No mig No sweat go old school

No mig welder no sweat go old school. (CAW) Carbon arc welding

I welded these pieces with a Lincoln 225 amp ac welder set at 75 amps using a carbon arc rod.
left to right in picture. fused seam, center 1/4 inch carbon rod and on the right spot welds made at 115 amps.
All these welds are fast and take some practice.


this is just a link. What is CAW

I’ve taken apart 6 volt lanfern bageries for carbon rods would those be hard enough? This would work cor me since I don’t have a torch for heating… I’ll place it on the project pile.
Thanks for this, David

David I use carbon arc rods from arc lamps, most welding supply shops still carry these rods. as far as the batteries, I’ve heard they will work, try them.

This subject brings back old memories of the late 1950’s when I was an early teenager I bought a mail order “welder” that was about the size of a shoe box. It consisted of a sheet metal box with louvers stamped in for ventilation and a 120 volt cord at one end connected to spring like coils which led to the output terminals at the other end. It came with a 1/16th inch rod holder and a ground clamp and also a carbon arc torch. The eye and face shield that came with it reminded me of the temporary goggles you get from the eye doctor after your eyes get dilated with the little rubber head band. It cost $14.95 and I thought I had the world by the tail!
The arc welder part with the 1/16th inch welding rods was a useless sputtering and sticking disaster but that little carbon arc torch was the handiest little tool around for heating and brazing. I used to also take those batteries apart for the carbon rods after the original rods burned too short. Those spring coils inside the unit would get red hot while using the torch and finally after about 4 to 5 years of occasional use, one of them popped and I had to sadly throw the thing away.
I can still picture that thing in my mind as if it were setting on my bench right now!
Don M

P.S. I still have to laugh when I remember the description in the magazine telling of all the things that could be fabricated and fixed with this “wonder machine”.

Don my uncle gave me one of those buzz boxes back in the “60s”.As I remember I had to cut the 1/16th rods in half to maintain a stable arc. Folks be careful with carbon arc, it gives of CO it shields the weld some what but it is still CO.

I have carbon rod, I use for other projects, Do I need a special holder (electrode) to use it for welding?

Wayne I use the same one that I use for rods. I grip them about center so they are about 6" long. I’ve used them with AC and DC straight polarity. 35 to 75 amps. The shorter the arc the cooler, the longer the arc the hotter.I also sharpen the carbons to a dull point like a pencil. .

Thanks Dave; I will play with them later this week. I am looking forward to seeing how the work.

My preferred method is TIG; although I don’t have a TIG unit. I am going to pick up a TIG torch and attach it to my Stick welder. I will have to scratch start it though.

Dave, now that I think back, I used to get headaches when using that carbon arc torch. It must have been the CO, but I never knew it. I thought it was probably the intense light and the poor eye shield.
Don M

Wayne CAW and TIG are very similar in technique. IF you can run a scratch TIG you will have no problem with CAW

I just read an article in Poplar Mechanics iirc from the 50’s that said CAW is Great for spot welding.