I have an older (1998) Century stick welder that I could use some advice on.

Jim #12

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Washington
Welder
Century mod# 110-110
I bought this at a garage sale recently for the occasional welding jobs that I do at home. I've been welding for myself off and on for 40 years, not always pretty welds, but they don't break. I have not had the problem with my rods sticking as they do now but I have a terrible time getting them to not stick. I think that the following two items might be part of the problem.
1) The outside of the transformer core is really rusty, does this affect the output of the transformer and if so, what can I do to clean it?
2) The adjustment handle is hard to move up and down. Can I use something to lubricate the inner workings to free it up?
I really don't do enough welding to justify buying a new welder so any advice will be greatly appreciated.
 

Harp 031

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BC Canada
Welder
3 millers, 5 Lincoln, liquid air, victor,. stick, tig ,wire.
I use 7018 AC rod for tacking and small jobs even with my dc welder as they start up easier and less woodpecker type starts or sticking. You should be able to get at the area that the adjustment handle is and clean de crud it. I got given a miller thunderbolt that was a barn find and needed full disassembly and cleaning to get back in service. silicone lube may be enough to get things moving.
 

kayco53

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Shnook
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systematics
I bought this at a garage sale recently for the occasional welding jobs that I do at home. I've been welding for myself off and on for 40 years, not always pretty welds, but they don't break. I have not had the problem with my rods sticking as they do now but I have a terrible time getting them to not stick. I think that the following two items might be part of the problem.
1) The outside of the transformer core is really rusty, does this affect the output of the transformer and if so, what can I do to clean it?
2) The adjustment handle is hard to move up and down. Can I use something to lubricate the inner workings to free it up?
I really don't do enough welding to justify buying a new welder so any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Think I would make sure all the connections inside where clean. Use electrical contact cleaner on controls. Cleaning can't hurt.How far away from your power source are you. Thinking voltage drop. Try it as close to power source as possible.Also how long are the welding leads? Is it a 220v/230v machine. I know I have a heavy cable to run by buzz box and it is about 50ft long. Are you rods old or a damp? That makes a difference as well7018 you can dry in oven. Maybe buy a small pack of fresh ones. As somebody else said 7018 AC or 7018 MR (moisture resistant) might work better. Do you have any 6011 to try in it. Good luck bet cleaning and fresh rod helps.
 

Harp 031

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BC Canada
Welder
3 millers, 5 Lincoln, liquid air, victor,. stick, tig ,wire.
With a low open circuit voltage[before the arc is struck] it is much more challenging to get a good strike
Your new to you machine may have enough corrosion or issues to have minimal OCV.
Cleaning like taking off the covers and blowing out the crud might help and lubing up the supposed to move parts should help. Check the contacts if possible and you may find burnt or dirty contacts on the amp adjust dial. clean as good as possible and electrical contact cleaner might be you friend.
DISCONECT power before servicing!!!!
 

panamaguy

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Panama
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Many
Just remember 7018 rod must be dry. If need be put them in the oven next time something is being baked. And 6010 /6011 need some moisture, often I will take a hand full and quickly run them under a tap before I use them. Professional welder my whole life.
 

Old Irish

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The River Sticks
Welder
Lincoln SW200,PowerMig 180, A/C225 with rectifier, 2 Chinese plasma, stick, tig- 1-Chinese stick w/hot start&arc force and 1 Chinese 205A mig
as said above. disassemble and clean, contact cleaner for the selector switch.
what is the amperage ratings of the machine?
what type of selector switch, dial, rotary, etc' ?
 

mikeb11000

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Coonass94
I bought this at a garage sale recently for the occasional welding jobs that I do at home. I've been welding for myself off and on for 40 years, not always pretty welds, but they don't break. I have not had the problem with my rods sticking as they do now but I have a terrible time getting them to not stick. I think that the following two items might be part of the problem.
1) The outside of the transformer core is really rusty, does this affect the output of the transformer and if so, what can I do to clean it?
2) The adjustment handle is hard to move up and down. Can I use something to lubricate the inner workings to free it up?
I really don't do enough welding to justify buying a new welder so any advice will be greatly appreciated.
 

