century 125gs welder

Hi All,
Anyone one with experience owning and using a century 125gs, and would like to advise a novice on its capabilities, it would be greatly
appreciated.
I have been tempted to buy a mig welder setup for some time, was looking at the lincoln weldpak (120v feed) with gas hookup. I prefer this brand because it is well recognized and has a web site, i can find little information about the century online. But the lincoln with gas kit will cost me around ~CDN800 bucks. I have the chance to buy the century unit on clearance for CDN375 still in the box, never used.
I want to know whether it would be really worth to spend the extra money for the lincoln, in particular:
-any significant features on the lincoln lacking on the century unit -century's capability to weld aluminum (the lincoln datasheet mentions this capability, no mention on the century)
Also, it looks like the century has only 4 heat settings, and a fixed gas regulator. Not sure if this means too much.
Any tips greatly appreciated. Thanks, Bryan
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You get what you pay for.
The Lincoln is a great machine. You can get parts most anywhere. A machine ain't worth spit if it is down because of malfunction or lack of parts.
I would save up and get the Lincoln. I have the 175SP+, and like it a lot.
A lot of guys buy something cheap, then have to replace it in a few years. With the cost of the replacement, and the cost of the original, they could have bought a Miller or Lincoln, and it would still be running. Cheap ain't good if it don't last.
Steve
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Most of the hard core guys here will tell you to go with the Lincoln. I actually bought a Century 220v migwelder about 7-8 years ago. I bought it because I wasn't sure if I would actually use it or not. Of course in the end it turned out I use the thing constantly. I've eveen started welding as a side business. I haven't had any problems with it yet and the duty cycle is enougth that I have never had a problem with having to stop because the machine won't keep up. I've never tried welding any aluminum so I can't help you there. With this said I've never been sorry I bought the Century.
Check out my website for new projects I've done.
Doug Arthurs Northwood, Ontario

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I've owned the 125gs and I currently have a Lincoln SP-170T. I had no complaints whatsoever with the Century. I would still have it if I hadn't gotten a great deal on the Lincoln at an auction.
Century was apparently bought out by Clore Automotive a couple of years ago and they shut down the old Century Web site so that may be why you can't find much about them. You can find a few manuals on the Clore site at:
http://www.cloreautomotive.com/site_technicalservice.asp
Search for "welder" in the Technical Document Search window. Unfortunately I can't find the 125gs in the list so they may have discontinued it.
Century welders are often rebadged with other brand names. Sears sells a few of theirs with their own color scheme, etc. I've also seen an ESAB that was obviously a rebadged Century, probably the 155gs.
One difference of note between the Century and other MIG's is that the Century uses a gun with a gas valve built into the trigger instead of using a solenoid in the welder like most others.
If the Lincoln you're looking at is the 100Amp welder (MigPak 10, WeldPak 100, etc.) it probably isn't worth the extra money for the Lincoln. The Century uses a Tweco gun so parts are easy to find. They're both transformer machines with a switch to select which voltage tap you're using. There are aluminum kits available for both although the Century kit will probably be harder to find but you need to read prior threads from this group before you try and weld aluminum with such a small unit. All but the thinnest of aluminum sheetmetal takes quite a bit more power than either of these machines will put out.
Go to google.com, click on the "Groups" tab and search for "MIG welding aluminum" and spend a bit of time reading up on the subject before you buy something you regret.
OTOH, if the Lincoln is the SP-135T or SP-135+ (previously the SP-125 series) it's a bit more welder than the Century or the smaller Lincoln. It still probably won't be much good for aluminum but it is a more powerful welder. The T version has voltage taps like the Century and cheaper Lincoln. The + version has variable voltage and is more expensive than the T.
Best Regards, Keith Marshall snipped-for-privacy@progressivelogic.com
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"

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Thanks very much Keith. I am probably going to get the Century as it is such a good price. I am not likely to tackle any aluminum welding jobs any time soon so this is probably the size of unit for me. Incidently I was comparing to the weldpak 100 which is a nice looking machine but runs a couple of hundred dollars more (plus 150 for the gas kit). All the welding I did in the past was with an old ac stick machine that my grandfather gave me. It blows nice big holes in any light materials so most of my past jobs have been using big and clunky angle iron (i built a squat rack at one time).
At any rate, I am mainly into this as a hobby and very excited about doing some stuff in my garage.
Thanks again for taking the time to write down this information. Bryan
Keith Marshall wrote:

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You're welcome. I'm always glad to help out when I can since I've learned so much from others on this newsgroup!
One other thing I should have pointed out is that the regulator included with the Century, assuming they include the same one with all of them, is that it is a fixed flow regulator preset at 20 CFH. That's usually fine but if you need to weld in any kind of a breeze it's not enough flow so you may eventually look for a good deal on a better regulator. I bought one from Harbor Freight for $40. Later on I picked another one up at an auction for $10 or so.
If you're going to do sheetmetal pick up some .024 (.6mm I think) wire. It works much better for thin stuff. I believe mine originally came with .035 and it was too big for that.
Best Regards, Keith Marshall snipped-for-privacy@progressivelogic.com
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"

