Power Mig 300 Questions

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basstrix
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Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:13 pm

Power Mig 300 Questions

Post by basstrix » Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:22 pm

Hello,

This forum pops up pretty regularly in my searches, so I thought I'd join and get some input. I've read a number of threads on the Power Mig 300 maching and I'm considering buying a used one.

From one thread I read, the unit I'm looking at is from the first generation of 300's that Lincoln built. The machine has a code 10562 and a build date of Dec 2001 (if I'm decoding correctly). I was told the machine had the main control board replaced back in 2011. I read in this post that the 10562 machines came with a digital dual encoder board and that it was later replaced with a mechanical encoder. Do you think the replacement board from 2011 was the revised board? I'd like to know if this is going to be problematic for this machine. I contacted Lincoln and they were happy to answer questions about the machine....I was provided the latest PN for the control board, so I can at least check that out.

I currently own a Precision 225 and consider myself a beginner. I intend to use the PM 300 for a variety of projects, but one in particular is welding auto sheet metal. Is the PM 300 a good choice for this? Seems the pulse feature would be nice for this. I also saw it has a feature for doing numerous plug welds where touching the trigger turn on the machine for a configurable amount of time.

If anyone has general input on this early model of the PM 300, I'd like to get your input.

Thanks in advance,
BT

redneckalbertan
Posts: 1275
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:39 am
Location: South Central Alberta

Re: Power Mig 300 Questions

Post by redneckalbertan » Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:46 pm

basstrix wrote:I intend to use the PM 300 for a variety of projects, but one in particular is welding auto sheet metal. Is the PM 300 a good choice for this? Seems the pulse feature would be nice for this. I also saw it has a feature for doing numerous plug welds where touching the trigger turn on the machine for a configurable amount of time.

If anyone has general input on this early model of the PM 300, I'd like to get your input.

Thanks in advance,
BT
Welcome to the forum! As I'm sure you'll find out, if you have't already, there is a good group of folks here on this site!

I can't help you with the guts of your machine. Someone else might be able help there.

I've never set up a pulsed machine for welding, but have used a pulsed machine that was well setup to weld aluminum and WOW!! what a difference compared to a regular MIG/spool gun. (It had been set up by a Miller factory rep. As memory serves me.) The aluminum puddle stayed right where I put it with almost no tendency to fall out, but did not seem to loose fluidity as you would when turning down the machine. I think a plused machine would be great for sheet metal.

As a beginner you may find it difficult to set up the pulsed settings on a MIG, but I don't see that as a reason for a beginner not to buy a machine like this.

As for the spot (plug) feature, I've never had use for it. I've done lots of spot welds but always did it watching the puddle and manually controlling the gun and pulling the trigger. I could see it being very useful if one was to set up a jig or apparatus to hold the gun and work pieces in a production type or very repetitive manner.

Best of luck with the machine if you do decide to purchase it.

basstrix
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: Power Mig 300 Questions

Post by basstrix » Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:10 pm

Thanks for the response and thanks for your input. I'm leaning towards buying the machine, just want to be sure the early model wasn't a lemon.

Any idea what these should sell for? I've seen a wide price range.

Regards,
BT

redneckalbertan
Posts: 1275
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:39 am
Location: South Central Alberta

Re: Power Mig 300 Questions

Post by redneckalbertan » Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:34 pm

I can't really help you with that one, with the information given. Your area, condition of the machine, what it's life has been will all be factors. The owners perceived value can have more influence on the price than other factors and at times be very unrealistic.

Compare other machines in your area taking into account their condition to their new price, then apply that information to this one.

basstrix
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Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: Power Mig 300 Questions

Post by basstrix » Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:22 pm

I went ahead and bought the machine. It's set up for .035 wire and has drive roll parts for .045. From what I've read, I'll be better off welding automotive sheet metal using .023 wire. Is it practical to buy a drive roll kit, liner, and tips for .023 or to get a complete gun already set up for .023. I read a post on this model welder where the user adapted a gun from an sp175 (magnum 100, I think it was). Th cost of the parts to convert to .023 is roughly half of what I've seen new guns selling for, so the main benefit of having an entire gun might be convenience?? From what I can see, changing a liner isn't all that time consuming, but I've never done it. Constructive input is welcome.

