SAE-300 Pipeliner Welder

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sae-300 welder

I LOVE old machinery. I love the look, the style, the sound. When you look at this welder, it’s simple. You don’t need a ton of manuals and a doctorate in engineering to figure out how it works. It’s simple, it works, and it’s built to last. It will probably be burning rods long after any of us will. Add to this the fact that it’s one of the best/smoothest welders I’ve ever used and you can see why I think this is such a great design. Did i mention i really like this welder?



Last year I was working on a job with a guy that bought and sold welders as a hobby. He tried to stick with Lincoln machines due to the fact that most of the guys that he sold to were pipeliner guys, and they’re generally fiercely loyal to Lincoln welding machines. It was a pretty nice arrangement; I’d find welders for him to buy, he’d buy them then pay me a finders fee. Over the course of the job, I think I’d found him around 10 of them, over half of which he ended up buying. This is one of them, an absolutely beautiful SAE-300 welder with a Hercules 6 cylinder engine. If I recall correctly, he said it was a 55 or 56 model. I’ve tried to check the serial number on some of the pictures that I have, but I can’t make it out to verify the exact age, but it does look like the right vintage. It’s got the best faceplate design of any of the SA or SAE models that I’ve seen.



As it happened, this was the third welder that he’d bought from one particular guy. He’d also bought a miller big 40, and an SA-200 pipeliner. This SAE-300 was just something the guy wanted to get rid of. He said it was running at one point, then it quit working. He had a mechanic go over it and still couldn’t get it going. So the guy was more than willing to give my friend a great, and I mean GREAT deal on this machine just to get it out of his shop. So he happily took it off his hands and brought it back to the jobsite.



One of the fringe benefits for me, was that I got to tinker with these welders and then weld/play with them. So after drooling over this welder for awhile, he asked me to try to get it going. We put a new battery in it to get it turning over, and then fixed a sticking float in the carburetor. It fired up immediately and sounded perfect. I really was jealous now. I put a hood on and tried to strike an arc. Nothing. No spark, no nothing. So with nothing to lose we pulled the brushes and cleaned them up with some emery cloth. Put them back in and fired up the welder again. Struck an arc and voila! PERFECT! One of the smoothest welders I’ve ever had the pleasure of welding with. I won’t tell you what he paid for this welder since he may be still trying to sell it, but the guy that sold it to him could have gotten more money if he would have sold the welder for the scrap metal price. Hell, just the custom running gear that this welder came with was worth much more than what he paid for everything . Some guys have all the luck. Here are some pictures of it.

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25 Responses to SAE-300 Pipeliner Welder

  1. Jonathan says:

    My grandfather gave me 1941 army issued SAE 285
    He said I would have to flash it to get it to weld
    & I need the gap 4 the points

  2. greg says:

    I have 8 old lincoln,s from 1954 to 1987. would consider selling. also looking for 400sam or 650sam diesel,s

  3. IVAN says:

    HOLA SOY IVAN DE SAN LUIS-ARGENTINA TENGO UN HERCULES JXD Y NECESITO LA FICHA TECNICA O MANUALES

  4. admin says:

    Hi Giacomo, you may have better luck posing it in the welding classifieds section of the forum.

    Good luck!

  5. admin says:

    Yeah, they were nice weren’t they? I love the look of them. Unfortunately I don’t know where you can get any at the moment, but if i find some i’ll be sure to let you know!

    You may want to try posting in the welding classifieds section that you’re looking for one, you never know who may have one.

  6. Lucas says:

    Beautiful face plate! Know where i can get one for a SAE-400?

  7. cg ellermeyer says:

    i have a sae 300 whith the hercules six for sale runs great,,,,,,,,,,,i also have the factury axel kit for it and it tows great,,,,,giacamo1@yahoo.com,,,,,,,,,,,

  8. admin says:

    There is no easy way that doesn’t involve rewiring or re-engineering ;-)

  9. larry says:

    I just got a SAE 300 it seems to be in fairly good condition. im wondering if there is a way to add a 220v outlet?

  10. admin says:

    Hi John. Sorry for the late reply, but this comment didn’t show up until today for me. I’m not sure, but it sounds like it may be some kind of aftermarket conversion, I can’t say for sure though. Do you have any pictures of it? If you’d like to post some in the forum, we may be able to identify it. Either way, that’s a good welder and should serve you well. The only drawback is that the 6 cylinder Hercules likes its fuel!

  11. John S. says:

    I just got a SAE 300 with the 6 cyl Hercules this past weekend. I have a little history about the machine. A man in my church gave it to me and said good luck! It ran when I set it up years ago and welded good. Thats it. So far the oil looks normal and the radiator is empty. I noticed it did not have a mag. Instead, a small distributor that seemed to work off the same drive as the external water pump. There seems to be an additional timing chain to a shaft that drive both, to the cam or what ever. I suppose it would work it just seems like there could eventtualy be a lag or slack in the timing of the engine. Anybody have any info?

