How to Load a Wire Feed Welder

What You'll Need
Wire Feed Welder
Degreasing Agent

When loading a wire feed welder machine, position is important. When dealing with any piece of electrical equipment always do so with caution. If you are careful and follow these easy tips you will learn how to properly load a wire feed welder. And remember loading a wire feed welder takes consistent practice.

Step 1 - Remove the Cellophane Wrapping

With your right hand hold the wire spool to ensure that it doesn't unravel. Remove the cellophane wrapping with the other hand. With the left hand now, hold the loose end of the wire, keep holding it until you lock the wire into the drive roll. Make sure the wire locks so it doesn't unravel.

Step 2 - Setting Wire Brake Tension

Set the wire spool brake tension to a minimum setting. Next, load the spool on and slowly feed it through the drive rolls. Do this slowly so the spool doesn't unravel. If the spool continues to turn on its own, there is not enough brake tension. Remember too much tension can place too much force unto the wire and destroy it.

Step 3 - Setting the Drive Roll Tension

Hold the nozzle 1 inch away from the electrically insulated surface toward a slight slant. Next, set the drive roll tension to a minimum as well. Then slowly pull the trigger. The wire should touch the insulated area and the drive rolls should slip. Tighten this down until the wire doesn't slip anymore.

Step 4 - Check Electrical Connections

Make sure the work clamp is secured to the welding piece in a way that paint and contaminants have no contact with it. Clean the piece by using a degreasing agent. You make have to wipe it down more than once. This will remove any left over oil or grease. Let the surface dry before you begin welding.

Step 5 - Welding

Put on your safety gear before welding. When you are welding, make sure the gun cable remains straight. This will minimize any feeding restrictions on the wire, since the wire is soft it can break easy. To set up the welding machine, set the arc to go from the metal to the electrode. You want to keep the angle at 90 degrees. Always do this slowly, you want to maintain this constant arc length. In between welding stop for a few seconds to let the metal cool a little bit.

Step 6 - Using the Chipping Hammer

If you need to break off the ends from the weld, use a chipping hammer. This should always be removed because it prevents the metal from oxidizing.

Step 7 - Cleaning the Weld

To clean the weld use a wire brush. Always let the metal air dry, never cool it down with water.