View Full Version : Home Made Welding Electrodes

Ian B
08-30-2011, 05:21 AM
I work in the deltas of Nigeria (no, I'm not about to offer you $25 million, sorry). My company have been installing chain link fencing at one of the facilities. We enjoy doing this. Fortunately, the local population help us at night by removing what we install during the day, thus giving us the opportunity to install even more :-)

We haven't been seeing lots of new chain link fences going up elsewhere, so we enquired what was happening to the stuff. Seems they unravel it and make it into welding electrodes!

I can see that with some effort it can be straightened, but what about the flux? Is there a home made recipe that they could be using to dip / coat them? I don't think that welding without a flux coating would work too well.

Mind you, eye protection takes the form of sunglasses, or a really mean squint...


08-30-2011, 05:36 AM
Most chain link fence around here is galvanized. If folks are welding with that stuff it will likely be a self-limiting problem due to the fume poisoning.

Ian B
08-30-2011, 05:50 AM
This is also galvanised - but HSE isn't always the highest concern around here:

http://cloud.globalgiving.org/pfil/4820/image_shows_one_of_the_welding_beneficiary_concent rate_on_his_job_Large.jpg

08-30-2011, 05:57 AM
[QUOTE=Ian B]This is also galvanised - but HSE isn't always the highest concern around here:

I like his safety boots ,airconditioned allow slag etc to roll off foot .

Welding goggles and hammer seem to be appropriate as well.

Must be quite an interesting place to live and work.

Ian B
08-30-2011, 06:53 AM
I just found this table:


Clay, chalk, cellulose, sand and asbestos are all pretty available - maybe they make a paste with that, chuck some wood glue in to bind it, and it's good enough!

Considering that they're starting out with fencing, it's ironic that one of the commonest things that you see being welded up is fencing...

John Stevenson
08-30-2011, 09:09 AM
He's got a bloody good sun tan welding without a helmet :p

08-30-2011, 10:05 AM
I work in the deltas of Nigeria (no, I'm not about to offer you $25 million, sorry).


hahah. oh, man.

Forrest Addy
08-30-2011, 10:36 AM
When I was a noob, an old welder told me back in the day they used to roll up lengths of wire in pages from a slick paper magazing. The cellulose from the paper made the shielding gas and the white clay sizing made the flux. I tried it. I thought, yeah. right but I tried it. It works but the weld quality could have been better. I recall 2 pages from a Time magazine is about right. Roll it on wet and let it dry. I could get three rods from a wire coat hanger.

08-30-2011, 10:50 AM
It wasn't that long ago, early 60's, that a friend made a reasonable amount of side money making TV towers from thinwall conduit using auto batteries for a power supply and coathangers wrapped in paper.

08-30-2011, 05:50 PM
I heard a really long time ago they used to wrap the bare steel rods in hemp, and I also heard farmers used to dip them in horse s*** before flux was invented (?), which may have been b.s for all I know

08-30-2011, 06:03 PM
Way back then, the standard procedure was to dip the wire in a lime/water mix which works quite well. It's so easy to do (I have tried it just as an experiment) and works so well I can't imagine messing around with wet paper. Actually just bare wire over 1/8" diameter works better than one might imagine, I am not saying it is a good way to weld but it was done that way sometimes back in the beginning.

08-30-2011, 07:45 PM
I have a welding text book from 1942, "Modern Welding Practice" that talks about DC welding with bare mild steel electrodes... says that a competent welder can do satisfactory work on mild steel using bare electrodes. Suggests that the beginner start out using bare electrodes (less expensive) until he can lay good beads with them. I supose that the idea is tat if you can work with bare electrodes then you will be a master with the coated ones.
Joe B

08-30-2011, 08:02 PM
I once saw an old (1926 IIRC) General Electric welding manual and that's the first time I heard of doing that, I have seen the same thing several times since. It instructed the welder (weldor) to "cut pieces of wire from the roll about 18" long and straighten them", never said anything about dipping them in lime or anything else.

The "Welding Safety" section in that little handbook was a riot! :) It's amazing how our attitudes about safety have changed over the years, one little gem was about gloves,

"If gloves are worn (IF gloves are worn? :eek:) when welding they should be of leather so as not to burn but a great many weldors prefer not to wear gloves for the dexterity that provides" It goes on to warn that the arms and face should be covered and the weldor should never go shirtless to prevent scalding, however the hands seem not to be so affected"

Chris S.
08-30-2011, 08:10 PM
Wow, I'm really surprised at some of the welding stuff I learned in this thread. I've never welded but I'm a master at soldering. Any way, some years ago I slapped together a poor man's panel saw made of Home depot angle iron and galvanized pipe. I drilled and tapped it altogether with #6 screws and then had a friend arc weld it up for strength. He cursed me the whole time he was doing it for choosing galvanized pipe over black pipe! Amazing that gavanized wire can be used as rod.