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Thread: How far could you just PULL wire?

  1. #1
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    How far could you just PULL wire?

    Just a weird idea.. OK, two weird ideas.

    How far could you reliably just PULL wire (using a spool gun)?
    Anyone tried it?

    I've been thinking about just adding a 25" guide to my spoolgun (taking off the 4" spool holder) and pulling from a large spool on a simple dumb feeder setup.

    Aluminum would obviously require push pull, have some probably weird ideas how to do that cheap/easy using a simple, easily adjustable fluid drive coupling, but right now I'm just talking .023 steel or flux core .030".

    Of course if that simple push/pull drive works it will probably allow pushing steel wire a LONG way.

    Here's one version of the drive coupling I'm considering, it's for an RC car, but with ATF or different oils it can be made as loose or as tight as desired, it's basically somewhat like a tiny torque converter, and probably costs $2 to make, this particualr unit (hanging on right side of gear) is a Losi Hydradrive:
    (for scale, that screw through the nut at right is IIRC 4-40 or 6-32, the unit is ~2" dia or less.
    Last edited by waferhead; 01-26-2012 at 08:40 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: How far could you just PULL wire?

    Quote Originally Posted by waferhead View Post
    Just a weird idea.. OK, two weird ideas.

    How far could you reliably just PULL wire (using a spool gun)?
    Anyone tried it?

    I've been thinking about just adding a 25" guide to my spoolgun (taking off the 4" spool holder) and pulling from a large spool on a simple dumb feeder setup.
    The resistance would be the friction where the big spool turns and the energy to get it moving. Do you mean a 25 foot guide like the liner for a mig gun? I don't see much drag pulling the wire through nothing but air, a liner with bends/curves in another matter.

    I have been able to re wind my own little spools with just a variable speed drill with something in the chuck with enough tape wrapped around it to turn the spool. Others have made devices to wind the wire pretty much like new. I would think about minimizing the stresses on the drive mechanism of the spool gun.

  3. #3
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    Re: How far could you just PULL wire?

    I was thinking of trying it with some thickwall (small ID) Teflon tubing.

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    Re: How far could you just PULL wire?

    i know one can pull aluminum about 15 ft because i am doing it with my lincoln. using teflon tubing and a home made axle for the large spool mounted on the machine

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    Re: How far could you just PULL wire?

    Quote Originally Posted by jughead View Post
    i know one can pull aluminum about 15 ft because i am doing it with my lincoln. using teflon tubing and a home made axle for the large spool mounted on the machine

    Cool, so there are more crazies out there

    What size did you run?
    IIRC just plain teflon tubing in small sizes was not painful $$.

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    Re: How far could you just PULL wire?

    You could wire up that small drive unit to "assist" in turning the large spool, basically set it up with just enough tension to reduce the force necessary to spin the spool to near zero, that way your spool gun feeder is only supplying the force to draw the wire through the liner without having to turn the spool as well

  7. #7
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    Re: How far could you just PULL wire?

    Um... why?

    Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier just to make an extension cord?
    ɹǝʌo ǝɯ lloɹ 'sıɥʇ pɐǝɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı

  8. #8
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    Re: How far could you just PULL wire?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSOR View Post
    Um... why?

    Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier just to make an extension cord?
    Sure, have 100' of 10 ga handy.

    But sometimes it's more convenient to have freedom of movement with a long lead.
    (The spoolgun on the 20' lead spoils me) and a ultra cheap/ultra portable "wireless feeder" could be handy so you don't keep having to move a huge welder, or lack room.

    A spoolgun would be pretty easy/fast to change over, and just as easy to change back.

    Basically the idea came to me one time where I was trying to weld in a tight spot under a car and though how nice it would be to take the spool off and just have 10-15 feet of tubing simply pulling off a big spool, also make the spoolgun much lighter and fit more places.

    Not everyone has a lift and can pull the welder under the car etc.

    Also, I don't have a decent MIG welder yet, so I can perhaps look for good units with borked drive mechanisms and use the spoolgun AS the wire drive.
    Last edited by waferhead; 01-27-2012 at 07:21 AM.

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    Re: How far could you just PULL wire?

    Tweco make a "pull MIG" gun based on a similar principle. What would be really nice is if someone made spool guns and pull MIGs which weren't obscenely expensive. The markup on such things has got to be massive, yet sophisticated drive systems for things like RC cars are quite reasonably priced and survive plenty of abuse.

  10. #10
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    Re: How far could you just PULL wire?

    "Obscenely expensive" if you pay retail.

    I picked up a Firepower FP200 gun for $230 shipped NIB, seems to be WELL made, euro connector, has speed control pot built in, but the pinout and wiring is easily rearranged for different circuits if you know any electronics.

    Retail they want ~$600.

    It was purchased as an interim solution as I have a POS old Einhell the drive mechanism never really worked right on, so I slammed a $20 euro connector on the front and hot rodded the std drive setup with a 25A triac instead of the 8A SCR that died quickli, and it combination works remarkably well.
    (Also wired it so it has a polartity swicth instead of the useless AC stick function on a CV source)

    I've since butlt a HF PWM 24V supply to run the gun, smooth as glass at any speed, basically I can hook it up to anything including batterires. like a ready welder, but the gun is nicer and had wire speed control.

  11. #11
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    Re: How far could you just PULL wire?

    Quote Originally Posted by waferhead View Post
    Cool, so there are more crazies out there

    What size did you run?
    IIRC just plain teflon tubing in small sizes was not painful $$.
    the alum. wire is .035, the people in chattanooga were crazy high on anything in teflon. found a liner by accident for a welder i had never heard of for 1/3 including shipping. pros told me it wouldnt work but i had 2 spools 8 in.?? in dia. so it did work and no comments from the pros. aint purty but i am not a pro welder any way probably dont qualify for a good rod burner either

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