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  • Lost my house right after buying a welder

    Greetings all,

    New here, to both welding and these boards I hope you guys can put up with my knuckle headed ways long enough to help me figure out my situation.

    First of all, about a year ago I bought a syncro wave 250 dx with the tig runner package and the water cooler. Right after I bought it (saved up for almost two years!) I ran into a string of bad luck. Lost my job and me and the wife ended up moving into a 1 bedroom apartment. I am not whining about it, but what is pissing me off a bit is my welder is sitting in a storage building gathering dust without me ever getting a chance to strike an arc. We won't be out from under the mound of debt anytime soon, and with the budget right now we don't have any wiggle room for more than an extra 150 a month. (and that's a last resort believe me)

    So what I want to do is throw some crazy ideas at you guys and see if it's even feasible.

    1. I am building a shovel head chopper in the living room of the apt right now, I need to weld a lot of things on it and I can't right now (read frustrating as **** I have a nice welder a job to use it on and no way to do it). What I have to work with is an apt. Is it possible to add a breaker to the fuse box my apt has and run that welder?

    2. (this should really be part of one i guess) How can I tell how many amps the service I have here is?

    3. I know back in the 50's they used to rent garage stalls for you to keep your car in and work on it, they would even rent you tools. Is that dead? Does anyone know of a company that rents something like that at a price a poor s.o.b. like me can afford? I can't rent a storage building to do it with, most have no power and all of them I have asked have stuff in the contract that says things like we can seize all your stuff for operating something that can be construed as commercial out of our storage buildings.

    4. I am no electrician and I have searched the boards and found good stuff written by hawk and a few others but no one really laid out the step by step needed to figure out exactly what is needed to run your machine. Would anyone mind giving a 1.2.3.4. type of answer that even an ape like me can understand that says how they would figure out what was needed to wire there welder. might make a good sticky to point new guys towards.

    I figure it would go something like this.

    1. go to some miller web site and find the specs on your welder to get the amperage and other electrical info

    2. find out what kind of service you have at your house 100 amp or 200 amp

    3. install blah size breaker and run blah gauge wire to the welder...

    4.no idea how to hook it up to the back of the welder, that would be good info...


    Anyway sorry for the novel, I realise I should hire an electrician (no money) and that my hair brained scheme probably ain't going to happen just thought I would throw it out there. (doesn't cost anything to ask right? )

    I am more of a grease monkey than an electrician but I learn quick. If ya'll point me to some books that a novice can understand I'll check em out from the library all the ones I can find don't have **** to do with wiring up industrial equipment.


    Thank you all kindly,

    -jdh

  • #2
    Where do you live ?
    Do you have riding buddies that would trade shop space for use of your welder ?

    Comment


    • #3
      tuff situation

      welcome,
      while i sympathize with you and your situation. i fear you may be S.O.L. i think the storage building is your best option.
      first off the welder you have will require a 100amp circuit minimum to run (download manual and see what size it calls for) and odds are good your apartment only has a 60 amp service, possibly a 100 amp but that total for the hole apartment. that is if its even in your apartment.
      to find out look at the top main breaker in the panel its the overload breaker for the panel and it will be the size of the hole service. its not a usable breaker as it supply's power to the rest of the breakers.( you cant wire into it)
      also i cant see you not getting evicted on the spot for using a welder inside the apartment. that would just make things even worse for you and you could be in big trouble for it from the other 1/2 , they tend to frown on being thrown out on the street.
      even if you were not thrown out for using the welder you certainly would be for opening up the breaker panel and adding a circuit. so i would wright that idea off.
      the only way i see it as possible to weld in an apartment would be with some thing like a Maxstar or dynasty. keeping your $$ situation in mind. you could probably sell the syncrowave 250 and get a dyn200 if you need AC for aluminum, or a Maxstar if you only need DC these you could use at the kitchen table taking in some serious safety considerations first although you could still get into lease problems but its the only in apartment option i can see. if you have an electric stove the TA-185 would also be an option but as i said you would need an electric stove as it requires 240V power and only a stove or maybe a dryer would but i dought you have a 240V dryer outlet in a single.
      i'm the first one to say never sell a good tool. and even more so if its to get a smaller one as you know you still need the tool, but in this case its really your only option to get the job done in an apartment. again taking some serious safety precautions before starting. if you are new to welding, definitely the apartment is not the best place to learn.


      a storage building to do it with, most have no power and all of them I have asked have stuff in the contract that says things like we can seize all your stuff for operating something that can be construed as commercial out of our storage buildings.

