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davidwdyer
12-13-2016, 03:41 PM
I've been welding with my 220V Westwood mig for a while now without problems.

Today, after quite a bit of use, the wire began balling up inside. I would straighten out the wire and it would work

a little and then do it again. I tried adjusting the feed pressure, but with the same results. I have no welding training, just by doing it.

It seems that the wire sticks to the tip or the weld and the back pressure causes the ball up. Anyone with experience out there who can help?

Black Forest
12-13-2016, 03:47 PM
Have you replaced the tip? Have you cleaned or replaced the liner from the gun to the machine? How long have you been welding with the same roll of wire? Make sure it isn't rusty. If you go long periods between welding your wire can rust a little on the outer layers and that clogs your liner. At least blow out your liner. Also if your feed wheels are adjusted too tight and as your liner gets a little dirty it will cause the birds nesting. Try backing off the pressure on the reed rolls until if you point the wire at something that will block it the wheels should slip and not cause a birds nest. Those are the things I would check first.

danlb
12-13-2016, 04:10 PM
The phenomena is known as "bird nesting" , as Black Forest mentioned. You can search for this term if all else fails.

In addition to the above post, check that the roller is set to match the wire size and that the copper tip is also matched to the wire diameter. If the hole in the tip is too large you might end up with the current arcing from the tip to the wire, melting it there and causing it to stick.

Dan

LARRYR
12-13-2016, 04:36 PM
clear your jam and remove the tip from the gun and feed new wire thru. if it jams your probably have a problem with your liner and may need to replace it. if the wire feeds ok install a new tip and try the feed again. your did check your tip for the correct size? next set your drive roll pressure. loosen the drive roll pressure until they will no longer drive the wire, then gradually increase the tension while holding the towards a piece of wood. the proper tension will feed the wire but slip when the wire tries to push into the wood. if all that does not fix the problem you may be experiencing burn back at the tip. slow wire feed and long stickout will cause the wire to burn back to the tip and melt the tip to the wire. make sure your welding parameters are correct for the metal your are welding , keep stickout to a minimum . the gun tip should be about even with the gas nozzle be sure your ground connection is good . there are some really good utube sites for welders. try welding tips and tricks for one. good luck with your welding and practice practice practice.

digr
12-13-2016, 05:27 PM
Your roller should slip before the bird nesting happens IMO

flylo
12-13-2016, 06:44 PM
Isn't it Eastwood or is it like the flush thing in the southern hemisphere?:confused:

boslab
12-13-2016, 07:22 PM
Usually I've found with nesting or birds nest or annoying ball of ****e aka the Gordian knot ( Alexander the welder solved it with side cutters, he was promoted to Alexander the grunt) the sets feeding when the wire isn't burning, it's usually the tip, but you can get it when you burn the stick out back to the tip, it balls into the copper, a squirt of spray in the end and back the amps a bit.
If you're still suffering and have no spares pull the torch back as you release the trigger, then snip the wire to the right stick out before restarting.
If your torch is euro then buy another, they aren't too expensive, unfortunately a lot of small sets were direct fitted (avoid!), however I know a few guys who have retrofitted a euro socket, not difficult at all.
Tweco do a nice torch, I think mine came from star parts good heavy tips and plain copper shrouds.
Hope you fix it
Mark

flylo
12-13-2016, 08:23 PM
Even on sale! http://www.eastwood.com/mig-consumables-kit.html

wierdscience
12-14-2016, 12:33 AM
Another vote for liner issues.I periodically remove the liner on my machines and blow out the whip with compressed air,amazing how much dirt and dust builds up in there.

Another place to look are the wire guides leading into the feed rollers.On my Miller 210 for example they are a simple piece of round rod with a tapered hole in the center.Over time dust and copper scale wipes off the wire as it's fed through.It builds up in the feed hole and starts dragging on the wire.Few seconds with a torch tip cleaner clears it right out.

davidwdyer
12-14-2016, 05:52 AM
Yes, I remembered that this morning. It is Eastwood. So far it's been a good welder.

ahidley
12-14-2016, 09:30 AM
Its the tip.

A worn liner will cause the feed to be eratic depending how the hose is bent, I.e. wraping it around yourself for example. Try to keep it straight and it'll last longer.

radkins
12-14-2016, 09:11 PM
A sticky tip is the number one cause of this problem, by far, and I rarely start a welding job without a spare tip or two, these are expendable items and they usually don't last long. Another big cause that can lead to needing to replace the liner is dirty wire, just normal shop dirt/dust getting on the wire is a problem but the big killer here is the grinder! Welding and grinding go hand-in-hand and there is usually grinding going on in the vicinity of the welding machine, those grinding sparks/spatter will DESTROY a roll of welding wire in short order! Grinding spatter will stick to the wire if someone is carelessly allowing the grinding dust/debris/sparks to fly in the direction of the welder, a shower of grinder sparks can cause a lot of grief when the welding wire enters the liner with those tiny grinding particles stuck to it. I have seen this happen countless times but regardless of whether or not the wire has been exposed to something such as that it should be inspected for dirt and debris sticking to it, if it feels gritty then it should be wiped clean or even replaced if it is bad enough.


