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Montgomery Ward 230 amp welder

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Last weekend I bought this welder- the price was so low, it was too good to pass up! I don't know much about it except that the guy I bought it from bought it new in the early '80s from MW. It seems to be in good condition except for a few minor things. I peeked through the vents and it's really dusty and cobwebby inside- is there anything I should know before I take off the cover and blow out the dirt? The plug also needs to get changed; the previous owner removed the original plug and replaced it with a 125v plug, twisted one of the prongs, and plugged the machine into his (presumably) 220v a/c outlet .:o  I'm not sure if the cord is original or not. All the switches, etc seem to work fine. It seems it has two places to plug in the electrode holder, a "low" and a "high" (for 6013, it says). Can someone please explain the purpose of the special "high" outlet? I know I've read about machines with this feature before, but I can't really remember why they were made that way. 




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Those old buzz boxes can last forever.  They don't have some of the fancy gadgets and settings of a better welder but can produce a perfectly good repair-grade weld.

High and low taps are usually just 2 transformer taps so that the adjuster can better meet the amperage range involved. In this case it might be that the high tap has a large diode to give you DC output (that's the way my old Cannox works and the red-colored socket implies this.) Sometimes those diodes fry and they are not cheap to replace--although they can show up on the surplus market for a song and a dance.

Instead of a true duty cycle, it seems to just say "welding time up to 100%".  That means it aint 100% anywhere except so low in amps that you can't actually weld anything.  That means you are likely around 10% at the top of the range:  One minute welding, 10 minutes off to cool down.  Don't push it as this is not an industrial welder and the insulation in the transformer might start breaking down with heat.  Check the backplate or the internet (that's gunna be a tough search!) to seek word on actual duty cycle numbers.

In terms of failure, the sockets for the welding leads often degrade over time--the plastic starts getting brittle and they break, often with spectacularly bad results.  Replace if they show any signs of degradation.

Some of these smaller units have a fan and some don't:  Obviously fans can crap out.  Replacement fans are not that expensive if you can adapt what you find rather than trying to match the old one perfectly.

Other than that, there is little which can go wrong.  Just keep the insides clean and go for it.  Because they don't have all the bells and whistles, it's a good idea to do quite a bit of practicing to dial in the amperage and habits which work well for the sticks you are using.

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4 hours ago, Steve Sells said:

odd, I see he posted this thread the first and I notice he has not returned since June 2 to see any replys :(

Sorry, I've been  really busy this week. I still try to check IFI every other day, but usually I don't bother logging in, especially if I'm using a computer at work on break.


On 6/8/2017 at 10:03 AM, Steve Sells said:

I see 15 amp wire that needs replaced when you re plug it also, cant say what  because you didnt show the face plate with that information

Ah yes, I noticed the wire too a couple days after posting this. I have since replaced both the cord and the plug. I don't know what the previous owner was thinking! The welder works great now, just needed a little tlc.

23 hours ago, Kozzy said:

Instead of a true duty cycle, it seems to just say "welding time up to 100%".  That means it aint 100% anywhere except so low in amps that you can't actually weld anything.

It seems it's only 100% duty cycle below 80 amps on the low setting and 120 on the high amp setting. Everything above that supposedly is 20% duty cycle, though I wonder how duty cycle jumps from 20% to 100% like that?

The only issued I've had so far with the welder is the amp adjustment keeps slipping down to 70 amps when I strike an arc... the handles doesn't move ordinarily unless you squeeze them together, and I couldn't really find anything to tighten when I took the cover off, so I don't know what's up with that.

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Welcome aboard. I always recommend reading this to get the best out of the forum.  READ THIS FIRST

I think Century (bought out by) Lincoln made the Power Kraft welders for Montgomery Ward. Check with a Lincoln dealer if you have one near you, where ever that might be. If you look inside the name plate should give the maker, Montgomery Ward did not make anything themselves.

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Well I'd go about 6 blocks east and 10 blocks south of where I am at to the welding supply store and ask them. 

Without a starting point; "where" questions are not very useful are they?  Your answer may change a LOT depending on what country you are in.  Folks from over 100 countries participate in these forums on the World Wide Web! (Note: we recent had a midwestern USA smith ask questions about an East German powerhammer he bought, so manufacturer doesn't necessarily nail down location.)

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Another way to get a switch for your welder, would be to take the old one out, take it to an electrical supply store (not a big box store) and match it up with a counter persons help.

As an after thought, my old Lincoln Tombstone welder's switch was sticking (sometimes in the on or off position) I sprayed WD-40 in it and it has been working fine since then about ten years now.

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