Hey, I just wanted to double check here. I was planning on asking a welder to do most of the building. Since I have the specs already. Besides the blades; I’m still looking for a good place to get those made in the USA (shout out if know of one). But it seems like the frame and everything else is pretty straightforward. I’m starting with the shredder and plan on doing most of the wiring myself. I’m not, a good welder. I don’t have the tools. Has anyone else hired a welder to make the frame and assemble the shredding box?
Where are you located in the US? I’m going to try and get a few machines going in January. I’m in North Texas
In australia we have Mens sheds for retired guys to hang out, you may find a helpful welder if you have one of those in your community.
Thanks @andyn and @lwfbiochar, that is super helpful! That article is great, and thanks for letting me know what would work for the shredder. I’m eyeing taking a local welding class but they are a little full in craft happy Oregon so it’ll probably take me a bit to get into one. Cheers
MIG or flux core welding (wire welding) is definitely good enough for shredder. And by far the easiest to learn on. Sure, you can get a low cost stick welder that will do almost anything, but most people find this a little frustrating to learn on. The old timers think everyone should learn on stick first – I guess they have their reasons…. I started with a very low cost 120v flux core welder (works almost the same as MIG) and had to upgrade fairly quick… but I was still able to do a lot of art projects with that little thing. Both mig and flux core welding are referred to as ‘Wire Welding’. Pay close attention to preparing the the steel and any one of these processes will do. When getting started, lots of people around here will take an evening course at a community college and gain access to welding equipment for the duration of the class. I think it’s a popular mechanics book that I read early on… but there’s a good manual for getting started that you can buy at an auto parts store.
A friend of mine that does the fabrication for New England Biochar (cape cod, ma) cut the blades for me. They’re the standard size as in the files, but modified to 1″ square holes. If you’re interested I can reach out to him.
Yes my shredder is working… admittedly not as well as I expected. I made a few mistakes I would change next time, but having the blades plasma cut for $100 is not one of them. We collect used milk jugs from a local dairy that has delivery and return service. They’re not big enough to afford the glass washing equipment, so they’re stuck using HDPE jugs. So, for now, we get free plastic and they get to look good b/c the plastic stays local.
Stick welding is actually better for ‘sturdy’ welds and certainly good enough for the shredder. Stick welding is not so good for fine work or thin material, for that MIG or TIG are better.
There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube, eg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvvzjbibNsE
@lwfbiochar Did you get your blades made in imperial or metric units? Who made them? Have you built a working shredder, and could you post some info about it?
Also, could someone post some information about the welding process. I’ve read that stick welders are the cheapest and easiest to use, but is that kind of welding good enough for building something that needs to be as sturdy as the shredder? Could someone point to some good resources and examples of them welding with a stick welder?
2nd hand stick welders are really cheap and come up on ebay all the time. And welding is fun! Just read up on safety and practice practice!
Hire the machine and watch YouTube tutorials!!
If you’re near Western North Carolina, we’re happy to help.
We had mild steel blades CNC plasma cut by a shop in MA for $100.
For what it’s worth: As long as you’re not welding gas lines, structural, or pressure vessels, etc., I think welding is one those things where you can learn 20% of it and do 80% of the things you need to do.
you should be able to ask a fabricator to make the parts and assembling, i would just ask around. we paid around 400 usd for the parts, and i have the skills to assemble the finished machine, but beware, professional welders aren’t cheap. if at all possible i would try to find a local makerspace, where they probably have a welder as well as someone who knows how to use it