I have always used the rubber ball trick, take a small soft rubber ball and stick the wire through it before starting it through the guides so that the wire must be pulled through the ball as it comes off the roll and before it enters the liner. You can buy felt scrubbers made for this that work the same way but I have had much better luck with the rubber ball, it's amazing just how much junk will accumulate even when using "clean" wire. However neither the felt nor the rubber ball will remove grinding spatter, when that stuff gets on there about the only sure solution is replace the wire spool or at east remove the top windings of the wire until nothing is left but clean wire underneath.

outlawspeeder
12-14-2016, 09:38 PM
Right after the feed roller there is a point that the wire enters the liner look there for build up.
Check wire for rust. I bag mine if I am not using it for a week or more
Liner replacement. Put it out and look for a sharp bend. Used compressed air to clean it.
Make sure you have a good size tip to match the wire.

Try a long wire long arc.

davidwdyer
12-15-2016, 05:38 AM
It can't be the liner. Too new. It might be dirt, tip etc. I'll try to mess with it more today. Until now, no time.

The strange thing is that it happened suddenly, after a couple hours of welding intermittently. Will check the tip, blow out the line, etc.

Is there a lubricant for the liner?

radkins
12-15-2016, 06:15 AM
Is there a lubricant for the liner?

Yes. those felt wipers that I mentioned use a spray that is intended to both clean the wire and add a lube that does not cause weld contamination like oil would, however I seriously doubt it would have helped much in this case. You have described a typical tip problem. This type of problem is EXTREMELY common and as I said earlier tips are consumable items that must be replaced quite often, they can be cleaned somewhat by using a torch tip cleaner but I have found this to be more trouble than it's worth because once those things start sticking they will continue to arc over inside and cause nothing but problems! Don't just buy *a* new tip, buy a pack of them because you will find yourself in this situation more often than you might think if you weld a lot, sticking tips are probably the number one cause of MIG malfunctions.

Also you might want to relieve the roller pressure a bit, back it off and then tighten it down to the point that it will still feed smoothly but will slip when the wire sticks, this won't cure your feeding issues but it will prevent that tangle of wire when feeding problems do occur, and occur they will! How much to tighten the feed rollers to get reliable feeding but still slip rather than tangle the wire is something that you will be able to determine only with practice but properly tightened rollers will sure save you a lot of headaches.

George Seal
12-15-2016, 08:16 AM
don't remember the OP stating if he is using gas or flux core

to tight rollers will crush flux core

wierdscience
12-15-2016, 09:09 AM
It can't be the liner. Too new. It might be dirt, tip etc. I'll try to mess with it more today. Until now, no time.

The strange thing is that it happened suddenly, after a couple hours of welding intermittently. Will check the tip, blow out the line, etc.

Is there a lubricant for the liner?

That could indicate a kink,the whip didn't get bent at a sharp angle or have something fall on it did it?

davidwdyer
12-15-2016, 09:41 AM
don't remember the OP stating if he is using gas or flux core

to tight rollers will crush flux core

Using gas.

davidwdyer
12-15-2016, 02:26 PM
I tried messing with the welder again today. It's not a tip problem. A new tip of exactly the required size did not help.

I'm suspecting the wire. This roll can't be over 30 years old and I'm sure it has not been under flood water more than twice during this time.

The wire is welding to the tip, sticking and then bird nesting. Can old wire cause this? It's the only thing I can imagine. The welder is

pretty new and the tip size is correct.

Willy
12-15-2016, 03:30 PM
Wire that has been submerged in water is going to have surface contamination/rust issues. Has the liner been thoroughly cleaned?
At the wire feed speed you are using is the wire being fed smoothly when you pull the trigger while just letting the wire spool out? It should be very smooth and consistent without any speed variations at all. Even a minor variation in speed will allow the wire to burn back to the tip under the right conditions.
Try a faster wire feed speed and slightly greater contact tip to work distance, this will help mask the burn back issue to some extent.

davidwdyer
12-15-2016, 03:41 PM
Wire that has been submerged in water is going to have surface contamination/rust issues. Has the liner been thoroughly cleaned?
At the wire feed speed you are using is the wire being fed smoothly when you pull the trigger while just letting the wire spool out? It should be very smooth and consistent without any speed variations at all. Even a minor variation in speed will allow the wire to burn back to the tip under the right conditions.
Try a faster wire feed speed and slightly greater contact tip to work distance, this will help mask the burn back issue to some extent.

