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just picked up a new welder this weekend, well new being relitive. it's an old craftsman a.c. arc welder 40-230 amps. seems to work although it needs all new cables and a fresh coat of paint. now what are some good uses for this thing? would a TIG rig be a bad idea? i don't think i have done any AC stick welding is it all that different then DC? what rods should i be looking for?
 

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just picked up a new welder this weekend, well new being relitive. it's an old craftsman a.c. arc welder 40-230 amps. seems to work although it needs all new cables and a fresh coat of paint. now what are some good uses for this thing? would a TIG rig be a bad idea? i don't think i have done any AC stick welding is it all that different then DC? what rods should i be looking for?
If you don't know what uses can be fulfilled with an AC arc welder, you shouldn't even consider purchasing, using, or even looking at a TIG welder.

I would research the web for the different welding processes. Also, use an advanced Google search with PBB in the domain name and keywords "How to weld" "what welder is good" etc.

If you really feel like you won't hurt yourself (you should at least have a sufficient welding mask, leather gloves, and appropriate attire), go buy some 6011 rods and gather up some scrap and go to town.
 

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good advice for someone not knowing how to weld at all :smokin:

currently i have a couple of welders and picked this one up for the best price (free) just needs some work. mostly i was just wondering if there is a big difference in this AC welder vs. a DC setup, and was currious since it is an AC welder if a TIG rig would be a good option so that it could be used to weld aluminum?
 

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and was currious since it is an AC welder if a TIG rig would be a good option so that it could be used to weld aluminum?
Nope.. Your free welder will become a money pit and still suck hard for that work.

Grab 6011's and/or 7018AC's and go to town with it as is.
 

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Nope.. Your free welder will become a money pit and still suck hard for that work.

Grab 6011's and/or 7018AC's and go to town with it as is.

cool thanks for the info.

with this thing being AC and a 230amp machine is it going to cover me for welding past my miller 175 mig, or since it's an AC setup the amps really don't matter except when it comes to pay the power bill?
 

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You will find that starting an arc with an AC machine is somewhat challenging for new welders. Also when you go to purchase welding rod, you will need to get AC or AC/DC rod. There is a difference. I prefer 6013 for regular 'scabbing' things together, the best stuff I ever used was manufactured by Westinghouse. Don't know if they are still in that business or not. My deceased uncle could perform miracles with his old Craftsman 'buzzbox'. It's all about practice/skill/technique.
 

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You can set up an AC buzz box to do limited tig work on non ferrous metals, but you will have to get a high frequency arc starter, and you will not have remote current controls, which will make it somewhat difficult to tig weld aluminum.
 
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