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Rusty old sheet metal (rust acts as electrical insulation and prevents short-circuits between the layers) held together with string to make the laminated iron core. Coil windings from whatever electrical cable they could scrounge. A crude, yet effective, high current step-down transformer made from whatever was available.http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/9u203/how_we_get_things_done_in_africa_pic/jlbraun
Minor quibble, IAAEE.
The secondary is at a LOWER voltage than the primary in AC welding. Usually about 10-12 volts and 80-200 amps. Current welds, not voltage.
This transformer also probably has no soft start or variable power, either. :) Paradoxically, you could probably teach him to be a really good welder because of this, as he's got to have awesome melt pool and arc length control to use that setup at all. Another interesting thing is that his transformer has automatic thermal cutoffs - if the core gets too hot, the strings holding it together burn and it comes apart. :)
Here's a good reference for making a PWM soft starting stick arc welder from scratch:
I may actually go propose that we do something like this at my next Engineers Without Borders meeting.
And Lincoln Electric should find this guy and give him a free welder. :)
Reminds me of that kid in Utah who scrounged up old microwave oven transformers and built himself a welder
out of them, so he could build a replica of the Ariel Atom.