Yes, the wire does have contamination and rust issues. I has been around a long time. I'll try buying some new wire and see if that helps.

Willy
12-15-2016, 04:01 PM
Good idea David but make sure the liner is clean as this is where all of the debris from the old wire has ended up thus causing the problem.

boslab
12-15-2016, 04:12 PM
Sometimes when we had rough wire we fixed a peice of French chalk onto it, snap a stick and put a peice either side with 2 rubber bands to hold them in a sandwich before the liner, we had really long hoses so it helped
Mark

Willy
12-15-2016, 04:30 PM
Yes I could certainly see that working Mark.
The little wire feed lube and clean pads work well on clean wire but on rusty wire it is just overwhelmed in a matter of minutes of actual arc-on time.
Even wire that is visually clean is amazingly dirty when one looks at the amount of debris left on a pre-feeder cleaning pad. I don't use the lube pads, not that they are a bad product, but I do use my own wire wiper consisting of a small synthetic pot cleaning pad clamped onto the wire before the drive rolls with a couple of clothes pegs.
End of the day I either give it a blast of compressed air or simply rotate it to a clean area so that it's ready to go next time.

radkins
12-15-2016, 06:05 PM
I tried messing with the welder again today. It's not a tip problem. A new tip of exactly the required size did not help.

I'm suspecting the wire.

Actually it probably IS a tip problem for the reasons already stated, from the way you describe the wire even a new tip will arc and stick just like an old one. If the wire is as bad as you describe then it should be replaced since it will be a never ending source of trouble until it is used up, it could also destroy your liner along with a bunch of tips! If you replace the wire it would be a very good idea to start with another new tip because if that one is sticking due to the dirty/rusty wire it will very likely continue to stick even with new wire, also it would be a good idea to remove the welding lead (gun/hose assembly) and blow it out with compressed air to remove the gunk that is highly likely to be in it. Most of the home shop type MIG welders have a plastic liner and these seem to clean out really well by using compressed air. I have also been guilty of spraying a solvent type lube/cleaner such as WD40 or similar into the liner after blowing it out, I have never encountered weld contamination problems from doing this although it will produce a noticeable increase in smoke for the first minute or so but after welding just a bit everything will go back to normal. I have done this many times and never had a problem from doing so, it can make a big difference with a somewhat dirty liner.

davidwdyer
12-15-2016, 06:25 PM
Actually it probably IS a tip problem for the reasons already stated, from the way you describe the wire even a new tip will arc and stick just like an old one. If the wire is as bad as you describe then it should be replaced since it will be a never ending source of trouble until it is used up, it could also destroy your liner along with a bunch of tips! If you replace the wire it would be a very good idea to start with another new tip because if that one is sticking due to the dirty/rusty wire it will very likely continue to stick even with new wire, also it would be a good idea to remove the welding lead (gun/hose assembly) and blow it out with compressed air to remove the gunk that is highly likely to be in it. Most of the home shop type MIG welders have a plastic liner and these seem to clean out really well by using compressed air. I have also been guilty of spraying a solvent type lube/cleaner such as WD40 or similar into the liner after blowing it out, I have never encountered weld contamination problems from doing this although it will produce a noticeable increase in smoke for the first minute or so but after welding just a bit everything will go back to normal. I have done this many times and never had a problem from doing so, it can make a big difference with a somewhat dirty liner.

I did blow it out. The wire re-feeds through the whip and the gun VERY easily. Next week I'll see if I can find wire on a spool (not wire) with right diameter.

This slight difficulty has kept me with the old stuff until now. Hopefully I can find something here which will fit in the welder. Also, as some mentioned, I might be

feeding too slowly. That's something else I will try asap. The shop is several miles away and so I don't get there every day.

flylo
12-15-2016, 10:07 PM
It came set up for .030 wire, on sale for $479 with the spool gun & accessories & looks like an extra 10% off for new customers. Very good welder for a 175 amp Mig with a spool gun & 3 year warranty price but mines blue & now they're black so mine matches my miller stuff. Do they have 8# spools in Brazil? You can go for a ride in my old 1938 Tcraft.

BigMike782
12-15-2016, 10:42 PM
.023 causing bird nesting issues and not used in industry......bull cookies. If you cannot run .023 you need to put the MIG GUN down.