      thats your best option i see is the storage building. if you can find one with power though again the 100 amp 240V circuit is going to be a problem and you may need to step to a inverter welder. if you do find a storage shed with a 240V 100 amp service they will most likely be ok with you working in it. as for the operating something that can be construed as commercial out of our storage buildings i think they are referring to making stuff for and selling out of it but check before you rent, get a good clear idea of the way they interpret the lease.

      some other options would be:

      1) list your location, some one on here might be in your area and consider letting you do some work out of there shop. meet have some coffee or a beer and discus the terms and conditions, and mostly make shore you and they get along. you don't want to be in the middle of the project only to find you get on each others nerves, that could lead to more problems.

      2) look for a welding school in the area. a vo-tec school may let you bring in your own project to work on and some are not that expensive. if you are new to welding this is an even bigger + as you will be learning how to do it right before starting on your bike.

      3) look for a small auto shop or welding shop and go talk with the owner. you might be able to work out a deal to trade off some work for the option to use the shop for your own stuff on off Hrs or when they are not busy.

      wile i think the syncrowave 250 is an excellent welder its not going to be your best friend in the situation you are in. i would look at selling it to get into an inverter that will give you more options. its likely to be a $$ lose in the process, but getting into an inverter would definitely increase your options, and you can always get another syncr. 250 later when it suits your situation. the dyn200 keeps its value well and as such you could get back out of one to go back to the syncro at a small loss. that is if you even want to, the dyn200 is a sweet welder. you may not want to go back.

      keep in mind i don't think welding in an apartment is a good idea. but seeing as you are already working in the thing i suspect you will do it if you can anyway. so be very careful. be aware of flying sparks and where you set hot stuff. not a really good idea to weld in an apartment, but if you are going to do it, be very careful.

      i hope this is of some help. good luck with the project and at finding a place to finish it.


      dont forget to take some pic's to show us the progress.
      thanks for the help
      ......or..........
      hope i helped
      sigpic
      feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
      summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
      JAMES

      Comment


      • #4
        This is just a thought,but I was in your situation once in the early 1970s.I asked around and found a local marina that occasionally needed aluminum welding done and machine work,but not enough to justify purchasing a welder or other machinery or employing a full time or even a partime weldor or machinist for that matter,so they thought.This is how the deal went down: they set aside about a 20 x 50' section of there shop for me to use as my machine shop and I moved 1 of my lathes,1 of my bridgeports,1 of my surface grinders,1 of my tig machines ,my hydraulic press,a mig welder and numerous hand & air tools along with my 50HP air compresser.I had all of the wiring,disconnects and buss bar that I wired up my self and this made a pretty decent shop for me.The deal we made was this: We figured out that $15,00 an hour in that day was a respectable wage to pay me,considering that all of the equiptment was mine (they charged $40.00 per hr. for me)and they were going to pay the electric bill for thier 480 volt 3-phase service that had actually had the meter pulled because they had no use for it.They even paid to have an electricion come and upgrade the transformers and set the meter,because in a commercial building,a liscence was required and he did not have a problem with me doing all of the wiring,then using his license to get everything inspected,so it was a sweet deal.This deal went on for near 15 years ,but I started working 10 or 15 hours a week for them and it eventual turned in to a 40-60 hour a week job,because they kept finding more and more for me to do,though it did get a bit stressful with my job in a local plant also wanting me at least 50 to 60 hours a week,but I was raising 4 sons and God knows I needed the money,so it worked well,until I had an accident in the plant that resulted in a serious spinal injurt and was forced to go on disability and I had to stop working both jobs,then brought all of my tools and machinery home,to my shop that I had built a few years ealier in my spare time between jobs.By then,my sons were old enough that they started doing side jobs out of our shop,but it was a sweet deal while it lasted and I had a full set of keys to all of thier facilitys,so I could go there and do sidejobs or whatever I wanted,as long as it was not marine related or in any conflict with thier bussiness.Hope this helps.
        tooldude56

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree there are some options as were brought up, personally the bike would be way down on my list while I figured out a way to money up.

