Vintage Homemade Welder – Part 3: Sparks and Smoke

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I found this welder on Craigslist for a hundred dollars. It’s made with a World War II surplus aircraft generator and the engine from a 1946 Austin Dorset. It’s a 200 Amp DC welder with a four-cylinder pushrod engine. I’ve gotten it running and I tried welding some steel with it.

The Austin engine ran like a top after I replaced the spark plug wires, adjusted the points, and freed the carburetor float bowl valve.

But the generator never produced more than a feeble spark at the welding rod and then started to smoke and spit sparks.  The plan now is to buy an automotive 250 Amp alternator and convert it to a welder to replace the WW-II aircraft generator.