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n9viw
04-02-2008, 01:34 PM
Fellow Krew,

I just made the score of a lifetime: a Linde VI-253 industrial MIG welder, for $150 (minus the tank, sadly). I'm going to pick it up tonight. I Googled the unit, and found it selling, used, anywhere from $400 to over $2000. It'll go a long way to allowing me to weld tubing, especially since my wife said we can KEEP all the bikes I've gleaned in our upcoming move! Oh yeah, forgot to mention, we're moving to Missouri. That reminds me: Hey PW, get a move on- we're moving to Missouri in a couple months. ;)

What I HAVEN'T found is an owner's/operator's manual for it. Seen a lot of requests for Linde documentation, though! Does any exist? Does anyone know of a house, maybe like Helm Publishing, for welders?

TIA,

Pagan Wizard
04-03-2008, 12:12 AM
That reminds me: Hey PW, get a move on- we're moving to Missouri in a couple months. ;)



YIKES!!!!! :eek: Do you have a move date yet? I should be able to do something this weekend if you're up for it. Looks like the temps will be in the upper 50's, so it will be at least warm enough for us to work outdoors for a while. I can help you out with a project or two before we start on anything of my own. This will give both of us the oportunity to learn my (still) new welder.

n9viw
04-03-2008, 11:24 AM
Okay, that's a little TOO soon. ;) This weekend is dedicated to working on the house, trying to get it ready for sale. Also, next weekend gives me enough time to get stuff in the garage boxed up and packed away, which will give us more room to work without worrying about setting things on fire. Be careful, though- if you hang around too much, I may put you to work helping me refurb the garage for the sale! ;)

I picked up the welder last night, and although the PO said it worked, I kinda wonder how. The spool drive works fine, but the controls on the power unit are either stuck or frozen. I'll have to take the cover off to find out why. Now I know why he PREFERS working with stick- if he couldn't adjust the controls on this thing, there's no knowing what kind of current he was running at! :eek: No matter, though- I'll have it ship-shape in short order. I'll have to get a tank of mix, or a 10# spool of flux core (if I can find FC in 10# spools, that is!).

Pagan Wizard
04-03-2008, 11:41 AM
Not a problem Nick, let me know a few days ahead of time when you are ready to get this ball rolling.

TheKid
04-03-2008, 01:39 PM
I buy 10# of FC all the time now. Just Google it to find the best price.

n9viw
04-04-2008, 05:21 PM
Well, here's a snag. I've been Googling the VI-253, trying to figure out its specs and find an owner's manual for it, and I found a problem: it's 230/460, THREE PHASE. No wonder the previous owner didn't have any luck running it on 240 split phase, he probably had the third leg tied to neutral!

So, now I have a choice to make. I could:
1) Resell it. The guy I bought it from had people beating down his door to get it, but I won out because I was the only one willing to come down THAT NIGHT to get it. I can at least get my costs out of it, even including the fuel I spent driving the four hour round trip to get it. The downside is that I wouldn't have a MIG welder, and I've been lusting after one ever since I had to return my father's Millermatic 200 to him last year.
2) Get a phase converter. They come in both static and rotary flavors, the latter being more efficient, but much more expensive, than the former. They range anywhere from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars, based on how much power you plan to pull through it. That, in addition to the tank, is another money outlay, but would leave me with a 250A welder with ONE HUNDRED PERCENT duty cycle! W00t!
3) Clean it up, refurbish it, and resell it. I've seen clean versions of this rig going for several hundred dollars, and even saw one going for over two grand (it retailed for $3,500 USD back at its release in 1967, and was virtually unchanged for over 20 years!) If I put in some elbow grease, sand it down and repaint it with stock I have on hand, and get a grand out of it, I can turn around and buy a brand-name welder WITH a tank, and only sacrifice a little bit (since most consumer-level welders are derated to a certain duty cycle to make their max output current more impressive).

I'm leaning toward option #3... I don't want to spend MORE money, but I want to try to get what this machine is worth. It means spending time and effort to clean it up and refurbish it, and the willingness to postpone the gratification of using it. The flipside is that I could get a decent (and newer) MIG welder that I could just plug in and go. I could save even more by buying used, and put the rest of the money into other items.

Opinions? Suggestions? If you also support option #3, which welder do you recommend, and why? I'm leaning toward HTP or Miller, for the same reasons: all-metal gear spool drives, and copper-wound transformers. HTP is a rebranded Italian rig, though, and parts are ONLY through HTP's headquarters in Arlington Heights, IL. Hobart is a rebranded and down-rated Miller with plastic housing, and I'm not real keen on Lincoln because of their aluminum transformers, but I'd consider them if someone had a convincing argument. Let's hear it!

zobman
04-04-2008, 09:14 PM
The phase converter would cost about as much as to get 3 phase to your garage. But then again most power companies will not bring 3 phase to a residence. And a phase converter big enough to use for welding would be pretty costly! I would guess the best thing would be to clean up and resell?


Well, here's a snag. I've been Googling the VI-253, trying to figure out its specs and find an owner's manual for it, and I found a problem: it's 230/460, THREE PHASE. No wonder the previous owner didn't have any luck running it on 240 split phase, he probably had the third leg tied to neutral!