          Comment


          • #6
            Welcome
            I think I would agree with SBERRY, The bike would be the least of my worries. bikes cost alot to build At any rate good luck
            Scott
            HMW [Heavy Metal welding]

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by fun4now
              welcome,

              Thanks!

              while i sympathize with you and your situation. i fear you may be S.O.L. i
              ----------------------------------------------------------------
              You are right, I checked the wiring with the info you gave me and I am indeed sol. As far as I can see there is no main service to my apt all the breakers are in use and the panel is only rated for 125 amps (i looked up the model number) We got his place because it has a washer and dryer cubby hole
              ----------------------------------------------------------------
              also i cant see you not getting evicted on the spot for using a welder inside the apartment. that would just make things even worse for you and you could be in big trouble for it from the other 1/2 , they tend to frown on being thrown out on the street.
              even if you were not thrown out for using the welder you certainly would be for opening up the breaker panel and adding a circuit. so i would wright that idea off.

              -----------------------------------------

              Told ya it was hair brained *grin I'm desperate here though. I gotta get riding again soon or I am going to lose it. I quite drinking quit smoking; never did chase skirts or gamble. Riding was my only way of blowing off steam, sittin on the couch watching tv aint doing it for me. I have got all the parts I need so I ain't hurting our bottom line, i just need to stick em together.

              ------------------------------------------

              the only way i see it as possible to weld in an apartment would be with some thing like a Maxstar or dynasty. keeping your $$ situation in mind. you could probably sell the syncrowave 250 and get a dyn200 if you need AC for aluminum, or a Maxstar if you only need DC these you could use at the kitchen table taking in some serious safety considerations first although you could still get into lease problems but its the only in apartment option i can see. if you have an electric stove the TA-185 would also be an option but as i said you would need an electric stove as it requires 240V power and only a stove or maybe a dryer would but i dought you have a 240V dryer outlet in a single.

              ---------------------------------------------------------------

              Man the thought of letting that syncro wave go after struggling for it so long really hurts. I guess I can consider it though. I hadn't thought of just trading down. Which dynasty rig would you suggest then?

              ----------------------------------------------------------------


              i'm the first one to say never sell a good tool. and even more so if its to get a smaller one as you know you still need the tool, but in this case its really your only option to get the job done in an apartment. again taking some serious safety precautions before starting. if you are new to welding, definitely the apartment is not the best place to learn.


              --------------------------------------------------------------

              Well I am not a complete stranger to it, I can braize and mig with the best. I was planning on doing any actual welding on the concrete porch outside my back door, I have a fenced in patio that very private with an 8 foot fence around it and nothing but dirt and concrete. I could also probably put together a nice welding screen or two. The thing is I am not looking to weld all out for days at a time or something. I would be happy with being able to weld on exhaust and rear brake mounts, weld an engine mount together and weld the mounts for the moon eyes tank to the frame.


              --------------------------------------
              a storage building to do it with, most have no power and all of them I have asked have stuff in the contract that says things like we can seize all your stuff for operating something that can be construed as commercial out of our storage buildings.

              thats your best option i see is the storage building. if you can find one with power though again the 100 amp 240V circuit is going to be a problem and you may need to step to a inverter welder. if you do find a storage shed with a 240V 100 amp service they will most likely be ok with you working in it. as for the operating something that can be construed as commercial out of our storage buildings i think they are referring to making stuff for and selling out of it but check before you rent, get a good clear idea of the way they interpret the lease.

              some other options would be:

              1) list your location, some one on here might be in your area and consider letting you do some work out of there shop. meet have some coffee or a beer and discus the terms and conditions, and mostly make shore you and they get along. you don't want to be in the middle of the project only to find you get on each others nerves, that could lead to more problems.


              --------------------------------

              Dallas texas is my location. I never thought about someone helping me out that way. Another way to go I guess is to just straight up pay a welding shop but I have no idea how much that costs. I always have done everything on my own with no ones help. I would be happy to buy someone else a beer and drink a dr. pepper with em if they have the time. Drop me an email and I will get you a phone number.

              ------------------------------------

              2) look for a welding school in the area. a vo-tec school may let you bring in your own project to work on and some are not that expensive. if you are new to welding this is an even bigger + as you will be learning how to do it right before starting on your bike.
              -------------------------------------------

              Do they take a check

              --------------------------

              3) look for a small auto shop or welding shop and go talk with the owner. you might be able to work out a deal to trade off some work for the option to use the shop for your own stuff on off Hrs or when they are not busy.


              I thought about that, but i figured with as weird as most folks are about getting sued for you getting hurt, or the other liabilities this kind of thing can cause that no one would go for it. If y'all know of any shops in the dallas area willing to trade a strong back for a little time making sparks I am willing to put my money where my mouth is.

