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

Handyhusband01

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Location
Hamlin, NY
Welder
Miller 250HF, Vulcan Omnipro 220
Some good suggestions here regarding cleaning insides. My buddy got a "free" AC buzzbox that sat under a bench for years and rods of the same vintage from an acquaintance but couldn't weld anything until he bought fresh rods from the welding supply house. After you blow out the dust and lube the fan, I'd try brand new rods. It might be just that simple. Oh and keep them away from moisture. Good Luck.
 

Jim #12

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Location
Washington
Welder
Century mod# 110-110
I've been a little remiss at not responding sooner. I took the welder apart and cleaned it completely and freed up the adjustment handles (this is where the problem was at, as they would not work properly.) The welder works like it should and has taken care of the problems I had been having.
I want to thank all of you for your input
Jim
 

welding seabee

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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.
I will reiterate my previous; there is only one moving part in those old welders, the shunt plug that varies the amperage. There are no contacts or relays even in the AC/DC units. I seriously doubt any of the new solid state stuff will still be around in 50+ years. My MW welder is that old and still going strong.

In my younger day I was a Union Pipefitter with welding skills. Seldom was dispatched as a welder as I avoided long term welding. Welding allowed me to often be the last guy layed off when a project finished. As a welder you used the machine(s) the company had. I used a lot of AC only machines with no problems. Even passed an ASME test on 6" pipe up-hand style using all 1/8" 6011 rod. Over the years I was certified as an ASME Power Piping and Pressure Vessel welder and passed the Oregon Class 5 Pipefitter exam first attempt. In those days we did not have 7018 rod. Used a lot of 6013 for weld out after 6010 or 6011 root pass.
 

California

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Sonoma County
And a note from an amateur: I've had good results using 6011 1/8" rods that must be at least 30 years old. 15+ years ago I went to buy a Craigslist 14 ft wooden orchard ladder from an old cherry farmer who was retiring. He had all sorts of ancient stuff in his barn. Most impressive was a 1920's flatbed truck cut down so the steering wheel was the highest point, that he had use to haul the 40 lb lug boxes out of the orchard.

I saw a dust covered open box of 6011 and asked if they were still good. He replied in this dry climate don't worry, they should be ok, but he had no use for them after he went to MIG several years before. Along with the ladder he added this open, dusty, 80%-remaining 25 lb (?) box of rods for another $5. Amazon cost would be north of $50 for similar new.

They work fine. My avatar photo welding a hitch (on an L-shaped bar) on to the box blade was the first of many practical projects using these rods and the 1960's Wards Powerkraft AC-230.
 

welding seabee

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I've been a little remiss at not responding sooner. I took the welder apart and cleaned it completely and freed up the adjustment handles (this is where the problem was at, as they would not work properly.) The welder works like it should and has taken care of the problems I had been having.
I want to thank all of you for your input
Jim
Belated congratulations! Since getting older I am not on here as often. Fully retired now and staring at 88.

Happy for you Jim on getting your Century working for you. You can operate on a 30-amp outlet but if you are using 5/32 at higher amps probably will trip the breaker. Thats why I change out to a 50-amp power cord. Next step, keep watching those garage sales and Craigs List and pick up an old AC/DC machine. I have gotten them for same price as the AC only. Most people selling those now have no clue what they have and either think their worth the price of new stuff and then the ones who just want to get it out of their or grandpas' garage. The latter are easier to convince what it is really worth. I keep some 1/16" rod on hand for thin material like 14 or16 gauge, using larger rod can be iffy with burn through especially with bad fit ups. Way back in my teenage days working in my dad's sheet metal shop he had an old homemade transformer arc welder mounted on a piece of plywood. Amazing the work, I did with that unit after taking basic welding in high school. Did a lot of O/A welding for him on thin materials also.

Ron
 

SidecarFlip

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Location
SE Michigan
Welder
Hobart Handler 210, Lincoln Square Wave TIG, Vulcan 205 stand alone TIG, Hyper Therm CIC Plasma cutter, Titanium 45 amp Plasma Cutter, Lincoln Ranger gas driven ac/dc welder, Harris oxy-acetelyne cutting torch and welding torch, varuous owned shielding gas bottles and a bunch of other stuff....
Considering where utility rates are going, it might be prudent of you to look into an IGBT welder. Some inexpensive ones on the market and Harbor Freight offers some good ones (I own a couple). They are much more electricity efficient.
 

Slomo928

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Location
Virginia
Welder
Lincoln AC DC stick and Vulcan MIG
I was able to pick up a small rod oven off Craig’s List for $50. It is a 110v plug in. See the blue box on the end of the cart. I live on the Eastern Shore of VA where we have high humidity. I put the rods in overnight. It makes a difference.IMG_1636.jpeg
 

welding seabee

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Good informative posts never die. My latest issue with transformer types is a Harbor Freight Chicago Electric 225A unit, current model 69029, that had a sticky adjustment. You can barely turn the adjustment screw. HF just discontinued making this unit last year and they are closing them out now. It looks almost new from the outside. As I have stated previously, there is only one moving part, the adjustment screw and the movable shunt assembly.

DO NOT bother calling HF Tech Support on any issues with these units. The parts list and drawing in the manual are very good but none of the pats are available. They admitted that the unit was designed to be not field repaired and basically a throw away product. Their original retail cost was $299.

It is now a challenge, i finally figured out how to disassemble the shunt assembly. There are two removable plastic material pieces that ride on the interior surfaces of the transformer. For the apparent age (HF does not keep track of serial #s/manufacture date) they are fairly well worn with ridges that are probably causing the problem. These plastic pieces serve two purposes, provide a bearing surface on the core and prevent excessive vibration of the shunt due to AC hum.

When I get it back together and working, I will report back my solutions. Good thing I do not charge for my labor. Already have more in it than what it's worth. Bought it at an auction for$35. These on-line auctions are really a crap shoot. Live auction or garage sale, first thing I check is the adjustment mechanism. This is around the 10th brand I have had the cover off of. Lots of fun, usually just have to lubricate the adjustment screw or clean up a little rust.

Ron
 

SidecarFlip

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Location
SE Michigan
Welder
Hobart Handler 210, Lincoln Square Wave TIG, Vulcan 205 stand alone TIG, Hyper Therm CIC Plasma cutter, Titanium 45 amp Plasma Cutter, Lincoln Ranger gas driven ac/dc welder, Harris oxy-acetelyne cutting torch and welding torch, varuous owned shielding gas bottles and a bunch of other stuff....
Nice thing about HF for me at least is their extended warranty. I just applied the extra cost 3 year warranty on both my Titanium 45 and 65 amp plasma cutters and my Vulcan 205 TIG machine. Basically, if any of them fail within the 3 year warranty, HF replaces them with a new machine or a comparable machine if yours is NLA.

I'm very impressed with the Vulcan 205 Pro-Tig as well. Light years ahead of the Lincoln Square Wave Weld Pak Tig I sold and the Lincoln cost (new), almost 4 times what I paid for the Pro-Tig.

I did replace the air cooled torch with a water cooled CK 250 amp super flex torch with flex head. and the Everlast water cooler but it was basically all plug and play.

The warranty for me is totally worth the cost as I run the 'bags' out of a TIG welder.
 
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