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Convert My stick to mig?

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by skyyk5, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. skyyk5

    skyyk5 1/2 ton status

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    I repare all the welders at work, so friday I got to thinking. Why can't I convert my Stick welder to a Mig welder (spool gun), then back again? As I was looking at it, Both welders are just D.C. power sources. It's just a mig has a relay inside to cut the positive lead, and the stick is hot at all times. If I use a spool gun I would just need a small 24 VDC power source for the motor and controls. I could build it in a box with a relay to kill the positive when the trigger is not pulled. If I made it all separate then it would be able to go from stick to mig by switching the different positive leads. The gas goes right from the mig gun to the tank. Any ideas?
     
  2. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    many good stick welders have the option of doing this, check with the welding supply shop.

    My thought on it? I have a Miller stick that I could do this with, but why? My problem with it is, a spool gun is big and heavy. I'd never be able to weld in tight spots with a spool gun. Heck sometimes I weld in spots that a regular MIG gun is JUST the right size, or too big. I don't know, for out of vehicle project welding it could work out, but I don't think it is as great as many think it is or will be.
     
  3. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    I'm not too knowledgable on this, but i'd say skip that idea. For the reasons sled dog mentioned....plus its just complicated. Do some projects with your stick, sell some stuff, and get a real mig.
     
  4. skyyk5

    skyyk5 1/2 ton status

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    I want a spool gun for one reason, aluminum!:D I love to made stuff out of it. I've used spools for years now and favor them over regular migs. But I do agree with you about a regular mig for body work and small stuff. My problem is two things $, and room. With this set up it would only be one machine around and only cost me for the 24v transformer. I got to talk to a Miller service tech today, and he dosen't see any problems with it. He liked the idea infact. I many want to do it, just because I can.

    In the future I'm going to want a mig, mig(spool gun),stick, and tig. I've been looking at all in one machines, but am use to leaving ones set up for different things. I know about welding in spots a regular mig will not fit, that sucks!:mad: But I also want to check out the old 1980's body shop spot welder. The one that has two guns (one ground and one positive) and you get two spot welds at a time. They are hard to find!:( But did find a single gun unit that goes onto a stick welder for about $150. Thanks
     
  5. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    I assume you will have the same problem with converting stick welder to MIG as you would TIG, the characteristics of the transformer and supply is quite different.
    With a stick welder the transformer attempts to supply constant current source as opposed to MIG which is a constant voltage source at a somewhat lower voltage.
    The stick welder is higher open circuit voltage which would be no good if this voltage was sustained at the rated current of the welder, therefore in a stick welder, the secondary of the transformer is usually loosly coupled and has a shunt to control the resulting voltage/current. i.e. the voltage starts to collapse as soon as a high current demand is required.
    Stick welder is typically 70v open circuit and MIG is around 35v.

    There are multi purpose machines that have both capabilities built in.. you didnt say which brand /model you want to modify,,, that will tell you if it is feasible...
    if it was easy everyone would do it...
     
  6. skyyk5

    skyyk5 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for that Info! I like to learn as much as I can, and this is easyer than learning the hard way. So Agree that it can be done, just wouldn't weld worth much. I didn't know there was or that there was any differeces in the output power. Thanks again.
     

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