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  1. #1
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    Default Thoughts on buying an old Airco welder?

    I've occassionally needed a welder with a little more oomph than my trusty old Lincoln Weldpak 100 wire feed...(but at the moment I can't quite swing the $400 for a new Hobart Stickmate AC/DC at Tractor Supply)...Anyhow, there's an old Airco that I'm going to look at tomorrow, listed at $100. (Supposedly this is 220V input, and AC/DC, just needs a little paint).

    Worth $100??? Perhaps, if it worked perfectly (despite needing paint) and if it had welding leads...But Airco hasn't sold welders in years, so parts are probably unobtainable. Even if it doesn't need repair, if it doesn't have any leads, that's another $100 (gee, the new Hobart at least comes with clamps, rod holder, and leads)...

    Anybody have any thoughts on old Airco welders? If it were an older Lincoln or Miller AC/DC, I'd be less hesitant, but to me, ancient welders aren't "vintage" or "collectible", they're inefficient (and very heavy).


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Thoughts on buying an old Airco welder?

    Can't hurt to check it out it may turn out to be a jewel.
    Welcome to TBN
    Farwell

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Thoughts on buying an old Airco welder?

    You could always try craigsist for possible deals as well and also local garage sales?

    I bought a 1965 Lincoln IdealArc 250 and love it. You are right though very very heavy.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member bobodu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on buying an old Airco welder?

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( ancient welders aren't "vintage" or "collectible", they're inefficient (and very heavy).

    )</font>


    They are heavy for a reason....duty cycle!!!
    People alway worry about getting parts....back then things were made to last...proabaly never need a part.I'd give a hundred for the Airco and not a dime a Hobart!!!!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Thoughts on buying an old Airco welder?

    Well I looked at it, and it was in very poor condition. Some knobs were complely broken, switches missing, the paint had completely faded off the entire front face, internals looked damaged.

    So I respectfully passed, I would like another welder, not another project.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Thoughts on buying an old Airco welder?

    Bob,
    I am looking for feedback on Hobart. From your post it looks like you have had some problems with Hobart. I have been looking at the Hobart 10K Champion welder/generator but have not been able to get any comments on the Internet either way.
    I will appreciate any information either way on Hobart.
    Thanks.
    Farwell

  7. #7
    Platinum Member bobodu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on buying an old Airco welder?

    &lt;/font&gt;<font color="blueclass=small">( Bob,
    I am looking for feedback on Hobart. From your post it looks like you have had some problems with Hobart. )&lt;/font&gt;

    I guess I outta tell you that my only experience is with an $1100 Hobart MIG the company bought to replace the Lincoln they had...the owner took it home because he built a place to keep it...ratfink!!
    Just not impressed with it at all...wimpy comes to mind.Slow feed on the trigger pull,plugs up constantly,inconsistant feed...just a few things I don't like.Except for the little Lincolns...I'll take red one over a purple one any day.Ever wonder why you don't see many service trucks with Hobarts?
    Yes...I am aware of the Hobart/Miller connection....I'm sure some Hobart guys will come along a tell us how helpful,friendly,courtious,kind....etc. their machine is and I admit I can be narrowminded...but the experience was/is bad enough for me to turn my back on the whole line.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Thoughts on buying an old Airco welder?

    Bob,
    Thanks for getting back to me.
    I have a Hobart mig set up that I bought 10 years ago and I have the same complaints that you have. I just chalked it up to my inexperience.
    I am going to do a lot more research before I buy a combination welder-generator.
    Farwell

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Thoughts on buying an old Airco welder?

    The plant we landfill for Tiffin motor homes has about fifty airco from when they started back in the early seventies. They are pretty good and most are ac/dc. Check around in a few trader papers theres alot of bargains in stick welders.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Thoughts on buying an old Airco welder?

    just a word about old welders, while there are junk and gems just like with anything, most older welders are pretty reliable and most parts are more or less off the shelf parts for a competent welding shop. i have a lincoln ac/dc 500 amp welder i bought for a $100 when i was 14, its the best money i ever spent, its heavy, weighs around 900 lbs, and didnt come with leads, but it will weld all day at 200 amps and not even warm up, try that with a little hobart or lincoln and ya will be buying another, the older big heavy welders have the duty cycle ya need for long heavy welding and air arcing, cant air arc with a little buzz box, just doesnt have the amperage or duty cycle needed. i recently picked up a lincoln ac/dc 300 amp welder that i am going to start using instead, just because it has more adjustment in the lower amperage range, but it still has the duty cycle that ya need for real use. now ya are probably thinkin 300 amps isnt a very big welder, heck a 225 buzz box can be carried by one guy, but ya gota remember this is an older shop sized welder, its about 500lbs according to the manual, and is about the size of a kitchen stove. yup its old and heavy, but not inefficient as someone else said. at work we have the same welder and just sent it down to the welder repair place cause it had a diode burn out, i was just talkin to the guy there and he was sayin how one of those welders will outlive most anything on the market today. they are truely a time tested design. now i know this sounds like an add for lincoln but in reality its just what i have had because they came along at the right price, hobart and miller have both made simular machines of simular quality also, im just saying dont believe anyone that tells ya old welders are junk.

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