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I certainly refrain from buying any used chinese low end equipment, Central Forge anyone?, as my experience is that it has, if anything, a negative half-life.   High quality systems are different and as mentioned a lot of parts come from Asia for all big name makers these days.  Having worked for companies sourcing from China, I can say you can get good parts from them but stringent testing and monitoring of the parts is required. Very much Caveat Emptor.

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On 7/30/2020 at 10:34 PM, Frosty said:

I just have fond memories of an old Lincoln that looked like a torpedo sticking out of a red car grill.

The industrial surplus place has a few of these for sale right now. Time to do some research!

Update: looks like they only take 3 phase power, alas. Ah, well.

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2 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

 Having worked for companies sourcing from China, I can say you can get good parts from them but stringent testing and monitoring of the parts is required. Very much Caveat Emptor.

Exactly.  They have the ability to make remarkably good stuff but if you don't have someone over there constantly monitoring the supply chain for you, crap seems to slip through.  I've even seen things that were obviously broken/flawed tossed in a crate because they know the return process is onerous so most on this side of the Pacific just skip it and eat the loss or fix it here.

One other thing--no matter who you call, they will say "Yes, we make that".  There doesn't seem to be a distinction between actually manufacturing something and being willing to go find someone who can make it for you.  The consequence is you might think your source is knowledgeable about what you are needing and they may never have even seen one before.  Choose your wording carefully when seeking suppliers.

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8 hours ago, JHCC said:

The industrial surplus place has a few of these for sale right now. Time to do some research!

Update: looks like they only take 3 phase power, alas. Ah, well.

By Frosty's description those sound like Lincoln SA200's or 300's which were their flagship engine drive welders dating back as far as the 1940's!  The new engine drive welders (all makes) don't have the "torpedo" sticking out.  Many of those 1940's vintage welders (the 200's) are still in use today. 

I would venture that the industrial surplus place has engine drives for sale, as I have often seen on some ads and websites, but those are not wired, but have a engine drive generator for welding.  Wired welders (such as 3-phase) are not as common since they are not portable and lots of shops are not wired for 3-phase.  I recall a surplus site that had probably 20-30 large Miller engine drive welders for sale, for pennies on the dollar.  They had all been used on one construction project, low hours and were then considered surplus...man I wish I could have gotten in on that sale, but alas, not enough disposable cash. 

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arkie, they currently have five of this type for sale: four Lincwelder 250-MKs and one SAE 200-J, all of which have a three-phase AC motor running a DC generator. I'll send you a link to their website in a private message, so as not to violate forum rules about advertising.

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The ones I use as welders were in shops. Smoothest arc I've ever seen. The downside being safety, those old brutes WILL electrocute you if you make good contact yourself, say kneeling on wet steel.

I've used the motor drives, 300s I believe but as thaw rigs. In the early days your water line to the main would have a thaw wire wrapped around it. One end near the keybox (shut off valve at the main) and you grounded on a hose bib or the house supply where it entered the basement. I didn't do crawl spaces. Hook up, check continuity ad let it hum at about 250amps ac. AC worked much better thawing pipes, it didn't really melt the ice, it ate holes in it like worms. Once the water starts flowing it clear the pipes in seconds. 

Made good winter money, a little metal detector work, shovel, run the cables, test, turn it on and go sit in the truck till the water flows. About 20 minutes of light labor and 30-60 minutes of listening to the radio in warmness.

Frosty The Lucky.

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11 hours ago, JHCC said:

arkie, they currently have five of this type for sale: four Lincwelder 250-MKs and one SAE 200-J, all of which have a three-phase AC motor running a DC generator. I'll send you a link to their website in a private message, so as not to violate forum rules about advertising.

John, I got your PM.  I see they have all types, including some of the large factory types that do indeed probably have to use 3-phase.  Lots of 220 types and the SAE200-J with a motor running the generator rather than an engine.  Probably because an engine would not be advisable in a factory setting, thereby using an electric motor...would certainly be much quieter!  Those upright torpedo-shaped welders must be dinosaurs, rare to run across those.  I imagine the welder Frosty was referring to was a model of the Lincoln SA200 series..similar torpedo coming out of a grill such as this SA200 (picture below, but the grills are in the rear).  Those engine drive welders purr like a kitten when running and weld like a dream.  The old transformer welders weld like that also.  Two sounds I love to hear are an old SA200 and a Harley Davidson bike running, LOL!

 

SA200.JPG

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I have a Lincoln Electric Power arc 4000 engine driven welder/generator. It is a great 70-125 amp A/C portable welder and 4000 watt generator with an 8hp Briggs & Stratton engine. I don't use it very often, but when I need something welded that can't be brought to the shop to use the other welders or in case of power outage, it's worth it's weight in gold. I put a set of wheels and handles on it for ease of movement.

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I looked up the info on that Lincoln welder/generator.  That looks like a pretty cool combination.  Does probably 90% of what one needs to use it for.  Much easier to use than a larger welder, such as a Bobcat and others in that size range.  I noticed on the manual it was dated 2003.  I wonder when they quit making them?  I have seen another similar Lincoln welder called a "Weldandpower" or something similarly named.