So, now I have a choice to make. I could:
1) Resell it. The guy I bought it from had people beating down his door to get it, but I won out because I was the only one willing to come down THAT NIGHT to get it. I can at least get my costs out of it, even including the fuel I spent driving the four hour round trip to get it. The downside is that I wouldn't have a MIG welder, and I've been lusting after one ever since I had to return my father's Millermatic 200 to him last year.
2) Get a phase converter. They come in both static and rotary flavors, the latter being more efficient, but much more expensive, than the former. They range anywhere from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars, based on how much power you plan to pull through it. That, in addition to the tank, is another money outlay, but would leave me with a 250A welder with ONE HUNDRED PERCENT duty cycle! W00t!
3) Clean it up, refurbish it, and resell it. I've seen clean versions of this rig going for several hundred dollars, and even saw one going for over two grand (it retailed for $3,500 USD back at its release in 1967, and was virtually unchanged for over 20 years!) If I put in some elbow grease, sand it down and repaint it with stock I have on hand, and get a grand out of it, I can turn around and buy a brand-name welder WITH a tank, and only sacrifice a little bit (since most consumer-level welders are derated to a certain duty cycle to make their max output current more impressive).

I'm leaning toward option #3... I don't want to spend MORE money, but I want to try to get what this machine is worth. It means spending time and effort to clean it up and refurbish it, and the willingness to postpone the gratification of using it. The flipside is that I could get a decent (and newer) MIG welder that I could just plug in and go. I could save even more by buying used, and put the rest of the money into other items.

Opinions? Suggestions? If you also support option #3, which welder do you recommend, and why? I'm leaning toward HTP or Miller, for the same reasons: all-metal gear spool drives, and copper-wound transformers. HTP is a rebranded Italian rig, though, and parts are ONLY through HTP's headquarters in Arlington Heights, IL. Hobart is a rebranded and down-rated Miller with plastic housing, and I'm not real keen on Lincoln because of their aluminum transformers, but I'd consider them if someone had a convincing argument. Let's hear it!

Pagan Wizard
04-13-2008, 05:15 PM
Hey n9viw, next weekends weather is looking pretty promising, 70's and sunshine. If you're up for it, I can haul out my welder and we can give it a good breaking in. Here is a link to the welder that I have so you have a heads up on what to expect.

http://www.amazon.com/Speedway-125-Amp-Flux-Welder/dp/B000JUJJKI/ref=pd_bbs_sr_6/104-2033740-9051146?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1193014249&sr=8-6

n9viw
04-14-2008, 03:18 PM
PW, sorry I haven't been checking in here more often. Ivy and I are driving down to MO this weekend (Thursday-Sunday) to close on the property and spend some time there planning and dreaming. The following weekend my buddy Colin and I will be having a garage day, possibly doing an engine swap on our two Jeep CJs.

Kwetz, I had seen plans like that online while researching converters. I tried to calculate how much HP I would need to supply the appropriate amount of current for the machine, since it won't be running a motor but a transformer. The machine is rated for 29A at 230VAC; I don't know if that's per leg or total. To make things simple, I'm going to assume that's total input current.

Applying the Power law, 230 * 29 = 6670, or 6.67kW. Using a conversion program, I found that 6.67kW = 8.94 HP. To follow the recommendation of the writer of the web page you linked, if I were to find a 2:1 powered 3-phase motor, I would need to find a 16 HP unit. I looked around a bit, and those sites that DID show prices (most don't), said "Call!". The next-highest available with a price was well over $500!

I looked on Craigslist in several local areas... no dice. I then looked on eBay, and found lots of motors at less than 5hp, and a very few above 10. The few in my price range were all from a place called Bearys Gizmos in NM (can you imagine the shipping costs?!), and were rated "230/460VAC" or "460VAC". I don't know if that would work with my welder, although it is rated 230/460.

Okay, next issue- the article stated that, when the second 3-phase motor (being smaller than the first, which is powered by the 110v motor) powers up on the output of the first 3-phase motor, they BOTH run better. Since I'm using this to power a transformer, does this mean I will achieve correct power when I power the welder up, or only when I start welding?

Any more input is most welcome!

n9viw
04-15-2008, 04:31 PM
I called TEMCo, a company that makes rotary phase converters. Of course, they pan the "build your own phase converter" plans, because they want to sell more of their own I imagine. I can't see how theirs would work any better than one I make, apart from fit and finish, or quality of operation. It's still taking 240v single phase and making 240v three-phase, and probably in the same method.
Rudy at TEMCo said that, given the specs of my welder, I would require their model 6500kw, which is a 11kW converter that provides 31A from 208-240v. I asked him how he calculated the size, and he said it was based on the input power and output current. I converted 11kW, and it works out to roughly 15hp.
If I were to create a phase converter according to that website, I would probably need THREE motors: the starter or "pony" motor (already have, 120v single phase 2hp), the 3-phase master motor (15hp minimum), and a smaller 3-phase 'slave' motor that would represent the 'load'. The reason for doing this would be to smooth out the 3-phase generation as the article mentions, and then tap off THAT with the welder. The second 3-phase motor would essentially be a dead load, sitting there spinning and doing no work other than smoothing out the 3-phase power.

Does this make sense? Also, I currently only have 30A going to the garage. If your estimation of 15% loss is correct, I should only get 25.5A from the system, which would mean running below max rated output (no problems there), or blowing breakers and hot wires. If I wanted more current to the garage, I'd have to rewire the whole run, and that's buried wire. Not worth it for a place I won't long be at.

Given that even a cheap 3-phase 15hp motor runs more than $100, plus possibly another motor (at what size?), is it worth it?