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  • Forney Welders - Anyone Ever Heard of Them?

    I ran across an old welder today. The color being red, I first thought it was a Lincoln, but upon further inspection, I found it to be a Forney C-3 arc welder. It had two vertical rows of plugs, some markings about soldering and brazing. At the bottom was a duplex outlet built into the unit. On the back of the unit it had the markings for duty cycle and among other things said it had power factor correction (?) and was rated for 180 amps. The voltage was 230V.

    The welder box was in very good shape (read no dents) with a couple of paint drops on it. The cables, including the power cord were very warn where they plug-in. Kind of an interesting relic.

    Well, here are my questions:

    1. Anyone ever heard of a Forney welder?
    2. When were they made and were they made by Forney or are they a rebadged Lincoln, etc.?
    3. Can one get parts for them?
    4. I assume a welder of that vintage has copper windings - right?
    5. Would the construction of this unit compare with a simple buzzbox or be on the level of a Miller Dialarc or Lincoln Idealarc?
    6. Is it possible that this machine is AC/DC?
    7. What is a good price? They are asking $275, but for cash, $200. Unless there is something really special about this welder, I'm thinking maybe $100 on a good day.

    Thanks in advance!
    Bill

  • #2
    Forney is still around, though I don't think they are in the welder manufacturing business these days. They mostly sell welding related items like flux, rod, flints and that sort of thing. They are an old Colorado business. From a very shaky memory, I believe they were manufactured north of Denver in the Longmont or Ft. Collins area. There is a Forney museum...or at least there was before they started urban renewal on the Union Station railyards and put in trendy restuarants and Elich Garden's new amusement park...down in Denver. Interesting place. Come to think of it old man Forney might have been into small airplane construction as a sideline business back in the '40s-'50s.
    Back to the welder...I grew up learning on a Forney as they were fairly common in the Colorado/Kansas area. Not sure if they built an AC/DC unit, but I would be surprised if they didn't. They were strong old welders that put up with a lot of farm shop abuse...some had battery chargers as part of the welder as well. Unless the unit you were looking at was AC/DC I believe the $100 on a good day would be about the right price. I would place them in the realm of a good entry level welder of the same amp rating and not up there with either the Idealarc or Dialarc. Copper wound unless it came from WWII vintage in which case its anybody's guess. Parts?...what parts are you going to need for one of these basic machines. I'd convert the plug taps over to more readily available Lincoln or Miller assemblies and other than that there really isn't a heck of a lot more to them to go bad that wouldn't be readily apparant as soon as you did a bit of kicking prior to laying your money down for the welder.
    Miller 251, Lincoln PrecisionTig 275, Miller DialArc 250 AC/DC, Hypertherm 900, Bridgeport J-head, Jet 14" lathe, South Bend 9" lathe, Hossfeld bender with a collection of dies driving me to the poorhouse, Logan shaper, Ellis 3000 bandsaw, Royersford drill press and a Victor Journeyman O/A.

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    • #3
      I can remember seeing Forney welders in shops a long time ago. I checked the name on-line and they are in business selling welding equipment and supplies. Evidently make the steel center displays for hardware stores where small pieces can be bought.

      http://www.forneyind.com/
      Jim-bee

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      • #4
        Many years ago someone gave me a book about welding that was sold by Forney. It is kind of an oversimplistic book, but it has the basics of arc welding and covers the carbon arc torch. I still have the book.

        If the case looks that good, I'd say the odds are that it will run beads.

        Good luck,
        Doc

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MBDiagman
          Many years ago someone gave me a book about welding that was sold by Forney. It is kind of an oversimplistic book, but it has the basics of arc welding and covers the carbon arc torch. I still have the book.

          If the case looks that good, I'd say the odds are that it will run beads.

          Good luck,
          Doc
          The Forney Welding book is still sold at TSC stores. It might be a fun reference to go along with the old welder. The double carbon arc torch is still sold by Lincoln Electric. If you want to use the other setting that you mentioned. The book is a red paper back named, Forney Welding Manual. Have fun, I bet it weighs a ton.
          Electricity provided by Miller Bobcat, Flames by Smith Equipment.
          Member, Secret Society of Carbon Arc Torch enthusiasts.

          Comment


          • #6
            Here is a photo of my old Forney welder. It still works good, I usually run 6013 & 7014 rod in it. Never had much luck getting it to burn 7018 for some reason. It won't burn 7018 AC DC rod at all, it will burn 7018 AC only.

            I have had this welder for about 10 years and it was several years old when It was given to me. I contacted Forney and they were happy to send me an owners manual, however it didn't particularly fit my welder but it was very helpful.