Thanks,
BT

Carm
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Re: Power Mig 300 Questions

Post by Carm » Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:45 pm

If you are running steel wire, you can try just changing to an .023 tip and see how it acts, if the .035 rolls will push it. Straight grooves maybe not, knurls usually will.
There's enough cast & helix off the small diameter spools to make contact for intermittent short arc.

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Scott
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Re: Power Mig 300 Questions

Post by Scott » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:40 pm

You will find the Powermig 300 a excellent auto-body machine.. I had one of the early ones, Not the first, but the second run. Still real early. Earliest was a non upgrade model.. If it has the plug in for a upgrade then it's not the first model. Just leave it alone if it welds good.. Some of them can be upgraded to 350 software.. I welded with one last year, but it's not my favorite arc of machine out. Still does not mean it's not a fine welding machine to this day. My friend has he early one, and put mile of wire through it.. Probably circle the planet many times.. :mrgreen: Tough old things for sure.. He ended up with two more just for next to nothing.. Like $100.00, and even less on the last one.. The $100.00 had a board out.. He bought a chopper board, because it was kind of pointing that way from the test Lincoln had him perform.. Ended up being another thing.. Powerwave guys sent out the right part, and told him to keep it. They also gave him a control board for his Powerwave C-300 for free. All out of warranty, by a long time too. Lincoln Powerwave guys are awesome.

basstrix
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Re: Power Mig 300 Questions

Post by basstrix » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:42 am

Scott, the one I bought has, what I think, is a DB25 RS232 port. I like to hear good reports, like yours, on Lincoln tech support. As I said above, I called them and was able to get all of my questions answered and the person I spoke to was very helpful. Just out of curiosity, what machine/model produces your favorite arc and why do you like it better? Not wanting to start a debate....just want to learn what to look for. I paid way more than $100 but it sounds like the machines your friend bought were non-working.

Thanks for the input,
BT

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Scott
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Re: Power Mig 300 Questions

Post by Scott » Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:02 pm

One was non-working. The other one was fine but had a dryer cord on it for some reason, ans something was off with it.. Mint too.. He is lucky that way.. His original one is worked, hard, and it shows.. Still works fine.. I believe one of the first on the west coast. (Like mine was)

In chopper machines like PM-300-350 (Short-arc only is what I am talking about, not pulse spray, etc..) the Esab 260-300, and the Miller Shopmate 300 DX has just a nice balance to their arc. Arc qualities are hard to explain, and there is personal preference in there too. I like a machine with a crisp arc, and excellent wet-out of the weld bead. Not everybody quite gets that one.. Thermal-arc inverters do, and even the cheaper 211i has a world class short-arc. There are sometimes arc starting issues that can play a roll if you love, and hate something too. You Lincoln is good there.. Anyway, it will have a good sharp arc with a focused ball at the end of the wire.. I had to change out the ft-end gun parts on my 211i to get it to work right. Also have a Lincoln Magnum 200 that goes on it. Great gun IMO..

A lot more machines are catching on to what a good arc is. Just from all the units coming out Know..Inverters kind of lean that way for the most part.. Not that you can't get them to do what you want in changing it around somewhat..

Main thing some of the softness to the Lincoln arc will make for a real good .023 wire machine for bodywork. Probably really like it...(IMO)

redneckalbertan
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Location: South Central Alberta

Re: Power Mig 300 Questions

Post by redneckalbertan » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:00 pm

Talking about arc transfer types, it depends on what you are welding. If it is light sheetmetal, likely spray is not to be used, short circuit would be your choice. A person can lay huge weldments in a hurry with a good metal core wire with spray transfer, and one doesn't have to worry all that much about cold lap!

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Scott
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Re: Power Mig 300 Questions

Post by Scott » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:06 pm

If you want a water tight tray or something along those lines,then pulse spray can be a good option. Much better then short-ac mig. Faster then tig..(mild steel etc..)

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