Advice on (respectfully) liquidating welding eq, including GE Atomic Hydrogen Welder
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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Advice on (respectfully) liquidating welding eq, including GE Atomic Hydrogen Welder

    Howdy. My father passed away recently and left two storage units with assorted welding equipment in Idaho. He had a welding shop in the LA area in the 60s-80s, but moved some of it to Moscow, Idaho (by traincar, I think) when he closed the shop down. It's been there ever since.

    I'm not a welder or machinist, and my father was a very private, quiet man, so I don't know a lot about the equipment. I'm looking to clear the units out, but I'd like the machinery to go to good homes, if it's useful nowadays.

    You can see a gallery here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

    There is one piece of particular interest. I saw there was a thread in this forum about it previously, but it didn't have a lot of information. It's a GE Atomic Hydrogen welder, as seen in this video:
    The Inside of Atomic Hydrogen Arc Welding, Part 1 - 1943 - YouTube

    I think I have all the equipment that goes with the Atomic Hydrogen welder. I'm not sure about documentation, but I think there's a little. I'm not sure how rare it is. As with all his equipment, I'm not sure it currently works. I considered seeing if it were rare enough to be of interest to a museum, but it looks like GE let its museum shut down.

    Basically, I'm looking for advice about what to do with all this stuff. Are there trade schools that could use it? Is it worth anything (I wouldn't mind making back a little of the unit rent)? Is there someone or some organization out there that might be interested in restoring the GE Atomic Hydrogen welder?

    Any insight is appreciated.

    The pictures are probably worth more than the words, but here's a list of the equipment I could identify:
    General Electric Atomic Hydrogen Transformer and Equip
    Lincoln Lincwelder 225, DC Arc Welder
    industrial pedestal grinder, CI heavy duty. 3450 RPM ½ hp
    Industrial Bench Grinder, 3450 RPM, Craftsman ½ HP design:C2372; model:397.19590
    kalamazoo metal cutting bandsaw
    Ammco Honing Machine
    metal lathe, Craftsman 12 inch late-model
    Welsh Vacuum pump
    Lincoln Idealarc R3S Arc Welder, 435 amp
    Westinghouse West-Ing-Arc Type SA Welding Control and Wire Drive, 200 amp
    P&H Welding Positioner
    Lincoln Electric LN-7 Squirt Welder
    Knight Tube Tester
    Heath ultragraph pattern cutter (template-controlled flame cutting machine)

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    Looks like a shop I helped liquidate after a family friend passed.

    It cost far, far more to dispose of all the crap then anything of value returned.

    If I were in your shoes I would try to find someone dumb enough to take all of it for "free". The clincher being they had to take all of it, leave the place clean and they take the stuff with a little value last.

    If that fails then get a big dumpster and only keep the stuff worth selling.

    I can't tell much about it from the pictures, but I might be interested in the P&H weld positioner if you were willing to drag it back to Portland.

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    The items you listed would probably sell for something on ebay or craigs list, but don't expect much. Might be enough to cover some of the rent, but im sorta with garwood, for the time you could have in it selling bits, you could probaly be ahead in your day job. Theres a lot of junk there, some of it possibly even considered hazardous waste. Whilst theres a small fortune there in consumables, its next to worthless the age it is, which is a shame, if he had found a buyer back in the 1980's for it he would have done way better than a decades or 2's storage fees have cost him.

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    As an avid craphound™ living in the PNW, I would say that if carefully photographed and posted on the Seattle craigslist the best of that stuff might clear a few grand.
    But... you would need to get it to someplace a lot more populous then Moscow/Spokane/Pullman to get that kind of money for it.
    I think Garwood has your best bet, find someone who has nothing better to do and let them do the work.
    Unless of course you have nothing better to do, in which case truck the welders, the positioner, the grinder, bandsaw, lathe, and as many hand tools as you can find back to Portland and sell it from there.
    If you post the rest for free on craigslist with the caveat that it is all or nothing it will go, but you will still need a dumpster for what gets left behind (they never take it all).

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    I would like the Lincwelder 225 but shipping would be a killer. Can you post a close up photo of the control panel and spec plate on the R3S Lincoln welder?

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    The Kalamazoo band saw is certainly worth some money. I've owned that same model for 25+ years. They are great little band saws. Easiest blade changes of any band saw I've ever used!

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    The Atomic Welder has some curiosity value, but its not a very usable machine.
    This is very old stuff, and mostly, despite some it having the word "industrial" written on it, pretty small scale, home shop type stuff.

    I would agree, if you had the time, selling it on craigslist in Seattle with local pickup (that is, trucking it all to Seattle) would net you the most income. A few grand, depending on how much time you have to slowly wait for the high bidders.

    Its too bad, you just missed the annual blacksmiths/metal swap meet at the Metals Building, which is on Spokane and Marginal Way in south Seattle. You could have loaded it all onto a trailer, or a Uhaul, and pretty much sold it all in one day. Thats usually the third Saturday in July, I think.

    So- its no gold mine.
    Assuming you can list it individually on Craigslist, over time you could probably get three to four grand for the whole thing, selling it piece by piece.
    Prices increase the farther west you go. Western Washington being the closest place you could get the most for it.

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    "The Atomic Welder has some curiosity value, but its not a very usable machine."

    If it were closer, I'd be on that one, out of curiosity. Have heard tales of being able to do some neat stuff with those. Never even seen one.

