Saturday, 4 June 2011

Welding for free. (Well, almost free).



I had a play at welding the other day, for the first time.

Thanks to the Freegle network I mentioned before, I managed to bag a free mig welder. Of course with Freegle you don't get brand new units: this one wasn't working due to some tinkering inside and the CO2 line had ben removed.

For someone like me with plenty of practical experience, it wasn't a problem: a prod around with a multimeter showed me where all the wires should be reconnected to and a reel of gassless mig welding wire gets round the problem of not being able to use a Carbon Dioxide bottle. Finally ebay produced a very cheap (and very essential) welding mask.

So now I'm able to do welding for an outlay of less than 20 quid. Bargain. I do love the internet.

Plus the welder and the mask are saved from ending up in landfill, so double bonus.

And I've bagged some free bits of metal to practice welding on too.

No state intervention, no Faux Charity, no Quangoes involved: just people using the power of the internet and their own initiative to reduce energy consumption and land fill use. "Big Society" at its best.

Of course if you want to weld even cheaper, youtube has videos of how to use bits of old microwaves to create an arc welder. There are plenty of second-hand microwaves on Freegle or you just put out an ad for one.

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