  12. Homer G. says:

    Anytime!…and to be honest with you I had the same question. When I was searching the web for the answer I ran into this website/blog. Seeing that others had the same question as me, I decided to write Lincoln Electric an email asking for the answer to that question. That little paragraph was what they replied. Good question T.W. and I’m glad I could be of help!

  13. T.W. says:

    Thank you Homer G.! I would’ve never have guessed!

  14. admin says:

    Hey, thanks for that information Homer. I’d completely forgotten about that!

  15. Homer G. says:

    The answer to your question T.W., and this is coming directly from Lincoln Electric

    Thank you for you question about the naming of Lincoln Electric Company’s generator-type engine drives. SAE stands for “Shield-Arc, Exciter” with respect to the 300 and 400 amp welding machines. We hope this answers your question.

  16. B. Barnett says:

    I have an old lincoln 300 like your pictures here. I have had it about 4 years and it has run great. I have to replace the rheostat in it and put some new tires on the trailer. I am looking to sell it if anyone is interested. I am not sure what it is worth. Any help would be appreciated.

  17. admin says:

    That’s a good question to which i don’t have a good answer! I’ll have to research that. I can’t think of any words, off the top of my head, that start with E and go with shield arc (SA).

    Extreme, Electric, Energy? I don’t know, but i’ll see if i can find out.

  18. T.W. says:

    Wondering…what does the extra “E” in SAE stand for? Why not just SA 300? Thanks.

  19. Mike Reid says:

    John,
    I had a 1941 model SAE300 with a JXD 6 cyl Hercules that I rescued from a salvage yard back in the sixties. It had a stuck engine.It sounds about like your 1930′s version. I remember it had open bellows on the idler. I could not get the carb to work well, so put on a new replacement carb and it ran great and was a fine welder, but VERY thirsty. I sold it and bought a new SA200 Pipeliner back in 67. It has been a great welder and much less thirsty.

  20. Joseph Marks says:

    I just recently bought a Lincoln SAE-300 and im wondering where i could get parts.

  21. admin says:

    JOHN AMEIL Says:

    I HAVE A 1930S SA 300 WITH A HERCULES ENGINE AND IT LOOKS HUGE COMPARED TO THAT ONE IT HAS 2 BRASS DIALS AND ARE SEPERATED BY AN AMP METER THAT SAYS SHIELD ARC ON THE FACE THER IS NO CODE # OR SERIAL # ANY LUCK ON A YEAR OF MANUFACTURE, I HAVE A 1941 SA 200 BUT THIS SA 300 IS ALOT OLDER HELP

    Hi John. I’m not familiar with the really old versions of that welder, but from what i found on the Lincoln site it could be a HERCULES QXLDor HERCULES QXLD3 engine. Assuming that you’ve got a gas engine, it looks like those 2 along with the continental F-244 were the only engines used in the sae 300.

    From the Lincoln website, here’s a parts listing for most of the sae 300 welders. Not sure if it covers yours though, you’ll need to look through it.

    http://content.lincolnelectric.com/pdfs/products/navigator/parts/P25.pdf

    If you could send me a picture, maybe i can figure it out, or i can post it here and someone else may know more about it. In the meantime, i’ll keep looking for some information for you. Without a model or serial number, i’m kind of stumped.

    If you’ve got a picture and you’d like to send it:

    stickwelddotcom (at) yahoo (dot) com

    Or send me an email through the contact form: http://stickweld.com/contact/

    Anyway, good luck and let us know what you find out.

  22. admin says:

    T.W Says:

    I have a 1978 SAE-300. The straight six is a smooth engine but very thirsty. I’m thinking about a repower with a diesel. Also, the extended hood on these units along with the extra space would seem to allow room for an oversize fuel tank. A great welder, efficent engine and large fuel tank, what more could you want? By the way, nice web site.

    They are very large inside. Sounds like it could be a good conversion with a 4 cylinder diesel since there is a lot of room, and there’d be even more if you did change to a 4 cylinder. The only issues may be with hooking it to the generator. But since it’s a direct drive, with a little creative machining work it shouldn’t be too bad.

    By the way, Thanks for the compliment! Nice to hear that. I’m always open to suggestions too. The site is pretty new, and I’m slowly learning, so if there’s anything you’d like to see added or fixed, please let me know!

  23. T.W says:

    I have a 1978 SAE-300. The straight six is a smooth engine but very thirsty. I’m thinking about a repower with a diesel. Also, the extended hood on these units along with the extra space would seem to allow room for an oversize fuel tank. A great welder, efficent engine and large fuel tank, what more could you want? By the way, nice web site.

  24. JOHN AMEIL says:

    I HAVE A 1930S SA 300 WITH A HERCULES ENGINE AND IT LOOKS HUGE COMPARED TO THAT ONE IT HAS 2 BRASS DIALS AND ARE SEPERATED BY AN AMP METER THAT SAYS SHIELD ARC ON THE FACE THER IS NO CODE # OR SERIAL # ANY LUCK ON A YEAR OF MANUFACTURE, I HAVE A 1941 SA 200 BUT THIS SA 300 IS ALOT OLDER HELP

  25. G.S says:

    Beautiful welder. I had one and wish i’d never gotten rid of it.

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