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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.

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    • #3
      1. No

      2. Yes

      3. Yes

      4. I have no idea

      5. Depends

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      • #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.

        www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
        Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
        MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
        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

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        • #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
          S22p
          Airco wasp IIIe
          Aead 200le blue charge
          Spectrum 3080 50 foot torch

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