There is a place local to me that is selling 6 Miller/Airco 330 A/BP
TIG/stick welders. I'm assuming they are 1980s vintage from the look of
them. They are asking for $375 for them. Is there a way I could test
them to see if they are decent, or things to look for.
Also, as somebody who does mainly MIG and some stick, would this be a good
machine to learn TIG on? They need 100 Amps single phase to power them,
so I can run them.
I'm going to call my local Airco store and see if they even carry parts
My local Airco called Miller and got back the answer that they still cary
"Most major parts".
And I gave them a call. The units are bare, no torch or cables for that
price, though they said they can add them on. They also said they are
guaranteed, and they have checked them out. I didn't ask how long they
are guaranteed for though. And since they are local, they can deliver it
with a lift-gate truck, so I don't have to try and figure out
transportation for an 830# welder. Probably run in the ballpark of
If anybody else wants to chime in too, I wouldn't mind. I've added r.c.m,
since there are pretty good tool scrounges there too. Oh, and if anybody
else is interested, they have 5 more units at the same price.
They are worth about $1 per lb. in copper scrap, as is.
I am not a big fan of 330 AB/P's.
Yes they work ok for DC tig, but at that age the high freq. units are
pretty old and tired, so AC tig is iffy at best.
They never had great low amperage control, and while "most major parts"
are available, they are not cheap.
The screw in fuse for the foot pedal tends to blow at really
inconvenient times, and the rotary switches can burn out.
For scrap value that is a great deal.
Buy them strip them and sell the copper.
There is about 400 lbs of copper in each one.
If you strip the copper out you get more like $3 per lb. for the scrap.
So for an investment of under $1200 you can get about $3600 for the
Use the $2400 profit to buy a brand new Miller Syncrowave 200 TIG.
Any other questions?
Due to the economic collapse, it is only about $2 per pound or even
less now. Things changed in just one month.
Ernie, can you compare a Aircrafter 330ST vs. a Syncrowave 250? Is a
Syncrowave better when used at modest power?
Well, considering one of the plans for this was to well 20-22ga stainless,
that lets me know that it probably isn't a good unit for that.
Well, that was about twice the amount of copper I was expecting in it.
However as was pointed out downthread, spot price of copper is in the
$1.80/lb range, and pretty volatile right now. Talking to my local copper
scrounge, I'd be luckey to get $1.50/lb for bare bright copper, and
selling the copper burned clean, (which I'm not supposed to do) I'd get
about $1/lb. Kind of takes the profit out of it. 3 months ago, I would
have jumped at this, even with the work involved.
Not at the moment. I've got my eye also on a local pickup only auction
for a Lincoln Square Wave 175 with pedal and torch. However the reserve
is probably over what I can afford right now. If not, I'm going to try
for that. I just need to knucle down and start turning out more damascus
steel seam-rippers. They go like hotcakes, and about 30-45 of them should
pay for a decent TIG rig.
I really appreciate the heads-up and the commentary. Your experince, and
your willingness to share it has really helped me, and I'm sure quite a
few other people here.
Nice charts! Note how it dropped from 3.40 a pount from Sep 23, to
$1.84 or whatever on October 23.
Most definitely, a very good time to build something or just buy a
copper sheet as a welding backing etc.
I can't directly compare the two, but I can tell you that the Syncrowave
250 is a fantastic machine and does not have the problems Ernie noted
with such things as low amp control. I'm not sure what the real rating
on that 330 is, but the Syncrowave 250 will do more than 250A, the panel
control goes to 310A. The 250 rating comes from a 40% duty cycle spec.
The Aircrafter has a max output of 450 amps, and needs a 150 amp
breaker if run from 220 volt power.
That is pretty damn big.
Other than that, it has similar output controls to an older analog
Syncrowave 250, but the Syncrowave maxes out at 310 amps, and only
needs a 90 amp breaker.
They are both square wave machines, so they will both be fine on
Neither has an easy pulser solution.
Miller makes a pulser unit that plugs inline with the foot pedal, but
they charge a fortune for it.
I love Syncrowaves, about 5 years back I traded in my analog Syncrowave
250 for a digital Syncrowave 250DX.
I wanted the pulser and sequencer.
At South Seattle we had one Syncrowave 250, two 351's and three older
All were nice machines.
The 351 I got from Boeing Surplus had all the bells and whistles and
was my favorite teaching machine.
Yes, but Iggy like electronic projects, and building a pulser /
sequencer to simulate the foot pedal switch and pot isn't particularly
complicated. I've been considering building one myself, and I seem to
recall seeing at least one such design on the net somewhere.
I certainly love my S250.