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Old 06-11-2006, 11:05 PM
frank29 frank29 is offline
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Default I want to use a 700 amp welder to burn 1/8" rods

Hey guys, first post. I am looking for advice on whether to buy a small welder or use a large old welder just sitting in my barn.

I bought a oxygen/acetylene outfit when I was fourteen and, for all these years, have just made do without a welder. Well, no more. All I really need is a small stick welder that will just see occasional use. I would probably use 1/8” rods. You can see my requirements are minimal.

I have a huge old Lincoln welder in my barn. The dial on this monster goes up to something like 600 or 700 amps. It must weigh at least 500 pounds….my brother & I had one heck of a time getting it into my barn. One of the input options is 230 single phase. I got it when a local shop downsized. I think the machine dates back to at least the mid 1960s. All I have is the machine (no cables, clamps, etc.)

Planned electric service to my barn will be limited to 60 amps. Is there a problem with hooking this huge welder up to a relatively small breaker and just keep the output dial turned down low? What else am I missing? Or should I just buy a new buzz box?
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Old 06-11-2006, 11:30 PM
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You wont run it from 60A service and as a side note why limit new service to 60A? Maybe due to the wire? I use number 2 alum for these feeds instead of 6 copper, you can use 100 a breaker and the wire is a lot cheaper.
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Old 06-11-2006, 11:35 PM
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Surprisingly enough, the transformer doesn't care about the input current.... only the output current's important and the output load determines that. Even 5/64ths. rod will weld at 700 amps but you prolly can't feed it fast enough. Just don't expect to burn big rod for long lengths of time until the barn's fixed.
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Old 06-11-2006, 11:46 PM
frank29 frank29 is offline
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I'm trying to use wire I already have. I've got a 5000' foot spool of single conductor #6 solid copper wire. I think it is THN wire. The barn is about 250' from my load center.

My 200 amp load center has a lot of unused slots since I converted from total electric to natural gas. I am planning on running one set of wires for 120 volt lighting and outlets and another set for 240 volt service. I know it's not a lot; but, it will be one heck of a lot better than the extension cord I have used for years!
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Old 06-11-2006, 11:50 PM
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Frank I say get some leads for that monster hook it up and run it I have a miller dialarc250 currently running off a 50 amp breaker until I upgrade to a 200 amp service and havent had any problems . Granted I am not pushing the machine trying to weld 1 inch plate which it would do . My unit recomends a 125 amp breaker but thats is for balls to the wall wide open current which I will prolly never do in my garage .


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Old 06-11-2006, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank29
I'm trying to use wire I already have. I've got a 5000' foot spool of single conductor #6 solid copper wire. I think it is THN wire. The barn is about 250' from my load center.

My 200 amp load center has a lot of unused slots since I converted from total electric to natural gas. I am planning on running one set of wires for 120 volt lighting and outlets and another set for 240 volt service. I know it's not a lot; but, it will be one heck of a lot better than the extension cord I have used for years!
TIME OUT!

I think you should re-think this.... a "sub panel" in the barn is the least you should consider.
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Old 06-12-2006, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Zachman
.....a "sub panel" in the barn is the least you should consider.
I'm going to do that. The 120 volt circuit will have a 60A breaker at the source load center and it will feed a small panel in the barn. I already have a main lug panel(this is not installed; just something else curretnly sitting in my barn); but, I think I'm going to get a main breaker panel.....I just wouldn't feel comfortable with the breaker sooooo far out of sight.

For the 240 volt circuit, I am thinking about one of those little units you see at the outside units of heat pumps.
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Old 06-12-2006, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Zachman
Surprisingly enough, the transformer doesn't care about the input current.... only the output current's important and the output load determines that........
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickairmedic
Frank I say get some leads for that monster hook it up and run it I have a miller dialarc250 currently running off a 50 amp breaker until I upgrade to a 200 amp service and havent had any problems . Granted I am not pushing the machine........
Well, this sounds good. I believe you are both confirming that I can use the large Lincoln with only 60A service IF I keep the output low.

When I buy my leads, I'll have to remember not to mention the size of my welder!
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Old 06-12-2006, 01:15 AM
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Frank I am running number 4 cables on my dialarc currently 20 feet on each lead . The smaller leads remind me not to run the machine to hot .

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Old 06-12-2006, 02:17 AM
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Frank, I agree that its better than an extension cord but here are some things for you to consider:
Have you thought about the the voltage drop at that distance?
Seems to me that 250 feet is a pretty long run for #6 & a whole lot different than the 20 feet Rick is running; according to the the ampacity chart on this page, you're going to lose about 10+ volts & wind up with about 230 volts instead of 240v and 109 volts instead of 120v.
Besides that, it lists the mamimum transmission for 6AWG at 37 amps; is that enough for your operation?
Are you talking about overhead or burial? There is the heat dissipation factor to consider, too.
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