My 170 horsepower heater….or…My 5 liter heater.
The weather lately, where I am, has been mostly rain, and I’ve been outside welding in it. Welding in the rain is miserable for a few reasons, but take my word, you don’t want to weld with wet gloves. Every time you touch the electrode, whether by accident or to change it, you get a little zap.
So how does one keep their gloves dry while welding in the rain? Basically, unless you build a shelter to work in, you don’t.
What I’ve been doing is keeping several pairs of gloves in rotation. I wear one pair while the others are drying out on the dashboard of my idling truck; the 170 horsepower heater. This is a common practice but it’s a horribly expensive way to dry gloves so I’ll probably make something that’s a little cheaper to run.
I’m speaking generally, but let’s say that half of the engine’s rejected heat goes out the exhaust, and the other half is radiated by the engine itself or carried away by the cooling system; I see no reason not to put these two waste heat sources to work.
The welder I’m using is powered by an air cooled engine that has a cooling fan on the crankshaft and a shroud to direct air over the engine. The end result is a beautiful warm breeze blowing off the outlet end of the shroud. When the welder is under cover, or the rain is light, I sometimes hang wet gloves or clothes in front of the outlet.
I started with ambitious plans to install a fancy enclosure with drying racks and maybe a little spot to keep my coffee warm but there are so many other things I’d rather do that it’s probably going to end up being a wire rack with a little tin roof that I can hang on the side of the welder.
Another thought was to build a metal box around part of my welder’s exhaust to scavenge a little heat. I think an adequate electrode holding oven could be made this way….or at least a little rack to hold that coffee of mine.