16 May 2011

miller not time

A couple years back,
I picked up a great deal on a  MIG welding machine,
a Millermatic Vintage.
After the first minute of welding with it,
I loved it.
This thing can go from tacking sheetmetal to blazing through 1/2" plate.
For 4 years this welder has helped make alot of stuff.

My brother went with the newer 252 style,
and yes it is a really nice machine too.
A plus with the 252  is the aluminum spoolgun can be directly connected,
unlike the Vintage which needs a control box or adapter.

millermatic vintage

If you guessed I found it on craigslist you're exactly right.
The guy selling was just needing money, out of work.
It was super clean and even came with a big 200CI bottle,
and it was a great deal.

tattooed miller welder

It blew away my old CEMIG 170
which was impossible to find tips and other consumables for.
(no pic of that old 220V workhorse)

inside similar to a 250

I had studied a little bit about it,
and found that Miller had designed the digital 250 model,
which replaced the older Millermatic or MM200 analog design.
Supposedly consumers found it hard to adjust to the newer style,
so they revamped the old MM200 and called it the Millermatic Vintage.

other side

Correct me if I'm wrong,
but the Vintage also used copper windings,
versus aluminum in the 250/251/252 models.
Not sure if that helps the duration, but I like to think so!

Well I didn't really want to ever have to actually see the inside of the welder,
but last week it was working fine,
than all of a sudden it just stopped.
The wire will feed through,
but there is no welding going on.
No spark.
A day or 2 before I had fixed one of the front wheels,
which had fallen off and I had rigged it back up with a cheesy bracket.
I had to take off the panel underneath the loading door,
tried not to touch anything,
but I did do a light vaccuum of the bottom.
it did work fine for a few days.
 There is something to be said about
"if it aint broke don't fix it".

I thought first it could be the trigger on the gun,
so swapped out the one from my brothers 252,
 no luck.

guts of a millermatic vintage MIG welder

So if you were ever wondering what the inside of a (old style) welder looks like,
this is it.
A spaghetti factory.
It kinda looks like a huge version of one of those solid state monster recievers I've been writing about.
It was dusty inside but nothing is obviously corroded or detached.

After searching online I found its a somewhat common issue,
well common cause the machine welds so good that guys will fix it rather than replace it!

Miller Vintage Wire Welder won't weld - Practical Machinist - Largest Manufacturing Technology Forum on the Web

Millermatic Vintage HELP!!

The last link (help!!) sounds like whats wrong,
A busted thermostat or thermal overload circuit.
When the machine is turned on,
the fan turns on,
which it never did right off the bat,
just after a few minutes of continuous welding.

Tomorrow I'll probably take it to our local welder repair/rental shop, R.J. Kates,
who we do a fair amount of business with.

Please Please Please be a cheap fix!


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