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Miller Sidekick MIG welder: take or sell?


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As you all may recall, I am moving my operation from VT to western VA later this month and I have a welder question for you guys: I inherited this Miller Sidekick MIG setup from my grandfather when he died and I've never used it.  I powered it on and tried to draw an arc once but the wire feed got bound up so I didn't get very far.  

Is this thing worth taking with me and repairing or should I sell it?  If I sell it how much should I ask for it?

Thanks!

 

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If you inherited it you probably have not much in it other than maintenance. I would shoulder the weight and take it. If you have gotten along with it keep it. Then if you get in the need for a new welder sell to a ol boy who needs a fair old welder and then buy a new one from the local welding supply store.  

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Not sure on the amps - it's 120V input.  To be clear, it needs some kind of repair before it will work.  The one time I tried it the wire didn't feed very well but it did spark. 

I do tons of welding but with my two stick welders (which are coming with me).

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I guess I should also point out that I know nothing abut MIG welders - if this thing needs parts to resolve the wire feeding jerkily issue I don't know what those parts would be, what they would cost, or if this is a good MIG setup worth repairing in the first place.  I've seen this unit sold or for sale online anywhere from $75 to $400, so I really don't know what it's worth or what I'm dealing with here.

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3 hours ago, nomorejohndeere said:

what amps?

 

 

2 hours ago, chevenstein said:

Not sure on the amps - it's 120V input.  To be clear, it needs some kind of repair before it will work.  The one time I tried it the wire didn't feed very well but it did spark. 

I do tons of welding but with my two stick welders (which are coming with me).

According to the operator's manual, they were available as either 90 or 120 Amp models. 

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I can’t make out the duty cycle and looks robust but I am not a fan of 120V machines it has limited heat settings (4) I would get rid of it, it would probably be ok for bodywork or light gauge jobs, it was make like a tank for its day but you can get lunchbox machines now with much more versatility. The feed issue could be just a new liner in the whip or roller adjustment so could be a simple fix.

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1 minute ago, hardtail said:

I can’t make out the duty cycle and looks robust but I am not a fan of 120V machines it has limited heat settings (4) I would get rid of it, it would probably be ok for bodywork or light gauge jobs, it was make like a tank for its day but you can get lunchbox machines now with much more versatility. The feed issue could be just a new liner in the whip or roller adjustment so could be a simple fix.

90 amp model has a 20 percent duty cycle, 120 amp is 30 percent duty cycle. 

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I think it's a hobby machine and an old one at that. Sell it for what you can. Buy a 252 and your stick welder will be used only outside in the breeze.

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Welders have come a looooong way since then. The 252 is a heck of a machine, they have an inverter now as well. A friend just bought one, I have not tried it yet 

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On 11/1/2020 at 4:10 PM, FarmallFan said:

90 amp model has a 20 percent duty cycle, 120 amp is 30 percent duty cycle. 

On duty cycle alone, I would give it the axe. Let it go. 

Give it to someone as payment for helping you move?

A lot of good used wire welders out there. They usually hold their value but that is because they are worth it. 

 

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Thanks for the advice guys!  I will give it to one of my neighbors.  He has been great to live next to and is sad to see us leave, he loves tinkering with old iron as much as I do but is much more thrifty than I am - I bet he'll have this thing working properly in no time.  The best part is I will remember the look of surprised joy he'll have when I show up in his driveway with it and some other tools I'm not taking for a long, long time.

On the Miller 252 topic, I paid $75 for my big stick welder (craigslist) and $0 (grandpa died) for the little one.  I paid $10 for my steam cleaner (which looks like a pile of scrap metal but works AWESOME), $25 for my PTO 15 kW generator that has been super handy, and $80 for my 70 year old Brenner 2hp repulsion-induction air compressor that works just fine, thank you (all at auctions).  Most of my good hand tools came from $5-20 auction mixed tool lot in a milk crate buys that had some Mac/Snap-On/old Craftsman tools in the bottom so the thought of spending $3k on a welder makes my head spin. 

I'll be the first (after my wife) to admit that I'm an astoundingly cheap SOB when I can stroke a check for a brand new discbine then hem and haw about spending the $$ for quality baler twine in the same haying season, but for some reason I just don't feel like I'd be getting good value spending that on a new $3k welder.  I guess it's like the discbine: I was sick of fixing the NH 479 every time I cut hay and used discbines seemed like a bad investment so a quality new machine is the only way to not have an annoying problem for a long, long time but it's a tough sum to pay upfront and the depreciation'll make you cry. 

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