              --------------------------

              wile i think the syncrowave 250 is an excellent welder its not going to be your best friend in the situation you are in. i would look at selling it to get into an inverter that will give you more options. its likely to be a $$ lose in the process, but getting into an inverter would definitely increase your options, and you can always get another syncr. 250 later when it suits your situation. the dyn200 keeps its value well and as such you could get back out of one to go back to the syncro at a small loss. that is if you even want to, the dyn200 is a sweet welder. you may not want to go back.



              keep in mind i don't think welding in an apartment is a good idea. but seeing as you are already working in the thing i suspect you will do it if you can anyway. so be very careful. be aware of flying sparks and where you set hot stuff. not a really good idea to weld in an apartment, but if you are going to do it, be very careful.

              ------------------------------------------------------

              I get what you are saying and despite how stupid the idea might seem I have thought of the consequences. None of what you are playing with when you are using a welder or any shop equipment for that matter is a game. You can get serious bad hurt doing something without a thought. I can promise you that I will be very careful. The problem is I don't know what I can and can't do electricity wise so I came and asked. Looks like it's a can't this time but you gotta ask or you won't know right
              I've seen the results of being careless, and I have no interested in being set on fire, or losing a finger or two, or getting us kicked out in the street. Though I do apreciate y'alls concern.


              -------------------------------------

              i hope this is of some help. good luck with the project and at finding a place to finish it.


              dont forget to take some pic's to show us the progress.
              Tell you what I will attach a pic of the bike and later today my welder in storage that's about all the progress I can make right now!

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you for the response

                Originally posted by Sberry
                I agree there are some options as were brought up, personally the bike would be way down on my list while I figured out a way to money up.

                While I appreciate your input Mr. Berry me and you have different priorities if you see what I mean. Motorcycles have been the center of my life since I could crawl and they always will be. I would be glad to hear any advice you have that doesn't pertain to my priorities in life, and I have read really good responses of yours to other peoples questions that even quoted sections of the electricians code book; so anything you throw out there on the technical front I will listen to with all ears. Just to be real clear. Forgetting about my motorcycle is not an option, I need to ride to keep sane happy and healthy.

                With respect,

                -jdh

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by HMW View Post
                  Welcome
                  I think I would agree with SBERRY, The bike would be the least of my worries. bikes cost alot to build At any rate good luck
                  Thanks for the kind words. They aren't as expensive as you might think if you are starting with a basket case shovel head and you know how to turn a wrench and read a manual. You have to be careful though, that "good buy" can turn into a money pit if you get a pig in a poke. I have less than 5k in this bike.

                  We have a good place to live, we are both making money even if it's not much, and the credit card debt is going down slowly but surely, even so I ain't dead yet and the bike is on my brain!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tooldude56 View Post
                    This is just a thought,but I was in your situation once in the early 1970s.I asked around and found a local marina that occasionally needed aluminum welding done and machine work,but not enough to justify purchasing a welder or other machinery or employing a full time or even a partime weldor or machinist for that matter,so they thought.This is how the deal went down: they set aside about a 20 x 50' section of there shop for me to use as my machine shop and I moved 1 of my lathes,1 of my bridgeports,1 of my surface grinders,1 of my tig machines ,my hydraulic press,a mig welder and numerous hand & air tools along with my 50HP air compresser.I had all of the wiring,disconnects and buss bar that I wired up my self and this made a pretty decent shop for me.The deal we made was this: We figured out that $15,00 an hour in that day was a respectable wage to pay me,considering that all of the equiptment was mine (they charged $40.00 per hr. for me)and they were going to pay the electric bill for thier 480 volt 3-phase service that had actually had the meter pulled because they had no use for it.They even paid to have an electricion come and upgrade the transformers and set the meter,because in a commercial building,a liscence was required and he did not have a problem with me doing all of the wiring,then using his license to get everything inspected,so it was a sweet deal.This deal went on for near 15 years ,but I started working 10 or 15 hours a week for them and it eventual turned in to a 40-60 hour a week job,because they kept finding more and more for me to do,though it did get a bit stressful with my job in a local plant also wanting me at least 50 to 60 hours a week,but I was raising 4 sons and God knows I needed the money,so it worked well,until I had an accident in the plant that resulted in a serious spinal injurt and was forced to go on disability and I had to stop working both jobs,then brought all of my tools and machinery home,to my shop that I had built a few years ealier in my spare time between jobs.By then,my sons were old enough that they started doing side jobs out of our shop,but it was a sweet deal while it lasted and I had a full set of keys to all of thier facilitys,so I could go there and do sidejobs or whatever I wanted,as long as it was not marine related or in any conflict with thier bussiness.Hope this helps.
                    tooldude56
                    I am real sorry to hear about you getting hurt, I hope that you mended all right and aren't in pain to this day. So far I have been lucky *knocks on wood and have avoided being injured. Half the time because I was willing to walk off of a job rather than work in unsafe conditions.

