possible to add a spoolgun to a stick welder ???
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  1. #1
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    Jul 2018
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    possible to add a spoolgun to a stick welder ???

    HOWDY --- i am considering adding a spool gun to a stick welder. I probably missed it but i did look at other threads but i didnt see an answer to this. As i have always just "built my own" it sounded like a cool project to add a spool gun but if any of y'all have any comments I'd be glad to hear them-----------
    ----lincoln 180 gasoline w/TF wisconsin twin - awesome old machine -- i want to add a cheap spool gun - obviously i will need to build a small PWM for 24v speed control on the gun and possibly wire a gas valve etc .
    ---- - Im not even sure of the differences between a mig and stick welder (ie - voltage etc) but i figured with the gas welder i can easily vary rpm for heat ranges. Is there any real issues that will present a challenge - or is this a common thing and i'm just being stupid ? thank y'all for your input.
    "The Natural Liberty of Man is to be free from any Superior Power on Earth, and not to be under the Will or Legislative Authority of Man, but to have only the Law of Nature for his Rule."-- John Locke

  2. #2
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    Re: possible to add a spoolgun to a stick welder ???

    Miller WC-2 or WC-3 with Spoolmatic-2 gun for one. There are similar Profax units as well. Classified as VS (Voltage Sensing) for use with CC (Constant Current - "stick") weld power sources.
    MM200 w/Spoolmatic 1
    Syncrowave 180SD
    Bobcat 225G Plus - LP/NG
    MUTT Suitcase Wirefeeder
    WC-1S/Spoolmatic 1
    HF-251D-1
    PakMaster 100XL
    '68 Red Face Code #6633 project
    Star Jet 21-110

    Save Second Base!

  3. #3
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    Jun 2012
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    Re: possible to add a spoolgun to a stick welder ???

    This is an interesting idea, I've thought about doing it myself, I have a pwm, I'm note sure if it's the right voltage though,

    I have an esab spool gun, the controller for that gun is pretty much obsolete, I can't find parts for mine, it'd be nice to be able to rig up something to use with my engine drive

  4. #4
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    Re: possible to add a spoolgun to a stick welder ???

    Biggest issue I can think of with my limited knowledge would be the voltage control for the drive motor in the spoolgun. If you can adapt a variable voltage power supply to the spool gun if not already built into the gun then the rest should be a matter of nuts and bolts and wiring terminals/connections. I'm thinking of a power supply like on a toy train set up where you slide a knob to adjust engine speed. What about variable trigger for wire speed like on a Tyco Slot Car track?

    I am thinking a machine capable of DC+/- would make this easier as well.
    Last edited by N2 Welding; 12-04-2018 at 01:13 PM.
    '65 Lincoln Idealarc 250 AC/DC
    ESAB REBEL EMP 215ic
    Thermal Dynamics 60i
    ESAB Mig Master 250
    Victor Performer O/A
    L-tec PCM-VPi 40A

  5. #5
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    Oct 2015
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    Re: possible to add a spoolgun to a stick welder ???

    Back in the 70's and early 80's I ran a spool gun on a CC stick / tig machine. There are control boxes you can buy to run the spool gun motor off of. The big problem with this setup is no matter what your mig wire is not perfectly constant. In those days I would go through spool gun tips like popcorn because of the spiratice nature of the wire feed. When I got fairly good at it I might go through one tip an hr but at first I would burn back into a tip every few minutes. IMHO , yes it can be done. Is it worth doing? no. At best the welds were marginal .

  6. #6
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    anoka co mn
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    Re: possible to add a spoolgun to a stick welder ???

    I have run a cobramatic on a cc machine.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2018
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    75

    Re: possible to add a spoolgun to a stick welder ???

    with all the cheap second hand welding tech available today, I have no idea why anyone would bother with trying to MIG weld on a CC machine. It sounds like an absolutely awful idea:

    - if its for a proper paid job, then timeliness and weld quality is paramount - you can't be faffing around experimenting, laying suspect welds down and burning tips back every 5 minutes. You'd just buy a decent CV machine. This conversation wouldn't exist.

    - if its for a hobby (like this sort of idea generally is) then go and buy a decent second hand MIG welder first. Get a 200 amp machine that's got a bit of quality about it, and hey, whaddaya know, you can also lay down decent steel welds...!

    - If it's for an engine drive, then I dunno - I appreciate that you want to use it but I think you'd be better off with a CV power source running off a gen-set - again, second hand transformer welders are pretty cheap...!

  8. #8
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    Re: possible to add a spoolgun to a stick welder ???

    thank you - it sounds then like a possibility. i was sure if it was even possible
    "The Natural Liberty of Man is to be free from any Superior Power on Earth, and not to be under the Will or Legislative Authority of Man, but to have only the Law of Nature for his Rule."-- John Locke

  9. #9
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    Jul 2018
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    Re: possible to add a spoolgun to a stick welder ???

    [QUOTE=Munkul;8664293]

    - if its for a hobby (like this sort of idea generally is)
    ------------- it is kind of a hobby - more for me myself and i , simply so i can say i did it. i built my first stick welder from the primary coils of a spot welder transformer (used as a secondary)and wound my own primary from #10 enamel wire. it was a bit hot and would often blow the 1/2 of the electrode clean off. i found that simply winding the stinger lead around a 1" pipe i could "fine tune" the heat range. as an arc starts so does a magnetic field in the pipe and chokes back on the stinger current. with too many turns of lead on the pipe and it choked so much that i couldn't even get an arc started. i just love playing with things that other folks think i'm crazy for playing with. i believe the same sort of choke may stabilize the arc in the spoolgun enough to feather current so i dont have as much burn back. but i guess time will tell. in the mean time hopefully it will be a fun project for my grandson and i. thank you guys for your input.
    "The Natural Liberty of Man is to be free from any Superior Power on Earth, and not to be under the Will or Legislative Authority of Man, but to have only the Law of Nature for his Rule."-- John Locke

  10. #10
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    Oct 2015
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    Re: possible to add a spoolgun to a stick welder ???

    For aluminum mig it needs to be in spray transfer to do a good job. I found that with a CC power source spray transfer put the wire feed on the raged edge of burn back. To keep from burning back into the tips I found that I would set up the feed to be in the transition phase between short circuit transfer and spray transfer. This causes more spatter and a weld that is not as sound as it should be. You will find the same thing in your experimenting. As Duane stated the power boxes to use a spool gun with CC is voltage sensing and is not consistent enough. If you find a way to filter that to be more stable you will have a winner. The reason voltage sensing works better for steel wire is because it is in short circuit transfer and no where near spray transfer.
    Last edited by thegary; 12-05-2018 at 11:13 AM.

  11. #11
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    Jul 2018
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    Re: possible to add a spoolgun to a stick welder ???

    Ah Ok, i see what you mean. You have lots of patience and imagination

    If yoy wanted to make it work properly, wouldnt you be better to build a voltage regulating circuit? Discussion here: https://www.practicalmachinist.com/v...welder-103061/

  12. #12
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    Re: possible to add a spoolgun to a stick welder ???

    For those of us with CC machines that have a CV mode, this would be less problematic

  13. #13
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    Re: possible to add a spoolgun to a stick welder ???


  14. #14
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    Re: possible to add a spoolgun to a stick welder ???

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalMan23 View Post
    For those of us with CC machines that have a CV mode, this would be less problematic
    There would be no problem at all in that case.

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