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Shopmaster 300 questions

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  • Shopmaster 300 questions

    Hello I am new to this forum.

    A family member has a Shopmaster 300 with an S-52e wire feeder that was only used for a few hours back in 1991 when it was purchased. For health reasons after the first few hours of use it was never touched again. It has been sitting in a shop covered up since then and it still looks brand new. I can get this welder cheap but it's way bigger than anything I will most likely ever need. I am in the market for a welder though because it is something I would like to learn and I enjoy doing pretty much anything in my shop. A have a few questions about the unit.

    1. Is there a major difference in the learning curve for a newbie on an older machine like this vs some of the newer units? The only welding experience I have is a small amount of stick welding 25 years ago and the little bit of tinkering I have done with a little cheapo 80A Century flux core welder. Machine would most likely be used for MIG most of the time although if I do get the machine I may end up picking up the HF box for it if I ever find a good deal on one.

    2. Is there any advantage from a MIG and stick welding vantage point of the newer machines vs this older machine other than the amount of current it draws?

    3. On the topic of power consumption, I think these can draw upwards of 100A when run wide open. I highly doubt I would ever do that. Has anyone ever ran one of these units off a 50-60A circuit without issues? I seem to remember reading that some people have.

    4. Any issues running a spool gun with this machine in case I would like to MIG aluminum at some point?

    5. Lastly, what is this unit worth in like new condition? In case I do end up getting it and realizing it is more than I want and would rather have a more portable unit that isn't so power hungry.

    Thanks for your time.

  • #2
    Originally posted by DwayneR View Post
    ...Has anyone ever ran one of these units off a 50-60A circuit without issues?...
    Yes. You'll likely never know the difference.


    • #3
      1. No

      2. Yes

      3. Yes

      4. I have no idea

      5. Depends


      • #4
        Don't sell it.
        Even if you get a smaller machine you will still regret it, unless you never learn enough to know the difference.
        Yes it can run a spool gun.
        Miller was way ahead of their time making a machine that could do everything. Only difference is it is an old transformer, meaning it will probably outlast us all.
        Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
        Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
        Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

        Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
        Miller 30-A Spoolgun
        Miller WC-115-A
        Miller Spectrum 300
        Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
        Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400


        • #5
          They recommend having the shop master 300 on a 150 amp circuit... I have mine on a 50 amp and it works just fine as long as your mindful of your duty cycle, worst you'll do is trip the breaker, happened twice doing heavy stick welding.
          I drove from Michigan to the east side of Pennsylvania for mine (got a good deal on it) and in my opinion this is the most versatile machine you could get, it obviously doesn't have the bells and whistles of a syncrowave for tig but one machine with small addons to take place of 3 machines is what sold me. Being a 300 amp machine just tinkering at home you'll never wear it out. I think these weld smoother than some of the newer machines. I could ramble all day on it, short end of the long story, your woman will end up calling it your mistress.
          Shopmaster 300
          Hf 251 PC300 Wp-17 torch
          Airco wasp IIIe
          Aead 200le blue charge
          Spectrum 3080 50 foot torch