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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Black Forest, Colorado
    Posts
    27

    What are some good older machines?

    For those of us on a limited budget, what are some of the better old TIG machines we might keep a lookout for? What accessories should we look for with them? Putting together a shop on a limited budget, but still want to get some good equipment.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    S.E. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,080
    Are you aware that the further down the price tag & time-line you go
    the HEAVY'ER the machine is likely to be?

    ranging around what 350 400lbs. for a DialArc to 965lbs.
    for my good Ol' Linde UCC 305. Miller AP/B 330 around 700 lbs. (estimate).

    Even SyncroWaves I think go around 500lbs. for the 350.
    =======================
    Not trying to knock you off the sent, just pointing out the
    "Tonnage" you might need to handle...........

    There are advantages to old-tech.
    I have a Miller AP/B 330 from 1968 that still works 100%
    And a friend has an even older Miller AP/B 230 that still works.
    Both are even selenium rectified.

    Cheers
    vg
    ViceGrip

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    North West Ontario Canada
    Posts
    202
    Do you need an ac/dc tig welder with hf start (aluminum) or just a dc tig weelder (steel, stainless)?
    If you dont need to weld aluminum it opens up a much longer list of machines and costs much less.
    Lincoln Idealarc 250 stick/tig
    Erickson&Erickson 200 Amp DC arc welder
    Century 70Amp Mig
    Thermal Dynamics Cusmaster 52
    Torchmate CNC Table

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    5,652
    Though you didn't mention the size you might need, here are several to consider:

    DialArc HF
    Syncrowave 250
    Idealarc 250

    http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtal...inions-please&
    --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

    Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
    -------------------------
    DialArc 250 (1974), Idealarc 250 (1971), SyncroWave 250 w/Coolmate 3, SP-175+, TA 161STL,
    Lincwelder AC180C (circa 1952), Victor & Smith's O/A, Dayton (Miller) spot welder, 1200 sq.ft. of garage filled with crap and a kid that can actually run the stuff +++

  5. #5
    Roger Guest
    Often you will see higher or same amp welders with same features and condition priced lower than most other welders because they require 3 phase power not available in most small shops.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Elsewhere
    Posts
    352
    Are you aware that the further down the price tag & time-line you go
    the HEAVY'ER the machine is likely to be?

    ranging around what 350 400lbs. for a DialArc to 965lbs.
    for my good Ol' Linde UCC 305. Miller AP/B 330 around 700 lbs. (estimate).

    Even SyncroWaves I think go around 500lbs. for the 350.
    Anything too heavy to manually pick up...is a reason to weld up an angle iron dolly with casters....or bolt it together until you can weld it. Hunks of pipe make nice rollers if needed.

    They are tough and harder to steal, what's not to like?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    259
    Be sure to get the foot pedal or finger external control unit, because they are hard to find and the units don't work well without them.

    Linde Heliarc is another oldy but goody.

    Another bonus of the heavy old transformer units is your friends won't ask to borrow it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    5,652
    As mentioned, some of the older units require a foot pedal with a huge internal resistor and these are hard to come by (Dialarc hf, for example). A Syncrowave takes a much smaller resistor and third-party foot pedals are available at reasonable price.
    --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

    Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
    -------------------------
    DialArc 250 (1974), Idealarc 250 (1971), SyncroWave 250 w/Coolmate 3, SP-175+, TA 161STL,
    Lincwelder AC180C (circa 1952), Victor & Smith's O/A, Dayton (Miller) spot welder, 1200 sq.ft. of garage filled with crap and a kid that can actually run the stuff +++

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    ILLINOIS
    Posts
    123
    Hi, MERRY CHRISTMAS, I have a 180SD miller single phase transformer tig and stick machine with foot pedal. Got it cheap and it is awesome. Runs on single phase 220 volt and 50 amp breaker same as my Miller CST 280 inverter. got the 180 with pedal,tig torch, and stick leads for $800.00.The Miller 200 is about the same machine but a little more money. The inverters are nice and portable and some can be ran on 110 volt if you plan on out of shop work. Not sure where you are but try craigs list. Heres two in denver

    http://denver.craigslist.org/tls/2717119209.html

    http://denver.craigslist.org/tls/2717119209.html

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Black Forest, Colorado
    Posts
    27

    What are some good older machines?

