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jim davies
07-22-2007, 01:24 PM
Anyone have any experience with the Ready Welder, which appears to be a portable spool gun that can be hooked to ordinary batteries as well as to regular welders?

Mike W
07-22-2007, 01:42 PM
I have never used that one but I use a Miller and a Lincoln feeder hooked up to a 24 volt battery charger for a power supply.

BadDog
07-22-2007, 02:50 PM
Some. What do you need to know? They are popular among the off road crowd, particularly the "Rock Crawlers" as we break stuff in place you can hardly walk, much less extract a broken vehicle from. In many case, you drive IN, and you have no alternative short of Sky Hook too get your rig out, breakage or not.

So, they work very well regardless of powersupply. A couple of batteries welds quite nicely, and I'm told that using an old AC/DC buzz box makes them sing. The only problem is that the spool/gun assembly is bulky and can be very troublesom in tight places. We've had cases where we would have had to spend hours taking things apart (not what you want to do in the middle of a rocky wash, on the edge of a waterfall, 5 miles from the nearest dirt road) to get a Ready Welder to the job, so we used cables and SMAW instead. Otherwise, they are great...

Willy
07-22-2007, 02:54 PM
Although I don't have any personal experience with one, I think if I was looking for a portable welder I would be inclined to go with a small engine driven power source.
But what do I know, they could be the cat's ass as far as a lightweight welder goes.
I did Google "Ready Welder review" and got a number of results from mostly off road and 4x4 groups. So have a look there and see what they found out. If anybody can torture a piece of equipment under adverse conditions those boys should find the weak spots.

jim davies
07-22-2007, 10:41 PM
Thanks for the replies. Mike W can you tell me more about your use of a regular spool gun with batteries?

Bad Dog that is just the kind of info that I'm looking for. If the Ready Welder is a decent quality [if bulky] spool gun and actually works well with an AC/DC buzzbox, that'll do me. My shop is getting pretty crammed but I don't want to buy junk to try and solve a space problem...

Mike W
07-22-2007, 11:14 PM
Jim, I don't use batteries just the charger. You can't see the top but there is a wire feeder sitting on top of it. I use the gun trigger to operate the contactor inside of the charger.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v110/tek798/Welding/DSC00269.jpg

HTRN
07-23-2007, 07:26 AM
What about building an onboard welder (http://mywebpages.comcast.net/t.molnar/Obwelder1.htm)?


HTRN

gellfex
07-23-2007, 12:03 PM
Portability is only half the point of the Ready-Welder, the other half is that it's an affordable spool gun that won't birds nest aluminum wire, at 1/3-1/4 the price of other spool guns, excluding the additional cost of a supply box. It was by far the cheapest entry into decent aluminum welding, especially as I had no other welding gear previously.

I've been using mine for years off of deep cycle batteries, 2x12v and a 6v that can be combined for a variety of voltages. Unfortunately my local supplier of reconditioned batteries is gone, so replacing these as they occasionally die is expensive. I'm considering looking for an ac/dc box. But I will say the 100% duty cycle of the batteries is nice.

BadDog
07-23-2007, 01:30 PM
Get the box. You're unlikely to hit the duty cycle of any 220V AC/DC buz box.

gellfex
07-23-2007, 02:12 PM
Get the box. You're unlikely to hit the duty cycle of any 220V AC/DC buz box.

Yeah, I guess I've mostly compared it to the cheap mig rigs. Different animal. Any idea what a good price on a used buzzbox would be, and what features I'd want? My experience is limited to the ReadyWelder.

BadDog
07-23-2007, 04:12 PM
Any major name 220V AC/DC box should be more than adequate for most folk's needs. My neighbor had a massive old Lincoln transformer tap box he got for $50 that would do just fine. Now, if you're after heavy aluminum welding, that's another matter and you'll need a heavier system. Then again, if your headed that way, I'm not sure how many amps the RW tops out on. Look up and find the max VA supported by the ready welder, and there is your max useful target PS. Adjust down depending on realistic needs, and there is your minimum target PS (at some reasonable Duty Cycle).

gellfex
07-23-2007, 04:42 PM
Any major name 220V AC/DC box should be more than adequate for most folk's needs. My neighbor had a massive old Lincoln transformer tap box he got for $50 that would do just fine. Now, if you're after heavy aluminum welding, that's another matter and you'll need a heavier system. Then again, if your headed that way, I'm not sure how many amps the RW tops out on. Look up and find the max VA supported by the ready welder, and there is your max useful target PS. Adjust down depending on realistic needs, and there is your minimum target PS (at some reasonable Duty Cycle).

The heaviest aluminum I usually do is 1/4, more frequently 3/16 & 1/8. The ReadyWelder site says it can handle 350A.

I guess I just need to lurk on ebay & craigslist for a deal to show. A real shop closing auction would be even better, but I haven't had the leisure for attending one of those in a while.

jim davies
07-23-2007, 09:49 PM
Thanks gellfex. You make a good point about the spool gun cost. Tell me, are you welding Al with batteries? I thought you needed AC not DC for that.

gellfex
07-23-2007, 10:18 PM
Thanks gellfex. You make a good point about the spool gun cost. Tell me, are you welding Al with batteries? I thought you needed AC not DC for that.

Yup, I use batteries. I'm not the most experienced welder, but when I get it set up right, it lays down sweet pennies. Here's something from 4 years back or so, it's 1/8 wall tube on 3/16 plate. The hinged arm on the right is carbon steel 1x1x.065 tube.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v358/gellfex/weldviewsm-email.jpg

zukIzzy
07-24-2007, 11:15 AM
I am one of those rock crawling types and I own a ready welder. I have used it a lot and am very happy with it. It has gotten rigs off the trail that would have spent the night otherwise. I have carried it onto competition coarses and welded stuff to keep things moving. The thing that I am the most pleased with is how handy it is around the shop and yard. I don't have to take a gate down to weld it, same with fences and stuff out of the way, say on the roof:D. I have welded aluminum with it but it is not Ideal for that use.

I'll give it 4.5 out of 5 wrenches for my reveiw.

Wayne