Welder problems

Like I didn't already ask enough questions in my plasma post, here goes two more. I'm curious if anyone has any advice on two separate problems.

I have a Lincoln AC (buzz box/tombstone) stick welder. I've owned it about five years. It is not used commercially so use is light. Not too long after I got it became progressively harder to turn the current selector dial. I never turn it when the unit is on. It got so bad that the other day I had to turn it so hard that the dial's fork actually popped out of the slot due to the pressure. The unit is inside and doesn't appear corroded inside. Everything looks fine inside the case.

The second issue is with a little Chicago Electric 110 Mig welder. The wire feed has been horrible since day one but I chalk that up to "you get what you pay for". When it feeds right it has always done a decent job. the other day it stopped making any spark. The power comes on and the fan turns but there is no spark. Even when I touch the welding wire to the ground clamp, nothing. Can anyone tell me what I might check? I couldn't find a fuse but I can't swear that there isn't one somewhere.


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Have a similar problem with an old 2nd hand welder I have.

Sorry no answer, but I too will be watching this one.

Again had a similar problem with one of my migs, put it down to mine also being a cheep one, but after talking with a friend, who has done some professional welding, I replaced the torch inner tubing. This is the one that the wire runs through. I also, as the torch was now in bits, checked the switch was working correctly with a Continuity test, WITH THE POWER SWITCHED OFF, and found this had gone OPEN circuit. Replaced this and all was fine.

Hope this is of some help.


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Have you looked in the manual for recommended maintenance? On my Miller buzzbox, it suggests you grease the shunt yearly, for example.


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Grant Erwin

Mine did the same thing. It's about 20 years old and I kept forcing the selector until it's loose on the shaft.

It won't hurt the selector to turn it when the welder is on but not actually pulling current. Don't ever try to turn it while welding. It'll arc on the internal contacts and weld them together.

Since you already have the case open, you're halfway home. Get a can of aerosol switch cleaner and liberally spray the internal parts. Spray everything that moves. Make sure the spray you use is non-flammable. After you get it clean, lube it with something that won't burn. I used silicone spray. Now mine turns like it did when it was new. I just wish I hadn't forced it so much, it's hard to tell which setting it's really on.

-- Jack

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Jack Hunt

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