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Old 03-19-16, 10:03 PM   #44
jeff5may
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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I have done that before, and found it was easier to wind the secondary with 8 or 10 AWG solid wire. The welding cables have thick insulation on them, which makes it hard to get enough actual copper in the core.

Another good source for transformers is battery boosters. My favorite model is the Schumacher box about the size of a small microwave. The selector knobs break pretty easily compared to the rest of the unit. If you know any commercial farmers or ranchers, chances are high that they have a pile of these things somewhere, all with broken knobs. I have turned a couple of those into mini AC stick welders by removing the rectifier, attaching the jumper cable straight to the transformer output inside the unit. Put a stinger on the other end, and voila! Works with the little bitty sticks from tractor supply. Two wired in series will work with 1/8" sticks.

The older ones are black and blue and higher capacity, the newer ones all have wheels.
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