20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?
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  1. #1
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    20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    Thinking of getting a longer mig gun for my Lincoln SP250. Would like a 20 or 25ft gun. Just wondering if anyone has experience with running a longer gun off a 250 amp lincoln, miller, esab etc? did you find it sucessful or did it overpower the motor resulting in slipping, varying wire feed speeds etc.
    I know that keeping it relatively straight will help and the correct liner size will be paramount.

    I am sure my 4 roll ESAB 300AVS would handle it no problem. however as that is a suitcase there is no real point to having a long gun on that.

    current gun is a 12.5 ft gun. I have ordered a spare 4 wire Euro plug for my machine off ebay so I will just have to adapt the back end of whatever gun I get to fit. Also would just do the Centerfire gun conversion like i did on the stock gun. Plan to get a 200 or 250 rated gun. Probably run it with .045 wire due to length. if its a short job I can just switch out to the standard torch I want to be able to leave the machine on the concrete part of my driveway that is only 2 slabs and often what I am welding will require more than 12.5' of cable. I installed a 25 ft ground already..
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  2. #2
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    Over thirty years ago I remember a Hobart salesman giving a workshop on wire feeders. I think his words went something like this: " I love you guys when you order 15 foot gun leads because I know I will make a bundle on liners and parts for years after." His recommendation was to limit gun leads to 12 feet. After that, hang or move your feeder, or go for a push pull set up.

  3. #3
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    would a spool gun be to limiting? I know the wire would be more costly per pound but if you need the distance it might work better for you.
    There are no problems. There are only solutions. It's your duty to determine the right one.

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  4. #4
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    Spool Gun
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  5. #5
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    SP,I wouldn't run more than a 15 foot gun on your SP250.I wouldn't want to smoke a drive motor just for the sake of convenience.I have a 25 foot 6-3 cord to reach where I need and if that don't work I use the Bluestar.
    That said I know 25 footers are run every day,some with.035.

  6. #6
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    A push/pull gun would probably be okay. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) I have never used one. If you go the spool gun route you could order one small spool and a large spool, and just re-spool it on the smaller spool without any issues. Depending on the work you do, you might just be better off picking up a voltage sensing suitcase feeder (You probably already have a power source!) and 100' of hose for your shielding gas and likewise cable...or mount your wirefeeder on a wheeled base...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb_welder View Post
    A push/pull gun would probably be okay. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) I have never used one. If you go the spool gun route you could order one small spool and a large spool, and just re-spool it on the smaller spool without any issues. Depending on the work you do, you might just be better off picking up a voltage sensing suitcase feeder (You probably already have a power source!) and 100' of hose for your shielding gas and likewise cable...or mount your wirefeeder on a wheeled base...
    I already have the voltage sensing feeder, I need to figure out how to power it off of the SP250. Anyone know how to do that so the machine is constantly live? Not sure how to do it with this machine. I can probably plug into the spoolgun welding port for power. I really don't want to hassle with changing the spoolgun from Al to steel and back, not to mention they are big and awkward to use. The current wheel kit does not roll well on dirt or recycled asphalt driveway. I have over 100ft of extention cord so I'm good there.
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  8. #8
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    Cobra has a few ideas for what your trying to do -

    http://www.mkprod.com/prod_cobrasys_python-lx.htm

    Thanks,

    Hobo
    Lincoln SA200's... at least 15 - 20. They come and go. Growing partial to the "Short Hoods" in my old age. Last count on Short Hoods was 13 in possession.

  9. #9
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    I have a 20' Bernard MIG gun with .030 wire and a Lincoln 216. No issues. I keep the line straight. The longer torch is a pain when rolling up the cable at the end of the day and moving the welder around but it is worth it not to have to stop and deal with the additional 2" of need torch length at the end of a weld.
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  10. #10
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    A construction company I did work for had a 25" gun on the MM251,what a pain in the balls that thing was. I am better off with my suitcase and a 12 footer.
    Disclaimer; "I am just an a$$hole welder, don't take it personally ."

