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Thread: Chicago Electric M-100

  1. #1
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    Chicago Electric M-100

    A friend of mine gave me this 120volt flux-wire welder recently. It may not be worth the trouble, but I hate to not try to use it. I have seem many videos saying this welder is AC and should be modified to DCEN. Looks pretty simple to do. The only question is "Is it worth doing?" Inquiring minds want to know-haha
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    Craftsman 230/140 AC/DC Miller HF-251D-1
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  2. #2
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    Re: Chicago Electric M-100

    Does it work?

    The problem would parts.
    There are off self but you how to install the parts.

    Contact tips are standard and can be found. If needs a new mig gun that is about 1/3 of new machine.
    You can new 120volt machines for under $100.00 a dual voltage witch mush better for around $150.00.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by hdonly0 View Post
    A friend of mine gave me this 120volt flux-wire welder recently. It may not be worth the trouble, but I hate to not try to use it. I have seem many videos saying this welder is AC and should be modified to DCEN. Looks pretty simple to do. The only question is "Is it worth doing?" Inquiring minds want to know-haha

  3. #3
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    Re: Chicago Electric M-100

    Yes, it does work. It belonged to his father that passed away. It's older, but doesn't look like it was used much. I have a larger Miller mig but it is hard to move the welder and tank around on my property. This one is much lighter and I can carry a generator with it to do remote repairs.
    Craftsman 230/140 AC/DC Miller HF-251D-1
    Millermatic 130 Linclon 40 amp plasma cutter
    Hypertherm Max 20 O/A cutting and welding stuff
    5HP Ingersoll air compressor

  4. #4
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    Re: Chicago Electric M-100

    Quote Originally Posted by hdonly0 View Post
    Is it worth doing?
    Nooo!!!

    My second welder was nearly the same HF model as that. Junk! I went back to using my big AC stick welder.

    First issue is there was no cooling fan in it.

    The wire feed was so flimsy that it couldn't feed smoothly.

    The two-position welding voltage switch provided 1)Too Hot and 2)Way Too Hot. Far more splatter than it should have made.
    (I should have bought HF's other near-identical model, the one you have, its two voltage choices were farther apart).

    And - I see the power cord and ground grommets etc are worn out. You hardly have anything there to start a conversion from.

    Then a couple other issues not relevant to DC conversion:

    HF sold it alongside flux wire labeled DC ONLY. A clue that HF didn't take their AC welders seriously.

    I actually had two of those. First one just spit, couldn't make a bead. I returned it. Then saw on Ebay a huge number of them 'almost new, open box special' offered by a liquidator. Apparently nearly all of them got returned. A year later I read an explanation, that batch came with flux wire that was hopeless. So I bought the same model again. $72 with coupon, not much money at risk. And bought decent flux wire, Hobart or something. I got some use out of that welder, but eventually sold it for $25 and got a used Century 130 110 volt Mig that worked nice.

    My advice is put it on Craigslist and buy something that is already DC. And not HF''s current AC black equivalent of your welder.
    Last edited by California; 05-03-2022 at 02:01 PM.
    * Amico MIG-130A Flux, Dual Voltage. Truly portable!
    * HF MIG-180 with all the mods. Heavy.
    * Grizzly H8153 Stick/Tig 130/160.
    * Wards PowrKraft AC-230. Stick & carbon arc.

  5. #5
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    Re: Chicago Electric M-100

    If DC then use E71T-11 0.030"
    If Ac then use E71T-GS 0.030".

    Sounds like you have a 120 volt welder.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by hdonly0 View Post
    Yes, it does work. It belonged to his father that passed away. It's older, but doesn't look like it was used much. I have a larger Miller mig but it is hard to move the welder and tank around on my property. This one is much lighter and I can carry a generator with it to do remote repairs.

  6. #6
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    Re: Chicago Electric M-100

    Quote Originally Posted by California View Post
    Nooo!!!

    My second welder was nearly the same HF model as that. Junk! I went back to using my big AC stick welder.

    First issue is there was no cooling fan in it.

    The wire feed was so flimsy that it couldn't feed smoothly.

    The two-position welding voltage switch provided 1)Too Hot and 2)Way Too Hot. Far more splatter than it should have made.
    (I should have bought HF's other near-identical model, the one you have, its two voltage choices were farther apart).

    And - I see the power cord and ground grommets etc are worn out. You hardly have anything there to start a conversion from.

    Then a couple other issues not relevant to DC conversion:

    HF sold it alongside flux wire labeled DC ONLY. A clue that HF didn't take their AC welders seriously.

