It’s not everyday that you are going to use your welder. Not using your welder for a period of time can cause problems when you start to weld again.here are some tips to avoid problems associated with periodic usage.
Why having clean wire can save you from a nightmare.
Welding wire is particularly susceptible to rusting, especially in humid conditions. Having rusty wire can be a major headache. Rust and contaminants that build up on the wire when not in use can be dislodged when the wire is pushed through the liner as you weld. As the contaminates build up in the liner it increases the amount of friction between the welding wire and the liner. Much the same as when a …. At some stage the wire will not be able to b pushed through the liner at all. When that happens you will encounter the dreaded ‘birds nest’
The best way to avoid birdnesting is to use clean wire. Here you will need a bit of forethought. After you have finished your welding job and you dont plan on using the welder for a little while, its best to take your wire out of the welder and pack it away in a sealed plastic bag. Simple operation, simply cut your wire off at the hand piece pull it back through the liner and roll it back on the roll of wire. Tie it off and put it in a good airtight plastic bag. You can leave the wire in the welder and put a bag over the wire, this is ok for a short time but not ideal. If you are super prepared a couple of bags of dessicant or silica gel to absorb some moisture wouldn’t go astray.
If you do happen to get excited about finishing up and hit the piss before you take out your wire and wrap it. You do have a couple of options available to you if your wire does go rusty.
- Take the wire out of the machine and start removing the top layer of rusty wire. Chances are you might have to remove a fair bit of wire before you get to some clean stuff. But it is better than bad welds, birdnesting or throwing out the rest of the wire.
- You can get a dedicated wire wiper, they are usually a piece of scotch brite or something similar that is not too abrasive. You dont have to spend money on a wire wiper, you can use an ear plug that the wire runs through or even a piece of rag with a clothes peg clipping it on.
A wiper will NOT remove rust from your wire, it will only wipe off dust and crap that has settled on the wire.
It is tempting to spray some WD40 or something similar on the wire, I would not. Although it may not appear to be harmful to your weld. You will be getting contamination in your weld an more importantly you will be breathing in WD40 that has been burnt and super heated.
Wrapping things up, prevention is always easier than cure. Wrap it up then pack it up.