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RobbieKnobbie
12-31-2009, 11:08 PM
I recently picked up a HF dual mig 151, along with a spool of flux core Lincoln wire from Lowes.

I laid a couple little puddles right after I set it up and first plugged it in. Half an hour later I came back and tried to lay a bead. Now it seems the arc is strobing on and off at irregular intervals... maybe around 3 ot 4 hz.

I am by no means an accomplished welder, I've used a Lincoln 225amp AC stick welder a good bit, but I've never done MIG before at all.

I've tried keeping the wire about 1/4 inch out of the nozzle, but going longer or shorter doesn't seem to make a big difference.

Any ideas guys?

gnm109
01-01-2010, 10:29 AM
I recently picked up a HF dual mig 151, along with a spool of flux core Lincoln wire from Lowes.

I laid a couple little puddles right after I set it up and first plugged it in. Half an hour later I came back and tried to lay a bead. Now it seems the arc is strobing on and off at irregular intervals... maybe around 3 ot 4 hz.

I am by no means an accomplished welder, I've used a Lincoln 225amp AC stick welder a good bit, but I've never done MIG before at all.

I've tried keeping the wire about 1/4 inch out of the nozzle, but going longer or shorter doesn't seem to make a big difference.

Any ideas guys?


Check your ground to the work. If that's OK, then hop in the car and take it back.

radkins
01-01-2010, 10:45 AM
Is the welder set for flux core or MIG? Since you have flux core wire and and are not using gas then the polarity needs to be set just the opposite of what it would be if in the MIG configuration. For gas-less flux core welding set the polarity to "Straight" (work positive, electrode negative) and for MIG welding you would use a shielding gas and set the polarity to "Reverse" (electrode positive, work negative). This makes a profound difference in the way the arc behaves and it must be set properly for the process you are using, MIG or Flux core. Also as was suggested check the ground as this is a very common cause of the problem you are describing, check also that the cable is attached tight to the ground clamp itself.

RobbieKnobbie
01-01-2010, 01:20 PM
Thanks for the replies!

The ground is as good as I'm going to get with the cheese ball grounding clamp that came with it. I'm going to look around for something a little beefier and try that before i give up hope.

The polarity is set to match the diagram under the wire spool hood... ground = neg for flux, opposite for gas.

I tried welding with 1/4 inch or less wire protrusion, and with almost no gap and that seemed to calm things down a little, but I'm afraid being so close will screw up my nozzle.

airsmith282
01-01-2010, 03:38 PM
Thanks for the replies!

The ground is as good as I'm going to get with the cheese ball grounding clamp that came with it. I'm going to look around for something a little beefier and try that before i give up hope.

The polarity is set to match the diagram under the wire spool hood... ground = neg for flux, opposite for gas.

I tried welding with 1/4 inch or less wire protrusion, and with almost no gap and that seemed to calm things down a little, but I'm afraid being so close will screw up my nozzle.

the use of nozzle gel will help keep the tip and nozzle clean, i use it all the time now and often during welding and have had no issues with clogging sence,that lincol wire also is a bit stiff i find and brittle buy man it works great also never bend you tourch line even when stored dont let it kink on you ,ill take a pick to give you an idea how my tourch line is stored on my cart so you get the idea what i mean , ill post pics after dinner

Willy
01-01-2010, 03:41 PM
One other thing you may want to check is the consistency of the wire feed.
While welding make sure to keep the cable the wire runs through as straight as possible. Check to make sure that you have the correct drive roll for the wire type and size you are using. Place the wire against a block of wood and with light pressure while pulling the trigger, the wire feed should push you and the gun away from the wood.
A stable arc is very much dependent on the consistency of the feed rate.

If all else fails now is the time to follow gnm109's advice and drag that puppy back to the store.
Good luck.

airsmith282
01-01-2010, 04:51 PM
willy forgot to mention the most importane part of this test , that is you need to adjust the tensioner either tighter or back it off a bit at time until. you get the feed proper..

there is a few great vidoes on youtube that shows how to set up a mig/flux core welder properly..

and yes the poarity is something to also make sure is corect on a mig when using fliux core wire..

this is my video on the proper storage of your torch cable as well a bit of a in use demo on how to keep it form kinking ,,sorry i did not run a bead on this video perhaps in the next one,,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGG1NYZWBz0

RobbieKnobbie
01-01-2010, 08:58 PM
OK, here's the game so far...

