Welding

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
Brucey
Posts: 42159
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Welding

Postby Brucey » 24 Jun 2017, 4:09pm

the decanting process is fairly straightforward but not without its risks. I made a 'thing' to hold an empty 5kg spool in a drill, the drill goes in the bench vice, then the donor spool is mounted on something. The issue that most often causes problems (big, tangly problems) is that the 15kg spool, once moving, doesn't want to slow down. IIRC 5kg of 0.6mm wire is about half a km or something, so you need to be going at a fair rate to get it done in a reasonable length of time. If you back off the speed on the take-up reel, you need to brake the 15kg reel somehow else you will soon get the mother of all tangles.

Another issue is how well the wire is wound onto the take-up spool; it is easy to do a messy job here, or to have too much tension such that the sides of the spool flare out.

Re a spool cover, I think the trick is to restrict the airspace volume around the wire, to keep it a bit warmer than the surroundings (so that the moisture condenses elsewhere) and/or to ensure that there is another surface within the enclosure that will always be colder than the wire, thus will capture the condensation preferentially. In an unheated space any upwards facing metal surface will otherwise be liable to condensation at times. Thus if you do make a metal housing, a plastic cover over the spool inside the housing may well provide additional benefit. BTW some machines with exposed spools are fitted with a fabric runner over the exposed wire, to prevent grinding dust from falling on the spool. I've always supposed that in damp conditions, it would make for more corrosion rather than less if it ever got at all damp.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

robc02
Posts: 1747
Joined: 23 Apr 2009, 7:12pm
Location: Stafford

Re: Welding

Postby robc02 » 24 Jun 2017, 7:17pm

The issue that most often causes problems (big, tangly problems).....


As one commentator put it - "MIG wire has only one ambition in life - to get off the spool and onto the floor!" :lol: ) ... I always treat it with great caution.

I have been contemplating the details of a cover for a while, and concluded it ought to be as small as possible, possibly with some kind of lining. But I think for longish periods of storage, especially in winter, I would still wrap the coil in a plastic bag. As you say, a major benefit would be to keep dust and grit away from the wire. It would be worth making a cover for that reason alone.

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NATURAL ANKLING
Posts: 12416
Joined: 24 Oct 2012, 10:43pm
Location: English Riviera

Re: Welding

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 24 Jun 2017, 7:27pm

Hi,
Its not rocket science, MIG.

When you finished welding for that day...remove wire spool and take it into house / warm dry place then store in plastic bags.
If you don't do this even in summer, you might as well get another spool of wire :!:

In the instructions it says straighten the end of wire (from the curve being on spool) cut the wire nice and square with no burrs, hand feed it into liner then put the motor drive pinch roller spring on low just to feed through the liner, if you also remove welding tip and straighten the torch thick cable, the wire passes really easy.
Liners are peanuts.
Never repaired or replaced anything on my two mig's, there again I look after it as well as my bike, nothing to rust except the wire, the roller grooved is plated, clean the groove that's all.

If mig wire gets rust on the surface, discard any rusty wire / renew roll of wire.

My Clark 100E which is over 25 years old, now suffers from poor wire feed because the buses are worn on the roller so I need a new motor feed mech / repair.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

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NATURAL ANKLING
Posts: 12416
Joined: 24 Oct 2012, 10:43pm
Location: English Riviera

Re: Welding

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 24 Jun 2017, 7:30pm

Hi,
robc02 wrote:
The issue that most often causes problems (big, tangly problems).....


As one commentator put it - "MIG wire has only one ambition in life - to get off the spool and onto the floor!" :lol: ) ... I always treat it with great caution.

I have been contemplating the details of a cover for a while, and concluded it ought to be as small as possible, possibly with some kind of lining. But I think for longish periods of storage, especially in winter, I would still wrap the coil in a plastic bag. As you say, a major benefit would be to keep dust and grit away from the wire. It would be worth making a cover for that reason alone.


Remove wire from machine every time you finished with it and store indoors. :!:
Its the only method worth considering.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

Brucey
Posts: 42159
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Welding

Postby Brucey » 24 Jun 2017, 8:29pm

FWIW my MIG set has had the same 5kg spool of wire in it for the last three years (not been too busy welding recently) and I have just left it in the machine, in my unheated, damp (there is a small leak in the roof somewhere) condensation-ridden garage with the cover on and the scotchbrite mop etc. I have had no problems with rusty wire in that time, even though I usually go six months in the winter without using the set. I've been using it a bit more recently and it has been fine.

