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Need Advice: $40 for an Old Time Centry Welder

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First off, is it AC only? Or is it AC/DC+/DC-?? Ask if he will let you weld something with it first. You should prefer the AC/DC+/DC- but, depending on what rods you use, you may not care. Personally, after I tried it out, I'd buy it either way. But that's just me.

Just check these forums out and make your choice Wisely my friend.
Are Century Welders OK? - Weld Talk Message Boards
Century Welder Parts? - THE H.A.M.B.

$40 is $40. But for a 200 stick machine........... It peaked my interest. :)

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Hey, this should be in the welding section :) Just kidding.

I just bought a cheap used Century stick welder. The construction is more flimsy than the big names, but it works just fine. The cord had the old fashioned "dryer" plug on it, so I needed to make an adapter. This will cost you $20, adding substantially to the price of the welder.

From looking around the Internet, there seems to only be one common problem with this welder, besides general cheapness. The magnetic shunt used to limit current does not have a screw in mechanism like on the Miller Thunderbolt. This really feels cheesy, and it jams easily. It really smacks of backyard engineering. Eventually, the magnetic force of the circuit will suck the shunt to the lowest current setting so you will only get a second or so of high current welding out of the thing :( It's OK if all you do is low amps ;). Mine is almost there. The fix is to either rebuild the mechanism, drill holes so you can anchor the lever with a pin (then you are stuck with fixed settings wherever you have drilled holes) or cobble up a bracket that you can hold with a vice grip or C-clamp.

You may think that paying double for a used Thunderbolt is excessive, but when you snag your apron on that stupid C-clamp, you will think twice. Or, maybe, you will smile knowingly and pat your pocketbook.

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