    I actually had two of those. First one just spit, couldn't make a bead. I returned it. Then saw on Ebay a huge number of them 'almost new, open box special' offered by a liquidator. Apparently nearly all of them got returned. A year later I read an explanation, that batch came with flux wire that was hopeless. So I bought the same model again. $72 with coupon, not much money at risk. And bought decent flux wire, Hobart or something. I got some use out of that welder, but eventually sold it for $25 and got a used Century 130 110 volt Mig that worked nice.

    My advice is put it on Craigslist and buy something that is already DC. And not HF''s current AC black equivalent of your welder.
    Actually the power cord and ground grommets are not worn out. This is the way they were made on this early model. Adding a fan is nothing. I have many laying around that will work. The splatter is because it has AC output. Converting to DC will reduce the splatter alot. 200amp rectifier and needed capacitor is pretty cheap. I am going forward with the conversion. I enjoy playing with such things anyway.
    Craftsman 230/140 AC/DC Miller HF-251D-1
    Millermatic 130 Linclon 40 amp plasma cutter
    Hypertherm Max 20 O/A cutting and welding stuff
    5HP Ingersoll air compressor

  7. #7
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    Re: Chicago Electric M-100

    Quote Originally Posted by hdonly0 View Post
    I am going forward with the conversion. I enjoy playing with such things anyway.
    Go for it! I certainly understand that perspective, I like tinkering on stuff. Yesterday I took apart and repaired the 1960's (??) General Electric toaster inherited from Dad. Turns out it has relay points in it, that chatter after they get corroded. My wife thought it would explode. . A little filing, like on automotive distributor points, and its back in service.

    But win some, lose some. My HP Laserjet 1300 printer from about 2003 comes to life but wouldn't print. So I put a $20 power supply board in it from Ebay. No improvement. Gave up and took it to electronics disposal. I have two more printers of that model that I've replaced the paper-handling rollers, which restored like-new operation, so my spare HP 1300 toner cartridges will still be used.

    I can see what you are trying to do. I still think there are better welders out there more deserving of the effort you will put into this. The primary reason this HF sub-forum exists is because nobody was happy with their HF welder back when that one was sold. The forum was very active as owners gathered here to discuss what it would take to make it work as expected. Me included. The consensus opinion back then for HF's cheaper welders was just buy something that works.
    * Amico MIG-130A Flux, Dual Voltage. Truly portable!
    * HF MIG-180 with all the mods. Heavy.
    * Grizzly H8153 Stick/Tig 130/160.
    * Wards PowrKraft AC-230. Stick & carbon arc.

  8. #8
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    Re: Chicago Electric M-100

    As a fun hobby project it could be worth it,,, as far as welders go shove it in to the scrap, newer better are now so cheap its not worth investment not including effort.

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  10. #9
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    Re: Chicago Electric M-100

    Quote Originally Posted by Sberry View Post
    As a fun hobby project it could be worth it,,, as far as welders go shove it in to the scrap, newer better are now so cheap its not worth investment not including effort.
    I'm retired and piddling around with old junk is what I like to do most. Most of the stuff I get is broke. I like it that way because I get to fix it. I don't have to weld as a job anymore so anything I do now is just for fun.
    Craftsman 230/140 AC/DC Miller HF-251D-1
    Millermatic 130 Linclon 40 amp plasma cutter
    Hypertherm Max 20 O/A cutting and welding stuff
    5HP Ingersoll air compressor

  11. #10
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    Re: Chicago Electric M-100

    Got my capacitors and bleed-off resistors in yesterday. Put them together while drinking my morning coffee. The bridge rectifier came in this afternoon. Will be installing these parts in tomorrow. Will add a cooling fan also. Maybe will find out if this thing will do more than sputter tomorrow.Name:  IMG_20220510_115401256.resized.jpg
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    Craftsman 230/140 AC/DC Miller HF-251D-1
    Millermatic 130 Linclon 40 amp plasma cutter
    Hypertherm Max 20 O/A cutting and welding stuff
    5HP Ingersoll air compressor

  12. Likes California liked this post
  13. #11
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    Re: Chicago Electric M-100

    Well, it's done. Welds better but not by much. Thinking I should try some better wire besides the Chicago Electric brand that it came to me with.
    Craftsman 230/140 AC/DC Miller HF-251D-1
    Millermatic 130 Linclon 40 amp plasma cutter
    Hypertherm Max 20 O/A cutting and welding stuff
    5HP Ingersoll air compressor

  14. #12
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    Re: Chicago Electric M-100

    Quote Originally Posted by hdonly0 View Post
    Well, it's done. Welds better but not by much. Thinking I should try some better wire besides the Chicago Electric brand that it came to me with.
    A spool of Lincoln may work wonders.
    Miller 250P, MM210, Bobcat 250
    Lincoln 225AC/DC, Pro-Mig 175
    Lotos Cut 50
    PrimeWeld TIG225X
    Titanium Easy Flux 125

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