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New Mig welder keeps jamming, what am I doing wrong?
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Chris Paterson Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:08 pm    Post subject: New Mig welder keeps jamming, what am I doing wrong? Reply with quote

So I just upgraded my little Licoln Electric Mig welder with no gas to a Hobart welder that has gas. I set everything up. I'm working with .023 solid mig wire and CO2/ Argon mix and the damn thing keeps jamming. I get a bundle of wire by the feeding mechanism like the wire gets a little resistance and the whole thing jams. Is it me? Do I have something set up wrong? Is it my welding technique? Anyone have any experience with this? Help would be much appreciated, it's super frustrating because I weld about 4" in the thing jams. I have to cut the mangled wire at the feeder, pull it out of the tube then re-feed it again then start welding again. I tried using .030 flux core (came with the welder) for some thicker metal with no gas and same thing, the damn thing keeps jamming! Is this welder crap or is it me?
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS. Here's the welder I bought:

http://www.hobartwelders.com/products/wirefeed/handler140/
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rubber hammer
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like the feed wheel has too much tension on it.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

also make sure your tip size is the same as your wire size
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Derek Cobb
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make sure the line has only smooth, gentle curves. The tighter the bend, the more likely it will kink. Try moving the welder further from the work so it's a straight shot.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rubber hammer wrote:
Sounds like the feed wheel has too much tension on it.


Turns out this was it! I didn't pay attention to how tight my tensioner was. So any time the wire hit any kind of resistance the motor would just keep driving it forward and then it would make a bird's nest. I adjusted the tensioner so that it's as light as possible but still pushes the wire forward. This way if it hits a little resistance it won't keep driving the wire forward but instead will just slip.

Thanks for your help!
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my experience the only time I had problems though with the rollers being too tight and causing a birds nest is when there was some kind of resistance that should be there.
As was mentioned, keep the cable as straight as possible, and ensure you are using the proper size tip. I actually use one size bigger on tip than the wire I use.
If you run your rollers too loose, any time there is drag it will stop feeding which saves you from having a birds nest, but also many times will result in the wire burning into the tip.

The only time i ever set them really soft is when messing with aluminum wire. Its so soft that any little resistance in the cable will cause it to nest. With steel wire, I actually have them tight enough to cause a nest, but only have one about every 5 ten pound spools, and thats because someone will fiddle with the wire speed knob and I will end up burnt into the tip.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

everything these guys is saying is on the mark. i got a hobart 140 too. when first got it i would weld with the side door on welder open to see whats happening. then monkey around with the nut on the wire spool and get just enough tension when i stop welding ther is bit slack in the wire before it enters the feed wheels. then i adjust feed tensioner for the feed wheels enough to pull wire into the cable and still beable to weld with a GENTLE bend in the cable. as long as it does this consitantly im happy. cheap wire wont grip the feed wheels as good as Lincloln/Hobart, slips. make sure you got the wire in the right slot for the size of wire,or else feed problems. recently i made a support arm that holds the cable comeing out of the welder in a straight line for another foot. smooth,cable is older,flex more.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:25 pm    Post subject: Re: New Mig welder keeps jamming, what am I doing wrong? Reply with quote

chrispaterson82 wrote:
So I just upgraded my little Lincoln Electric Mig welder with no gas to a Hobart welder that has gas. I set everything up. I'm working with .023 solid mig wire and CO2/ Argon mix and the damn thing keeps jamming. I get a bundle of wire by the feeding mechanism like the wire gets a little resistance and the whole thing jams. Is it me? Do I have something set up wrong? Is it my welding technique? Anyone have any experience with this? Help would be much appreciated, it's super frustrating because I weld about 4" in the thing jams. I have to cut the mangled wire at the feeder, pull it out of the tube then re-feed it again then start welding again. I tried using .030 flux core (came with the welder) for some thicker metal with no gas and same thing, the damn thing keeps jamming! Is this welder crap or is it me?

so,..whatcha do with the Lincoln ?
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