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Old 05-14-2020, 10:15 PM
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Default Welding cable reels

Why are welding cable reels so dang expensive?

Any ideas for cheap but workable alternatives? Friend is setting up a mobile welding service.
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2020, 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by OldRedFord View Post
Why are welding cable reels so dang expensive?

Any ideas for cheap but workable alternatives? Friend is setting up a mobile welding service.
When people think you are going to make money off their items the price goes up.

I think we had a member that had the reels slide out of a cabinet, basically if someone can see the cables they will steal them or cut them up/off for the copper.
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Old 05-15-2020, 05:46 AM
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I made a set of reels at old job for welder platform that we would set in the truck as needed. Used 1-1/4” pipe for the center piece, and a piece of 6” pipe for the reel. Welded in 1/4” round pieces to bridge the gap and extend out to about 20” diameter and rolled a ring from the 1/4” round for outer side rings. The 1-1/4” pipe slides and rotates on 1” pipe that is attached to the platform.

We made up a short cable with a quick connect end that went to the welder, would pull the welding cable out as needed, and then hooked up the short cable to the end in the reel. When done, unhook, and roll up the reel. A lot quicker than trying to hand roll and carry the cables.

I will try to find some pictures tonight.

I also made up steel reels for the electric extension cords. They took a lot of abuse, and saved a lot of time unrolling and rolling back up, with no knots. I always wanted to redo them out of aluminum to make them lighter, but never had / made time for that.


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Old 05-15-2020, 08:19 AM
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Most of the better (read: more expensive) reels have slip-rings or other methods of passing current through the reel so the cables don't need to be disconnected before reeling in. These rings need to be pretty robust and properly insulated which adds to the cost. Some even have power rewind mechanisms. A simple manual reel that just stores a rolled up cable shouldn't be that hard to build...
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Old 05-15-2020, 12:01 PM
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Also depends what/where you’re working. Lots of portable welders here in Alberta, between working in remote areas and oil/gas environments, the liability insurance is very high. Having an arc/spark from a cheap reel that starts a fire or burns up a truck is not going to go over very well.


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Old 05-15-2020, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldRedFord View Post
Why are welding cable reels so dang expensive?

Any ideas for cheap but workable alternatives? Friend is setting up a mobile welding service.
I never saw much use in them. For safety purposes you need to unwind all the
cable before welding. If you leave cable on the drum you are setting up a giant
inductor. Not a good thing for your equipment, arc or fire safety.
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shade Tree Welder View Post
I never saw much use in them. For safety purposes you need to unwind all the

cable before welding. If you leave cable on the drum you are setting up a giant

inductor. Not a good thing for your equipment, arc or fire safety.


Hmmm, why do you always have to rain on my parade? Been using cables only unrolled enough to reach the job for 30 years now. Never had a problem that I knew about.


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Old 05-15-2020, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toprecycler View Post
Hmmm, why do you always have to rain on my parade? Been using cables only unrolled enough to reach the job for 30 years now. Never had a problem that I knew about.


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  #9  
Old 05-15-2020, 10:38 PM
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He's not wrong - it's hell on the welders.

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Guess I got good welders.


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Old 05-16-2020, 10:57 AM
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Here's a simple homemade reel setup - post #5:

https://forum.millerwelds.com/forum/...ding-lead-reel
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Name:	leadreel1.jpg
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ID:	156139  
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