    I finally lucked out and found a Miller 330AP/B for a little over $500. The guy threw in two sets of torches with it and a coolant tank. Unfortunately, there wasn't a foot control included with the deal. How hard will it be to come up with one that will fit this machine? You were right when you said this was a heavy unit. I welded up an angle iron cart to move it around with, but now have to figure out what other things I will need to operate it. Any suggestions or words of warning? I already signed up for a course from a local Junior College to get the basic of TIG welding down. I'm going to look for tanks and regulators next.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    5,652
    First, you have to figure out exactly which foot pedal you need. I believe it's one of the various "rfc23" types, but Miller made a lot of different ones including RFC-23A, RFCS-23, RFC-23AG, RFC-23GD25A, etc. They also made quite a few variants of the 330 welder. I think Vicegrip on this forum has the 330AP/B model. Maybe he can tell you exactly which model pedal he's using. Or call Miller.
    --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

    Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
    -------------------------
    DialArc 250 (1974), Idealarc 250 (1971), SyncroWave 250 w/Coolmate 3, SP-175+, TA 161STL,
    Lincwelder AC180C (circa 1952), Victor & Smith's O/A, Dayton (Miller) spot welder, 1200 sq.ft. of garage filled with crap and a kid that can actually run the stuff +++

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    S.E. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,080
    Quote Originally Posted by CATM93 View Post
    I finally lucked out and found a Miller 330AP/B for a little over $500. The guy threw in two sets of torches with it and a coolant tank. Unfortunately, there wasn't a foot control included with the deal. How hard will it be to come up with one that will fit this machine? You were right when you said this was a heavy unit. I welded up an angle iron cart to move it around with, but now have to figure out what other things I will need to operate it. Any suggestions or words of warning? I already signed up for a course from a local Junior College to get the basic of TIG welding down. I'm going to look for tanks and regulators next.

    (1) I think I have the PDF manual for the newer "Diode"-bridge version.
    (2) I might also have the PDF manual for the older "Selenium"-rectifier-bridge version.
    (3) The H.F capacitors often fail with age and leak a black tar.
    The caps are TAN colored. They are under the "flap"

    Does it have a long assembly of orange fins in it?
    Or big plug-style diodes?

    You want a 23 pedal 15 ohms I think
    NOT a 14 which is something like 10,000 ohms.
    LIKE THIS ONE.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Miller-RFC-2...item5ae4503747
    Kinda pricey, don't pay that much, I can sell you a 23 that I bought
    and found it to have a 14 coil in it. Dang it!
    The right ciol is about $50 I think.

    Structurally the same, 23 has thick wire-wound resister-coil .025" dia wire.
    14 has thin wire-wound resister-coil .006" dia wire.
    You can type in your serial number on Miller"s site but the manual
    might be a few days to turn up on older units.
    ==========
    2 of mine have an early version of "Lift-Arc" which even works with
    heavy stick-welding.....very handy to start a repair arc in tight difficult spots.
    Last edited by vicegrip; 01-01-2012 at 10:25 AM.
    ViceGrip

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    5,652
    If you download the foot pedal manuals from Miller, one of them contains about 6 variants, with different plug ends/wiring and several different resistance and wattage values. Confusing.
    --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

    Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
    -------------------------
    DialArc 250 (1974), Idealarc 250 (1971), SyncroWave 250 w/Coolmate 3, SP-175+, TA 161STL,
    Lincwelder AC180C (circa 1952), Victor & Smith's O/A, Dayton (Miller) spot welder, 1200 sq.ft. of garage filled with crap and a kid that can actually run the stuff +++

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    S.E. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,080
    Quote Originally Posted by usmcpop View Post
    If you download the foot pedal manuals from Miller, one of them contains about 6 variants, with different plug ends/wiring and several different resistance and wattage values. Confusing.
    Good point BUT as long as you get 15 OHMS and 150 watts.....
    you can deal with the plugs for the right price.

    By removing the top you can see the pannel rheostat..........
    It will be labeled as to watts.
    The pedal needs to match it.
    ViceGrip

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    western KY.
    Posts
    148
    Hobart TR-250-HF
    Linde/L-tec Heliweld 306
    Last edited by brucer; 01-01-2012 at 12:55 PM.
    .

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