle to dial in 115 volts DC on your guage that you can use those outlets to power any type of electrical device with brushes...like grinders and drills and such. Is this correct?
Yah you can run only brush type AC motors. The Voltage output from this is actually high frequency DC not AC.

Let me crunch some numbers on the control box and get back to you on that.

If you were to use crappier welding leads you could probably do this project cheaper. However you will lose voltage to the arc with crappy stringer or ground.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 08:14 PM   #11
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That is a really good idea, I can't wait for the pics. Thanks for the info.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 12:39 AM   #12
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Wow cool post. Is it possible to use a ready welder with a system like this so you dont have to use two batteries?
The Ready welder I believe runs on 24v or like 18v. I am not sure if you can run it off of this or not. that would be a question for the ppl at ready welder.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 08:38 AM   #13
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Sweet job man! I am feeling motivated to do this now.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 08:44 AM   #14
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The Ready welder I believe runs on 24v or like 18v. I am not sure if you can run it off of this or not. that would be a question for the ppl at ready welder.

Yeah I will check. It sure would be awsome not to have to pull batteries everytime were out on the trail welding and have a wire feed gun. What is the highest volts you think your getting out of the alt?
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Old November 8th, 2007, 09:18 AM   #15
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I am not sure, I know for a fact that it will run up to about 115v. It is running at like 3500 rpms at that point. I will have to check and see what the max voltage would be.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 09:21 AM   #16
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I looked on premier power welder site and they say you can run one but dont say how. I will have to check with them.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 11:03 AM   #17
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I added the wiring diagram above. I will get some more pics this afternoon.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 11:38 AM   #18
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I added the wiring diagram above. I will get some more pics this afternoon.
Maybe you should add a working alt.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 11:41 AM   #19
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Is this a 2nd alt or are you using it as your primary alt also?
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Old November 8th, 2007, 12:15 PM   #20
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This is a second stand alone alternator. That way if you burn it up, you can still drive your own vehicle without issues.
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