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Hobart Stickmate lead extension advice...

 
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21 16 8:53 am    Post subject: Hobart Stickmate lead extension advice... Reply with quote

So I want to extend the leads on my Stickmate, and I want to do it right. I also want to upgrade the stock #4 leads to #2. I have already ordered 50' of #2 lead and 2 tweco panel recepticals. The goal is to be able to disconnect the leads completly from the unit for storage, and select my desired length while working. I will divide the 50' of #2 into separate 25' lengths for the stinger and work leads.

I know the easy way would be to just extend the #4s, and that would be fine for welding in the garage, but my reasoning for upgrading to #2 is I would like the option In the future to efficiently extend each lead 75-100ft which would let me hit most of my yard for future projects.

So here is my question


There are 4 sections of #4awg inside the Stickmate which I have labeled in this picture. 1 & 2 are the stinger and work leads that extend outside the machine, obviously those will be unbolted and replaced with my new #2awg cables. 3 & 4 in the picture are just short sections that run from the front of the machine to the back, should I replace those with #2 as well? Shouldn't hurt anything right? What do they do? They just unbolt, so it won't be hard to replace them, just don't want to damage anything due to my ignorance. I also don't want the weak point in my cables to be inside the machine. Hopefully this all makes sense, any advice is appreciated
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21 16 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The goal is to make it look like this one
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21 16 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking at it again, I think I missed a section of cable in my picture, should have labeled 5 sections.
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gandrfab
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21 16 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have cheated with jumper cables a few times.

Read this thread
http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=69127
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21 16 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going back to the lugs is the way to do it properly if you need to stretch out then just use your #4 as a whip so you do not have to hold the #2 while welding that gets old I know. I compensate work lead length for longer electrode length on mine while keeping the #4. I can weld 20' from my machine I also have an extension cord that puts me 20' from my receptacle if need be.
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22 16 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, I'm definitely going to extend from the lugs with #2, that's not the issue. My main question is, do I need to upgrade the other 3 short sections of cable inside the machine?.

Pretty sure I do, and I cant imagine what it could hurt even if its not needed. I figure they must have something to do with the DC side of the machine, I have seen the inside of the AC only version of this welder and it does not have them. I only weld on DC, so I assume they must be part of the circuit I use.
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22 16 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



The wires I have highlighted in red are the three I am asking about to clear up any confusion.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22 16 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no need in changing the cables to the diodes because you cannot enlarge them that is all that is offered for the machine.
Just remember when pushing 1/8" 7018's 50' from the machine even with 2/0 cable you are working on those diodes so be mindful of that. Wink
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22 16 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So your saying the diode will overheat before those 3 short sections of cable do no matter what size cable I upgrade them too? Forgive my ignorance, I came up welding in the Navy, never had to service the machines myself so I'm pretty dumb when it comes to diodes and where they fit in the welding circuit
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22 16 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JLCBBQ wrote:
So your saying the diode will overheat before those 3 short sections of cable do no matter what size cable I upgrade them too? Forgive my ignorance, I came up welding in the Navy, never had to service the machines myself so I'm pretty dumb when it comes to diodes and where they fit in the welding circuit

Yes the diode will most likely burn in two before you hurt the #4 cables.
The three short cables. Do not mistake what I am saying about the 2/0 that is better than running #4 50' out.
But the machine is sized appropriate for what it is. The last final weak link is your diodes and you cannot increase them so the three cables inside are fine.
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22 16 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome. Saves me a little time and cash then. Thanks KAM
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22 16 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will never be doing heavy work with this machine extended out past 25' anyway. Just want the extension in case I need to make simple repairs/upgrades to stationary things out in the yard like the gate, log rack, my cooker, mail box etc...
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22 16 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will never be doing heavy work with this machine extended out past 25' anyway. Just want the extension in case I need to make simple repairs/upgrades to stationary things out in the yard like the gate, log rack, my cooker, mail box etc...
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28 16 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got all the parts in the mail and finished my lead extension project. Figured I'd post a picture of the final product in case anyone else is looking to do this in the future. No more fixed leads to deal with, and nothing had to be cut, machine can be put back to factory specs in 5 minutes if needed.


I have 25' #2awg leads on tweco mpc 1 connectors and have decided if I need to go much further than that, I will get a heavy 50 amp extension cord for the input. Used some #1 awg cable to go from the lugs to the new panel connectors inside the machine, probably overkill but had it laying around. If anyone has questions about this project or needs part numbers and sources, just let me know. Don't make fun of my fancy welder cart, that's my next project...
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30 16 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice work JLCBBQ. Very Happy You should be set up for just about any situation now. Very Happy
As for the low key welding cart I have been rolling mine around on a dolly for 9 years and one of these days I am gonna build that cart. Laughing
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19 16 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
Very nice work JLCBBQ. Very Happy You should be set up for just about any situation now. Very Happy
As for the low key welding cart I have been rolling mine around on a dolly for 9 years and one of these days I am gonna build that cart. Laughing


Finally built that cart a couple months ago, forgot to post.




Basically just modified an old hand truck. Works great for pulling it across the yard. Locking casters in the front make it easy to roll around the garage.
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