            I would think $75.00 - $100.00 would be a fair price for one of these welders. I have found several old Lincolns at garage sales and auctions in the $75.00 - $100.00 range.

            Comment


            • #7
              Make 'em an offer! For a little bit more than the asking price, you can get a NEW machine. It's a good old machine, nevertheless. No moving parts!!

              Hank
              ...from the Gadget Garage
              MM 210 w/3035, BWE
              HH 210 w/DP 3035
              TA185TSW
              Victor O/A "J" series, SuperRange
              Avatar courtesy of Bob Sigmon...

              Comment


              • #8
                I had one of these in my basement for about 25 years. My father finally decided he didn't need it anymore and we tossed it out last summer. It had the build in battery charger and the soldering option. It weighted a ton and took both of us to get it out side.
                Matt

                MM 175
                Ideal arc 250

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                • #9
                  I use forney wire and other products of theirs but i didnt know they made machines.
                  Cummins Tools Welding and Cutting Torch
                  Lincoln Hobby Weld
                  Lincoln 3200 HD

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Goulet!
                    I had one of these in my basement for about 25 years. My father finally decided he didn't need it anymore and we tossed it out last summer. It had the build in battery charger and the soldering option. It weighted a ton and took both of us to get it out side.
                    you could of recylced its guts for great money (high quality copper) instead of throwing it in a landfill!
                    ESAB Migmaster 250-sweetness in a machine!
                    Flametech/Victor O/A-more than what I need!
                    Lincoln buzzbox 225 AC/DC-old skool power!
                    Milwaukee 5.4 HP chop saw and 7" 4.2 HP grinder-wrist breakers!
                    Older than the hills bandsaw
                    homebuilt tubing bender
                    Clark 5500LB forklift
                    Hendey Lathe
                    What next?!?!

                    Next Purchase-
                    Real Compressor (Eaton 15-HP pump/10HP Motor 120 gal. tank)
                    ESAB TIG unit

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                    • #11
                      Forney Welder

                      I have an old Forney welder in my garage. My husband said it works perfect but doesn't need anymore. It is red. Where could I sell this? I haven't really looked for all the data on it yet, voltage, etc. Any ideas? We would like to get $100 for it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It might help you some if you put down the proximity of where you live at, someone on here might want to take it off your hands. Last stick welder I sold I took a photo of it and made up a little flyer that I put up on a bulliton board at a local laundry mat and it sold in just a few days. I would imagine that some place in your area might have a bulliton board. There are several around here. If that doesn't do you any good put it on craigs list no cost and it is advertised in a wide area.

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                        • #13
                          In the early 70s I worked at a farm equipment dealership. They sold Forney welders at that time. We had one in the shop. It worked. I used it. The only thing about it was that it didn't have plug in leads. The leads were hard wired and were only about 12 feet long. I had an Airco buzzbox at the same time and liked it a lot more.
                          Jim

                          Miller MM 210
                          Miller Dialarc 250P
                          Airco 225 engine driven
                          Victor O/A
                          Lots of other tools and always wanting more

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Forney is Okay!

                            Originally posted by leeave96 View Post
                            I ran across an old welder today. The color being red, I first thought it was a Lincoln, but upon further inspection, I found it to be a Forney C-3 arc welder. It had two vertical rows of plugs, some markings about soldering and brazing. At the bottom was a duplex outlet built into the unit. On the back of the unit it had the markings for duty cycle and among other things said it had power factor correction (?) and was rated for 180 amps. The voltage was 230V.

                            The welder box was in very good shape (read no dents) with a couple of paint drops on it. The cables, including the power cord were very warn where they plug-in. Kind of an interesting relic.

                            Well, here are my questions:

                            1. Anyone ever heard of a Forney welder?
                            2. When were they made and were they made by Forney or are they a rebadged Lincoln, etc.?
                            3. Can one get parts for them?
                            4. I assume a welder of that vintage has copper windings - right?
                            5. Would the construction of this unit compare with a simple buzzbox or be on the level of a Miller Dialarc or Lincoln Idealarc?
                            6. Is it possible that this machine is AC/DC?
                            7. What is a good price? They are asking $275, but for cash, $200. Unless there is something really special about this welder, I'm thinking maybe $100 on a good day.

