How to Weld Metal Without a Welder

by Emrah Oruc

Arc welding is the process of joining two pieces of metal together under intense heat. An electric arc strikes the joint between the two pieces, creating a pocket of molten metal. A separate piece of metal, called a welding rod or filler rod, is melted into the joint, fusing the two pieces together. In emergency situations, when off-road and miles from help, use filler rod and automotive batteries to weld a broken suspension, frame or even a drive shaft.

Secure the vehicle to keep it from rolling or falling on you while you work.

Use the file to smooth jagged edges and burrs near the spot to be welded. Use the emery cloth to remove paint, rust and grease from the surrounding area near the joint.

Place three batteries next to each other. Attach on long jumper wire to the positive terminal of Battery 1 and attach the other end to a solid metal contact point on the vehicle. This connection is the ground.

Attach a short jumper wire from the negative terminal of Battery 1 to the positive terminal of Battery 2. Attach the other short jumper wire from the negative terminal of Battery 2 to the positive terminal of Battery 3.

Attach one end of the second long jumper wire to the negative terminal of Battery 3. Clip a 1/8-inch welding rod to the other end of the long jumper wire.

Put on the welding gloves and welding mask. Place the two broken pieces to be welded approximately 1/16-inch apart. Touch the tip of the welding rod to the joint to initiate the arc. Weld the joint by moving the welding rod along the joint.


  • Field repairs with batteries are for emergency purposes only. Replace the part as soon as you can.

Items you will need

About the Author

Emrah Oruc is a general contractor, freelance writer and former race-car mechanic who has written professionally since 2000. He has been published in "The Family Handyman" magazine and has experience as a consultant developing and delivering end-user training. Oruc holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a minor in economics from the University of Delaware.

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