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Spot welder advice?

So I’ve been getting more and and more people (locally) asking me to build them a board. I’ve made one (and it’s just sort of “meh” to be honest… looking to dramatically improve)

With that, I really want to start consistently using 18650 cells! I recently made a 6s4p pack with soldering, but I don’t want to go through that with every board I make… it was a pain, and I’m not super confident in my joints lasting 100’s of miles of abuse. It’s not something I’d sell for sure.

Now, I just bought an Xcarve (so freakin stoked, 4 weeks can’t get here fast enough!!!) so I really don’t want to drop a ton on a spot welder… but all of this helps to build professional looking boards, so in the end the quality is priority.

what are the current reliable options that don’t totally break the bank? I know of JP’s, but it is out of stock and I don’t know how long the order wait is. I also am not a fan of making one from a microwave… there are some things I’m o.k. with trying, but that isn’t one of them :wink:

haha if I didn’t kill myself first, my parents would absolutely drill into me for messing with a microwave…

I want to get the JP Spot welder as well. Sunkko spot welders are apparently pretty good. The specs say they can only go to 0.15mm nickel though. You could use 0.15mm nickel and use copper braiding like @whitepony did on his 10s4p build. I think the Sunkkos are around $100USD maybe a bit more. Ebay has them.

Good question @cmatson, I’ve been considering the same! So far this model is the one that I find on ebay that is around $150 that I keep considering. It’s by Sunkko. Overall reviews are good, but not great. It probably isn’t up to professional shop standards, but realistically I don’t think I’ll use it enough to worry about durability… I think in the next few years I’d probably only make 4-5 batteries.

Here is where I will again advocate endless…there is a whole thread written by Nobuo who builds packs in Madrid- his Instagram evmadrid shows his work…tis beautiful. Plenty of info with this and Whitepony’s latest build shows some sexy detail of his latest power packs.

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yep, I’ve been following him for a while now!

I’ll go check out his thread.

i got htis one from ebay and so far it works flawlessly.

this model it’s the new version of the one posted above (788 model)
i like the fact that the setting for the pulses have preset buttons and there’s no need to guess the current here, just choose the duration of the pulses and press the button. that simple

the listing below have some guide lines for choosing the settings base on the thickness of the nickle strip,searchweb201602_2_10036_10035_10034_507_10020_10001_10002_10017_10010_10005_10011_10006_10003_10021_10004_10022_10009_10008_10018_10019,searchweb201603_6&btsid=adb9fd35-1567-449a-a3b4-0569e4dc380d

good luck with your project

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Glad you picked up an x-carve. I know you won’t regret it. They are great machines. Check out my latest build from the x-carve. Be ready to spend way to much time building it (but its really fun to build). You also have to spend some time messing with it to get it cutting right, and come up with a check list you go over every time before you use it (like check belt tension, check v-lock wheels, make sure your bit is really tightly in, and check wires to make sure none have fallen out).

The issues I have had with the x carve are v-wheels falling off while cutting because I didn’t check. belts slipping, thus causing it to turn before it should because I didn’t check belt tension, bits falling out from not having it locked in tight enough (that one almost started a fire, because it was cutting through 2 cms of wood instead of .1 mm of wood. When I stopped it, it was smoking and red ambers where burning). I have an issue right now with the whole spindle moving too much, but I believe this is a belt tension problem. I also had issues with the v-lock wheels being too tight, and the pot dimmers for how much power goes to each motor being too weak and then too strong, before I found the sweat spot. I also have had the solder less connectors unscrew due to vibrations, and wires fall out. So check those at least once a month by tightening those screws.

As you can tell, lots of things can go wrong (and it will, and you’ll waste wood), but when it works, its like magic to watch, and can give excellent results. It’s like any new tool, there’s calibration and a learning curve in learning the machine.

Now, I need to learn to make my own batteries. But that is for another time. Right now, I’m enjoying my new ride :slight_smile:

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Nobuo’s 18650 weld thread is a great resource. Ironically it motivated me to NOT spot weld and instead do a compression pack. The resistance of nickel tabs is 4x copper and spot welding copper, because it’s so conductive, is often too hard.

I’ve seen a couple people recently just put cells in standard compression sleds and be done with it. They likely have better less resistant connections and if something goes bad with a cell it’s easy to take it out. Especially if you’re doing paralleled cells you can’t tell which cell is a problem unless you remove it from the circuit.
Spot welding and making one from a microwave does sound fun though. Think I’ll make a microwave gun instead.

@lox897 @treenutter Get a 220v model if you have a 220 outlet. Do your research and switch out the plug to match your outlet. The machine will draw much lower amperage and last longer. Most if not all the failures on those units are on the 110v models.

Be safe with that 220v, it can knock you cold. :dizzy_face:

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Yea man. I’m gonna do the 220 - and in Europe that’s just any wall plug !!! It will be a beautiful addition to the hobby room.

Probably the best source of info.

yep, I was scrolling through that thread for a while yesterday.

It seems that I may just stick to soldering cells for now, and wait to see if either JP starts selling them again, or I figure out the cost of installing a 220v outlet in my garage (probably way to freakin much is the answer…)

thanks all for the help

You can use a step up converter, I used the one on the link with the 220v unit I have.

No need too install a 220v line.

true, but it’s also an extra $109 on top of the already expensive spot welder-

I may do this in say, 4-6 months, but for now, the soldering iron is my best friend.

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