                            Thanks in advance!
                            Bill

                            Bill, My father-in-law, Roy, gave me an old Forney he had used for many a year. Forneys were usually called "farm" welders he told me, because they held up to lots of abuse, rough handling, and just kept on going. Roy explained that Forneys lasted forever. The coils inside were made of copper, which allowed them to cool down faster than the steel or aluminum wiring in newer units. Therefore, the duty cycle was shorter and more work could be done. They were brain-dead simple to use, pick your amperage by setting your stick in a sizing hole and reading the number next to it, plug in your cables on either side of the front matching that number and get busy. I dusted it off, bought new cables and holders, gloves/shirt, hammer, helmet. He gave me a huge bucket full of sticks in all sizes including 1/2" chrome steel. I went to the library (no internet then) and copied out a few pages on welding with a Forney. Gathered up every piece of scrap metal I could find and started practicing. The entire neighborhood showed up to ask me to weld busted items for them! Based on my experiences with my Forney (which I let my brother "borrow" and haven't seen it since!!)..I went to Lowes today and bought a Lincoln AC 225, which looks remarkably like a Forney - it cost $299.00. It can handle a range of welding, including metal cutting and even welding aluminum! Lowes didn't have any aluminum on hand, so as soon as I'm done writing this, I'll be on the net running some to ground for a project I'm working on now. My Forney was 220v, and I ran a circuit breaker and #6 wiring into my garage with a matching outlet. I never had any problem with it. Price? Can't say - mine was "inherited." But its value will be intrinsic...what you think it's worth. Consider it from this point of view: My new Lincoln cost $299 plus tax...they're asking $200 for an old Forney. Is "new" worth another $99.99 to you? Read reviews and see how the flavor of such goes. I'm betting you'll have to hunt to find someone trashing an old Forney. Hope this helps. John
                            Last edited by knight_six; 05-28-2014, 12:35 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Forney is Okay!

                              Originally posted by leeave96 View Post
                              I ran across an old welder today. The color being red, I first thought it was a Lincoln, but upon further inspection, I found it to be a Forney C-3 arc welder. It had two vertical rows of plugs, some markings about soldering and brazing. At the bottom was a duplex outlet built into the unit. On the back of the unit it had the markings for duty cycle and among other things said it had power factor correction (?) and was rated for 180 amps. The voltage was 230V.

                              The welder box was in very good shape (read no dents) with a couple of paint drops on it. The cables, including the power cord were very warn where they plug-in. Kind of an interesting relic.

                              Well, here are my questions:

                              1. Anyone ever heard of a Forney welder?
                              2. When were they made and were they made by Forney or are they a rebadged Lincoln, etc.?
                              3. Can one get parts for them?
                              4. I assume a welder of that vintage has copper windings - right?
                              5. Would the construction of this unit compare with a simple buzzbox or be on the level of a Miller Dialarc or Lincoln Idealarc?
                              6. Is it possible that this machine is AC/DC?
                              7. What is a good price? They are asking $275, but for cash, $200. Unless there is something really special about this welder, I'm thinking maybe $100 on a good day.

                              Thanks in advance!
                              Bill

                              Bill, My father-in-law, Roy, gave me an old Forney he had used for many a year. Forneys were usually called "farm" welders he told me, because they held up to lots of abuse, rough handling, and just kept on going. Roy explained that Forneys lasted forever. The coils inside were made of copper, which allowed them to cool down faster than the steel or aluminum wiring in newer units. Therefore, the duty cycle was shorter and more work could be done. They were brain-dead simple to use, pick your stick according to a sizing hole, plug in your cables on either side of the front and get busy. I dusted it off, bought new cables and holders, gloves/shirt, hammer, helmet. He gave me a huge bucket full of sticks in all sizes including 1/2" chrome steel. I went to the library (no internet then) and copied out a few pages on welding with a Forney. Gathered up every piece of scrap metal I could find and started practicing. The entire neighborhood showed up to ask me to weld busted items for them! Based on my experiences with my Forney (which I let my brother "borrow" and haven't seen it since!!)..I went to Lowes today and bought a Lincoln AC 225, which looks remarkably like a Forney - it cost $299.00. It can handle a range of welding, including cutting and even welding aluminum! Lowes didn't have any aluminum on hand, so as soon as I'm done writing this, I'll be on the net running some to ground for a project I'm working on now. My Forney was 220v, and I ran a circuit breaker and #6 wiring into my garage with a matching outlet. I never had any problem with it. Price? Can't say - mine was "inherited." But its value will be intrinsic...what you think it's worth. Consider it from this point of view: My new Lincoln cost $299 plus tax...they're asking $200 for an old Forney. Is "new" worth another $99.99 to you? Read reviews and see how the flavor of such goes. I'm betting you'll have to hunt to find someone trashing an old Forney. Hope this helps. John

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