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Wriggly wire !

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Wriggly wire !

Postby homeboy » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:31 pm

I have used a Lincoln 180 transformer wire feed with flux core for a few years. The voltage settings are stepped A-E and the wire feed numbered 1-10. After trial and error initially based on the door chart I got it dialed in and it works great other than often too short of a duty cycle. Just got a 250A welder with optional 15ft lead using the same .035 flux core as before. This is an inverter welder and has full variable voltage and IPM wire speed control so I knew it would be a bit of a learning curve. Drove me nuts. One weld not bad, the next a mess. I am by no means an expert and wondered if an inverter had different characteristics from a transformer or if I was just a klutz. Noticed that there was a lot of endplay in the wire if grabbed at the tip while the 180 had almost none. Checked the drive tension and seems fine- no slippage. On checking the 180 comes with a .035 liner while the new one is rated for .023 - .045. I switched the liner to a .030 - .035 and it made quite a difference. My theory is that with the larger liner the wire was whipping around inside and causing a jerky feed at the tip. Could it be that flux core is not as stiff as solid mig wire and with the 15ft lead the effect would be worse than with the standard 10ft lead? I have never used the solid wire to compare. Is this a common occurrence? Am I on the right track? :?
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Re: Wriggly wire !

Postby PeteM » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:35 am

I think so.Flux core is a tube and does crush/pinch more easily than solid wire. We used to have a heck of a time pushing even 1/16th fcaw-g through a 15 foot gun line with a 2 wheel drive system. It would get poppy and erratic, burn back and stick in the tip, etc. 12 ft. it would run like a champ though.
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Re: Wriggly wire !

Postby homeboy » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:08 pm

PeteM wrote:I think so.Flux core is a tube and does crush/pinch more easily than solid wire. We used to have a heck of a time pushing even 1/16th fcaw-g through a 15 foot gun line with a 2 wheel drive system. It would get poppy and erratic, burn back and stick in the tip, etc. 12 ft. it would run like a champ though.
This model welder does not have a knurled flux core drive roller available which I was aware of. With only a single drive smooth drive roller I had to crank the tension too tight for flux core. On the advice of a machinist friend of mine I used a fine diamond file and rounded the outer corners of the groove just a bit. That's all it took to get enough traction at an acceptable pressure. Another issue I also was aware of was that this model of a Benzel gun had no flux core nozzle available. Simple fix using my Lincoln 180 in stock tip and a slightly modified Lincoln flux core nozzle. Now all I gotta do is find the sweet spots between voltage and IPM wire speeds. The feed is not quite as sharp and smooth as the Lincoln but it seems almost certainly the extra 5ft. of lead. Thanks for the info. :D
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Re: Wriggly wire !

Postby Oscar » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:54 pm

homeboy, you're hypothesis is pretty much correct. The original liner was likely very large to be able to fit 0.045" wire, compared to the 0.035" liner. Flux-core being hollow in the middle filled with flux makes it softer than solid wire. All that in conjunction with longer lead lengths can easily lead to erratic wire feeding.
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Re: Wriggly wire !

Postby homeboy » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:52 pm

Oscar wrote:homeboy, you're hypothesis is pretty much correct. The original liner was likely very large to be able to fit 0.045" wire, compared to the 0.035" liner. Flux-core being hollow in the middle filled with flux makes it softer than solid wire. All that in conjunction with longer lead lengths can easily lead to erratic wire feeding.
Thanks for the verification. One thing with the old liner that puzzled me was when I realeased the trigger well over an inch of wire shot out? With the new liner only 1/2in , just right.It may have that automatic stick-out feature I have read about elsewhere? Now in the process of nailing down the volts and wire speeds for different thicknesses and positions. Bench looks like Picasso gone wild with all my scrap pieces welded every which way in little towers and shapes. Making a list when I think I have found the sweet spots. :D
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Re: Wriggly wire !

Postby Oscar » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:27 pm

For me personally, even 1/2" stick-out is too much. I prefer much less, like 3/16". Needless to say I'm usually clipping a little bit of wire before each start.
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Re: Wriggly wire !

Postby homeboy » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:27 pm

Oscar wrote:For me personally, even 1/2" stick-out is too much. I prefer much less, like 3/16". Needless to say I'm usually clipping a little bit of wire before each start.
Ok thanks I will watch for that. It's much better with the smaller liner but still acts a bit erratic. I am thinking seriously of hooking up the mig kit and see how I make out with the hard wire. I have a 10ft work lead for it but really want something that works with the 15ft. Frustrating when I use the Lincoln with 10ft lead and little problem laying a decent looking bead. :?
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Re: Wriggly wire !

Postby PeteM » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:04 pm

I guess its coiling and bends in the line, but I've always noticed with longer gun lines that as you move around and flip the line around with you, the stick out changes.

Never thought much of it because some people think I'm ocd with the nippers. Clip your tip every time! Sometimes twice...
:lol:
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