                    **** ocean spray had me throwing boxes into an x ray machine for 12 hours a shift, (they had a metal filter blow up but didn't want to throw out all the jice that had been processed) but they cut the lead guards off so the boxes would go faster, I told em put em back on or I am gone folks. Got my walking papers that day.


                    I will check around a bit, there is one machine shop I know of that has done some work for me a few times they don't weld anything though so it might be worth a shot. I am starting to wonder if any place around here rents a nice mig welder. From what I have seen they run off of house hold current and that would be good enough to get me rolling. I appreciate your reply though and will keep my eye out for any marina's or other places that might need someone to stick together some metal for them.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Chuck U&R View Post
                      Where do you live ?
                      Do you have riding buddies that would trade shop space for use of your welder ?
                      I live in dallas texas, and currently I don't have any buddies here at all really. All my friends live in austin. We moved here so I could be close to my ex and my son.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Pics or it didn't happen

                        As promised a pick of my bike. Well i gotta get to work folks. but when I get off work tonight I will post a pick of my welder sitting all by it's lonesome in the storage. heh

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          i understand not wanting to part with the syncro after saving so hard to get it. it took me around 3 years to save up for my TA-185 and its well below the $$ of your syncro.
                          having ridden all my life i also understand the need for a bike. i have 4 quads in the yard now but its just not the same after a few cross country rides you just never happy without a bike to jump on now and again. quite the stress reliever no question about it. best of luck to ya, if you were closer you would be welcome to stop by and stick a part here and there as needed in my shop.
                          basket cases are getting harder and harder to fins as of late, too many see the TV show and think they will make one of there own and they end up in a corner or way over priced for what they are. too bad really i would love one to play with myself. just no $$ to get there now, some day maybe ???

                          a dryer outlet if its 240V would run a TA-185 or Dyn200DX no problem. its size would make a trip to the back porch for a quick weld very doable.
                          with the back porch and a dryer outlet in mind, maybe you could find a way to swing a HH 187 or used HH 180. it should cover your needs all be it not TIG but definitely get the job done. small and portable, stick in back in the closet when done. a small Co2 tank and you would be good to go. i would say a 140 but it may not be enough for the engine mounts. but an older MM175 ot HH 180 should get the job done at a reasonable price.

                          looking forward to the pic's
                          James
                          thanks for the help
                          ......or..........
                          hope i helped
                          sigpic
                          feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
                          summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                          JAMES

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            a HH140 referb if i remember was about $400.oo i just cant remember the place that sells them, i'll have a think on it and get back to ya.
                            as for the renting thats definitely an option. you may need to make a plug adapter as welding plugs and dryer plugs are a little different but that should only be about $30-$40 and you will have it for a long time and can turn it into a nice extension cord later or now for that matter. my LWS rents out welders but not shore the prices would be in line with your's but its a good place to check. all the rental places by me don't carry welder's, just my welding store. about $50 a day better for weekly and even better at monthly. but you could buy a small one for the price of a months rental.

                            great looking bike, not much of a basket case any more. i can see why you are itching to get it finished. the closer to done it gets the more you want it done.

                            . I hadn't thought of just trading down. Which dynasty rig would you suggest then?
                            the dynasty 200DX should be fine for a bike build. plenty of power for the larger stuff (even if you have to stick weld it) and will adjust down low enough for the thinest of sheet metal or aluminum.
                            thanks for the help
                            ......or..........
                            hope i helped
                            sigpic
                            feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
                            summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                            JAMES

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jdhendrickson
                              I am starting to wonder if any place around here rents a nice mig welder. From what I have seen they run off of house hold current and that would be good enough to get me rolling.

                              i would stay away from Mig welding inside of a dwelling, Tig you could get away with but not Mig, waaaaay too manny sparks!

                              for the small stuff you will be welding you could probably get away with a 40A breaker, i would still advise against welding in a appartment....but if you must keep the shades pulled and don't weld at night LOL.
                              The one that dies with the most tools wins

                              If it's worth having, it's worth working for

                              Comment

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