What Do I Need To Weld Some Pipe To A Drum?

Greetings.
I want to weld some black pipe, about 3/4 or 1 inch to a steel 30 gallon drum. What kind of a welder do I need to do this? I have seen some cheap
arc welders advertised but I have never welded (except a small amount of brazing) and I have no idea what it will and will not do.
Also, how are they measuring the current? Obviously you can't plug a 150 amp appliance into a standard 120 VAC outlet. I would need to run whatever it is from a 5000 watt generator (240 VAC available) if an electric welder would suit my needs. I think I've seen some arc welder/generator combinations and I think the engines were smaller than 10 HP so my guess is that it can be done with 5000 watts.
I don't know how much welding I may wish to do in the future so for now I'd like the keep the price down as much as possible.
Thanks.
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Consider various possibilities, such as using a flange and bolting the flange to the drum (with appropriate backing and gaskets), or paying a professional company to do it.
The fist alternative could cost you about $15 and would probably work just as well as welding, if you can get the backing positioned inside the drum. Depending on what you do, you can use sheetmetal screws also, provided that there are no stresses on the joint. etc etc.

You would be unlikely to need 150 amps for this application. Our expert, no doubt, will correct me if I am mistaken. Just yesterday, I welded 1/8" plates with 80 amps.
80 amps at 30 volts would amount to 2.4 kW.

You should be able to, but you could also tap into a 240V power, if it is supplied to your house.

Always a great idea...
A disclaimer, I am as far from being an expert in welding, as it can possibly get.
i
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"Ulysses" wrote: I want to weld some black pipe, about 3/4 or 1 inch to a steel 30 gallon drum. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Tell us what you are trying to build. It makes a difference whether you are building a barbecue or making piping attachments to carry water.
My first thought is that, if you have no welding experience, you may have trouble due to the difference in thickness between the pipe and the drum walls.
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150 amps is output amperage at much lower voltage. I run my 225 amp welder from a forty amp circuit all the time, no problems ever. It will occasionally pop a thirty amp breaker but not very often. Volts times amps equals power, and you can think of a welder as a big transformer which conserves power, so volts times amps on the input side equal volts times amps on the output side. Input side voltage on my little welder is 220V and output voltage might be 22V so I get ten times the output amperage as the input amperage. Very roughly, anyway.
I suggest you look on your local craigslist and find someone local who's trying to make money welding, and pay him a few bucks to weld it for you. Be aware that the cheap little 110V MIG welders they're pushing these days run flux-core wire, and it's real hard to get a nice looking weld with that wire. Lots of guys give up in disgust. A little stick welder would work but it takes some training to be able to use one. Same thing for an oxy/acetylene setup, and if you buy one of those then it's quite a bit to store, and you may have problems with your homeowner's insurance or even local statutes -- o/a welders cause a lot of fires and lots of people are afraid of them.
GWE
Ulysses wrote:

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150 amps times 120 volts is 18000 watts. We must be talking about a transformer here and measuring the current at that output, right?
What I am trying to build is a wood gas generator. It produces mainly CO gas by burning wood inside an enclosed drum. The fuel is suspended away from the bottom and sides. Whatever I use to join the pipe to the drum needs to be very heat resistant and completely airtight or the generator won't work.
example: http://www.gengas.nu/byggbes/11.shtml
I am interested in buying a welder and learning how to weld because I may make one or two additional units after getting the bugs out of the first one. I'm planning on using it to run a 5000 watt electric generator which could be used to run a welder to make more units etc.

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welding is usually done at much lower voltage, for example 28V DC.
i

--


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Is your pipe hollow or full ? If it's a water pipe then a good 110 V could do it without any problem. I've tested a 110V welder at the Miller shop on 3/16 inches plate and the weld were full penetration.
Given that your steel drum would be around 1/16 or less thick and your pipe less than 1/8 you would be ok.

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| Greetings. | | I want to weld some black pipe, about 3/4 or 1 inch to a steel 30 gallon | drum. What kind of a welder do I need to do this? I have seen some cheap | arc welders advertised but I have never welded (except a small amount of | brazing) and I have no idea what it will and will not do.
Unless you're willing to commit to the necessary investment of money and time to welding, not knowing if it will be the thing for you, you are taking quite a risk. You'll have to spend a few bucks in change, plus the accessories that may differ depending on the nature of the job. For this kind of job, I'd really recommend hiring it out. If you insist, then I think the least amount of up front expense vs. the learning curve would be to get yourself a torch set and braze it up. Trying to fit and weld up pipe of unknown wall thickness to a barrel with relatively thin sheet metal isn't a task for a newbie on any process. Considering my skill level, I'd be brazing it, even though I think I could gas weld it. The weld would likely be weak unless it was reinforced, though. My stick skills would be blowing holes in the drum all over the place. Brazing with a heavy fillet is plenty strong and not so hard to do. The part that makes it difficult is the thickness of the barrel compared to the pipe. The pipe will take longer to heat up than the thin barrel, so by the time you've got the pipe up to temperature, the drum has melted through. I think that you should avoid the little torch and tank sets at the hardware store. Purchase a torch set, even a Harbor Freight kind will work for you, and rent a set of bottles that you can return with little out of pocket if you don't use it enough to justify the expense of rental. If you like it, spend the money to get some better equipment.
You can also buy fittings made for making pipe connections to drums, if that might save you a lot of expense and hassle right off the bat.
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Before jumping in to your project; are these used drums that can explode due to remaining contents? Many chemicals will explode, not just fuels.
carl mciver wrote:

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| Before jumping in to your project; are these used drums that can explode | due to remaining contents? Many chemicals will explode, not just fuels.
Most excellent point, and deadly to forget.
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Point well taken. I will find out what was in the drums before I buy them.

