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dirty old pickhill arc welder looked too nice to ignore so I bought it. LOL

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  • dirty old pickhill arc welder looked too nice to ignore so I bought it. LOL

    A while back maybe six months I bought an arc welder it is an old one a PICKHILL 180 AMP ARC WELDER, OIL COOLED, now whether mine is oil cooled I am not sure .I was disappointed to learn they were 3 phase after buying it I was too afraid to try it using my rotary or static convertors or my invertors etc. I just don't want to blow any expensive equipment up. I currently have a mig welder 150 amps the usual Ban Q sip model which is ok but hey I am no welder but I do try and have had some quite acceptable success in terms of rigidity and strength but not looks necessarily . My welds look like someone has thrown over some lumpy porridge from a long way across the street. Does anyone know about the pickhill 180 as I have just learned that it can be used both at 440 and 240 single phase so am getting a bit excited about cleaning it up and trying it where in the uk do you get rods etc. and are these oil cooled and if so what is the benefit of that???????? completely ignorant on arc welders I only ever tried one once a long time ago, but I am told with practice it is not that impossibly difficult. LOL we'll see. Alistair
    Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

  • #2
    Pictures Alistair or it don't happen.


    • #3
      I ran a 300 amp DC stick welder on a 15 hp rotary phase converter for may years. At anything under about 170 amps it worked fine.At full welder output the converter would growl and trip it's overloads if you welded to long.I don't think a simple static converter will work but some people have made 3 phase welders work on single phase using the Haas Kamp method.You can find info on that in the Practical Machinist forum under phase converters transformers and VFDs.


      • #4
        I have a 225 amp Oxford made by the same company, when I got mine if you wanted a manual you had to send an SAE and a pound to:
        Pickhill Engineers LTD.
        North Yorkshire
        YO7 4JU

        [email protected]

        Here is the wiring shown in my manual for a 180 Pickhill Bantam:

        Last edited by _Paul_; 03-28-2017, 06:00 PM.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Alistair Hosie View Post
          My welds look like someone has thrown over some lumpy porridge from a long way across the street.
          This is why I will always take the time to read Mr. Hosies stuff lol

          you always make me laugh Alistair and I really had a good one after that one ...


          • #6
            If it's old you might like to change the oil, transformer oil in particular, once it gets real old and gnarly the contacts in the selectors get a bit of arcing, it burns them out and they are only bent brass strip, easy to make new ones, if a bit fiddly, but doable.
            If you have a 20A fuse in the shop that will do, they run on 240 1ph happily, I have an Oxford 250 amp,
            A 2.5 MM rod like oirlikon fincord S runs about 90/100 amps, an oil cooled will run nealy 100% duty cycle on them, rod after rod all day and night if you like, a 3.25 rod will get it fairly warm after an hour or two, you'll give up before it does.
            Your welding AC with a pick hill, no rectifier in there, about 50 volts open cercuit voltage, can give you a shock too if out in the rain with damp gloves (you shouldn't btw!) not lethal unless up a ladder.
            They are however very heavy things, I have seen one modified to have a cooling copper coil in the oil and a hose connected, but it was running somthing dull like 600 amps with fairly close to 1/2 diameter rods, puddle welding crane tracks between graphite moulds.
            Get some tidy leads, tongs and earth clamps and ask the welding supplier for a pack of idiot sticks, aye easy starters, avoid old rods esp if they have 3 spots on them, cellulose rooting rods, they will stick and stick, it takes a bit of practice to cope with them, normal rutile rods burn down inside the flux so a fast tap will crack the flux and bring the metal close to initiate an arc, in most cases just dragging will deposit a bead,
            I'm guessing you need glasses so cheaters are very very useful, although a lot of welding is about listening to the sound, (not good in my case I'm going deaf)
            Have fun
            After a while making lumpy porridge welds you progress to well aimed seagull ****e,


            • #7
              I was at an estate sale & it was almost over & they had a huge old round welder looked just like R2D2 so I asked how much & they said if you can load you can have it. It has wheels so I rolled it to the Geo & I bet it goes over 300#s but being round I rolled it in & still like the old thing. Cables were pretty good & I bet it got a lot of copper in it. I should paint it up like the shop robocop gun & all. We were at Oshkosh one year & the army had a robot on a Segway they could talk thru & my youngest son believed it & was walking talking to it while I was watching some Army boys rolling with laughter.


              • #8
                Wow better than I could ever have hoped for thanks to all of you especially the diagram man from wales welsh people are simply beautiful well south wales I know that from many many visits to my wifes parents now sadly gone but the south wale-ians take a lot to beat fro kindness god bless you all brothers. BIG Al
                Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease