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Portable welder is building a Pipe Welding Rig

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  • Portable welder is building a Pipe Welding Rig

    A Friend of mine here in Michigan after being a gas distribution welder for the last 18 years called me today and told me that hes been in Nebraska working on a cross country 42" pipe line for the Oklahoma cross country local.
    He said hes 12 hours a day 7 days a week, He has always worked out of a pick up truck and now that hes with the cross country guys the pick up isnt working, He asked me if I would build him a rig since he knows the type of work I do.
    Hes going to get me some pictures of the rigs hes working along side for me to copy, He is welding a 42" pipe and if I remember correctly he said its about a 1700 mile line with a wall thickness of .880 wall, He is welding it with 3/16 rod for the root and a .045 dual shield wire, he said he burned up his reels in about a week and that the guys he works with coil their cables.

    Since JTM is our pipe welder working off a flat bed I will be hunting down some pictures of his truck and asking questions in the near future along with the canandians.

    The new truck is a 2002 with about 10,000 miles on it, 4WD and he may want me to shorten it, I'm looking forward to building the deck but not shortening the fuel lines, exhaust, break lines, drive shaft ETC. but you gotta take the good with the bad.

    Oh and just in case any one here is wondering what kind of a machine he is using it would be a Miller Pipe Pro because of its wire capabilities.
    He has always used Lincoln classic since he started but because of the wire application the out fit that he hired on with supplied him with the pipe pro.
    When I asked him how he liked it he said it was a good machine and that he hopes the company will sell it to him at the end of the job.

  • #2
    3/16" rod for a root, fawk thats big for a pipeline root pass, even for .880 wall pipe, anywyas i'd keep the stock bed length cause that extra bed length is always nice to have for a flat/level place to work on, a few of the decks i've seen that i liked recessed the act. bottles they had down below the frame (made all the approiate guards and such to protect and support), then did likewise for the remainig bottles but laid on the side and had a cover over to place a tool box (the bottles were slid in while laid down), then the welding machine was on a set of heavy duty slider/rollers (to change wire, fix it whatever) was a nice setup.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Coalsmoke View Post
      Should make for an interesting build Portable. I'll be watching to see your layout. If you need some picture ideas, I can send a few along, just drop me a line and make sure your email box has a bit of space.

      Oh nooooooooooooooo, we want the pic too. I was in the shop yard yesterday and the competitors 3500 was almost done. Some guys get all the breaks 2002 with 175K and he dropped 1750.00, yes 1750.00 on a 02.
      Side story the fuel line was pinched and the truck would not run, He was laughing so hard I thought he was gonna have a stroke when he showed me the repair/ replacement piece.

      Back on topic, Portable please post your project, it will be hitiing right at home.


      • #4
        Portable Welder
        Attached is the last rig I built last year. I am starting another one when I get time. I have also attached the diemenisons. The well on the passenger side is for 2 oxygen cylinders, and the well on the left is for 1 act. cylinder. You want these trucks as short as possible. The tool boxes on top of the bed came from TSC. There is a tool box built into each front corner of the bed.
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Why would you prefer to have such a short bed ????? What is, or is there any benefit ????
          If I get a chance to, there is a Dodge/Frieghtliner van- chassis /cab running around here at the local Airgas. They put a welding type bed and rig on it. Had a crane-toolboxes-dualies. Mostly diamondplate decked out. The deck or bed was really low compared to other trucks, about 30" off the ground I'd say. It had a swing out seat hidden under the bed for a work station like. Then there was the fact that it gets 22+ miles to the gallon fully loaded. The tanks were on the passengerside in a rack that was built into the bed. So the bottom of the tanks were about 12-14" off the ground with a door/cage holding them in. I believe the bed length itself was about 10'-12' long.


          • #6
            You need as short as possible to be able to manuver on the right-a-way. I personly like a single cab with the frame cut off behind the rear spring hangers. But the last two I built were extended cabs and they seem to be doing fine and I did not cut the frame off.


            • #7

              How much do you figure that bed weights? Less the welder of course.
              MM175, Lincoln Ideal arc 250, Miller Legend


              • #8
                The bed in the picture weighs in around 1600 with the tool boxes. The next one will be lighter.


                • #9
                  I havent seen the truck he said its at his house here in MI while hes out on a job in Nebraska, I may take you up on that offer Coal ounce I get the truck in my possesion in about 3 weeks, his wife is going to have it sent to the mechanics shop for a ounce over before it comes to me, the lady he got the truck from let the truck sit in the garage for I think four years after her husband died.

                  I'm really going to try to get as much information from my friend as to what he wants verses what I think he wants, he mentioned low profile rear boxes so he can pull a fifth wheel trailer to live out of for the next few years while going across country. what I'm going to focus on is polishing off his design that he gets from the other guys rigs that hes working with.


                  • #10
                    Yea I think a pull behind would make alot more sence verses a fifth wheel.


                    • #11
                      Finney, Im looking at the cables you have hanging in front of your adjusting knobs of the welder, It looks to me like you have them on backwards. I assume there is a good reason for this.

                      My new welding rig is almost done, I finished paint most everything last night, I painted the wood deck black tonight. My foreman will finish hooking up the lights tomorrow, then its time to transfer everything this weekend.

                      I made sure to stay back far enouph so you guys wont see all the runs.
                      ( Its nice and shiny from 20' away) and theres plenty of paint on it.

                      I need to re letter my 3 trucks now and get the new one pin striped.

                      I'll post the progression of pictures this week end.


                      • #12
                        Portable Welder,

                        Finney, Im looking at the cables you have hanging in front of your adjusting knobs of the welder, It looks to me like you have them on backwards. I assume there is a good reason for this.

                        Please explain, I do not understand.


                        • #13
                          What I mean is, the cables in front of your dials are all wrapped up and for you to uncoil a few loops it looks like the bar would be in the way.

                          The more I look and think about it, it looks to me that those might be your extension cables so when you need them you take the whole spool off.
                          I hope this clarified things for you.


                          • #14

                            When I looked at the picture of Finney's rig, I thought he had his cables wrapped up in front of his welder, and had a tarp strap wrapped around the bundles of welding cable to keep them from slapping around & getting tangled. I really don't see the bar you are mentioning. Maybe I'm wrong, but I though it was a tarp strap.


                            Professional Spark Generator by Trade.


                            • #15
                              Portable Welder, No the bar is not in the way, it just looks that way.