You are doing exactly what it takes to generate the perfect used buzzbox. It will magically appear in your area a week or two AFTER you buy import! I hang out with a bunch of people who say "don't quit five minutes before the miracle". I vote for PATIENCE. Or looking in a different way. Have you tried contacting local businesses or trade schools, looking for unwanted machines?
Anyway, I have zero experience with import welders so can't say.. GWE
Call some radio "tradeo" type programs, also. May have to call several days in a row. Word will get around by word of mouth that you're looking. Some lady will talk her husband into offering you the welder he seldom uses. :-)
I pulled up the spec sheet for a typical imported 240 volt stick welder:
and for the standard Lincoln "Tombstone" welder
A few things to think about: The Licolon has an Open Circuit Voltage (OCV) of 79 volts versus 50 volts on the import. A high OCV is needed to start rods easily. A pro usually doesn't care much, a newbie will be quite frustrated by the import special.
The duty cycle on the Lincoln is 20% at the full rated 225 amps. They don't have a curve but I suspect 100amps (about right range for 1/8"
6013 rod) has a duty cycle of 80% or better. ie just weld away. The duty cycle on the import is 10% at 130 amps, wonder what it is at full output? 5%???? Duty cycles are rated in 10 minute periods, figure about
1 minute to burn a rod. 10% means weld one rod, wait 9 minutes.
The shipping weight on the import is 58 pounds, the Lincoln comes in 124 pounds, more than double. Copper and iron in the core makes up the difference.
Both of them will require you to purchase a helmet, the import does come with a "shield" that requires you to hold in in place but they are a pain to use.
Net: You get what you pay for. The import will do some jobs. It surely w> Hello group.
One more thing -- for many years now, BOTH the Lincoln and Miller buzzboxes have their main transformers wound with ALUMINUM not copper. Those who think just because they're made in the US they're heavy copper, it ain't so. - GWE