Need help developing ideas to improve welding mechanics


I am a trained welder and I am looking to help provide information (and help develop if I can) improvements to the welding mechanics in CDDA. I only know some basic programming and do not understand the complexities of Cataclysm. Which is why…

I need help understanding what is realistic to implement and how I can better shape welding to be included in the game.

Here is a google doc I wiped up with another welder. I tried to explain welding in short and thoroughly. And then we provided some suggestions at the bottom.

Please, tell me what makes sense, what doesn’t, what could be added, what can’t be done, what your ideas are, how mine are bad, all of it.


I’m pretty busy lately, so I will work on this when I can, but it may not be until the summer.
Please, continue comment on this or the doc, with your ideas. Thanks!


Thank you so much!

CDDA electrical systems ignore the minor concerns of voltage and amperage (at least for now) and focus on power. It’s unrealistic, but the devs are slowly improving it.

It looks like the game is implementing oxyacetylene welders and stick welders, but is missing some components: flux, clamps, wire holders, and metal rods.

The next set of questions:

  1. In the description of TIG welding, you reference “gas” welding. Is “gas” welding the same as “wire” / “MIG” / “GMAW” welding?
  2. How big are the metal rods used to provide filler?
  3. How much to they weigh, how much volume do they take up?
  4. If you make homemade coated steel rods for wire welding, how much paper and glue does it take to make a rod?
  5. What metal source do you use for the rod
  6. How long does it take to make a homemade coated steel rod?
  7. Does wire welding and TIG welding require different metal rods?
  8. If so, how are they different?
  9. Does oxy-acetelyne welding require metal rods or flux? Your flowchart implies it doesn’t.
  10. What is the solid flux used in stick welding? I know rutile is basically TiO2, but is it a powder or a block of the stuff? Is blended with pulp? Can you make solid flux at home, and if so , how?
  11. How much time, power, flux, and filler material are used for typical jobs? And for typical jobs, I mean:
  • build a 6’ tall, 3’ wide set of cage bars between two sheets of sheet metal (“Build Metal Bars” construction task)
  • build a 3’ tall, 3’ wide, 0.5" thick metal wall (“Build Metal Wall” construction task)
  • weld together a bicycle (“folding bicycle” crafting recipe)
  • weld together a small bicycle basket or a shopping cart basket (“bike_basket” and “basket” recipes)
  • weld some sheets of sheet metal together into a 2L, 10L, 20L, or 60L tank (“metal_tank” and its variants crafting recipes)

Thanks again for any more detail you can provide on this topic.

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Standard batteries (as opposed to car batteries) are currently something of a legacy feature. As far as I know they’re supposed to be a VERY rough approximation of normal batteries like you’d put in a flashlight. Very, very rough approximation. Even vehicle batteries are somewhat incomplete. I believe they still weigh several times more when they’re charged then when they’re “empty”.

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A storage battery weighs 150,000 grams empty and can’t weigh more than 190,000 grams full. Now, I admit it is weird and wrong for electric charges to increase the weight of a storage battery, but it’s a roughly 25% increase, not several times.

In cataclysm I guess it’s not e=mc², it’s more like just e=m.

Gas as in Oxy/acetylene, they both use 3’1(m) long stiff 1/16"(1.6mm) in diameter ferrous rods.

Each rod is ~32g, and take up ~5ml each, but come in tubes (holding ~16 rods) taking up ~500ml and weighing ~500g when full. They can full exist outside of tubes or boxes. The tubes and boxes come in different weights, 1, 3, 5, and 10lbs. The former described tube was 1lb.

Good question, I would guess it would take about 16 sheets of book paper or a 3 sheets of newspaper, as for glue I would mix it with water about (25ml each), I did this once a long time ago. I have found better recipes online and will see about adapting them to the game, if that works.
Also, coated steel rods (or shielded metal rods) are for “stick” welding, not “wire” welding.

Anything ferrous (iron based) really. Coat hangers are something I have seen used.

Not long, with materials ready (glue, water, rod [coat hanger], and paper), it should only take 5 to 10 minutes. After that, however it should be dried, either in an oven, in the sun, or over night. if the coating is wet, it will cut rather than weld.

Wire welding uses a spool of very thin wire (~0.8mm/0.035"). TIG uses metal rods, Stick uses coated metal rods (same rods, but coated and half the length). You can strip the coating off of Stick welding rods to use as half sized TIG welding rods.

You are correct, it doesn’t. The heat from the torch is enough to remove minor impurities.

Think of it as a clay coating, about 1/16" thick around the rod. Image for reference (Typically they are grey or brown). I bet you could make it at home, but I have no idea how, and haven’t found any resources on the web.

I went through the recipes and descriptions in game to help with my evaluations following.

Given the resources, the time of 1 hour seems accurate.
Though, I am having trouble imagining this. Do you know what the metal sheeting is for though? “Metal bars” to me says it should just be out of pipe. Is this a wall of sheet metal with a metal pipe skeleton inside? is it a wall or a box?

I am having trouble understanding what this looks like, also. Is it literally a 3’x3’ sheet of metal, does it have supports, or is it a box?
3 hours seems excessive for putting 4 1/2" metal plates together. I would bring it down to 1h30m total.

If I am picturing this right, using 2 steel frames, already made, this shouldn’t take long at all, add in a requirement for metal cutting, and keep it at 2 hours.

30 minutes for bike basket sounds right, and 50 minutes seems quick, but I’d keep them where they are.

Getting tanks air tight isn’t easy in sheet metal, because of this you have to go slower with less power.

  • 2L 30 seconds to 10 minutes
  • 10L to 30 minutes
  • 20L to 45 minutes
  • 60L from 2 minutes to 1 hour

These have been a lot of great questions, and very enlightening. I see I have a lot of confusing writing in my document, I will be sure to make sure things are more consistent and straight forward. I am also going to include more diagrams and images I find to give a better idea than my descriptions.

All measurements and quantities are generalizations or approximations to fit better with the units used in game. (ex. 456ml -> 500ml)

Thanks for the answers! I’m really interested in the energy, flux, and metal filler requirements for those tasks. I’d prefer energy requirements in MJ (or equivalent energy units if you have it in BTUs or kW-hrs or whatever) but if the answer is “it takes a motor welding cart running for 50 minutes, I don’t know much petrol that is” I can work with that.

As far as the weirdly described tasks go, I think the “build metal bars” task puts the pipes vertically and parallel to each other, and then welds the sheet metal as cross plates. Something like this:

||  ||  ||  ||
||  ||  ||  ||
||  ||  ||  ||
||  ||  ||  ||

but that’s a rough guess.

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So, working away from them is a good thing to do. Good to know, thank you!

Yeah the basic battery concept in CDDA is very old and weird, as they are basically floating blobs of consumable energy with volume and mass that don’t equate to much of anything.

Few things are as satisfying as that point in the game when I can upgrade all of my tools with UPS packs and stop messing around with ‘batteries’, such as they are.

Though I will admit that the idea of running an arc welder off of dozens of AA batteries wired in series is kind of hilarious. I can only imagine what kind of fire hazard that might represent in RL.

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Added an update, I will be indisposed until sometime in June (most likely).

Not to necro, but there’s now an issue that this relates to: