Kevin has been working on a new sculpture commission called Crimson Singularity that requires him to get his MIG torch into some pretty convoluted positions. He changed from .030 wire to .023 wire so he had to grind his welds a little less and noticed a lot of sticking, spitting, popping and the wire hanging up – the welding wire just didn’t want to feed.
So Kevin did a little troubleshooting. He welded with the torch cable over his elbow to straighten the area closest to the nozzle, and the problems went away.
Inside the rubber cable is a Teflon tube that the welding wire runs through from the machine all the way up to the welding gun and out the end. What happens – especially if the cable gets bent a lot – is that the Teflon liner gets a V-cut in it after, oh, 80 or 90 pounds of wire are run through the machine.
So it’s time to change either the liner, which is possible on some welders, or the cable itself. He called Longevity, and they sent him a brand new gun for his Longevity ProMTS 200, a multiprocess welder that offers TIG, MIG and stick (arc). Says Kevin: “I love this little machine.”
Next he opens the welder. He flips open the spring tensioner on the drive roller assembly and flips the upper roller out of the way. Then he winds the welding wire back onto its spool, keeping it under tension. “Otherwise you’ll have a rat’s nest,” he says. “Been there, done that.” He secures the end of the welding wire on the spool.
Then Kevin just untwists the Euroconnection, removes the old cable, and twists on the new one.
For an operation like this when you’re changing the gun – or even if you’re just changing wire – Kevin recommends removing the welding torch nozzle and tip. It just makes it easier to feed the wire through from the welder to the end of the nozzle.
Kevin emphasizes the importance of stretching out the cable when you are running the wire through the cable, whether you’re changing the cable, replacing the wire or even welding. Otherwise, the wire gets bound up inside the liner, which wears it out faster.
Next he feeds the wire off the spool into the cable. He loosens the welding wire from the spool and feeds it into the end of the cable through the drive roller assembly and snaps the spring tensioner back into position.
It’s time to turn the MIG welder back on – the welding gas bottles should still be turned off. He turns the wire speed all the way up, leaves it set on MIG, 2T, steel and .030. Then he goes to where he’s stretched out the cable to and holds down the trigger as he sings the Jeopardy music. It only takes about 10 seconds for the wire to feed all the way to the nozzle – you can actually feel it as it gets close.
After the welding wire comes through the end of the gun, Kevin replaces the tip and nozzle, trims the end of wire. Next you just dip the end of the nozzle in some anti-spatter gel, grab your helmet and gloves, and get back to work.
Finally, Kevin asks viewers to subscribe to his channel to see more how-to videos as well as come out to his Web site at http://kevincaron.com, see his work, and subscribe to his newsletter. (And don’t miss the surprise at the end of this video ….)