  11. #11
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by soutthpaw View Post
    I already have the voltage sensing feeder, I need to figure out how to power it off of the SP250. Anyone know how to do that so the machine is constantly live? Not sure how to do it with this machine. I can probably plug into the spoolgun welding port for power. I really don't want to hassle with changing the spoolgun from Al to steel and back, not to mention they are big and awkward to use. The current wheel kit does not roll well on dirt or recycled asphalt driveway. I have over 100ft of extention cord so I'm good there.
    Not sure how the Spool-gun layout is on that Lincoln, but if you have a switch from spool-gun to standard, you can make your Esab feeder work. If it's a auto sense spool-gun then you would have to add a resistor to sense the spool-gun (Highly doubt it) Just jump the contactor pins, and the welding output will be live. I ran my Lincoln feeder off of my Esab, so just reverse the process..
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  12. #12
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    Not sure how the Spool-gun layout is on that Lincoln, but if you have a switch from spool-gun to standard, you can make your Esab feeder work. If it's a auto sense spool-gun then you would have to add a resistor to sense the spool-gun (Highly doubt it) Just jump the contactor pins, and the welding output will be live. I ran my Lincoln feeder off of my Esab, so just reverse the process..
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  13. #13
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy_pop View Post
    great looking shop
    Bit small 24X32 but since I bought a 20'X 20' shipping container, it works very well for me.. Best thing I have bought in years. Keeps the clutter off the floor.. I did not think I would like a stick built shop, but found out it's very dry, and insulated excellent. Besides, it's what came with the house.. Turn key for the most part...
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  14. #14
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    I gave up on long mig guns even when I had a 4 roll feeder. It just wouldn't feed smoothly all the time. I limit myself to 15' and prefer 12' anymore.
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  15. #15
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    Bit small 24X32 but since I bought a 20'X 20' shipping container, it works very well for me.. Best thing I have bought in years. Keeps the clutter off the floor.. I did not think I would like a stick built shop, but found out it's very dry, and insulated excellent. Besides, it's what came with the house.. Turn key for the most part...
    Don't complain. my shop is 12'x16'. in other words 1/6th the size of yours.
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  16. #16
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    Have you considered putting different wheels on the welder? Just a thought

  17. #17
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by J-W View Post
    Have you considered putting different wheels on the welder? Just a thought
    I put pneumatic wheel barrow tires on my 252 it rolls nice has more ground clearance and even with a t sized cylinder it will roll over gravel
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  18. #18
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    I found a guy selling Binzel mig guns and parts on ebay who just happens to be local.. So I bought a 25 ft Binzel Omega 3 gun no back end Which is fine cuz I am adapting it to run the 4 wire Euro plug and will just make a second switch to mount on the handle. The gun already has 4 wires running inside of it which was a nice surprise... I was going to change out the handle to a Bernard completely. but turns out the heads are crimped single piece onto the cable, not a threaded end like most,
    Therefore I am just going to stick with the Binzel gun and go get a neck for it from him tmw
    $50 for the cable, $15 for the neck, and got the Lincoln 4 wire euro back end new for $45 on ebay... The back end I ordered even before deciding to try the long cable, figured it was good to have a backup of this part..
    I have a 300CF Argon and a 200 CO2 that I was considering doing a homemade mixer and putting on the cart which would be a little heavy so that really would make me not want to move it too far... I need to find a cheap or free old electric wheelchair and use the parts to make a motorized cart. If i do different wheels they will need to be solid. too many flats otherwise.

    Ill update once I get all the parts for the gun and get it up and running. if it doesn't work out I can just shorten, sell or find another us for the gun... I'll probably drill a couple of dummy holes on my ESAB Feeder Euro connector so I can connect the gun to both machines to compare performance....
    My son is now in pre-school 4days a week for 3 hrs each so I am finally getting some me time after 6 years to work on projects and get back to doing side work as well as working on my new business start up... `
    Last edited by soutthpaw; 09-12-2012 at 11:44 PM.
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  19. #19
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    Ok even set to spoolgun, the sp250 does not close the electrode contactor till trigger is depressed on spool gun. Also did the Euro plug mod so I can easily use sp250 torches on my feeder or other stanard Euro connects. Just drilled out the 2 extra contactor holes and lined with vacuum tubing.
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    4 Sale: GoWeld $395obo
    MM350P w/ Spoolmatic 30A
    ESAB 300AVS
    Everlast PowerTig 185 micro
    ESAB 875 plasma
    Evo 355. OA

  20. #20
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by soutthpaw View Post
    Ok even set to spoolgun, the sp250 does not close the electrode contactor till trigger is depressed on spool gun. Also did the Euro plug mod so I can easily use sp250 torches on my feeder or other stanard Euro connects. Just drilled out the 2 extra contactor holes and lined with vacuum tubing.