I went out and got a better ground clamp (this one (http://www.harborfreightusa.com/usa/itemdisplay/displayItem.do?itemid=66708&CategoryName=&SubCategoryName=)) and while that didn't necessarily clear things up, it definitely eliminated that possibility. The ground is now definitely good.

Running some wire out, I noticed that it was indeed binding - probably at about the same frequency that the arc was coming on and off. I farted with the tensioner a little and it's much better now, but it takes maybe five pounds or so of pull to get the wire out of the nozzle (using pliers). I'm assuming that's a little too much on the little rollers, but any less and the feed is really inconsistent.

Examining the cable going out to the gun, looks like I have a pair of kinks - one where it exits the box and one just before it goes into the gun. Looks like the liner is standard 4mm tubing, and the fitting inside the gun is a standard 4mm push-in pneumatic fitting (similar to ones used in small pneumatic systems like this: SMC tube fittings (http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNSRIT?PMPXNO=4633958&PMT4NO=76997266) . The tube looks (disclaimer) like polyethylene, which is a little prone to kinking, and not the slippery-est stuff anyway. I may have some teflon tubing at work (similar to this PTFE TUBE (http://www.mcmaster.com/#52335k32/=56y5df) to re-line it with. This stuff is almost impossible to put a kink into it, it's nice and slippery, and has a good temperature resistance.

So now I'm making decent beads, nothing I'd hang on the fridge just yet, but good enough that I can rule out having to return the welder at least.

Oh, while at HF getting the ground clamp, I also bought a 25' 10 gage extension cord that may befome my new power cord. The factory one is a little wimpy at 14ga. and short at 6 foot.

Thanks for all the advice, I'll let you know as things develop.

airsmith282
01-01-2010, 09:33 PM
OK, here's the game so far...

I went out and got a better ground clamp (this one (http://www.harborfreightusa.com/usa/itemdisplay/displayItem.do?itemid=66708&CategoryName=&SubCategoryName=)) and while that didn't necessarily clear things up, it definitely eliminated that possibility. The ground is now definitely good.

Running some wire out, I noticed that it was indeed binding - probably at about the same frequency that the arc was coming on and off. I farted with the tensioner a little and it's much better now, but it takes maybe five pounds or so of pull to get the wire out of the nozzle (using pliers). I'm assuming that's a little too much on the little rollers, but any less and the feed is really inconsistent.

Examining the cable going out to the gun, looks like I have a pair of kinks - one where it exits the box and one just before it goes into the gun. Looks like the liner is standard 4mm tubing, and the fitting inside the gun is a standard 4mm push-in pneumatic fitting (similar to ones used in small pneumatic systems like this: SMC tube fittings (http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNSRIT?PMPXNO=4633958&PMT4NO=76997266) . The tube looks (disclaimer) like polyethylene, which is a little prone to kinking, and not the slippery-est stuff anyway. I may have some teflon tubing at work (similar to this PTFE TUBE (http://www.mcmaster.com/#52335k32/=56y5df) to re-line it with. This stuff is almost impossible to put a kink into it, it's nice and slippery, and has a good temperature resistance.

So now I'm making decent beads, nothing I'd hang on the fridge just yet, but good enough that I can rule out having to return the welder at least.

Oh, while at HF getting the ground clamp, I also bought a 25' 10 gage extension cord that may befome my new power cord. The factory one is a little wimpy at 14ga. and short at 6 foot.

Thanks for all the advice, I'll let you know as things develop.

did they give you a rooler for mig wire and one for flux wire , also make sure tip you use is for the siez of wire you are using as well. aparently for some reason beyond understanding they use a different roller for the mig solid wire vs flux core wire..

this could also make a bigger difference as well , sorry but this one just came to mind,,

any how nice new ground clamp , i doubt a ground clamp can cause any of the problems you got going on , the roller change might just do the trick ,,

also make sure the metal your welding is clean as possible before welding it flux core wire does not mind a bit of rusy metal but not to rusy, even new metal should be scraped with a SS brush, and never use the wire that comes with thoes machines its junk i used 3/4 of my chinese wire and then got the lincoln wire and now i wont use anything but the lincoln wire now ,

Willy
01-02-2010, 01:14 AM
willy forgot to mention the most importane part of this test , that is you need to adjust the tensioner either tighter or back it off a bit at time until. you get the feed proper..