FWIW I stripped and regreased the wire drive gearbox etc (once) in my favourite machine about ten years ago. Needless to say it was just like everything else I've ever owned inside; not well lubricated enough when it was originally built.... but because I use mostly 0.6mm wire in that machine, and I'm careful about feed pressure, the drive rollers/bushings are not under great load.

cheers
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Gattonero
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Joined: 31 Jan 2016, 1:35pm
Location: London

Re: Welding

Postby Gattonero » 25 Jun 2017, 8:09am

FWIW, even MMA rods ("welding sticks") have to be kept away form moisture, and work a lot better when warmed-up (at least, with Rutilic ones as I've mostly used), never use rods that are kept in a damp place or show rust!
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

Brucey
Posts: 42159
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Welding

Postby Brucey » 25 Jun 2017, 10:07am

re MMA electrodes; most of the commonplace types can be baked out again (see manufacturer's recommendations re temperature and time required) if they have been stored somewhere a little bit damp. The electrode type is identified by a number printed on the flux coating.

Certain types (which you are extremely unlikely to need or encounter in amateur usage) require that they are baked out and then used within a short time (an hour or two). More conventional types are supplied in hermetically sealed packets and have a long shelf life (closed) and a reasonable 'open time'.

If you have some manky old electrodes you can assess if they are any good or can be recovered by

a) assessing some test welds and/or
b) breaking the flux coating off an electrode and examining the steel beneath. Generally speaking if the steel looks OK the electrode can be baked out but if it looks rusty, it has probably had it.

Needless to say not every job needs the same quality level or carries the same consequences should the welds fail. So it is probably OK to fix a garden gate with questionable electrodes but not to modify (say) a towing bracket...

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Maricu
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Joined: 24 Sep 2018, 1:37pm
Location: Welmington

Re: Welding

Postby Maricu » 7 Nov 2018, 11:49am

I have never used a 220 VAC MIG welder before but asking a lot of questions before I bought mine (one of them was from a friend who repaired welders for a living), there are some things to point out.

Unlike a 240 VAC welder, you cannot just go out and move from the max 3/16 material (usually considered the limit to a one pass weld with a 120VAC MIG Welder) to heavier materials; gas shielded welding does not allow you that extra bit the shielded wire does. Gas does not let you weld in heavy winds (outside hopefully) like shielded wire does but shielded wire welding is messy like ARC welding is. Going from shielded wire to gas, in most of the small machines, requires a different liner and (maybe) changing the polarity of the electrical connection (its been too long since I did my setup).

Some things to consider:
• can you get parts for the welder,
• can it be repaired locally, can it be converted to work with gas or must it be limited to using shielded wire welding (advantages… maybe).
• Remember, 120 welders are light weight welders and not really that comparable to a 220 unit. They do a good job within their limitations but also have a service limit (I forget the proper word) that is lower than what a 220 unit would have.

Of the welders that usually would meet the conditions above, there are three I would recommend:
1. the Miller that has adjustable power settings along with adjustable wire setting,
2. The Miller is closely followed by the Lincoln unit which has similar features.
3. The Hobart would be the third because it still has preset power settings and its welding tips use a different thread count so they could be harder to find.
Each of these machines is usually available, and can be serviced, most anywhere you go. (I didn't know that Eastwood had gone the additional variable switch that DWP has talked about)

That being said, I have two Hobart welders and like them very well. The Hobart 120 is the unit that had the technology that Miller was after when it bought out Hobart. I also have a Hobart 135 which is a good welder but in my opinion just not as good as the 120. I have not had any problems with the 135, but it does feel different.

If you happened to catch it, this last weekend Extreme 4X4 had a show (rerun) on MIG welding and how to set them up and in a couple of places gas was discussed and so was wire choice.

One other thing that has been said; an extension cord or a long power cord is not always the best thing to use. The voltage drop can be very noticeable, especially if you do not use a cord with a gage of wire that is compatible with the voltage needed over the length of the power cord. Commercial extension cords have a tendency to be too light of weight to satisfactorily be used with a welder.

I hope this helps.