Do I really want a DC welder?
It has been 26 years since I welded with a DC welder. Last thing I welded was, I spent 2 weeks welding HRS plate together to build a 100 ton hydraulic press. They still have the 100 ton press and that old 300 amp bullet AC DC dynamotor generator welder where I use to work. I seem to remember it welded great. I just can't remember what the advantages of a DC is over AC???
Will DC weld thinner metal than AC with out melting a hole in the metal?
I have been welding .062" mild steel with 3/32" 7014 rods with my 34 year old 225 amp Lincoln Welder. These rods almost weld themself. I don't do much welding at home.
dc is much better smother, less spatter, you can weld stainless with it. a lot of wires are dc only . you can switch polarity.
if you like sparks in your ears and your shoes. crappy looking welds then ac is for you.
Oddly, the ONE time I used an AC welder, at class, it was one of the best looking welds I made, it went on like buttering bread, and spattered a heck of a lot less than some of the 60XX DC rods.
Penetration was a little less, but still penetrated reasonably on a butted "T", with 1/8 rod using a big Miller machine.
Some of the thin-coated 60XX rods EDIT: using DC.....spattered horribly, with trailers and spatters in all directions, looked like "willy pete". Stuff was even getting under the helmet and bouncing off the safety glasses.
Last edited by J Tiers; 10-22-2011 at 10:37 PM.
Guess it depends on if you plan to weld aluminum.
I've used AC almost exclusively for close to 30 years. Contrary to what Bob said, I've forgotten how much stainless I've welded with it and 7018AC makes a good looking solid weld without a lot of fireworks.
AC welds stainless just fine and believe it or not it will weld really thin material with less likelihood of burn-through than will DC, the option to switch to AC on most DC machines is there for a reason. Not saying AC is better, for 99% of steel welding DC is the best choice, but AC is not that much of a problem compared to DC and with some mild steel rods it really does weld quite well.