Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Stud Welder

In order to mount the solar panels, we decided to rent a CD (Capacitive Discharge) stud welder to create the attachment points for the solar panel brackets on the wheelhouse roof. It consists of a welding unit and a gun that holds the threaded studs and is spring loaded to "fire" the studs into the molten metal that is formed when an arc is created by the machine in the base metal. It all happens in a few milliseconds, and creates a very strong threaded attachment point on the steel deck plate. The beauty of this machine is that it welds so quickly that there is little to no heat transfer to the back of the plate that you are welding to. This means no paint burn, and no need to remove the interior panelling and insulation on the backside of the weld (we tested this first just to make sure). This saved us at least a days worth of labor removing and re-installing the interior overheads and painting the burn through, which would be required with conventional welding. The whole job (including some extra studs on the foredeck for the kayak cradle brackets) took just a few hours. We used 316 stainless and painted the weld area well with epoxy primer and top coat.

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