Gary Fowler

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As others have said, clean the control contact points. Rust on the transformer is not a problem. As long as the windings are not burned looking you should have no problem with amperage. You may need to lightly sand the contact points on the adjustment rheostats using some emery cloth (dont use sand paper) if they are extremely rusty. They must make good contact if the current selector is to work correctly.
Be sure to disconnect the power supply before opening up the welder cabinet. While in there blow out all the dust and spider webs.
 

kjonxx

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Bad ground connections either at clamp or inside machine ? or at lug that goes into machine.
 

welding seabee

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I bought this at a garage sale recently for the occasional welding jobs that I do at home. I've been welding for myself off and on for 40 years, not always pretty welds, but they don't break. I have not had the problem with my rods sticking as they do now but I have a terrible time getting them to not stick. I think that the following two items might be part of the problem.
1) The outside of the transformer core is really rusty, does this affect the output of the transformer and if so, what can I do to clean it?
2) The adjustment handle is hard to move up and down. Can I use something to lubricate the inner workings to free it up?
I really don't do enough welding to justify buying a new welder so any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Jim, I have owned several of those welders in the past and had them apart. There is only the one moving part; the movable shunt that selects the output amps. If the exterior of the transformer core gets rusty that is what is causing the adjustment to be hard. You have to pull the shunt out and clean it up fine abrasive paper. Careful, get down into the iron core much and the shunt will not lock into place. Also do not lube the mating shunt/cores sliding surfaces, as it then will not lock into place as it needs the friction, and be sure to vaccum up all the rust. Other posts have some good ideas also.

I have one now I am planning to scrap out as the shunt is too loose and will not lock. The rest of it looks like new. The replacement part is still available from Lincoln but costs more than the welder is worth (120.00 plus tax plus shipping). I am loking for a defunct Century (add on Craigs list) welser or the shunt so I can get the part to fix mine and sell it.

I like these old units; I am now using an old MW AC/DC machine, garage sale item for $35. For the most part these ola AC only welders sell forre around $50. My retirement gig is to pick up these old units (all brands); clean up, fix minor things , add 50 amp cords, repair/replace welding leads as necessary, add a new HF auto hood, put together a starters kit of accessories, add some welding rod for starters and then re-sell to primarily beginner welders. It is a good market, I average 75-150% profit and still get somebody started at a reasonable price.

I have no problem striking an arc with these machines. 6011, 6014, and 7018 are my go to rods. Keep you 7018 in one of those sealed 10# capacity plastic rod storage tubes. Most arc striking problems are due to not setting amps high enough. I tend to run hotter than most.

Ron
 

kiwistick

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Blenheim, New Zealand
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stick & gas
I bought this at a garage sale recently for the occasional welding jobs that I do at home. I've been welding for myself off and on for 40 years, not always pretty welds, but they don't break. I have not had the problem with my rods sticking as they do now but I have a terrible time getting them to not stick. I think that the following two items might be part of the problem.
1) The outside of the transformer core is really rusty, does this affect the output of the transformer and if so, what can I do to clean it?
2) The adjustment handle is hard to move up and down. Can I use something to lubricate the inner workings to free it up?
I really don't do enough welding to justify buying a new welder so any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Most likely it's due to low open circuit voltage, this is what causes the arc to strike. Are you using a long lead as this will affect the voltage. Most people have upgraded to inverter welders which are much lighter to carry and use electronics rather than a transformer. You should be able to pick one up for around $100 and it will amaze you how easy and convenient it is to use. Youtube has lots of videos
 

kpsp50

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Az
Welder
HTP and Miller
Just remember 7018 rod must be dry. If need be put them in the oven next time something is being baked. And 6010 /6011 need some moisture, often I will take a hand full and quickly run them under a tap before I use them. Professional welder my whole life
I do agree with you. Since you have been a professional welder would you check out the (primeweld) welder it is a 110/220 stick, flux core, also gas, with twico mig gun, and comes with a spool gun for aluminum. All for $500. I used a neighbor's on 220 volt and he was running it on a 30 amp circuit breaker. I was impressed. If you would be so kind as to give me your opinion I would appreciate it.
 

Lowensenf

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16To12Twelve?
Welder
Old Lincoln Stick
You should be able to pick one up for around $100 and it will amaze you how easy and convenient it is to use. Youtube has lots of videos
I may just do that as I have a project with light gauge square tube: want to turn the corners this way
 

Lowensenf

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16To12Twelve?
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Old Lincoln Stick
I do agree with you. Since you have been a professional welder would you check out the (primeweld) welder it is a 110/220 stick, flux core, also gas, with twico mig gun, and comes with a spool gun for aluminum. All for $500. I used a neighbor's on 220 volt and he was running it on a 30 amp circuit breaker. I was impressed. If you would be so kind as to give me your opinion I would appreciate it.
 