To the OP, start at the beginning. Get a new spool of wire, and a new liner....don't be cheap. New 2 lb spool of wire should be less than 10.00 and a 35-40-15 liner should be less than 20.00. Clean the drive roll groove and make sure the groove matches the wire size. Set the spool tension so it has just enough to stop the spool and no more. Set the drive roll pressure so that if the wire coming out of the contact tip dead heads the drive rolls slip. Make sure the inlet guide(tube just before the drive roll is clean. Put in your new liner and contact tip and you should be good to go.
If your wire is rusty I do not believe the issue will be solved by compressed air. I also would not recommend wire lube or any other gimmicks......run a foot or two through a paper towel in your fingers. If it is dirty what are you continuing to run the wire through?....more dirt and drawing lube.

radkins
12-16-2016, 05:11 AM
.023 causing bird nesting issues and not used in industry......bull cookies. If you cannot run .023 you need to put the MIG GUN down.

100% agree!! Also .023 has nothing to do with "cheap", it's meant for really thin metal like auto body panels where burn through and warping are problems. I have been MIG welding almost as long as MIGs have been around and I have burned many rolls of .023, seems like miles of the stuff, and birdnesting is no more problem with it than .030, it's a matter of roller tension adjustment same as any other size wire.

ahidley
12-16-2016, 01:55 PM
Another cause for wire welding to the tip causing bird nesting can be from TOO MUCH TENSION ON DRIVE WHEELS. The cheapo imports don't have a 5 horse power drive motor , it's more like a battery opperated dremal tool from harbor freight. The wire feed motors work fine as long as the load is light. Once the drive wheels are over tightened, liner is a little dirty/worn and the hose is bent more than usual, then that extra drag slows the wire feed and the arc can get into the nozzle/tip and cause the wire to stick to the tip.

Now if you test your wire feed it will always appear to feed fine. But don't forget that the currant carrying capabilities of the tiny Chinese coard, transformer, currant setting will DROP THE VOLTAGE when welding and under a load. Thus when this happens the drive motor hlorsepower is reduced considerably possibly causing your issues.

On a side note, if you are using an extension coard to the welder that can reduce VOLTAGE/current also. You need a heavy gauge extension coard for a welder. I know everybody is cheep but this could be the cause. A cheep fix is to make an extension coard out of romex solid core wire but the drawback is you can't bend it much before it breaks. Food for thought.

radkins
12-16-2016, 07:28 PM
That note about the extension cord is a VERY good one! I have seen guys try to run a small MIG with a 50' or longer light weight cord and then wonder what is going wrong, best is no extension cord at all but if one is used it should be short and of heavy gauge wire.

ahidley
12-16-2016, 11:37 PM
I've run a 100 foot but it's 10 gauge wire.

All the Chinese welders have recomended extension coard sizes and specs in their manuals. Less won't cut it but more will

davidwdyer
12-17-2016, 08:45 AM
I've run a 100 foot but it's 10 gauge wire.

All the Chinese welders have recomended extension coard sizes and specs in their manuals. Less won't cut it but more will

No extention cord here but I may be running the wire too slowly. As mentioned in the first post, I have NO training with welding.

Could not enough wire speed be a culprit?

Willy
12-17-2016, 11:05 AM
As mentioned earlier, wire speed and contact tip to work distance could be a factor, although don't forget amperage is directly proportional to the wire feed speed. The parameter settings basically consist of the voltage setting controlled either by a dial or a multi step switch or taps on the front panel of the machine, and amperage which is controlled by the machine's wire speed setting, increase the speed and you'll also increase the amperage.

If you haven't changed anything in regards to settings or contact tip to work distance, and were achieving satisfactory results previously, and now all of a sudden you are having the wire stick to the tip, well obviously something else has changed. Most likely a dirty liner and the rusty wire itself are now suspect.

Have you changed the liner and wire?
To sum it up you're trying to push a pig by it's tail down a tunnel.
If the pig and the tunnel are smooth and clean it's a lot easier.:)

It can be difficult to properly clean a liner thoroughly so if a replacement is available change it along with the spool of rusty wire and I'll bet things will be back to as they were when you didn't have issues.

ahidley
12-17-2016, 04:40 PM
As for wire speed this is what I do. Strike an arc and adjust the wire feed until you hear a nice SIZZLE. Now on mine there are several switches for changing current aka amps. Each amp setting required slightly different wire speed to get that nice SIZZLE. So I marked the wire speed knob for future adjustments with a magic marker.

Willy
12-17-2016, 05:26 PM
As for wire speed this is what I do. Strike an arc and adjust the wire feed until you hear a nice SIZZLE. Now on mine there are several switches for changing current aka amps. Each amp setting required slightly different wire speed to get that nice SIZZLE. So I marked the wire speed knob for future adjustments with a magic marker.

What you are adjusting with those switches is the voltage, the amperage output of the machine is governed by the speed that it feeds wire into the work. But yes you are right, they must be balanced to some extent.