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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
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    1,591

    Default Secondary spool holder for mig

    I just went to buy a new roll of mig wire for my welder and was quite surprised Secondary spool holder for mig to find 15kg spools are cheaper than 5kg spools of the same type. You get 66% more product for 30% less!

    Since the larger spools won't fit my little unimig 180 I wondered if it was feasible to fit a secondary spool holder to the trolley that could take the larger size spool?

    Has anyone else gone down this path?
    ..Live a Quiet Life & Work with your Hands

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Wodonga Vic
    Age
    36
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    504

    Default

    A few months back I bumped into a bloke at a swap meet buying an old sewing machine who said it was for a project, I asked him what the project was and he said he was going to re-purpose the motor and foot pedal to run a 15kg spool of mig wire because he was sick of paying for the 5kg spools,
    so there are people out there doing it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
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    1,591

    Default

    I assume he was transferring the 15kg to 5kg spools via the sewing machine motor as a respooler.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    ..Live a Quiet Life & Work with your Hands

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Far West Wimmera
    Age
    61
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    4,049

    Default

    Feasibility would depend on the welder and whether you can get a straight path for the wire. I cannot imagine why it would not work. The feed mechanism should handle the extra weight in aluminium.

    I have wound a 1kg roll onto a 4.5kg spool with my lathe. A mate used to fill a 4.5kg spool from a 15kg spool years ago. I can't remember how he did it, but probably with his lathe, a wee little baby lathe / mill combo.

    A variable speed drill would probably do it if it could be clamped in some way such as a vice. It is a good idea to have a spindle to hold the 4.5 or 5kg spool which has a slip clutch arrangement. Just some leather disks against a wooden disk or similar. Hold the wire with a bit of folded leather as a tensioner. You should be able to stop the spool turning. Just makes it much nicer to operate.

    I have my doubts about a sewing machine motor unless it is an industrial machine, in which case it will have a foot operated clutch already. Perfect. I don't think I am going to repurpose mine anytime soon tho.

    Dean

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Murray Bridge S Aust.
    Age
    69
    Posts
    4,941

    Default

    Dale, is it a situation of it won't fit in the area, or won't fit on the shaft/clutch assembly.
    Any chance of a pic with an empty 15 kg roll near it? I don't know the welder, which is why I'm asking.
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Norwood-ish, Adelaide
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    56
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    5,978

    Default

    I think this is it -
    3-Lid-Open.jpg
    Michael

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    1,591

    Default

    Yes that looks like mine. And I'm told there's not enough space for a 15kg spool which by the comparison of the box sizes in store is a lot.

    You would have to chop half the case away to use the existing spindle.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    ..Live a Quiet Life & Work with your Hands

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Murray Bridge S Aust.
    Age
    69
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    4,941

    Default

    Thanks for the pic Michael, now I can see what we're up against. The trolley that the welder sits on, has it an edge to locate the welder in? If so, would it be possible to drill a hole into the back of the case in line with the feed rollers. Then fabricate an arm assembly with a braked spindle attachment, It would have to be totally insulated, to prevent shocks. where the hole was drilled through the case assembly I'd run a bit of fuel hose or similar through the hole to insulate it also.
    Can't see why it shouldn't work.
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Mackay North Qld
    Posts
    5,892

    Default

    Another point to consider is that if the spool is to remain external in the 15 kg size,is that of corrosion.

    I thought of the same thing years ago but did not proceed as I did not want to make a hole in the case of the welder.

    To explain, it is rust city up here and a few days exposure to the air puts a surface layer of rust of the outer wraps of the wire.Even with out extra ventilation wire will soon rust.

    Though I did not proceed with it in any form as I could not afford the cylinder rental or purchase. If I were to ,I would opt for the re spooling of the wire for better corrosion control.

    That is not to say I would leave the spool unprotected between welding sessions.Due to my lack of diligence in not doing this I have thrown away far more wire than I have ever used.

    Wire survives nicely for a very long time if you wrap it in a plastic bag with some moisture desiccant packets.

    When we were on the woodworkers site, there where lots of threads on re spooling mig wire so it may be worth a search there.

    Grahame

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Australia east coast
    Age
    68
    Posts
    2,646

    Default

    Friend of mine did this years ago.

    Used a milk crate with a bit of bright polished tube for an axle. The wire feeds into the rollers as per normal.

    It isn't elegant but it works just fine.

    There's no need to over-think this, the standard spool axle isn't powered anyway. At least neither of my MIG units are and both of them take 15kg spools as standard.

    PDW

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Near Bendigo, Victoria, AUS
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    70
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    2,901

    Default

    You may also be able to mount the 15kg spool horizontally, with most of it sticking into the side of your welder. That way you could feed the wire straight into the guide that's already there. Maybe somehow put a spindle on the welder door and a way of locking the door at 90 deg. securely. THat way you could always put the smaller spool in and close the door to keep the welder mobile to take away.
    Just shooting the breeze....
    Cheers, Joe
    retired - less energy, more time to contemplate projects and more shed time....

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Mackay North Qld
    Posts
    5,892

    Default

    WIA made a wire feeder that featured a horizontal spool. For industrial usage they were great but still provided a bigger surface area for grinding dust to fall on.It follows then, that the dust found its way into the gun liner.

    When you weren't cleaning the liner they were a great set up reliable in all other facets. I would go with the standard configuration, which would, if compact enough, allow you to fit a bag over when not being used.

    Grahame

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Near Bendigo, Victoria, AUS
    Age
    70
    Posts
    2,901

    Default

    Seems to me that a cover/enclosure over the whole lot would solve that issue....
    I'd certainly consider making a box with a side that folds up to fit onto the side of the welder with the door open and close both the spool and side of welder/feed mechanism from any dust ingress.
    Cheers, Joe
    retired - less energy, more time to contemplate projects and more shed time....

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Aus
    Posts
    24

    Default

    A drill bit and a generic liner and job done Straight in the back.

    I just wrap spools when not in use with a bit of pallet wrap.

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