View Full Version : Spot Welder ?

Cecil Walker
05-02-2006, 03:10 PM
I need (OK, want) a spot welder for some sheet metal work, mostly 16-20 ga., but the possibility of a 1/8" piece here and there. Loked at a Miller MSW-41 (i'm partial to Miller Welders) but got my feelings hurt when i saw the price tag. This is something that will lay in the shop most of the time with occasional use. Any suggestions, hints, recommendations, etc. What are some of you guys doing for spot welds?

05-02-2006, 03:43 PM
drill a hole in one side and zap it with a wire feed. thats how we do alot of wheat combine sheet metal parts.

I have been told you can make a spot welder with an old stick welder you just have to rig up a timer somewhere in the circut. here is a small scale example. http://users.frii.com/katana/spotweld.html

05-02-2006, 03:59 PM
I have had one of those little Miller 110 volt spot welders for a good 20 years now.
Its a cute little thing, but if $500 scares you, its a good thing you arent looking at the prices of real spot welders.
Because the Miller is kind of a toy.
You can, on a good day, with the wind at your back, do 2 sheets of 16 ga cold rolled.
But its at the very edge of its capability, and most times it wont do 16 ga galvinized.
20 gage is more realistic. And even then, it takes a pretty constant regrind on the tips to keep em just right.

If you want to spot weld 2 pieces of 1/8", well you are talking a whole nother league- you want a real, 220 volt, industrial spot welder- the kind that new, with water cooling and a timer, runs from $5000 to $10,000 new. And not a miller- they are just offering the little guys to be complete, but they are hardly a big name in spot welders.

They come up used, and often at very good prices- but still you are talking real money. So if $500 scares you, then you will never be able to afford a real one.

So mig, or tig, or oxyfuel weld that sheet metal.
Or, if you want to work with 22 or 24 gage, try to find a used Miller- but I never see em go cheap- if a $500 tool still works, why would anyone sell it for $50?

05-02-2006, 04:08 PM
here's a good how-to
check out the rest of the site while you are, this person (Swede on cnczone)is very talented and helpful.

I plan on making his spotwelder, although being fully decked out its a little pricey of the components. Microwaves will yield up an appropriate transformer, obviously needs rewinding with battery cable or something similar

05-02-2006, 04:42 PM
I was at an auction a year or so ago, and they had 7 upright spot welders all were working, scrap price 30 to 50 bucks prolly 3 phase though.

Cecil Walker
05-02-2006, 06:34 PM
Ries: I never stated that i couldn't afford a $500.00 or a $5000.00 if needed, just that it scared me. I need (want) about 10 items in the $500.00 range (spool gun, etc) then all at once you're in the $5000.00 range. I need (desperately) to double the size of the shop, with that comes increased heat, AC, and insurance, etc. Wife has a 20'X42' hobby greenhouse and we've been enlightened with heating and cooling costs. Had to replace 1 of 2 central units in the house this year, another $5000.00, 2nd unit probably not far behind. $500.00 here and $5000.00 there pretty soon you're talking real money, to me at least. Sooo......yes......$500.00 expenditures scare me for seldom used tools, especially when they are in multiples of 10. My apology for misleading you, guess i should have chosen my words a little more careful.

Tattoomike: good idea on the drill and spot 1/8". i've got a MM210 that would be perfect for that.

Mcgyver: Thanks for the link, definately will check it out.

IOWOLF: At that price you did bring one home, didn't you?

05-02-2006, 07:17 PM
No, I put in 2 years 40 +hours per week standing in front of one of those damn things,I want nothing to do with one.

05-02-2006, 07:43 PM
I wasnt trying to put you down, just let you know that $500 doesnt buy much in a new spot welder.

Where I live, unfortunately, there are about 2 decent auctions a year, and they are well attended by all the rich retirees around here, so there are no deals on used equipment.
Seattle doesnt really even have 1 used machinery dealer anymore. In fact, in all of Washington state, population 5 million, there are 2 or 3, and they are all pretty crummy.

So if I could buy a used machine that costs 20 grand new for 30 or 50 bucks, man, I would jump on it.

If you live in an area where there is such stuff, definitely consider a used industrial model. Although, as Iowolf says, they are most likely 3 phase.

05-02-2006, 08:03 PM
I posted a review of the harbor freight spot welder here some time last year (maybe this year). It is identical (I think) to the miller. If you are interested in my review you should be able to do a search for it. Good unit. JRouche


05-02-2006, 10:41 PM
jeez, you might not buy 5bears components for that - up to what thickness have you had success with?

05-03-2006, 01:09 AM
I did a search "spot welder" with my nym....JRouche


05-03-2006, 07:43 AM
Lindsy publications sells books on how to make them. take a look at them and find an old high voltage tranformer with separate winding for the primary. cutoff the fine high side and use aluminum sheet to make two raps in its place. I have made three this way the last will weld 1/8 almost on a 50 amp at 220 braker

Cecil Walker
05-03-2006, 07:49 AM
Ken, Jrouche, thank you very much, that's the response and info i was looking for. There will be a HF (as much as i hate to admit it) spot welder in the shop tonight, again thanks everyone. Valuable info. from all the knowledgeable and and much respected members on this forum.

05-03-2006, 12:34 PM
Take pics and lets see some.

Cecil Walker
05-03-2006, 12:52 PM
Will do Wolf. May have to wait till the weekend though. We are currently working 7:00 AM -5:30 PM M-F and 7:00 -12:00 on Sat. This spot welder will be the first item i have EVER purchased from HF, have to make a 40 mile detour to do that. However, i feel very confident with the recommendations from the guys here.