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Thread: Finally, My own AC225-S

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
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    Washington State
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    Finally, My own AC225-S

    Well, I finally found an AC225-S for a good price. Paint was cruddy, leads were OK, and Power cord was spliced and wire-nutted together about 3 feet from the machine, but I'm going to restore it. I cut my teeth on one back in the Mid-70's when I was 12. My dad owned his own Auto garage and they did all their own welding. I showed an interest. He showed me the basics, tossed some scraps of metal to me and said to try it out. 2 weeks later, he was cutting the wrought Iron for the stair railings on the front and back porches of the house, and had me welding them together. Haven't touched one since the Mid 80's and have been keeping my eye out. Looks like the range switch was turned while welding, as a couple contacts are completely wasted.
    Ordered a new range selector and main power switch, and a 20 foot 6/3 power cable with a molded on Nema 6-50P.
    Labeled the transformer taps and cut the lugs off the old switch to make it easier to get the cables out of the lugs. Also going to strip and prep the metal parts and completely repaint everything.
    Have 50ft of 1/0 welding cable and all the crimp on lugs and a crimp tool for them coming as well. New 400A electrode holder and work clamp as well.
    Fan is perfect, no loose bushings and actually not as loud as I remember!
    Code on the front plate is 7533-703 I am assuming March of 1977? Date on the wiring diagram inside is 3-12-1976
    One major question I have is what type of solder should be used on the Taps at the selector switch. I have non corrosive flux core silver solder I used to build a ham antenna from Copper pipe, and I have smaller electronic solder around for my "normal sized" projects.
    Thanks!

    Not sure why the images are rotated... They are normal on my end. I rotated them 90 degrees and it didn't change on this end...
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    Last edited by 5ft24dave; 09-04-2021 at 02:11 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Southern Illinois
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    Re: Finally, My own AC225-S

    Great project, those are nice machines. You went plenty heavy on leads and stinger. If you ever upgrade to a bigger welder you can use them there. Like itís big brother



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Steve

    Miller Dialarc 250 (1990)
    Miller Maxstar 140 STR (2003)
    Lincoln SA200 Redface Pipeliner (1966)
    Lincoln MP210 (2015)
    Victor and MECO torches

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  4. #3
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    Re: Finally, My own AC225-S

    Very nice!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    Re: Finally, My own AC225-S

    Looks like it will be a neat project. That looks similar to the AC-225 I did my first personal project outside of school on with a stick machine - 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" thick material.

    I've heard it said before on here and other places, and I believe it - the AC-225's are probably so popular and common you could put all other welders together and still not come to the numbers of the decades and decades of production of the AC-225's. You can go in to Home Depot and Lowes and buy one brand new off the shelf even today.

    The older stuff is better made, though. They don't wind the transformers as stout as they used to. They are made to a price point and, thus, the quality is tailored (IE - cheapened up) to meet it. Though, they are still all good machines to start on and have around.

    Have fun with the restoration! Post pictures and your progress as you go.

    Last year I restored a '66 Idealarc 250 AC/DC. There is a restoration thread on it here if you look for it. Lotsa pictures. Maybe it will give you some ideas as you go along on yours. For what it is worth, you mentioned the arc'd contacts. I disassembled my polarity switch and cleaned the contacts on it. If your amperage selector switch comes apart it might help to look over what I did. Of course, as with everything in the restoration - pictures, pictures, pictures. And if you take wires off - label them with masking tape etc as to where they go and take a picture of how they are routed. It will save you a lot of headaches when reassembling. I can't tell you how much I studied the pictures I took when I went back to assembling.

    Being an AC machine you'll have much more simplified circuitry, so that is a head start.

    For what it is worth - if you end up doing smaller projects you'll likely find the amperage increments down low to be too coarse of increments. I'd say 1/8" thick material might be about the bottom end of what you can weld with it with much finesse. North of 1/8" you won't have any trouble.

    Something else to tuck in the back of your mind is you can't kill these old analog tombstones. The world could blow up and the only two things left would be cockroaches and tombstone welders.

    If you get the restoration bug, or you get the classic tombstone bug, regardless - keep your eyes out for an Idealarc 250 AC/DC - the ones with AC in the middle of the polarity selector switch (those are earlier models). There are some very early ones that used an ancient form of a rectifier that are known to have issues, but after that there were quite a few years where they had axial diodes that have been much more robust. OEM components for these old machines are next to impossible to come by in some cases, however suitable diodes are available that can be installed with minor modification.

    I used my old Round Top quite a bit in the past 2 weeks welding 1/16" to 1/4" thick material. The best thing about the Idealarc 250 that I've found is the infinite amperage adjustment. Welding on the small stuff sometimes a minute crank of the dial makes all the difference in the world in how a particular rod runs. I've been burning a lot of 3/32" 7018 and the recommended bottom end of the amperage range is 85 amps. However, I've been running them as low as 55 amps trying not to blow through smaller parts. When your amperage goes from 60 down to 40 in one step you miss a lot of room for finesse.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Southern Illinois
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    Re: Finally, My own AC225-S

    You nailed it, the infinite amperage adjustment is the one major shortfall of the AC225. I too have the Idealarc250 and while itís a much more robust welder the infinite adjustment really makes it shine.

    Mine is a 1989, last of the round tops. In its original condition, like new on the inside bought and never used by the original owner


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Steve

    Miller Dialarc 250 (1990)
    Miller Maxstar 140 STR (2003)
    Lincoln SA200 Redface Pipeliner (1966)
    Lincoln MP210 (2015)
    Victor and MECO torches

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