Airsmith, what do you think my previous post was about?

hardtail
01-02-2010, 06:36 AM
Any kinks of the liner is bound to give you grief.........if not today then the future for sure.

Ive often thought like you about that pitiful short cord supplied with most machines. Good luck, hope you get some satisfaction soon.

airsmith282
01-02-2010, 07:32 AM
Airsmith, what do you think my previous post was about?


well you did mention about the proper drive roller being there ,but not adjusting the tensioner ,, its all in how yo word things and i do have a brain in my head and even i never got the understading to adjust the tensoner out of your post willy, putting the wire against a peice of wood and haveing it to see if it pushes the gun back is no test to see if its adjusted properly that tells you nothing, would be better to just pull the trigge and wach for jumps in the feed or stalls and starts,

a guy here that i kow really cool guy got the same welder as mine was having start and stop stall isses jams and so on, so i told him to back off the tension and now it runs perfect, to much tension and you get some irratic feeding and you will see alot of irratic welding going on , not to meniton jam ups, also using a quaility wire helps to ,

the wire thats included with these machines is total junk.. i swear there is no flux in the wire, , once i went to the lincoln wire. I noticed after further backing off the tensioner a few things 1 was a better weld, 2 was better feed even the chinese stuff jumped alot , 3 the arc was alot smoother .. anyhow .

you do have to use the correct roller and different wires and rollers means different tension set ups.
im certianly no expert but after dozens of videos on how to set these things up and lots of hands on , on my own machine i gota really good grasp on things, , even going from 30 thou to 35 thou wire you need to adjust the tensioner, 5 thou is not much in mind but loads to the machine and how it reacts,,

Willy
01-02-2010, 07:41 AM
The issue was wire feed rate consistencey....ah hell ...never mind.:rolleyes:

RobbieKnobbie
01-02-2010, 09:04 AM
Yep, the wire was feeding with lots of starts and stops.

I appreciate all the replies though, I definitely got a little more familiar with the welder - and identified some needed improvements.

I'm gonna swap out the power cord this weekend. I can't imagine that causing any trouble. Then I'll start working on replacing the liner going to the gun.

For anyone who has this welder, or the Dual Mig 131 or 181, The guys over at WeldingWeb put together a great How-To thread for modding the power supply for smoothing out the ripple int he DC. Apparently our chinese friends at the Harbor Freight welder factory don't put smoothing capacitors in the rectifier circuit, and these guys have figured out how. Nice. With the cap installed the DC is predictably smoother and the RMS power coming out of the gun is brought up a good bit too.

WeldingWeb's Dual Mig 151 Mod Thread (http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=33848)

I'll keep posting as things move along.

airsmith282
01-02-2010, 09:37 AM
The issue was wire feed rate consistencey....ah hell ...never mind.:rolleyes:



sorry willy but i take the approche of looking into everything that can affect something then rule them out one at a time, , these types of welders vary so much in features and setups its just nuts and so many things that can affect one thing or another and so on ,

i never go for the quicky fix or look at only 1 or 2 things i look at all angles when iam trying to descover a soloution to a problem..

i can even notice the change from one wire to the next that is the same thickeness ,

lets look at a chines wire they seem more flexable and they are which tells me in a 30 thou chinese wire it has more wire less flux hence crapy welding on a flux core welder, lincon is more brittle alot less flex so more flux is in the wire and the proper wire amount is there in the sam 30 thou thickness,,

now both wires run at the same speed same tension seem also to have different feeding charistics , ,they are not suposed to but they do and tension settings are different as well. not everything is made = even though is said to be its not ..

flyboyziel56
01-03-2010, 10:25 AM
Just my .02 cents guys. The flux core wire needs a knurled drive roller with a slight amount of tension on the wire or you take a chance of crushing the outer core which not only binds up the wire going through the liner and then the defuser. You should be able to place your fingers over the wire and hold the wire and shut down the feed if you have the right tension. Drive roller should not slip, if it does then tighten down the tension until it stops. At least this is the way i was taught and i do this for a living. But you guys are right on as far as everything else!!!. Just some food for thought!!!!!;)