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I bought a Craftsman brand which looks just like the smallest Century welder. It was to replace a slightly larger Century model which I loved, but was stolen. Sears had it on sale for $239, less a discount for being in the Crafstman club, so it was a bargain.
The Craftsman works verywell for everything I've used it for, up to and including angle iron projects. It does have the fixed gas regulator, so you don't want to use it if there is any wind. Pretty much indoor-only.
I use only .023 wire for just about everything. Takes more of it, but easier to control for this novice.
Buy a bigger bottle than the little "thermos" sized ones. Same money, fewer trips to the gas house - always in the middle of a project.
On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 23:30:43 GMT, "Keith Marshall"
|I've owned the 125gs and I currently have a Lincoln SP-170T. I had no |complaints whatsoever with the Century. I would still have it if I hadn't |gotten a great deal on the Lincoln at an auction. | |Century was apparently bought out by Clore Automotive a couple of years ago |and they shut down the old Century Web site so that may be why you can't |find much about them. You can find a few manuals on the Clore site at: | |http://www.cloreautomotive.com/site_technicalservice.asp | |Search for "welder" in the Technical Document Search window. Unfortunately |I can't find the 125gs in the list so they may have discontinued it. | |Century welders are often rebadged with other brand names. Sears sells a |few of theirs with their own color scheme, etc. I've also seen an ESAB that |was obviously a rebadged Century, probably the 155gs. | |One difference of note between the Century and other MIG's is that the |Century uses a gun with a gas valve built into the trigger instead of using |a solenoid in the welder like most others. | |If the Lincoln you're looking at is the 100Amp welder (MigPak 10, WeldPak |100, etc.) it probably isn't worth the extra money for the Lincoln. The |Century uses a Tweco gun so parts are easy to find. They're both |transformer machines with a switch to select which voltage tap you're using. |There are aluminum kits available for both although the Century kit will |probably be harder to find but you need to read prior threads from this |group before you try and weld aluminum with such a small unit. All but the |thinnest of aluminum sheetmetal takes quite a bit more power than either of |these machines will put out. | |Go to google.com, click on the "Groups" tab and search for "MIG welding |aluminum" and spend a bit of time reading up on the subject before you buy |something you regret. | |OTOH, if the Lincoln is the SP-135T or SP-135+ (previously the SP-125 |series) it's a bit more welder than the Century or the smaller Lincoln. It |still probably won't be much good for aluminum but it is a more powerful |welder. The T version has voltage taps like the Century and cheaper |Lincoln. The + version has variable voltage and is more expensive than the |T. | |Best Regards, |Keith Marshall | snipped-for-privacy@progressivelogic.com | |"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!" | |
| |> Hi All, |> |> Anyone one with experience owning and using a century 125gs, and would |> like to advise a novice on its capabilities, it would be greatly |> appreciated. |> |> I have been tempted to buy a mig welder setup for some time, was looking |> at the lincoln weldpak (120v feed) with gas hookup. I prefer this brand |> because it is well recognized and has a web site, i can find little |> information about the century online. But the lincoln with gas kit will |> cost me around ~CDN800 bucks. I have the chance to buy the century unit |> on clearance for CDN375 still in the box, never used. |> |> I want to know whether it would be really worth to spend the extra money |> for the lincoln, in particular: |> |> -any significant features on the lincoln lacking on the century unit |> -century's capability to weld aluminum (the lincoln datasheet mentions |> this capability, no mention on the century) |> |> Also, it looks like the century has only 4 heat settings, and a fixed |> gas regulator. Not sure if this means too much. |> |> Any tips greatly appreciated. |> Thanks, |> Bryan |> | |
Rex in Fort Worth
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A lot depends on what you're going to do with it. The cheaper MIGs can do a pretty good job within their limitations. OTOH, I wouldn't recommend a HF MIG unit. I bought one of those some years ago and I should have sent it back. It finally turned out OK after I reengineered the wire feed and changed the torch to a Tweco.
However, I ended up doing a lot of welding on the high range of the machine where the duty cycle is around 20% (2 minutes on, 8 minutes off). It was getting frustrating toasting the transformer and then waiting for it to cool off. I solved that problem by finding a used Miller Millermatic 250 which can run up to 160A at 100% duty cycle and 60% at 200A.
The cheap welders tend to use automotive alternator rectifiers. They're cheap and can typically handle 100A without much problem, but their duty cycle suffers above that. My Millers uses a couple of 300A SCRs with a variable trigger to control the arc voltages. That gives a continuously variable output voltage. Inexpensive welders will use a tapped transformer and a switch. The continuous voltage control is a little nicer from the user standpoint, but a switched range won't prevent you from doing anything you need to do. More importantly, the 300A components should not fry when running the unit near max; I've had those cheapie diodes blow on my HF unit.
Although it was fun and instructive rebuilding the HF unit, it was not helping me get any welding done. I think I, personally, would have been better off looking for a used Miller in the first place. Given that, the cheaper machines can be very useful if you don't run them near their max output. I'd also check to make sure the consumables are standard and available (things like tips and nozzles). It isn't very hard to put a good gun on one of those units, but it may not be cost effective. Go to a local welding store and ask them their opinion. If they're negative, see if you can get their reasons, that may help you make a better decision.
As far as aluminum goes, I haven't done that, but for some torches you can get nylon or teflon liners to reduce the problem of wire jamming when feeding Al wire. They may not be available, or very pricey, for a non-standard gun. If this is important, try to find somebody who has used the Century on Al (check with your welding store).
Good luck
Paul
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replying to Bryan Goring, Bnwelder wrote: I have owned a century 125to for 20 years. It have never.treated.it.well and it's Dan about half its time from be power. For thin metal it is great and has never let me down. Sure for heavier work but a Lincoln but for medium service.even it's more than capable.
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replying to Bryan Goring, Bnwelder wrote: I have owned a century 125to for 20 years. It have never.treated.it.well and it's Dan about half its time from be power. For thin metal it is great and has never let me down. Sure for heavier work but a Lincoln but for medium service.even it's more than capable.
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