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  • Miller Thunderbolt crank

    100% stick welding novice here.

    What's the crank used for on the top of this thunderbolt welder? Amp adjustment wheel?

    https://dallas.craigslist.org/ndf/tl...303800243.html

    Tony

  • #2
    Yes-adjusts amps and moves the amps indicator on the front panel. That is a very fair price on a machine that will probably outlast all of us. Bulletproof, reliable, and a great stick welder. Go for it. I paid $400 for mine, which was a little high but I think worth the money.

    BTW, the cables are plugged into it incorrectly in the pic. Heard of other people trying to weld that way. About the only thing you can mess up with that welder.
    Last edited by Aeronca41; 09-18-2017, 01:11 PM.

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    • #3
      Excellent - thanks for the advice!

      ​​​​​

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      • #4
        Man, if I was closer, I'd probably pick it up. Got rid of my AC only unit a few years ago. Wish I had kept it.

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        • #5
          That add is misleading. While the newest of the new thunderbolts are barely over $800, the older "new" thunderbolts are in the ballpark of $400-ish. The new ones now offered are inverters...which I did not know even existed until today....the older ones are transformer based machines. My LWS has the brand new, transformer machines, right now for around $400. The one in that add is a transformer, and like Wayne said, it will probably outlast your grand children. How will the inverters perform longevity wise? Who knows. In my opinion, $300 maybe a bit high for that used machine. You could find it for less, but not by much honestly. Miller machines hold value well in comparison to others. But for another Franklin or so, you could have new old one if you look around.

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          • #6
            Let me add to the misleading part of that Craigslist add....the used thunderbolt you're looking at is an AC/DC machine. It will go up to 225 amps IN AC ONLY. In DC, it's max is 150 amps. The new, inverter style thunderbolts come in 2 versions, the 210 model (that will weld 210 amps, DC only at a 20% duty cycle on 240v input and cost $830) and the 160 model (160 amps, DC only at a 30% duty cycle and costs $535). So in all reality, you should be comparing it to the 160 model for $235 more, weighs 100lbs less and is brand spanking new with a warranty.

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            • #7
              I would sell mine for $300 and throw in a pair of gloves and 20# of 7018. And teach you how to use it...Bob
              Bob Wright

              Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
              http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

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              • #8
                Thanks y'all!

                A little background - I currently torch weld and need to work with larger metal sometimes (1/2"-3/4" bar for instance) and need more heat. I'd rather learn stick than mig, personal preference I guess.

                Will this machine work for me, even maxing out on150 amps dc? I figured it would, but might be mistaken.

                I own smith torches and have had great experiences with the smith/Miller people.

                Am I getting screwed on this deal?

                Thanks!

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                • #9
                  From my many-years-ago gig as a reliability engineer, simple mathematics says none of the new inverters can ever hope to last nearly as long as the old Thunderbolts. They simply have too many parts.

                  ryan, interesting info--didn't know they had any new old ones left. I can't picture ever getting rid of my thunderbolt for an inverter.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ajherhold View Post
                    Thanks y'all!

                    Am I getting screwed on this deal?

                    Thanks!
                    NO. Buy it...Bob
                    Bob Wright

                    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
                    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Like I said, you can find it for less, but not much. Depends on how long you want to wait. And it maxes out at 150 amps on DC sure enough, but you can get 225 amps on AC. Don't be afraid to stick weld on AC, just have to use the correct electrode.

                      My guess is the LWS is/was liquidating the old ones to make room for the new ones. I have not seen the new ones in person though. I'm also not sure that getting rid of the old reliable was smart for our friends in Wisconsin. I stand behind the old saying of decades of tradition unimpeded by progress.

                      My thunderbolt is so old it's AC only, but I have the DC rectifier....that I have popped the fusible link on, which is a pain in the rear to get to....it's also my first ever machine and I hardly ever use it anymore, but I can't seem to part with it. Not even for $300.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post
                        NO. Buy it...Bob
                        What he said!

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