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  1. #1
    Silver Member NCMau's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
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    180
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    NC
    Tractor
    MF 202/Ford 8N/JD425

    Default MIG Welder Spool Question

    A while back I bought a Harbor Freight 170A MIG welder. Obviously this machine is not industrial grade, but for my limited use it works great. I have been using 2 lb. 30 carbon steel spool and I would like start using a 10 lb. spool instead.
    My question is, would a 10 lb. cause unnecessary strain to feeder motor? It seems like it would not but I would like some opinions.
    The reason I am asking is that when I was using a 35 2 lb. spool, the motor had hard time feeding the wire when the spool was close to the end. I think from on I'll be using 30 anyway.
    Also I was wondering if the Lincoln spindle adapter sold at Home Depot would fit my HF machine.
    The Arc was built by a DIY team. The Titanic was built by professionals... you figure!

  2. #2
    Elite Member ovrszd's Avatar
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    May 2006
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    4,309
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota M9540, JD2210

    Default Re: MIG Welder Spool Question

    I wouldn't say that a larger spool doesn't pull harder, but I think it's insignificant.

    You should only have the tension on the spool set tight enough to keep it from continuing to roll when you let off the trigger. Every time I change spools I start and stop a couple times while watching the spool. I only tighten the tension enough to keep the spool from getting slack wire. If you do that your Welder should run a 10lb spool easily.

    Run the largest spool your Welder will allow. You get more wire for your dollar.
    Richard
    Kubota M9540, JD2210

  3. #3
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    6,561
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    Bismarck Arkansas
    Tractor
    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: MIG Welder Spool Question

    It could be your liner is rated for .030-.035 and the .035 is a little tight so it binds in the liner. Likely not an issue with spool size if the tension is correctly set up like OVRSZD suggests. Try blowing some compressed air thru the liner in your gun to clean it out as it may have some rust or dirt from the wire that is clogging up the works. Maybe even spray some WD 40 thru it or carb cleaner, then blow it dry. If you have plastic liner make sure the cleaner doesn't soften the plastic. They make steel liners but Teflon liners will feed better, but likely your HF model liner is cheap plastic of some sort.
    They make a little felt pad that hangs between the rollers and the liner that cleans and lubricates the wire (if you put the special wire lubrication on it). Highly recommend that you use one of those as it make the liner last longer and feed smoother. The MIG/FCAW wire lubricant should be available at your local welding supply along with the felt pads
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp CC AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Deano's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    Southern Maryland
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    Kubota BX24

    Default Re: MIG Welder Spool Question

    Quote Originally Posted by ovrszd View Post
    I wouldn't say that a larger spool doesn't pull harder, but I think it's insignificant.

    You should only have the tension on the spool set tight enough to keep it from continuing to roll when you let off the trigger. Every time I change spools I start and stop a couple times while watching the spool. I only tighten the tension enough to keep the spool from getting slack wire. If you do that your Welder should run a 10lb spool easily.

    Run the largest spool your Welder will allow. You get more wire for your dollar.
    On the money...
    Deano
    2006 BX24, 6' New Implements rake, Woods RB60 rear blade, Wallenstein thumb, Bro-Tek rear skid plate, home made front skid plate, W.R. Long flat tooth bar, 4' finishing mower (TPH), 4' box blade, post hole digger, New style seat!!!!! Country Manufacturing manure spreader, Agri-Fab drop spreader.

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