Wolf MIG Welders

  1. mr pick Member

    Messages:
    3
    I have just bought my first mig, wolf 135 turbo. Read the instruction and followed to the letter. 1st problem . Should my gun be live before pulling trigger?
    got a big spark and flash while positioning gun to start welding.
    I am new to mig welding only used one a year ago and dont remember having such a problem. It has left me shocked and should i use the machine does it have a falt.
    thanks for any advice great site iam enjoying reading forum:confused:
     
  2. malcolm

    malcolm & Clementine the Cat

    Messages:
    9,106
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    In the bad old days the cheapest of the cheap welders often had permamantly live wire feed which was bad because it made it easy to get arc eye when positioning. There was a cost saving in getting rid of the relay that switched power to the torch. I didn't think anyone did that these days.

    I had a look through the manual and can't find any mention of live wire feed or otherwise, but they did mention positioning prior to fliping the mask down and the risk wasn't mentioned. Here's the manual:
    http://www.screwfix.com/sfd/i/cat/pdfs/63/p3977563.pdf

    The Wolf is made by the same people as all the other welders, so I can't imagine it would be so much worse - I'm guessing it's faulty and the contactor unit (the relay) is broken. Anyone on the forum have one that can confirm?
     
  3. mr pick Member

    Messages:
    3
    thanks malcolm, just managed to contact tech help line it seems that this machine is produced with live wire feed. wish i had known this before purchase,
    I wonder if anybody knows if it is possible to convert or any firm who may carry out conversion. So far i have only managed one pityful weld apart from sticking gun to my hacksaw (saw touching metal be welded, laid gun next to it) now need new tip.
    thanks for help, intructions not very clear are they all like this or is it just this machine!
     
  4. malcolm

    malcolm & Clementine the Cat

    Messages:
    9,106
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    Anyone know whether the rest of the Wolfs have a live wire feed? I'm updating the buyers guide and it would be worth a mention.

    It's annoying. Live wire feeds should be banned! But I suspect are more machines are cost downed in China the live wire feed will start to make a comeback. And of course the manufacturers won't mention it when they sell the machines.

    Conversion might be possible but probably isn't something that the manufacturers would be able to help with. There's a contactor or relay integrated into the circuit board on the ones without a live feed. Could be worth sending a private message to FermWolfMan (he's a service engineer for Wolfs): http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=94

    A couple of precautions that might help - the shroud should be isolated from the tip, but weld spatter can build up and make a contact between the shroud and tip - and then the shroud would arc against anything it touched. Worth keeping the spatter cleaned off, or an anti-spatter spray on the inside of the shroud might help. The other is to use one of the new fangled auto-dimming helmets that will allow you to position the tip with the visor down. Any flash and the mask goes dark and saves you from arc eye. They start from about £40.

    The instructions with the welder will be rubbish, but should give the basic idea - practice on scrap metal is the answer. The local fab shop will have a skip full of the stuff they'll sell for beer money.
     
  5. Eurotorch Eurotorch

    Messages:
    47
    uk
    Should not be allowed on the market!, you can modify the plant, but is it worth it?? how much they saved for a few components can't be much, but to have the work done might be. Wolf used to have such a good name, but who owns them now I don't know, I have seen them for sale and they are not expensive, which the origional wolf gear was.
    So yes you can have it put right.
     
  6. mr pick Member

    Messages:
    3
    Having spoken to sales staff at Screwfix where machine came from it appears that all the machines they sell are live wire feed, but they dont know for certain.
    I asked if they thought it was important imformation that customer should know and that it is not mentioned in either their catalogue or in the poor instruction manuel, Iam waiting for reply.
     
  7. mechanikal_dan Member

    Messages:
    7
    Wolf live torch?

    Hi all, new here but so far VERY impressed with the site!!

    I too have a Wolf welder, a 150 Turbo to be precise.

    Ive just taken it out of the box (it was a cheapy off of Ebay.. Cat. return thing 'cos its a bit bent at the back). I'd also like to know A) if they are meant to be a live torch and if they are...and B) why they aren't properly documented as being so?? I think its extremly dangerous, after all the torch only has to slip a few milimeters and it could blind somebody or start a fire!

    *rant over*

    cheers guys

    dan
     
  8. weldequip Forum Sponsor

    Messages:
    5,313
    Location:
    England
    Hi Dan,
    Purely & simply because Screwfix ain't got a clue about welders!!
    Live Torches went out AGES ago.
    weldequip
     
  9. malcolm

    malcolm & Clementine the Cat

    Messages:
    9,106
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    Agreed completely with the rant. Judging by the number of eBay adverts it appears these welders get returned a lot.

    It's not just the permamently live wire feed. The 150 has a minimum 40 amps which is far too much for thin car bodywork. 25 to 30 amp minimum would be better for automotive. Also 150 appears to be the model name not the max amps (which are 140).

    The 130 for interest has a range from 60 amps to 120 amps.

    I've given Wolf a special mention in the buyers guide so at least some people will be aware of these features.
     
