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Miller Shopmaster 300 Opinions/Advice

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  • Miller Shopmaster 300 Opinions/Advice

    Hello,

    We have been looking for a MIG machine to add to our farm shop. We have looked at both the Millermatic 252 and the Lincoln PowerMig 250. Both seem like nice machines and I was leaning towards the Millermatic as it has a better feel.

    However I found a used Shopmaster 300 AC/DC online setup with a S-22A wirefeed and a tig pen. How would a machine like this compare to the Millermatic for MIG? I'm also interested in hearing about the TIG preformance of the machine. I have used a Syncrowave 350 DX and an older Linde TIG machine but have limited experience and really don't know what to look for in a TIG machine.

    Advice?

    Thanks,

    Erik
    Miller Shopmaster 300 CC/CV AC/DC
    S22A Wirefeed
    HF251D1 High Frequency Box
    Coolmate 3
    Miller Spectrum 625 Xtreme


    Lincoln Idealarc 250 DC CC/CV
    LN-7 Wirefeed

  • #2
    Hi Erik, I bought my Shopmaster new in '92 and LUV it. It does a nice job with Mig and stick and I've done some scratch Tig with it,it's about the same as my Syncro 250 but without the hi-freq. good luck and enjoy . Bill

    Comment


    • #3
      I used a Shopmaster 300 daily for 3 years. Mine was set up with a push/pull gun running aluminum (and latter a spoolgun) as well as a high frequency box for both AC and DC tig. I also did a little stick in my spare time (practice makes perfect!) and it did that well too. Great machines, heavy but if portability isn't an issue I don't think you'll regret your decision.

      We have 3 of them that we replaced sitting at our shop and I'd buy one in a second but I don't have a very large service in my garage so it's not worth it for me.
      at home:
      2012 325 Trailblazer EFI with Excel power
      2007 302 Trailblazer with the Robin SOLD
      2008 Suitcase 12RC
      Spoolmatic 30A
      WC-24
      2009 Dynasty 200DX
      2000 XMT 304
      2008 Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
      Sold:MM130XP
      Sold:MM 251
      Sold:CST 280

      at work:
      Invision 350MP
      Dynasty 350
      Millermatic 350P
      Retired:Shopmaster 300 with a HF-251

      Comment


      • #4
        I have looked at them and they seem to do it all. I just wish the new Shopmate 300 had AC output. That would make it much the same animal.
        Don


        '06 Trailblazer 302
        '06 12RC feeder
        Super S-32P feeder

        HH210 & DP3035 spool gun
        Esab Multimaster 260
        Esab Heliarc 252 AC/DC

        Comment


        • #5
          double post
          Miller Shopmaster 300 CC/CV AC/DC
          S22A Wirefeed
          HF251D1 High Frequency Box
          Coolmate 3
          Miller Spectrum 625 Xtreme


          Lincoln Idealarc 250 DC CC/CV
          LN-7 Wirefeed

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the advice guys,

            The one I'm looking at has a S-22A feed box for MIG and an argon regulator with tig (gun) i haven't seen it yet so it may or may not have the HF box for TIG.

            The seller says the machine is in great condition and is asking 2,000 or best offer. I'm wondering if this is a fair price or if I would be better off waiting.

            I a newbie when it comes to TIG so I'm unsure what I'm looking at, I've run TIG machines before but don't fully understand the process. From what I've read the HF box is needed to TIG aluminum, does the HF also help TIGING steel?

            Also what Spoolgun fits on the Shopmaster? It looks like it uses the 30A but I'm not sure on this.

            Can someone compare the preformance to something like a Millermatic 252 for MIG and a Syncrowave 250DX for TIG. Is the Shopmaster a case where it will do all processes but not excel at any one? Or is it a good machine for all processes.

            Thanks for the help,

            Erik
            Miller Shopmaster 300 CC/CV AC/DC
            S22A Wirefeed
            HF251D1 High Frequency Box
            Coolmate 3
            Miller Spectrum 625 Xtreme


            Lincoln Idealarc 250 DC CC/CV
            LN-7 Wirefeed

            Comment


            • #7
              In my opinion the shopmaster is an excelent machine for Mig and stick but I'm not familier with the 252 so I can't compare. One big advantage in my book is the seperate feeder-you can take where you need without having to move the power source as in having to weld the cab protector on a 24' grain body
              (been there,done that). As far as tig it seems to do as nice DC scratch start as my 250 Syncro does. HTH Bill

              Comment


              • #8
                Time for an update,

                We went to see the machine last night. It was very clean and is a newer machine, the owner guessed it was about 7 years old and the condition and style of the machine seemed to confirm this. His mix tank was empty so we weren't able to run TIG or MIG, but I did power it up and ran some beads with stick.

                The machine didn't have a high frequency box, or foot-pedal for TIG and was setup only with the pen and a flowmeter. Can a footpedal be plugged in to the remote on the front of the machine? Also is a HF box needed for TIGGING steel or only for aluminum? I'm new at TIG so I really don't know what I'm getting into.

                If anyone could help me out with the TIG portion of this machine I would really appreciate it.

