I've owned one since the mid 80's, the "new" design. Bought it new.
I'm not an accomplished weldor, so it's hard to judge the machine from the
position of a skilled person, but I can't complain about mine in any way.
I'd buy it again under like circumstances, in other words. Value? Dunno.
I guess it depends on condition. How's it equipped? How much they asking?
I paid about $1300 for a Lincoln square-wave TIG 300, which is a pretty
machine. I got a new regulator/flowmeter, a good water-cooled torch and a
cooler in good working condition with the machine, as well as a HUGE steel
cart on wheels. I am VERY impressed with this machine, and it sure can weld
aluminum. I'm still in the learning stage on the Al, but have done some
on steel, and a little stainless. I got the hang of the switchover from
stick to TIG
on steel in a half hour, and may NEVER stick weld again. (I have real
with the flux fumes on stick, even working outdoors. I can TIG indoors
else in the house even knows I'm welding!)
Thanks for the quick reply Harold.
This one has the water cooled torch and regulator. I don't know if it has
the water-cooler, etc. At this point, I don't know anything else as far as
how it is equipped.
I don't know how to tig but I really want to learn to weld alum and ss.
I don't know what the person is asking. What do you think would be a fair
I have no clue about resale values, but I can't help but think that with the
newer solid state devices on the market, the older transformer machines
don't have nearly as much appeal, although I can't help but think that they
are likely more reliable.
I run my water to waste, so I don't have a cooler. That works well if you
can dispose of the water easily. I installed a dedicated drain system when
I built my shop, so in my case it works fine. I don't think I'd want an
air cooled torch----to bulky and wouldn't stay cool enough if you had lots
of work to do.
I hate to go out on a limb and make any predictions as to value, but if I
was looking at one and it wasn't trashed, I think I'd be willing to pay up
to $600 for it. Dunno. Maybe someone with experience will chime in. I
just checked the invoice for mine, came to about $2,700 ready to go-----base
price of the machine was $1,715, but I bought a bottle of gas,
undercarriage, torch, everything needed to get started TIG welding. Invoice
is dated 9-11-86. Mine has the capacitors that lower current demand.
Hope some of this helps. I think you still need to hear from someone with
Sounds good Jon.
This is not near the machine that you have though. That sounds to be a good
price for the Squarewave although, I still don't really know prices for tig
I have soldered and brazed all of my life and hope learning tig will be
easier for me.
Say, Jon, have you thought of pumping air into your helmet for stick? You
could even rig up a small muffin fan in it to create pressure to keep out
What do you find difficult, if anything, about tig'ing aluminum?
Thanks for your help.
If ABSOLUTELY everything is there, and in very good shape, $1,000 used for
EVERYTHING. Torches, cooler, regulator, tungstens, consumables, lots of
Just the machine without all the stuff, $600 would be reasonable. First,
ask what he wants. He might want three. You can counteroffer, but a ten
year old machine that needs things will get you right up there in cost
The 300/300 is bulletproof. Heavy. Reliable. Easy to get serviced. A
shop machine that is best left in one place. If you need to roll it around,
put heavy casters on it and watch out for any slopes or uneven surfaces.
I hate to change in mid-stream but someone just told me about an Esab
DTA-250UM with torch and cooler for $500.00
Input on this PLEASE. What size aluminum fillet flat will this beast weld?
I think 3/16 flat.
Easier than soldering and brazing? I doubt it. Soldering and brazing is
done with a joining material that melts at a lower temp than the parent
metal, making it much easier, in one respect. Unless your temp gets totally
away from you, the workpieces won't drip on the floor. When welding, you
are joining approximately homogeneous materials, so getting the molten
area too large guarantees that pieces of your workpiece will drip on the
With steel, you can read the temperature, even through the hood, by the
and/or the brightness of the weld puddle. Too yellow and it is about to
through. With aluminum, you don't get any color at all, just a change in
the surface finish as it goes from solid to liquid. If the puddle gets
it goes blop on the floor.
The TIG electrode runs REALLY hot with aluminum, due to the reverse
polarity part of the cycle. It lights up like a several thousand watt
which it is, of course. Something I've found to help is to position the
so the TIG cup shields the direct light from the electrode. Then, the
is lighting up the workpiece, but not shining in your eyes. That gives you
good view of the surface of the metal. I have to get up REALLY close to the
weld area to see what I'm doing. Probably practice will help, there. I
have some mis-marked alloys that are SUPPOSED to be weldable, but the welds
crack as they cool, right along the weld. I suspect these are not the
alloys they are supposed to be. I was getting some really nice-looking
on them, but then they cracked. I'm waiting for a serious project in
to come up, and then I'll probably buy some traceable alloy to be sure
can be welded. I've been practicing on scrap, mostly. I did get one
welded beautifully, and I could bend it 180 degrees with only modest
(which many aluminum alloys won't take even without the welding.)
No, what I said was that I have been soldering all my life and I hope that I
can learn tig easier because of it. I never thought tig welding would be
easier than soldering.
I will remember the tips that you mentioned. I am anxious to get a machine
and start learning.
I wonder if there is an another medium besides Ebay for used
equipment/welders, that has a lot of volume.
If it is a.c., does this sound like a good deal in spite of the fact
(verified) that one cannot get parts for it any longer?
I don't like going from a potential of 300 amps to 250 amps but I want a tig
Hmm, I really don't think so. the way the whole process is
done, it is not really similar. I think stick welding may
be a lot closer to the TIG scheme than soldering or brazing,
because you ARE dealing with melting the parent metal.
I am a VERY expert solderer, and do everything from water pipe
to 0.5 mm pitch surface mount chips by hand, and I don't think there
are a lot of parallels in the technique.
I don't know of any other good auction or sales sites. Judging
from what goes on with machine tools, the commercial brokers
are very expensive.
Hmmm, I don't know. The plain AC transformer machines are pretty
simple. If you can get schematics of any automatic stuff, it should
be repairable even if something minor breaks. The really major stuff
other than SCRs and diodes should be pretty tough.
If it is a square-wave machine, that gets a bit more complicated,
and without schematics it could be real trouble to fix even minor
stuff like a bad control pot or switch. I had to replace a capacitor
on my Lincoln, and they don't give out real schematics of the boards.
But, the wiring diagram they were willing to send me was enough to
get me to the right part the first time.
As someone who has done electronic soldering since I was old enough
(barely) to hold a soldering iron, I definitely feel that experience
made it much easier to learn TIG welding. While the temperature and flow
characteristics are not the same, the process of applying heat with a
torch / iron in one hand and solder / filler with the other hand while
getting your face in quite close is very much the same.
That's a good price for a machine with a water cooler. The water
cooled torches aren't expensive, but the coolers are.
If you really need 300 amps you can trade up later. You can TIG a
lot of aluminum at 250 amps and less.