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Spoolmate 150 Death Pop, Regulator Upgrade Etc.

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  • Spoolmate 150 Death Pop, Regulator Upgrade Etc.

    Hi Everyone,

    I recently added a spoolmate 150 to my MM211 to take on an aluminum project. The project is essentially an aluminum cage about the size of a car with casters and wood cladding. It's really a giant cabinet to slide large paintings into for a museum's long term storage. I finished one, now they want 21 more which is great, but being pretty green with aluminum mig work, I have some questions.

    I practiced for awhile with settings and test pieces, read the forum, bashed my welds apart with a sledge hammer, and got to where I was able to make solid welds that were nice enough looking for the project. The thing is, every once in awhile I get a loud pop-green-flash type thing and look to find my gun is all jammed up where the wire exits the rollers, just before it enters the tube. See Pic. Then it takes between 5 and 15 minutes for me to use a pick/pliers/tweezers to pull everything out, reload the gun etc. It usually seems to happen towards the end of the roll or when I'm doing the thicker 1/4 pieces (most of the project is 1/8). Its not happening a lot, but enough to bother me, and looking at working on these for the next several months, I'm wondering if there's anything I can do?

    I know Miller makes guns that are two to four times as expensive as the 150, are they better at feeding? Better enough to stop the pop?

    I'm using .30 wire...would .35 feed better?

    When I get the pop the wire usually also fuses to my tip. I went to buy more at airgas and found out all tips are the same on all guns except this one, so while I'm waiting over a week now for special order tips, I've been using a .30 bit to drill out the ones I have...which is also no fun.

    And finally, probably should go in a separate post, but the stock regulator on my 212 drifts. It didn't seem to matter as much with steel but with the aluminum I can see it, then I go check the regulator and its dropped by as much as 5 psi...any recommendations on a reasonably priced upgrade?

    Any general advice/thoughts on the scenario would be much appreciated. Thanks.
    Last edited by VS Weld; 10-30-2017, 10:06 PM.

  • #2
    Dang! That's pretty thick wire. Probably, you'll have better luck if you reduce to 0.030. :-) Usually, when using aluminum wire, it is advisable to use a tip that is larger than the wire diameter. Suggest you might try using a tip diameter of 0.035 for the 0.030 wire, or drill your tips to 0.035. It may be that the smaller tip orifice is restricting/grabbing the wire after it heats up.

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    • #3
      I hv 30A so not familiar with ur gun. Is there adjustment for drive roll tension. If so back off so there is just enough tension to feed wire. Very easy to crush Alumn wire and cause this.

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      • #4
        You can modify the barrel on the SM150 to use regular mig gun tips. Just run a 1/4-28 flat bottom tap and cut the thread a little deeper. Since you already have a large outside dia tip not the small tips like the other spool guns I would back off on the wire tension. I run .030 wire all the time with no problems. But I have been spool gunning for 40 years...Bob
        Bob Wright

        Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
        http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

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        • #5
          Thanks guys...I didn't know I could adjust the drive roll pressure on that model. I had noticed deep teeth gouges on the wire exiting the gun, and thought the rolls were really digging in...will try backing off a bit.

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          • #6
            AND thanks for the tip on the mod...would rather use common tips then a rarity...

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            • #7
              Tips are not the size of the marking, they are marked for the wire they are designed to feed. You don't use a .030" drill to make an .030" tip. I'll leave you to the research to make what you want based on that information. It's probably moot by now.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MAC702 View Post
                Tips are not the size of the marking, they are marked for the wire they are designed to feed. You don't use a .030" drill to make an .030" tip. I'll leave you to the research to make what you want based on that information. It's probably moot by now.
                Most tips are .014 -.015 bigger than what is marked on them. I can run .035 alum wire thru a .030 tip all day with my spool gun...Bob
                Bob Wright

                Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
                http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks guys, have been using .35 tips for .30 wire...until the pop left me with only .30 tips left. Actually drilled some out way over with unknown bit found in my junk bit drawer...the clearance helped a lot.

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