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Depression era welder, still works good. Sell as a welder or antique?

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Old 08-30-2011, 10:09:54 PM
therrera therrera is offline
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Default Depression era welder, still works good. Sell as a welder or antique?

Hello all,

About six months ago I bought an old AC welder from craigslist that needed some work to get operational. It is a Twentieth Century AC welder model T-18-C.

It was about 50 or 60 miles from my house and I paid $20 for it. As a consolation for such a long drive (about $20 in gas), I got about 20 pounds of rod (1/8 and 5/32 6011) with the welder.

It had no leads and had the front adjustment handle broken as shown in the picture. I have since gotten it running, repaired the adjustment handle and cleaned it up. I want to sell it.

It was made in 1937 so I think it qualifies as an antique. My question is:

Should I sell this welder as a old school AC welder in the $100 to $150 range (going rate around Phoenix). OR Should I try and market it to collectors of old tools and welding gear as a working collectible? If so, what would be a fair price for a working machine that is 74 years old?

The adjustment is done via a handle that turns and is locked down by a locking nut once it is at the desired amperage as shown on the dial. It is spring loaded so returns automatically to the minimum adjustment (30 amps). It's dial is split into a high and low range with matching high and low range plugs for the stinger cable.

The low range is from 30 amps to 80 amps and the high range is 80 amps to 180 amps. The name plate says it has a 20% duty cycle. It is a 220 volt machine and as shown in the picture, has a two prong AC plug built into it with a 15 amp slo-blow fuse.

As you can see, it has a "cutting" plug in which my guess is wired for full output and probably had at one time a carbon arc holder for heating and cutting iron. I have only seen pictures of such attachments, never using one myself.

I cranked her up and ran about 5 or so rods of 1/8" 7018AC and 6011. Both are AC rods and burnt well. However the welder has harsh arc characteristics. That is, it digs deep and to keep the rod lit I had to maintain a tighter than normal arc gap or it would cut out until I touched the metal again and lit the arc once more.

I ran some vertical and flat fillets. I plan to take pictures of the welds when I put her on Craigslist for sale. It was noisy as hell once it was welding though, like a giant vibrator which cut down to a slight hum when I broke the arc.

It welds good though, nice and deep welds however this is not a welder for pretty welds nor the faint of heart. I can see that already, at least by today's standards. But with the right wrist movement it laid a nice bead.

So sell it as a welder or as a collector's piece? It is a depression era machine and the owner told me it was his dad's welder that he inherited but he is not into welding.

I looked into the company based in Minneapolis, Mn and found a record for the Twentieth Century Welder Manufacturing Company filed in 1939. It is an inactive company according to the Minnesota Secretary of State's office.

Anyone seen or heard of this welder? Is there such a thing as a welding museum in existence anywhere that I might inquire about it?

Thanks for any help and comments.

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