                Thanks,

                Erik
                Miller Shopmaster 300 CC/CV AC/DC
                S22A Wirefeed
                HF251D1 High Frequency Box
                Coolmate 3
                Miller Spectrum 625 Xtreme


                Lincoln Idealarc 250 DC CC/CV
                LN-7 Wirefeed

                Comment


                • #9
                  Don't have to guess on the age just look at the first 2 letters of the serial#

                  That will tell you the year. if you post the whole # here, I can get down to the exact date.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the tip, I'll have the seller get me the serial number.

                    Thanks
                    Miller Shopmaster 300 CC/CV AC/DC
                    S22A Wirefeed
                    HF251D1 High Frequency Box
                    Coolmate 3
                    Miller Spectrum 625 Xtreme


                    Lincoln Idealarc 250 DC CC/CV
                    LN-7 Wirefeed

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Zebu Fellenz View Post
                      Time for an update,
                      Can a footpedal be plugged in to the remote on the front of the machine? Also is a HF box needed for TIGGING steel or only for aluminum? I'm new at TIG so I really don't know what I'm getting into.
                      If anyone could help me out with the TIG portion of this machine I would really appreciate it.
                      Thanks, Erik
                      Yes a foot pedal can plug directly into the front, you will still need to scratch start the tig but at least you can adjust the amperage as you weld. That ties into you second question, no you don't need a HF box to tig steel. It does make it a little easier in some instances but isn't required. (high frequency starts, and an electric gas valve to name a couple)
                      Apparently you can tig aluminum without a high frequency box, however you need a sacrificial piece to start the arc on, etc., personally if you do eventually want to weld any amount of aluminum I'd suggest a HF box or maybe at that time a machine upgrade if you deem it necessary.

                      Keep us posted.
                      at home:
                      2012 325 Trailblazer EFI with Excel power
                      2007 302 Trailblazer with the Robin SOLD
                      2008 Suitcase 12RC
                      Spoolmatic 30A
                      WC-24
                      2009 Dynasty 200DX
                      2000 XMT 304
                      2008 Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
                      Sold:MM130XP
                      Sold:MM 251
                      Sold:CST 280

                      at work:
                      Invision 350MP
                      Dynasty 350
                      Millermatic 350P
                      Retired:Shopmaster 300 with a HF-251

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by c wagner View Post
                        Yes a foot pedal can plug directly into the front, you will still need to scratch start the tig but at least you can adjust the amperage as you weld. That ties into you second question, no you don't need a HF box to tig steel. It does make it a little easier in some instances but isn't required. (high frequency starts, and an electric gas valve to name a couple)
                        Apparently you can tig aluminum without a high frequency box, however you need a sacrificial piece to start the arc on, etc., personally if you do eventually want to weld any amount of aluminum I'd suggest a HF box or maybe at that time a machine upgrade if you deem it necessary.

                        Keep us posted.
                        Thanks for explaining that.

                        So from my research it looks like I will be able to do DC scratch start TIG on steel with what is on the machine now and can get a footpedal that will plug right into the machine to vary my amperage. For non scratch start TIG and TIGGING aluminum I would need to add a high frequency arc starter box.

                        Can you comment on the TIG preformance with the HF box? Others have posted that is is similar to a syncrowave without HF, do you feel that once HF is added it does as good a job as a Syncrowave?

                        Thanks Again,

                        Erik
                        Miller Shopmaster 300 CC/CV AC/DC
                        S22A Wirefeed
                        HF251D1 High Frequency Box
                        Coolmate 3
                        Miller Spectrum 625 Xtreme


                        Lincoln Idealarc 250 DC CC/CV
                        LN-7 Wirefeed

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Erik, A few years ago a buddy(a lincoln diehard) and me where working on an aluminum project and brought his lincoln hf box and hooked it up to my shopmaster and was impressed with how it welded so I would say that it would do the job.I was looking for a deal on a hf when I found a killer deal on the syncro.If you get over this way you're welcome to stop in and play and shoot the bull. Bill

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The only Syncrowave I've had the chance to use was a 180 and they felt pretty comparable, although the 180 was lacking a little in the top end compared to the Shopmaster. Ultimately they both got the job done and 9 out of 10 jobs the 180 had enough power.
                            I think you'll be very happy with the Shopmaster, keep your eye out on Ebay (set up a search) there has been a few HF boxes sold lately. Even if they come with more extras that you don't need you can keep the stuff for spares, or re-sell it.
                            at home:
                            2012 325 Trailblazer EFI with Excel power
                            2007 302 Trailblazer with the Robin SOLD
                            2008 Suitcase 12RC
                            Spoolmatic 30A
                            WC-24
                            2009 Dynasty 200DX
                            2000 XMT 304
                            2008 Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
                            Sold:MM130XP
                            Sold:MM 251
                            Sold:CST 280

                            at work:
                            Invision 350MP
                            Dynasty 350
                            Millermatic 350P
                            Retired:Shopmaster 300 with a HF-251

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yes it will do what a Sync 250 will do . I can't imagine that you would be dissapointed with this machine. Down load the owners manual from the Miller website and you can see what accossories you can add to it. I love mine. It is the only machine that will do SWAW,MIG,TIG and in AC/DC. You would have to buy a Miller engine drive to do what the Shopmaster will do. I think that is why Miller quit making it, it does it all and does it very well.

                              Comment

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