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Flux core wire sources/wire tension question

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  • Flux core wire sources/wire tension question

    Hi Folks,

    I have recently become a proud member of the Hobart EZ 125 family. I am impressed with what this little welder can seems to be the general consensus from other members on this board as well.. I will be putting it through its paces the next couple of months, on a bunch of projects involving implements and attachments that I want to make/repair for a garden tractor. The weekend project is replacing some panels on a brushcutter.

    The flux core wire seems to be quite expensive. I am paying just over $19 for a 2 lb. Hobart brand spool at Fleet Farm. Is there a better, common place out there that has better pricing on wire? I know it would be more economical to go to an 8" spool, instead of the 4", but I plan on using the welder at home and the cottage, so weight is a factor.

    Also, I am a little confused on setting the tension for the rollers on this machine. Can someone explain the proper setting for the wire tension knob above the rollers?

    Thanks, Mike

  • #2
    Adjusting the tension knob of the feed head is counter-intuitive to some people. Whenever there's a knob that can be tightened, in most applications, you adjust the knob until it's snug. That's not so with adjusting the tension knob on a wire feed head.

    If you start by understanding that the flux-cored wire is a tubular wire, it makes more sense that you don't want to apply too much pressure to it in a perpendicular direction. What happens is the wire is crushed and becomes oblong (cross-sectionally). This causes feeding problems when the wire is traveling through the welding gun liner and really causes problems when it trys to squeeze through the round hole of the contact tip of the gun.

    The proper method is to tighten the tension knob down just enough for the wire to feed and then stop. It's easy to test this by feeding the wire into a hard surface such as a board or a concrete floor so that it creates a loop as it feeds as described in the owner's manual. You want to hold the gun high enough over the surface so that the wire forms approximately a 12" loop and then adjust the tension knob until the wire feeds consistently with no slippage.


    • #3
      Hey Mike,
      Since Darrell answered the wirefeed tension issue, I will make a few suggestions on wire. I've scored some really good buys for both flux-core & solid wire in both .030 & .035 on E-Bay. For f/c, I kinda prefer Lincoln NR211MP, although I use Hobart & Techniweld E71T-11. I buy the 10lb spools & have gotten NIB Lincoln f/c wire for $30-35 incl s/h on E-Bay. There are some outlets that sell the 10lb spools for a BIN for $45 incl s/h....that's only $4.50lb..... fairly reasonable.

      Complete weld/mach./fab shop
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      • #4
        If you decide that you want to use the 10 lb spools see this post for info on the hub adapter:
        Trailblazer 302 * Millermatic 212 * Syncrowave 180SD * X-Treme 12VS Feeder * Spoolmate 3035
        Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52 Plasma * Lincoln 175 MIG

        Victor Superrange II * Victor Journeyman

        Hobart HH 125EZ


        • #5
          Thanks for the information so far. I really appeciate it.

          The local Fleet Farm has the 10 lb. adapter kit for $10. I may go and buy it, since the price per pound is a lot cheaper for the larger spools.

          I guess I am waiting to see how long a 4 lb. spool lasts. Once I get these projects done, I'm not sure how much use I will get out of the welder on a regular basis...but I bet it will be more than I think.