I delivered a pair of minty Simpson 260-8 voms to a friend who owns a welding machine repair company Wed. (ARCO, Santa Fe Springs, California) as he needed a couple spares. Id gotten them for $10 from another buddy's electronic surplus place. Shrug
He gifted me with nearly a dozen 12" rolls of various types of MIG welding wire pulled from machines that had bought the farm and were trashed..and as I was loading them in the truck, I noticed a blade welder laying out in his bone yard. He said someone had brought it in for a repair quote, then had never come back, and as he had no interest in it, had put it out in the boneyard to be scrapped. Since I have full rights to the bone yard I tossed into the back of the truck.. well..grunted it in..that little basard is heavy...geeeze.
Today I remembered it was in the truck, so gutted it out and up on a work bench. Its a Stryco MF4, No. 480, probably older than Uncle Fud, a bit rusty and the paint is peeling off. Popping the top, I found everything to appear ok, except for a wire that had gotten abraded and had burned in half. Must have scared the snot out of the operator as it was one of the two 220vt AC power leads. This thing is so old that it has fabric coated wiring, all of which actually appears to still be supple and flexable. The clockworks and whatnot seem to have little wear on them.
So I ohmed the main power leads after fixing the burned wire, and found a reasonable resistance for the main transformer. Figuring what the hey..I ran a suicide cord over and powered it up. It hummed when I pushed the Anneal button..so figured something was working...
I took a couple pieces of blade stock, put it in the welder and after a bit of skull scratching and humming and mumbling, hit the Weld button. FIZZZZAAAT!..Holy shit! Lots of sparks from the blade...and sure as shit..it had welded the blade. Sumbitch!
There is a clockwork gizmo inside that apparently is the timer for the weld time..a round cam that spins around for a moment, then knocks the big assed spring loaded switch open. It took me a few minutes to realize that it wasnt working properly and was stopping at the wrong place. A bit of futzing and relubing all the working parts and violer!....it works just hunky dory. Sure makes a heap of sparks and splatters and what not when it welds a blade though. I stuck in a pair of 3/4" blade scraps and it really lights up the shop. Makes a hell of a weld though... Now I understand what the little sheet metal shield that covers the blade is for. Helps prevent your tie from catching fire or a hot one going deep into your belly button if you are making blades up whilst nekked. Might help stop a southern forest fire too, in that same situation, if you know what I mean.....hummm though it might solve that persistant cootie problem ..but I digress....
On the starboard side (means "over yonder" for those of you in Pumpkin Center) is a red button marked Anneal, a red button marked Weld, and a round disky knob with the numbers 1-6 on it. The knob does not appear to do a hell of a lot of anything other than to put a bit more or less load on the blade "force together after they are red hot" mechanism. I think. Maybe. Kinda sorta. IMHO.
Anyone can tell me exactly what that knob/dial is supposed to do, and what the suggested settings are? Im a bit afraid that if I get it wrong, the lil basard will make its very own Dr. Who style worm hole, what with all the moving clockworks and such, and transport itself to Floyds Knob or someplace. Or become a Mannshein Drive and launch my work bench to Ruddabegga IV or someplace even worse....like Oakland or Santa Monica..(NOOOOOOOO!)
Anyways..and annealing..do I simply put the clamps fully apart, or? before annealing. When they are fully apart and a 1/2" blade is resting all comfortable in there..it turns an interesting shade of blue, but never goes red. Iffin I bring them together a bit..then it will glow red as long as I hold the Anneal button down. actually In..it being on the the side and all..but again I digress..sigh)
Any info on how to operate this devilish mechanism, would be appreciated.
Now I have to go put some burn cream on what used to be a right healthy southern forest.....
Damn I hate the smell of burning hair and the tiny the screams of flambe'd cooties... The horror..the horror....
"To be civilized is to restrain the ability to commit mayhem. To be incapable of committing mayhem is not the mark of the civilized, merely the domesticated." - Trefor Thomas