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Mig welding help

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  • Mig welding help

    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?
    Vitَria, Brazil

  • #2
    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.
    Location: The Black Forest in Germany

    How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!


    • #3
      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.

      At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

      Location: SF East Bay.


      • #4
        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.


        • #5
          Your roller should slip before the bird nesting happens IMO


          • #6
            Isn't it Eastwood or is it like the flush thing in the southern hemisphere?
            Last edited by flylo; 12-13-2016, 06:48 PM.


            • #7
              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


              • #8
                Even on sale!


                • #9
                  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.
                  I just need one more tool,just one!


                  • #10
                    Yes, I remembered that this morning. It is Eastwood. So far it's been a good welder.
                    Vitَria, Brazil


                    • #11
                      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.


                      • #12
                        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.
                        Last edited by radkins; 12-14-2016, 09:14 PM.


                        • #13
                          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.


                          • #14
                            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?
                            Vitَria, Brazil


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by davidwdyer View Post
                              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.