  10. mechanikal_dan Member

    Messages:
    7
    Hi all again. Ive had a busy afternoon. First stop was to Elliots at BarHill, Cambridge. The service guy there was at lunch but I was advised to try StarMaker (also in cambridge). There the very helpful Stuart discussed my concerns about this live torch setup and between us we deemd it entirely possible to correct live torch problem with a relay. Watch this space as im going to investigate how easy its going to be. Maybe some of you have already considerd this or possibly even tried it?? how did you get on/ how far did you get?

    dan.
     
  11. weldequip Forum Sponsor

    Messages:
    5,313
    Location:
    England
    Seems a lot of hassle & expense for the sake of saving a few quid when you purchased it! It is possible by fitting a remote relay but that will involve a fair bit of wiring (& possibly head-scratching!)
    Personally, I would stick it back on eBay & buy a Clarke; 40/60 Amps bottom end performance is just not low enough for thin car bodies & you will be blowing holes through it!
    weldequip
     
  12. mechanikal_dan Member

    Messages:
    7
    well to be fair i havnt got a live torch welder to save money because i didnt know it had a live torch at the time. I'm mearly looking into a cost effective solution to a problem that is catching a few of us DIY'ers out. The chances are i wont get anywhere with it.. but its at least worth a look if only to give me somthing to think about :P

    dan
     
  13. malcolm

    malcolm & Clementine the Cat

    Messages:
    9,106
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    I don't think Weldequip meant to offend - I read the post as a sensible and helpful suggestion. Nobody in their right mind would intentionally save a few pounds for a welder with a permantly live wire feed. Most likely that's the reason for all the returns that appear on eBay.

    But people will still buy them and I'll bet they'll be interested in your solution to the problem. If you could go to the effort of posting photos, wiring diagrams, and component specs than I suspect you'll make some other poor bugger that's fallen into the same trap very happy.
     
  14. mechanikal_dan Member

    Messages:
    7
    LMAO! how stupid do i feel! my wolf turbo 150 isnt live torch anyway! I knew I should been bothered to go play with it first! Running .8 wire and argon/co2 gas all seems to be working a treat. My only advice to those with a permenant live torch is get them checked by a good service agent in case they are faulty instead of just cheap.

    dan
     
  15. malcolm

    malcolm & Clementine the Cat

    Messages:
    9,106
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    Some more good advice maybe. If Mr Pick with the 135 pulled the screwed in side off his welder and took a photo of the circuit board would it be possible to tell if there was a relay in there on the circuit board that wasn't working?

    They are cheap so just maybe they could be faulty as well.
     
  16. mechanikal_dan Member

    Messages:
    7
    If it were me, id leave it unplugged several days befor removing that cover. I only took mine off cos i knew it had been in storage for a while. the transformers in a welder probably hold enough charge to blow you across a room. Thats just a guess mind loosely base on somthing my brother told me about stripping TVs and monitors. One thing i did have to do with mine before i could use it.. My torch wasnt assembled properly so once squeezed the gas ran all the time and the wire didnt run at all. A quick strip down revealed a poorly assembled torch, fix that and the job was a good'n!

    dan
     
  17. mechanikal_dan Member

    Messages:
    7
    lol, just re-read my own post... thats more than likely the fault in Mr Picks welder... the contacts on the micro switch are NOT insulated, the live contact on the micro switch is probably touching the brass feed block. strip the torch open and have a look mate. why didnt i think of that earlier?? :S

    dan
     
  18. 8511swann Member

    Messages:
    14
    Cumbria
    It would appear that the Wolf 100 Gasless MIG also suffers from this same short cut!!, just tried my first ever practice weld, and got the shock of my life - almost literally, oh what joy:( . Fortunately enough my mask was in place, and turned on!!. I suppose on the positive side, when I get enough experience, and decide to move on to something better, it should be a nice change from the Fisher Price model......on 2nd thoughts, I think thats an insult to Fisher Price!!!. As a Soldier, I expect any 'gun' that I put in my hand to be reasonably safe!!.........or is that just me being picky;-)
     
  19. weldequip Forum Sponsor

    Messages:
    5,313
    Location:
    England
    Wolf MIGs

    These things sound VERY dodgy to me; getting a belt from the torch handle?!
    Are they CE marked? If not it is illegal to sell the things within the EEC.
    weldequip
     
  20. 8511swann Member

    Messages:
    14
    Cumbria
    Weldequip,
    Yes it s CE marked. It's not a physical belt from the torch handle, its an actual arc, from the right place, but you don't need to depress the trigger to get it!, the only thing that the trigger does is feed the wire. So as you line up ready to make the weld, it arcs, so you have to be accurate when placing it, as it's off and running before you know it!!
    But, very dodgey to me.
    Cheers
    Swanny
    By the way, dont know if anyone remembers my power problem a few weeks back, i.e lack of it in my garage, but I've got a brand new 3.5 KvA petrol generator, delivered for £190, and it works a treat!.
     
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