First Use of the Weld-bart-ler 187 Welder

I had asked about the Weldmark 187 a while back. It says Weldmark on the front, Hobart Bros on the side, and Miller on the gun.

Yesterday I needed to weld some spring centers on some new axles… long story. It would have been more work than it was worth to make space to drag them inside and weld them with the Miller 212 in the back of the shop or even to make a path to roller the 212 out to the front of the shop. Unfortunately, it was breezy outside. I decided to use the 187 with some flux core. Fortunately, it uses the same tips as the gun on the 212 so I was able to run it with some .035 flux core I bought from Linde/Praxair a while back. I’ve tried three different brands of gasless flux core in the past. Lincoln, Harbor Freight, and ProStar from Linde/Praxair. The Lincoln might be marginally the best, but that’s subjective. The ProStar runs about as good, and they both run nicer and cleaner (for flux core) than the Harbor Freight wire. I’f I get more I’ll go with the ProStar if for no other reason than the local Linde/Praxair store treats me decent.

I started out swapping the wire… The .030 slot in the roller doesn’t appear to line up, but the .035 slot does, so all good… sorta. I couldn’t get the wire to feed all the way through. Then it quit even trying.

Did I say it has a Miller gun? Its the cheapest looking Miller gun I have ever seen. I took it apart, so the liner was straight, and then using a screw driver to short the trigger leads inside the case. I was finally able to get the wire through. Since I had the gun apart I shorted the leads at the back of the switch and it fed wire. Bad switch. I headed over to Linde/Praxair to find they were already closed. When I got back I sat in the truck and ordered a new switch off of eBay.

Not wanting to give up I decided to see if I could take the switch apart and fix it for temporary use. Nope. I did jack up the plastic a little bit so it would swing closed a little further. Weird feel. It has two clicks when operating the switch now. Just for the heck of it I tried it, and if I pull it past the second click it pauses for a few tenths of a second and starts up.

Okay… it works kinda/sorta. I swapped the leads for flux core (DCEN), measured, leveled, and put down a tack. The factory “off the door chart” settings were perfect. I welded the spring mounts and hung the first axle last night. This morning I did the second axle. Gasless flux core is easier in my opinion, but it worked perfectly as long as I squeezed far enough on the trigger. No hint of arc instability from overheating. Admittedly this is a much better class of machine, but its far superior to either of the dedicated flux machines I’ve run before. It has has power to spare even running on 2-240V heavy gage extension cords strung together to reach out front of the shop. I was just going to sell this machine, but it might be more handy to keep it in the front of the shop and leave the 212 in the back of the shop.

The new switch should be here in a few days.

I wonder what I am going to find when I load up the big Lincoln Century that’s still in my dad’s shop missing a gun…

Oh, yeah. I brought my dad’s Miller auto-dark back to my shop with the Weld-bart-ler. I didn’t even try it. I still like my Vulcan hood. Even better than the Lincoln Viking I have hanging on a peg.

You know I bet I could use the nice gun off the 212 on the little 187 if I had a lot of work to do out front.

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