California

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Several comments above mention 'clean the contacts' but if that's similar to my MW welder (AC only, from the 1960's) then the only contact inside is the on/off switch.

A lever or big knob slides the shunt, slug, in/out of the transformer core to adjust current. Study Welding Seabee's post above.

I'll add that on mine, the welding leads slide into tapered sockets. The welder hadn't been used in probably decades. I had to sand the leads' 'pins', and the inside of the sockets on the face of the welder, to clean brass, to get it working as intended. That and oil the fan, maybe oil the adjustment lever linkage (I don't remember), and it was 'reconditioned' to run a few more decades.

I don't recall any problem with rust on the shunt or transformer core being an issue.

ac230arcwelder2989r-jpg.61
 

California

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But I think Kiwistick above has the right answer.

Just get a sub-$100 modern inverter stick welder you can carry in one hand, in preference to these old huge heavy monsters.
 

Nixrox

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Red Deer, Alberta, canada
Welder
gas metal arc welder, gas tungsten arc welder, stick farmer buzz box
I am a dual journeyman aircraft and automotive mechanic, as well as a certified x-ray, ultrasonic, eddy current, magnetic particle and liquid penetrant NDT inspector.

I became a certified X-ray weld inspector in 1977. I have rejected 1000's of welds over the last 30 years. I have taught 1000's of student inspectors how to visually inspect a weld, BEFORE they waste the customer's time and money by X-Raying it. It costs between $300 to $600 per foot of weld to x-ray it - if you bring it into their shop - 10 times that, if they have to drive out to your place.

You cannot possible expect to have any success with an old buzz-box farmer welder, without completing a whole lot of maintenance and replacement of worn parts - starting with new cables, ground clamps, rod holders and ovens, contact points, new DRY welding rods, preferably using a 6011 root and filling with 7018 and that depends upon what you are welding and the parent metal composition/alloy material. Actually, MIG/GMAW is best for making root passes, because you would have fewer stop-start problems, or defects.

The first thing you need to research is common weld procedures, at any welding company in your area. They explain in precise detail every possible aspect of how to complete a successful weld.

Then practice welding sample pieces for at least 8 to 10 hours, using different thicknesses and weld positions, before you ever actually weld something important. I always chop up the weld samples and rip them apart whenever possible, to make sure there is complete penetration and no included weld defects ie: porosity (caused by water), slag inclusions, plus at least 30 more potential defect problems.

It has been my experience that welding is one of the most difficult learning processes in the industrial trades field.
Some people are just naturally great right from the start and others can't seem to lay a decent bead if their life depended upon it.
If I ever caught some idiot welder soaking his rods in water, he would be down the road in one hell of a hurry and blackballed in my petroleum industry.
 

Brian Thompson

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madoc ontario
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stick mig plazma oxy cet
i have found if you buy cheep rod its hard to work with . and DC rod in a ac welder can give you problems to .1714 works in ether ac or dc but some 1718 ac rod is junk . good luck
 

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AUstralia
Welder
Lincoln TIG, 3 or so Arc and 180Amp MIG
Short of buying an inverter welder (I love my little 100 amp thing it's my go-to all of the time for light arc welding and I can carry it with one finger) one recommendation I have that may help is warm the rods up (or boost welding voltage/amperage (sorry, I forget everything including how to use my new $2,000 AC/DC TIG welder)), providing you have a clean welding surface to begin with and a good earth connection. Sometimes I've had issues with damp rods which continually stick and despite having qualifications in all aspects of welding I rarely do it (pensioner and forgetful) and am always rusty and my rods are often slightly damp from the local cold climate.
I could buy new rods every time I need to weld (or just use my 200 amp MIG) but a quick warm up in the oven at low temperate does wonders and makes striking an arc so much easier.
Another method I use is a sacrificial rod striking plate, drag the tip of the rod against the scrap till it's hot enough to easily strike an arc on the job surface without sticking.
 

kiwistick

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Blenheim, New Zealand
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stick & gas
Just want to repeat - dry rods (and not ones that have been in the back of the shed for a few years), and plug in as close to the main socket as possible to get max o/c voltage. Failure to do this leads to sticky starts and lots of frustration.
 
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