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Arkie: That's very similar to the ones we used on the thaw trucks but they had a max output of 300 amps. I don't recall clearly but the bullet welder I recall looking like a torpedo exiting a car grill was in a welding shop and it was older them me.  My recollection is probably wrong but that was the impression I had and I wasn't the only one. Heck, that's how it was described when I was told which welder to use when I first started working there.

They're as good a welder as I've ever used.

I have a Lincoln, Ranger 9 gas portable welder generator now, I bought it in 97/98 to build the house ad later be the shop welder. It's a full multi process welder: 175 amps AC, I don't recall the DC max, it'll run constant current or voltage, either can be controlled remotely. Gas valves were an option I didn't buy but they're bolt on and the controls run in the whip. It's powered by an 18hp Onan. 

Unfortunately the Onan has about hit it's life, if I don't use it a couple times a week I have to haul it to the engine shop for a tune up. It's not as smooth as an SA 200 but it's a sweet welder and 9k, 120v or 240v AC. generator if needed. One of these days I think I'll just replace the Onan or the engine's wiring, whichever is the problem. I just can't trouble shoot the thing since the accident. I'm seriously thinking I should sell it and buy an ac/dc tombstone once I get the shop wired.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty, those Lincoln Rangers are nice welders.  A friend of mine has one (I don't recall the exact model) and loves it.  It sounds like you don't have very many hours on the girl.  I think it would be worth the effort to have it checked out; might be something simple.  There might be a crusty old pipeline welder who could check it out for you; those guys usually have to repair their own machines.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I actually decided to buy an inverter stick welder back in August. It is the Amico 160A model. So far I am very happy with it. A friend let me borrow a 115V flux core MIG welder for a little while before I got my welder, and it solidified my preference of stick welders.

Anyways, I've gone though about 12lbs of rods with it, and it has not died yet. I do have 20A 220v outlets, but I'm just using a 20A 115v outlet at this point (I can set the machine to about 110A before tripping the breaker). After the warranty for the welder runs out I may replace the 50A 220v plug on the cord with a 20A one so I can use 220v (If that is safe to do). 

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I just have to say, explaining the reason why something is unsafe is a lot more constructive than just saying "it'll burn your house down" with no useful context or reasoning to be seen. 

All I was trying to accomplish in my post was to say I was happy with the welder thus far to potentially help anyone else in the same situation as I was in. I have not yet done any research on the safety of changing the plugs, hence why I left the hedge that I would only make the modification if I found it to be safe. Frankly I would rather ask an actual electrician. ;)

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I got a old powcon 200sm with a powcon wire feeder. picked up both for 70 bucks at a estate auction. its one of the first inverter welders and it puts some of the newer fancier ones to shame. real easy to use you can put up to 20 lb spools of wire on it. You can weld all day. doesn't get hot.  its also a great stick welder downside is its only DC. most of the stuff in my shop I picked up used on offer up and Facebook marketplace. l dread the day it breaks cause parts are impossible to find. There's deals out there just gotta keep looking. oh yeah I run it off a 30 amp 230 circuit it humms right slong

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On 11/1/2020 at 10:33 AM, Chelonian said:

 After the warranty for the welder runs out I may replace the 50A 220v plug on the cord with a 20A one so I can use 220v (If that is safe to do). 

I will tell you what isnt safe.  You say you're not capable of running a 50amp 230 volt line yourself, but you do think you know enough to over ride the manufacturer and redesign the plug it came with?   I am a licensed Electrician and I am running away from that twisted logic   If you wont hire someone to do it for you, then keep using the unit as you are and forget making changes

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I don't think we're quite talking about the same thing, but I'm all done discussing it here. No offence intended to you, but I think that internet forums serve as a rather poor format for discussing things like this. I promise to you that I will either do nothing, or consult an electrician.

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I don't know what you expected? You're proposing to operate a 50a appliance on a 20a outlet by modifying the appliance. What is there to discuss? Would you prefer we tell you bluntly what we think? I think we've been about as nice about it as possible seeing as you're not a 14 yro.  <SHEESH!>

Well, okay none of us wanted to be gigged by admin for name calling so it isn't entirely out of concern for your feelings. Our desire not to read your family or your obit IS sincere.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Great, now as I said, I won't be doing it.

However, purely because I still don't understand exactly where the safety issue is, I will below state my train of thought that originally lead me to consider asking an electrician about it. (Just to be abundantly clear, I'm NOT modifying it. But if you want to help me understand what I'm missing here, that would be great)

The welder's main plug is a 220v 50A type. It also comes with an adaptor that converts the 50A 220v plug to a standard 110v plug, which is what I've been using to run the machine on a 20A 110v outlet. If I set the welder above about 110A the breaker trips as it should, so I keep the setting below that. This is all fine, correct?

Now here's what I'm not getting: If it's fine to run the machine on 20A 110v, what makes it unsafe to run it on 20A 220v? The machine is rated to run on either voltage.

Thanks

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the problem is anyone that thinks they cant add a receptacle but decides they can change a welders power cord, when they are basically the same thing.

Its the admitted lack of knowledge that scares me about a person saying they are changing out the cord on a welder.

Its your life,  live it as you choose

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