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I need the fittings to be air tight and heat resistant for this particular project. Are there any fittings with seals that can resist several hundred degrees?
Here's what I want to build: http://www.gengas.nu/byggbes/11.shtml
Standard plumbing pipe is probably at least 3 times as thick as the drum so from what everyone is saying it will be difficult to weld or braze. I'm not sure exactly how hot it will get during operation but it most likely would be hot enough to melt solder and burn off epoxy etc.

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I would just use a flange and backing on the other side, and bolts, maybe stainless.
i
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| I need the fittings to be air tight and heat resistant for this particular | project. Are there any fittings with seals that can resist several hundred | degrees? | | Here's what I want to build: http://www.gengas.nu/byggbes/11.shtml | | Standard plumbing pipe is probably at least 3 times as thick as the drum so | from what everyone is saying it will be difficult to weld or braze. I'm not | sure exactly how hot it will get during operation but it most likely would | be hot enough to melt solder and burn off epoxy etc.
Okay, so I have some questions that might give you some food for thought. I assume that this connection is the output of the gassifier unit. If so, is there a reason you can't run the pipe vertically out of the drum top (using the bung) and then turn it out through the wall or top of the drum on top of it, using a much lower temperature connection (if any at all, that is?) Brass plumbing fittings and brazing will be able to put up with several hundred degrees. Brazing and "several hundred degrees" are sorta relative, though. This figure ought to answer the question about brazing: http://www.gengas.nu/byggbes/28.shtml where it specifies brazing.
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I guess I'm asking the wrong question. In my ignorance welding and brazing have the same meaning--I don't really know what either is.
So, I take it brazing is more akin to soldering but at a higher temperature and with a harder bonding material?
Next question: what do I need to braze some black pipe to a steel drum?
Thanks.
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| > This figure ought to answer the question about brazing: | > http://www.gengas.nu/byggbes/28.shtml where it specifies brazing. | > | | I guess I'm asking the wrong question. In my ignorance welding and brazing | have the same meaning--I don't really know what either is. | | So, I take it brazing is more akin to soldering but at a higher temperature | and with a harder bonding material? | | Next question: what do I need to braze some black pipe to a steel drum? | | Thanks.
Welding is melting the base metal and possibly adding more to make the parts one homogenous part. Brazing is taking a metal that "sticks" to all of the parts that has a lower melting point than the base metal. There are two types of brazing, actually. One resembles a sweat joint where very little brazing material is in the joint, while the other uses the filler as the strength medium such as fillets and whatnot. Sort of like soldering, but at a few hundred degrees more. I think the two only differ in definition by the temperature of the process. Brazing can create a bond that is plenty strong for what you want, and as far as the learning curve, it's a whole lot easier to pick up. Just don't think "soldering" at any point while you're doing it, though. You need a torch set and bottles, brazing rods, flux, and your brain. The actual learning process you can start learning by picking up a welding book and making sure it covers brazing. Get some scrap and start playing. Learning to manage the heat is the hardest part, as you can overheat the joint and ruin it completely, or not enough heat but make the brazing only look like it's stuck, then to find it come apart dramatically under load.
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Even if you think you know what was in the drum, drop 2 or 3 lbs of dry ice in it. (DON'T seal drum after you put dry ice in it!!!!!)
My brother wanted to show what a great MIG welder he was in making a drum cover for our parents motorcycle shop waste oil drum. Even though the drum was 3/4rs full of oil (and other things obviously) it went off with a wush! after about 3 seconds of welding and threw a metal 5 gallon can full of oil filters 50 to 75 ft across the street.
No one was hurt and not a single car was damaged by the flying filters and bucket.
LUCKY!!!!!
Please learn from my personal experience and don't make the same mistake.
Bart D. Hull snipped-for-privacy@inficad.com Tempe, Arizona
Check http://www.inficad.com/~bdhull/engine.html for my Subaru Engine Conversion Check http://www.inficad.com/~bdhull/fuselage.html for Tango II I'm building.
Remove -nospam to reply via email.
carl mciver wrote:

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Indeed Lucky an uncle of mine cut a drum apart; number 98 out of a hundred or so. They never found anything of size to bury.

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I think I would use mechanical attachements as they did here http://www.rebelarmy.com/localeconomy/rebenergy.pdf
Interesting concept really and obviously quite functional .. I don't think it would work well on a fuel injected motor though :)
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That does seem to be a limitation but it gas gets any more expensive someone will probably figure out how to do it.
Producer gas was also used extensively in Europe for lighting and cooking and possibly for comfort heat and hot water. I think some kind of blower might be needed to make up for the suction from an internal combustion engine for, say, a water heater etc but since they didn't have much electricity in the 1800's there must be a way to get it going without a blower.
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