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I have been using this welder for about a month with out any issues, now all of the sudden the wire keeps kinking right after the rollers on the inside and before it goes into the cable to the gun.

Any thoughts on what is causing this? It happens when putting new wire in, but also when I am welding. I imagine it is something to do with the wire feed speed but thought I'd check to see if any body has any advise.
 
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Re: Help with wire feed welder. (themagicalswitch)

Check the tip to see if anything is keeping the wire from feeding through. If its clear, then start with very little pressure on the rollers. If you have two sets you might try using one to get the wire started. Good luck.

Steve
 
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Re: Help with wire feed welder. (themagicalswitch)

Yeah, the tip and the liner are what you want to check. Have you changed the tip? You sure it's the right size? Is it .030 wire?

Also there sometimes is a bullet shaped thing where the wire enters the liner (right after the rollers. Make sure the distance between the exit of the rollers and the entrance to the liner is as small as possible.

Too fast of wire feed will usually just manifest itself at the gun with an erratic arc if the rest of the system is properly set up.
 
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Re: Help with wire feed welder. (JamesP)

Is the wire old? If so, it will get dirty through ozidation and can get slightly rusty. In my climate, I have to remove the spool and keep it in the house because of the humidity. Even through the copper wash on the wire. ( I tossed out a 40 pound spool of .040 from rust)

If so, the dirt will build up in the conduit to the gun tip. The dirt will also build up in the removable tip and will close the hole size down to where it restricts the wire travel. The dirt also causes more arcy sparky in the tip.

The conduit has a polyethylene inner liner that the wire slides in. Normally slippery, but they can get abraded and rather grippy if dirty rusty oxidized wire is passed through. Cheap to replace.

Try this.

Go to your welding store and get the felt pads that go on the wire. These are a lube pad and a wiper pad.

If you are using say, .030 wire, try a .035 tip. Not ideal, but there's less wire friction.

You'll figger it out.
 
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Re: Help with wire feed welder. (themagicalswitch)

A big 10-4 on the liner. It needs to be cleaned or replaced. Some mig guns have a spring liner like the old lawn mower throttle cables and these can be cleaned by emersion in a coffee can of a solvent like acetone, let it soak for a while. Blow dry the liner with compressed air and away you go. If your outfit has a poly liner just replace it with a new one. I would also use a .030 tip with .030 wire because a larger tip could cause poor contact to the wire. When you drag/push steel wire through a copper tube the copper tube will wear. The wire is curved as it unwinds off of the spool and will wear a curve on the inside of the tip to match. The more curve the less contact the wire has with the electrified tip causing a poor connection and arc.
Tips and liners need to be replaced and like with anything else the more it is used the more often they need to be replaced. In my former life as a welder I would have to replace a tip at least every two days on a mig gun. I would clean my liners every week. I would have one in the gun and one in the can soaking. The wire has a coating on it that prevents oxidation and will clog up your tip and your liner over time. Every time you use your welder, if you use it much, run a tip cleaner through the copper contact tip. Use a tip cleaner like the ones that you use to clean oxy cutting torches with and clear out the crud that builds up inside. Use of a wiper like that mentioned above to pre clean the wire is also a good idea.
Do all of this happy stuff and you will have a machine that runs well.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Help with wire feed welder. (Sagerider)

Thanks for all the tips guys - I have a new tip on and new liner. The wire is new as well.

It isn't getting stuck on the tip because when I took the tip off and fed the wire through it did the same thing.

I'll try the other things mentioned next week, I'm going to Indy for the F1 this weekend so no welding for me.

Thanks for all the help, I'll let you guys know what the deal is if I figure it out for sure.
 
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Re: Help with wire feed welder. (themagicalswitch)

Idea.

Don't leave the feed cable coiled up. It creates a bit more drag. Lay it out on the floor. Maybe this will help.

I have to do this with mine as virtually every problem everyone listed is what I have. In my case it's due to infrequent usage. Mine is a 250 amp Miller. Pisses me off when it stops feeding as you are welding. Then the wire breaks off. Then I have to unscrew the tip. Then,, then,, I swear at it, then the wire welds to the tip. then.....
 
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Re: Help with wire feed welder. (Old Fart)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by Old Fart »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Idea.

Don't leave the feed cable coiled up. It creates a bit more drag. Lay it out on the floor. Maybe this will help.

I have to do this with mine as virtually every problem everyone listed is what I have. In my case it's due to infrequent usage. Mine is a 250 amp Miller. Pisses me off when it stops feeding as you are welding. Then the wire breaks off. Then I have to unscrew the tip. Then,, then,, I swear at it, then the wire welds to the tip. then.....</TD></TR></TABLE>

I know what you mean. It always seems to turn to sh!t when I start using it. We have two of them at work and I hate both of 'em. Someone else can weld all day long without any problems, let me pull the trigger and that's all she wrote. It doesn't take but a couple of wire mishaps and I'm burnin' rods. If it was mine, I'd trade it in on a good stick or tig machine.

