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Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:14 pm Post subject: Lincoln AC/DC welder
Hello. I am looking to buy a new stickwelder. Considering the Lincoln, Hobart, Miller machines. I read Home Depot has the Lincoln AC/DC for under $400 and would do me fine. But I like the amperage controls of the Hobart/Miller better. Does anybody know the amperage for DC settings of the Lincoln machine? I mean how big of jump in amps between clicks. I think in AC it is 15 amp increments but I don't know DC. I also seem to read that just about everybody who has a welder shipped to them receives them with shipping damage?
Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:38 pm Post subject: Re: Lincoln AC/DC welder
I recently bought an Everlast Power Arc 200 inverter DC welder after reading several of "Puddles" comments. It only weighs about 38# making it very portable and output amperage adjusts digitally 1 amp at a time. For $350, it is a marvelous welder for me so far. It does not have AC capability.
Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:40 pm Post subject: Re: Lincoln AC/DC welder
I would HIGHLY recommend a Stickmate, the Hobart welder.
Its like a Miller Thunderbolt but it costs less and puts out 5 more amps.
I know a lot of people like AC/225s, and while Ive never used the AC/DC version, I can say that on paper the Hobart is still a MUCH better machine. Higher amperage, higher duty cycle, infinite adjustment (big deal), and I believe a better warranty.
I bought one in early 2011 and beat the crap out of it, still have it. Its an exceptionally good machine, welds like a dream on DC and welds worlds better than my AC/225 on the AC side.
Here are a couple videos of my experiences, first is my going to buy my stickmate, then is a review after I'd had it for a while.
Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:47 pm Post subject: Re: Lincoln AC/DC welder
Ohio, I believe that the Lincoln stick welder that sells for under $400 at Home Depot is not an AC/DC unit. I think you will find it is the buzz box. Do not misunderstand me. The buzz box is a fine welder for around the farm, and I have done a lot of good stuff with one. It is not, however, AC/DC. It is merely AC, and it has no infinite control. Basically it is a tapped transformer, where various points on the transformer are used to provide greater and less amps for welding as opposed to where the transformer moves relative to the primary and secondary windings which gives very close adjustablility. I"ld say "Infinite Control". Most of the welders that sell for under $400 will not have the infinite control you are refering to. The tapped transformer type of adjustment cost much less to produce then the saturated type. The crank that allows you the unlimited precision in adjustment is one of them things you pay more for in the high end welders.
Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:45 am Post subject: Re: Lincoln AC/DC welder
HD has the AC225 in store for $299 and the AC/DC model on their website for $387. I didn't realize the amperage jumped in increments of 20 which is way too much. Lanse video was very good and informative, nice job. TSC has the Stickmate for $499 and local Airgas has Thunderbolt for less than $100 more than Hobart. The Everlast welder looks like good power and most of all portable but think I will go with a Miller at Airgas. I've bought from them 12 years ago with good results and great service. I guess the price of the Lincoln is what caught my eye.
Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:17 am Post subject: Re: Lincoln AC/DC welder
Just for the heck of it I will add a bit from an adult welding career. For a farm welder, an AC is good enough. A DC welder won't usually weld around a corner without pulling the bead in one direction or another...AC won't do that. You can also get a carbon arc torch to heat a nut or bolt red hot to help remove a stuck one, DC will do it but, I use the AC cause it is better. Search on ebay for one or a yard sale. If a tombstone Lincoln weighs only 35/40 pounds, it has aluminum windings in it, try to find an older one that has the copper windings. Weld some with the used welder at high amperage and then get your nose right down in it's exhaust air flow and smell and if it smells like transformer stink, pass on it. The older 180's didn't have an exhaust/cooling fan, I wouldn't recommend one of them. The 75 amp setting with the circle around it is 100% duty cycle for thawing pipes with.
I saw a video of a mig or tig welder ( don't remember which )welding a piece of aluminum foil together and two razor blades, real neat! DC will weld thinner metal than AC as you have better control. If you go for the AC machine, get some of the AC 7018 rod, it'll weld mild steel or alloy steel and generally do a better job. If you weld a lot of old rusty/greasy metal be sure and get some 6011 rod. If you have trouble starting AC, lay a piece of scrap steel next to your welding area and start the weld on it and move over to the piece that you're going to weld.
I had an Lincoln Idealarc 250/300 AC/DC welder that I bought a high frequency rig for and set beside it and a bottle of Argon and welded aluminum for years with it...on AC. Thats about all I can think of, hope it helps someone.
Today I have an AC/DC Airco Bumble Bee that is as tough as they come and a Miller that goes up to 460 amps with a tig setup on it. I only gave $400 for it, look around, they're out there. Best is to go to a Fab shop that is selling out. ohfred41
Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:59 am Post subject: Re: Lincoln AC/DC welder
The DC settings are 35, 45, 55, 65, 75, 85, 90, 95, 105, 115, 125. Those appear to be 10 amp jumps to me, except in the highly useful 85 to 95 amp range where they are 5 amp jumps.
A 10 amp jump means you are never more than 5 amps away from the ideal setting. For instance, if 110 amps would be perfect for what you are welding, you have to do it at either 105 or 115. I don't not believe people here who say they can dial the arc in within an amp or two, but I can't. Since you're asking questions about a home shop quality welder, I'm assuming you're not a professional welder, or planning to take up welding as a profession. Maybe you don't need a welder with more fine tuning control than the Lincoln AC/DC. I've got an AC/DC Lincoln like you're asking about, and I've got a Hobart AC/DC Stickmate (and several better welders). If I had to choose one of those two to be my only welder, I'd probably flip a coin.
BTW, a few years back I e-mailed Lincoln Electric to ask when they had stopped using copper windings on the transformers of their 225-AC & 225-AC/DC welders. The person who responded was the Lincoln historian. He told me they had never used copper on those welders. But so many people swear that they have, or have seen, old welders of that model with copper windings that I'm forced to believe that Lincoln doesn't know what they're talking about. It's like my nephew claims to know a guy who picked up a hitchhiker who told him Jesus was coming soon, and then disappeared. You would have to be a total skeptic to not believe that.
Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:27 am Post subject: Re: Lincoln AC/DC welder
What do you mean when you say you "beat the crap out of it"? From the videos of yours I've watched, you don't appear to abuse equipment. If you mean you've had the Stickmate for almost two years and you've used it hard and it still works, I'd consider that not too surprising. I bought one new about six years ago, and I haven't used it a lot. Even with only moderate usage it's developed some problems I'd expect after long, hard use: The linkage to the amperage setting (movable shunt) has gotten sloppy, and the mode selector switch sometimes doesn't click in when I change from AC+ to DC, for instance, and I get no arc until I fiddle with it awhile. Those aren't fatal problems, but they don't make me think more highly of the welder, either.
Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:15 pm Post subject: Re: Lincoln AC/DC welder
My Lincoln 225 weigh 100 pounds easy.Bot mine in 1965 for 93 bucks.Dufus types repeat what they read with no real knowledge of the 225c welder.All wire in welders has a varnish coating on wire that Dufus thinks is copper wire.
Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:28 pm Post subject: Re: Lincoln AC/DC welder
Stan, I have tried the Stickmate amperage control and think it needs work.Feels sloppy, I like my Lincolns tap switch current adjustment better.Most of my welding is done with an old 10 buck 150 amp welder.The Lincoln 225 comes out on the tough jobs.I bought the Lincoln when I had some tough farm welding jobs.
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