IDEALARC 300/300

I would like to have a tig machine.
Does anyone have any comments on the Idealarc 300/300? What about a price
for a used one that is ten years old?
Thanks much
Reply to
knowone
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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?
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
I paid about $1300 for a Lincoln square-wave TIG 300, which is a pretty fantastic 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 great work 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 problems with the flux fumes on stick, even working outdoors. I can TIG indoors and nobody else in the house even knows I'm welding!)
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
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 price?
k.
Reply to
knowone
I paid $399 for mine but it had no torch, or foot pedal. Its a good machine but is big and heavy. heres a link
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then click on "shop tour" and you will see a picture. I use my MIG most of the time and Stick weld more than tig.
Reply to
wayne mak
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 brains.
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
Nice page and nice picture, Wayne.
I have a mig with spoolgun and stick, too. Really want to try tig if the guy doesn't want too much. Is the water-cooler/pump inside the machine?
k
Reply to
knowone
Your brains are better than mine, Harold. I know absolutely nothing about tig machines and the value of an older one. So, your info and experience helps greatly.
Thanks
Reply to
knowone
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 machines.
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 fumes
What do you find difficult, if anything, about tig'ing aluminum?
Thanks for your help.
k
Reply to
knowone
If ABSOLUTELY everything is there, and in very good shape, $1,000 used for EVERYTHING. Torches, cooler, regulator, tungstens, consumables, lots of stuff.
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 quickly.
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.
Steve
Reply to
Steve B
DOH. Never mind. I was thinking of another machine all together. Check ebay to see what used is going for. You will be surprised.
Steve
Reply to
Steve B
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.
Again, thanks
Reply to
knowone
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 floor!
With steel, you can read the temperature, even through the hood, by the color and/or the brightness of the weld puddle. Too yellow and it is about to fall 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 too big, 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 arc lamp, which it is, of course. Something I've found to help is to position the torch so the TIG cup shields the direct light from the electrode. Then, the electrode 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 may also 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 weldable alloys they are supposed to be. I was getting some really nice-looking welds on them, but then they cracked. I'm waiting for a serious project in Aluminum to come up, and then I'll probably buy some traceable alloy to be sure it really can be welded. I've been practicing on scrap, mostly. I did get one piece that welded beautifully, and I could bend it 180 degrees with only modest cracking (which many aluminum alloys won't take even without the welding.)
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
Make sure it does AC. Many of the Esabs (and other TIGs) are DC only, and require 3-phase power.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
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.
Thanks.
k.
Reply to
knowone
Jon,
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 machine!
k
Reply to
knowone
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.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
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.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
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.
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
Ok Don, Jon, Pete, Steve, Wayne, Harold and everyone else who helped me with their input.
I'm sure I will post more after I see and/or buy the Esab. I find it strange that I can't find information on the model number of it: DTA-250UM even through google. I need a picture and specs. and so far, no cigar.
k.o.
Reply to
knowone

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