    You need to make a jumper plug to keep the contactor on..
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    You need to make a jumper plug to keep the contactor on..
    Ok figured I might do that. Just gotta get manual out to look at wiring diagram. Just figured out the gun neck today. Need to order a liner and the Bernard difusser and cup. Still waiting on the backend plug too. Should have it ready to go by next weekend... Off to Tattoo parlor tmw....
    4 Sale: GoWeld $395obo
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevenPalaci View Post
    Over thirty years ago I remember a Hobart salesman giving a workshop on wire feeders
    AND? Was there a point to your post?
    4 Sale: GoWeld $395obo
    MM350P w/ Spoolmatic 30A
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    Everlast PowerTig 185 micro
    ESAB 875 plasma
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  23. #23
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    Southpaw,

    I've used a variety of suitcase and benchtop feeders.

    IMO, if you have a 4 drive roll feeder system you can work with a 25' gun. You'll need to keep the gun cable as straight as possible. If you welding in position most of the time, this will be OK. If you're doing a lot of out of position welding, then every time you put a tight radius bend in the gun cable you'll be apt to see burnback(in spray transfer) or a tendency for the end of the wire to ball up(in Short circuit transfer).

    If you're working with a 2 drive roll feeder, like that found in most suitcase feeders, then my recommendation is to keep the gun 12' long or less. I'd go even shorter if you're welding overhead, or in any position that puts a tight radius in the gun cable.

    I saw some figures somewhere that implied each 2' of additional gun length doubles the friction force on the wire. I don't know if that applies only to guns over a certain length or if it matters what type of filler metal wire is passing through the gun. But I'd keep that in the back of your mind if you start having issues when welding with that 25' gun.

    followup thought: if you're using long guns, I'd try to match the liner diameter to the filler metal you're using as closely as possible. Using an oversized liner so you can run a wider variety of wires through the gun, will only create headaches for yourself. I'd resign myself to cleaning or changing liners more often as well. Just a little contamination or buildup in the liner of a long gun will increase the chances of having wire feeding issues.
    Last edited by A_DAB_will_do; 09-14-2012 at 02:22 PM. Reason: comment on liners
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  24. #24
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    Yeah, one reason I like the ESAB feeder so much is the 4 roll feed system is standard... was going to sell it but can't even get 1/2 what people pay for similar red or blue feeder so I decided to keep it.... Name:  uploadfromtaptalk1347672935624.jpg
Views: 757
Size:  67.2 KB
    Once I get all the parts I will do some trials with 25 and shortern it down till I find a length that works well. Probably cut off 2 feet at a time or something like that.
    Was also considering running .045 solif wire with a Knurled drive roll to reduce slippage. I know that can shorten the liner life but for the volume of welding I do, one liner change a year is not really an issue
    4 Sale: GoWeld $395obo
    MM350P w/ Spoolmatic 30A
    ESAB 300AVS
    Everlast PowerTig 185 micro
    ESAB 875 plasma
    Evo 355. OA

  25. #25
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    Re: 20 or 25 ft mig gun usage experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by soutthpaw View Post
    Yeah, one reason I like the ESAB feeder so much is the 4 roll feed system is standard... was going to sell it but can't even get 1/2 what people pay for similar red or blue feeder so I decided to keep it.... Name:  uploadfromtaptalk1347672935624.jpg
Views: 757
Size:  67.2 KB
    Once I get all the parts I will do some trials with 25 and shortern it down till I find a length that works well. Probably cut off 2 feet at a time or something like that.
    Was also considering running .045 solif wire with a Knurled drive roll to reduce slippage. I know that can shorten the liner life but for the volume of welding I do, one liner change a year is not really an issue

    It's a 4 roll feeder, but only by 2 drive wheels. Unlike the 4HD/ 4-30/48 feeders with all 4 rolls driven. It's the same as the Multimaster 260/300 machines. Works great up to a 15 ft gun. The drive motor is smaller then what's in a true 4 roll driven Esab feeder.
    Esab 1600 Powercut
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