Steve
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Re: Help with wire feed welder. (monster_tex)

So I messed with it some more today, no luck though. I'm starting to get pissed. I have some time tomorrow, so I'll give it another go.
 
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Re: Help with wire feed welder. (themagicalswitch)

This just sucks! There has just got to be something that is causing the problems that was not there before. Rollers to liner distance? Worn entry into the liner?
Some pain in the ass little thing. It is just a machine and does not hate you, maybe. Give it a good wack!
 
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Re: Help with wire feed welder. (Sagerider)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by Sagerider »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">This just sucks! There has just got to be something that is causing the problems that was not there before. Rollers to liner distance? Worn entry into the liner?
Some pain in the ass little thing. It is just a machine and does not hate you, maybe. Give it a good wack!
</TD></TR></TABLE>

I haven't seen a roller to liner distance specified, any suggestions on how far?
 
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Re: Help with wire feed welder. (themagicalswitch)

All I can think of is if there is too much distance from the rollers to the entrance to the liner there is room for the wire to bend. Close is good as long as the rollers don't hit the conduit. There is no other reason other than some obstruction, kink or mechanical problem with the conduit that would cause the wire to kink and wad up at the entrance to the conduit. What size wire are you running?
Does the wire kink when you just hit the go switch and not welding, just feeding wire out? Do you have a poly liner or is it a spring liner? If the liner is too long and you had to stuff it in the cable this could be a issue too. If the liner is too short it will not provide guidance through the conduit completely.
 
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Re: Help with wire feed welder. (themagicalswitch)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by themagicalswitch »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">

I haven't seen a roller to liner distance specified, any suggestions on how far?</TD></TR></TABLE>

As small as possible. When we set them up here, there's no more than 1/32" - 1/16" clearance from the roller to the liner entry.
 
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Re: Help with wire feed welder. (Sagerider)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by Sagerider »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">All I can think of is if there is too much distance from the rollers to the entrance to the liner there is room for the wire to bend. Close is good as long as the rollers don't hit the conduit. There is no other reason other than some obstruction, kink or mechanical problem with the conduit that would cause the wire to kink and wad up at the entrance to the conduit. What size wire are you running?
Does the wire kink when you just hit the go switch and not welding, just feeding wire out? Do you have a poly liner or is it a spring liner? If the liner is too long and you had to stuff it in the cable this could be a issue too. If the liner is too short it will not provide guidance through the conduit completely.</TD></TR></TABLE>

The liner is exactly the same as the original. The wire is .024". A poly liner. It does it all the time, welding, running the wire through, looking at it, well you get the point.
 
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Re: Help with wire feed welder. (themagicalswitch)

well I checked the distance and mine was way out so I moved it into spec. It seemed this solved the problem so I was welding away. After about two minuets it did the same thing again.
 
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Re: Help with wire feed welder. (themagicalswitch)

Try easing up on the roller tension. They might be too tight and curling the wire.
.024 wire is pretty small diameter. If that does not work try .030 diameter wire.
We will lick this little bastard!!!
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Hey everybody, it seems like you all have welding machines in your garages. I was looking to get one of those cheap ones on ebay... Anybody have any experience with these things? What's a recommended one (and don't say Snap On or Mac or Craftsmans)? I need something for my weekend mechanic adventures in the garage.
 
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Re: (JonHsiung)

Miller is hard to beat. Go to a welding shop and get a name brand so you can get parts for it. If you get a cheap unit you will have a cheap unit. I have a Miller
Syncrowave 180 SD 240 volt TIG welder and I love the hell out of it. I can TIG and Stick weld with it. It has AC/DC with a High Frequency unit for welding aluminum.
There is not a whole lot I can not do with this machine. I cost me like $1,700.00.
It comes with a gas cooled TIG torch and a Stick lead, gas gage and foot peddle control for the TIG, everything you need.
Duty Cycle is very important. This is the length of time you can weld before the unit over heats. Duty Cycle relates to how much power you are using so that if you have 60% duty cycle machine it can only run for a short time at full power before it has to shut down to cool off. The lower the power you are using the longer the duty cycle is and so on. The higher the duty cycle a machine has the price goes up with it.
Go see your local welding supply and discuss your needs or you could get burned more ways than one.
 
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Re: (Sagerider)

Jon:
Stay away from the unknown brands. Not that they don't work, but a year down the road you won't be able to find parts for it. Stick with Miller or Lincoln.

As most of us are occasional users, buy a used one out of the local paper. If you are just welding steel under 1/8" thick, the little 110 volt models work fine. Like anything else, road test it before you buy it.
 
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Thanks for the input guys. I'll look into picking one up in a couple weeks and I figure I should start saving now if I want a Miller or Lincoln. I just don't want to burn a couple hundred on something that will crap out on me after a year.

I'll most likely be welding small brackets. Nothing crazy like making custom bikes, header flanges or anything.
 
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