I was using a friends newer Lincoln AC225s for the past year and 1/2 and in the mean time looking to buy something myself. I new that if I bought a new machine it was going to be AC/DC but did not want to part with the $400.00.
Last week my aunt gave me a Lincoln 180s Stick welder (model 4248) that my grandpa bought many moons ago. I know it is at a minimum 30 years old and most likely double that. The unit needed all new cables and a switch. It had not even been used for at least 15 years. Fortunately I work for an electrical supply distributor and was able to buy almost everything at cost which was still $ 75.00. (New 25ft #4 electrode cables, 10 ft power cord and plug, new power switch, electode holder and ground clamp.) By the way if you ever need a power switch don't pay $60+ dollars from Lincoln - a heavy duty motor switch does the job at about 1/2 the cost.
Did quite a bit of welding last night and it seems to work quite well. Maybe because it is mine and not borrowed, but it almost seems like it has a better arc quality than the newer AC225s. Strange to turn this unit on because it makes almost no noise as there is no fan, it just sits there and buzzes. It does seem just a little bit harder to establish an arc but once the rod has been started it works great.
Any way, I was wondering if anyone knows anything about these old pups that were obviously replaced by the 225 series? Was $ 75.00 too much to put into it? How long do the old transformers last?