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    This thread is a couple of years old- but it suggests that, in texas, at least, the atomic hydrogen torch is saleable.
    please tell me about my miller atomic hydrogen arc welder
    My guess is a couple hundred bucks, though. Dont start shopping for new Escalades quite yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike C. View Post
    "The Atomic Welder has some curiosity value, but its not a very usable machine."

    If it were closer, I'd be on that one, out of curiosity. Have heard tales of being able to do some neat stuff with those. Never even seen one.
    Yup, they're the stuff of legend. Also out of curiosity, I googled the process yesterday. It seems a few enterprises are still using the technology for specialty welding operations.

    V

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    Old welding equipment is often worth more for the copper than anything.
    You have an old weld positioner and they hold their value. If it operates it is worth several thousand if not more than several. A small new positioner that has less than 100 pound capacity will run over a grand.
    You have all kinds of Eutectic powders for flame buildup. If you have the associated torches you might get a buyer.
    Welding rod is relatively useless because many shops operate under certifications and they required documentation on weld consumables such as electrodes and welding rods. A small uncertified repair shop might be interested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hobbyman View Post
    Welding rod is relatively useless because many shops operate under certifications and they required documentation on weld consumables such as electrodes and welding rods. A small uncertified repair shop might be interested.

    Might want to type all the various rods in case some contain nickle or other expensive alloys. Then check their current prices. Internet welding supply dealers make this research quick and easy through their on-line catalogs.

    The above mentioned local repair shops, plus most farmers, backyard fabricators, etc. would be glad to get a deal on old rods that could cost well over $10 a pound if bought new.


    - Richard

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    Quote Originally Posted by hobbyman View Post
    Old welding equipment is often worth more for the copper than anything.
    You have an old weld positioner and they hold their value. If it operates it is worth several thousand if not more than several. A small new positioner that has less than 100 pound capacity will run over a grand.
    You have all kinds of Eutectic powders for flame buildup. If you have the associated torches you might get a buyer.
    Welding rod is relatively useless because many shops operate under certifications and they required documentation on weld consumables such as electrodes and welding rods. A small uncertified repair shop might be interested.
    From the pictures, the weld positioner looked like $200-$500 real world value to me.
    New 100-200 lb high-end weld positioners are around $2700 full retail. A leading brand is made in the Portland area. They are quite a bit nicer than what's pictured by the OP.

    Rod isn't worth much. I have a bunch of it, and use it, and it was dirt cheap or free.

    If somebody wants to advertise old welding rod on craigslist for $2/lb that's their deal, but I can think of a million things I'd rather do.

    There's a pile of stuff there I would have thought was a goldmine in my teens and early 20's. Now I can't see more than a few grand value mixed amongst tons and tons of garbage. Container loads of garbage.

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    I saw your list and perked up at the weld positioner also. It is a 2500 lb unit (model WP2) and should get you some real money. If it was closer to me I would give $500 for it sight unseen, just off the pics, If you can clean off the dust and it still works i would expect a grand or maybe more. The table looks to be aprox3 foot dia?
    The lincoln welding machines are also worth money if still working (should be) the red one with the engine may sell easier in the country, my guess 1000-1200 and if the grey one uses single phase power probably a 800-1000. both of these should come with leads and all else needed to run them.
    The bandsaw maybe 500- extra blades help.
    The other thing that caught my eye was the disk sander, should be 200+
    The lathe would probably sell in 1 day for 200
    I might be off on my prices a bit not being local to you or the stuff but I hope it helps you with a ballpark.
    Things like the clamps, hand drills, grinders and such are useful to anyone doing metalwork. those larger hand grinders may fetch 30 and the clamps 5 each- c clamps and vice grip c clamps.
    And a lot of garbage.
    Rob

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    Are they flippers ?, 5 rows down ,I guess every welder needs a pair.

    I would try to find a magazine or paper aimed at farmers ,fair chance some farm kid would be in his element filling a barn with that stuff with a view to doing farm repairs ,I know I would have been all over it when I was younger but would be regretting it by now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sable View Post
    Are they flippers ?, 5 rows down ,I guess every welder needs a pair.
    Did you see the SCUBA tanks? First pic.

    Rob

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    Have it listed as estate sale on cl and provide ssme information as here.

    You will have "diggers" show up snd mine it for stuff....it is what we do...find interesting things burried in places like this.

    List it for a couple weeks in advance and answer questions via email

    As you discover things adf to the listing.

    You will have a crowd...

    Get the ability to take plastic via phone and you WILL get more money

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob F. View Post
    Did you see the SCUBA tanks? First pic.

    Rob
    I hadn't but after looking again I'm sure you're right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Quiring View Post
    You will have "diggers" show up snd mine it for stuff....it is what we do...find interesting things burried in places like this.

    I agree...I found a large ammo tin half full of vintage dynamite that way.

    ----

    To the OP: don't poo-poo the value of those engine-driven Lincolns. If they will run, they will sell. Those machines were reliable and had all copper windings. I suspect all parts are available, and they make a nice bead. I would not expect to get more than $400-$600 apiece, depending on the condition and the leads.

    Hopefully yours are electric start - those of us old enough to know what a hand crank is just don't want to turn one any more!

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    Default Atomic hydrogen welder

    Do you still have any of this equipment ? I have been trying to find one but they are hard to come by. If you still have it please email me [email protected].


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