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Thread: Does anyone still use a Plain Jane heliarc machine?

  1. #1
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    Does anyone still use a Plain Jane heliarc machine?

    This is my Dads AIRCO machine that he bought new back in the day. I was taught to weld on it too. Anyway the new machines at work are the size of a decent lunch box with knobs for unknown adjustments like Arc Force and Hot Start and square wave form pictures. Fancy gas pedal too. The old AIRCO has high frequency start on the AC with some sort of solid state post purge contact timer that usually clicks continuously while stick welding too.
    Whats wrong with just striking the arc getting the puddle moving, fusing the pieces and adding filler?
    Dad told me back in the day the Eutectic salesman would stop in regularly to see if he needed anything (not sure if Dads shop was a weld depot or not) anyway back then the salesmen could run the machines and demonstrate their use with different materials. The story is that the guy demonstrated the machines capability by tearing an aluminium pie plate and welding it back together.
    Do you think its true? I wasnt there to see it, but a good story either way.
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  3. #2
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    Re: Does anyone still use a Plain Jane heliarc machine?

    There's nothing wrong with those types of machines. Probably the most popular one still in active service is the Miller Syncrowave. The reason they aren't so popular anymore are !) they are often as big as a refrigerator and take up too much room in the shop 2) they require large (if not massive) circuits and breakers to feed them enough power to open the throttle wide and 3) most last some really useful features (like pulse or adjustable arc frequency) that are helpful on thinner materials

    I have seen people weld beer cans with these welders, I am not sure why you couldn't weld an aluminum pie plate. But I will tell you that welding such thin aluminum will be much easier on one of the "new machines...the size of a decent lunch box with knobs for unknown adjustments like Arc Force and Hot Start and square wave form pictures". MUCH easier.
    Miller Multimatic 255

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  5. #3
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    Re: Does anyone still use a Plain Jane heliarc machine?

    Welcome aboard your in the right place these folks are awesome
    Retired Old Guy

    Hobart 210
    Lincoln AC/DC 225/125
    Evolution 14 Saw

  6. #4
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    Re: Does anyone still use a Plain Jane heliarc machine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Son of a Welder! View Post
    This is my Dad’s AIRCO machine that he bought new back in the day. I was taught to weld on it too. Anyway the new machines at work are the size of a decent lunch box with knobs for unknown adjustments like Arc Force and Hot Start and square wave form pictures. Fancy gas pedal too. The old AIRCO has high frequency start on the AC with some sort of solid state post purge contact timer that usually clicks continuously while stick welding too.
    What’s wrong with just striking the arc getting the puddle moving, fusing the pieces and adding filler?
    Dad told me back in the day the Eutectic salesman would stop in regularly to see if he needed anything (not sure if Dad’s shop was a weld depot or not) anyway back then the salesmen could run the machines and demonstrate their use with different materials. The story is that the guy demonstrated the machine’s capability by tearing an aluminium pie plate and welding it back together.
    Do you think it’s true? I wasn’t there to see it, but a good story either way.
    Still using the newer 1974 TIG, my 62 model needs work to be 100% These newer AC TIGS would save a lot of room, but Right now not doing enough thin stuff to justify buying another welder.Name:  PXL_20220312_190021014.jpg
Views: 52
Size:  203.2 KB

    Welcome to the Forum as well, lots of Good folks here ready to help

    ps. Glad to see another Old refrigerator sized welder still in use, and when you are welding big old thick weldable materials back together, not much matters but Brute electrical force. Fancy wave forms won't make up for lack of power which these old machines have in spades. Of course jmo .
    Last edited by 455dan; 07-04-2022 at 12:54 PM.
    HTP Pro Pulse 220 MTS (Anniversary Edition)
    1962 Idealarc TIG 300 300
    1974 Idealarc TIG 300 300
    1988 HF Power MIG 150
    2015 Lotos Ltpdc2000d plasma/Stick/TIG
    Victor 100 torch, 200- 210 Oxy/Acet gauges

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  8. #5
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    Re: Does anyone still use a Plain Jane heliarc machine?

    Welcome!

    NRA LIFE MEMBER

    UNITWELD 175 AMP 3 IN1 DC
    MIDSTATES 300 AMP AC MACHINE
    LET'S GO BRANDON!
    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

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