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"I really love that amazing Hands On sculpture. I feel very lucky to have had the chance seeing the early stage of making it in Kevin's studio. I hope to see it being displayed in that perfect spot some day when I come back to Arizona!"
--Lan Griffin, artist, Boston, Massachusetts

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How to Use a Longevity MIG Welder With Pulse Control

The Voice: Hey, Kevin. What are you doing?

Kevin Caron: Playing with an octopus. I put my plug on this Longevity MigWeld 250P MIG welder so I can fire it up and show you guys how it runs.

The first thing to keep in mind with this machine is it is a single-phase 220 or three-phase 220 machine. It senses it automatically. All you have to do is make sure you wire the plug right.

The cable has four wires in it: the black, the white and the green that you would use for single-phase 220. If you're working with three-phase 220, you would also hook up this red wire. Since I only have single-phase, I'll just twist this around and bury it down inside, then put the cap on it so it can stay there. So, if I ever want to hook it up to three-phase, I can.

Let me get this cover back on and then we'll fire it up. We'll just leave that unplugged for a second.

Longevity did a couple of really cool things with this new machine. My old Miller 250 MIG welder had a single wheel in the drive rollers for feeding the wire in through the cable. Take a look at this. Longevity's got two drive wheels in here; there’s absolutely no doubt about it - the wire is going down that cable.

The Miller has trouble pushing wire up for an overheard or for a high vertical weld. The single roller would slip; even though I got new rollers to go in there, it still wouldn't do it; it didn't have enough oomph to get up high with it. With the Longevity equipment, however, you can weld straight up - just as high as you can reach with it. And it pushes no problem.

These are the dual drive rollers that come with this machine. Not only do both of these drive, but you also have two grooves in each one for different size wire. It will handle four different sizes of wire just by turning these rollers around one way or the other.

There is plenty of tension, positive feed. I love it. It's a nice design, with a big motor inside for the drive wheels. There's plenty of room in here for up to a 33-pound spool of wire. No problem pulling it whatsoever.

Now let's take a look at the controls on the front: your power switch, wire speed, and base voltage. If you don't want to use any of the pulse functions, you would leave these all set to zero and just set your voltage, your wire speed, go to work.

If you want to use the pulse functions, you would set your base voltage low, set your pulse voltage to what you want. Very important, remember that. The pulse voltage has to be higher than the base voltage, otherwise it won't work.

Pulse width: it's the same as if you're using AC on a TIG welder, exact same function. And pulse frequency: how many pulses do you get in a set period?

The Voice: Kevin, how do you know how to set the pulse?

Kevin Caron: The pulse is the same as with the TIG welders. It gives you an up-and-down spike in your voltage or in your current so you can weld thin metal with it, much thinner than you would with no pulse.

Even if you turned your voltage all the way down, just on straight MIG, you're still going to have a problem with thinner metal that the pulse will allow you to do. So, into the 18-gauge, 20-gauge, 22-gauge, you can go a lot thinner with it. It just gives you that spike and then a break and spike and then a break so you can work with the thinner metals.

The Voice: What about the displays there? Can you explain them?

Kevin Caron: There's an upper display. This is your voltage display. It tells you what the machine is set at volts-wise. Current shows you how many amps are running through the machine. How many amps are coming out of the end of the gun so you can adjust as needed. Here's a little warning light for over temperature. And here's the power light.

Here they put two more controls. Don't forget these. I'm not sure why they hid them in here, but let me show you. You probably won't use these very often. The arc force is kind of hard to explain. It helps with penetration a little. It helps with the splatter you get while welding. You can turn it down and make it a little softer, or you can turn it up and make it a little harder. I figure it's like an extra current adjustment. You have to play with it to get used to it and figure out how it works.

And burnback. To be totally honest with you, I have no idea what burnback does. Hopefully somebody from Longevity will pop in here and tell us what it does for sure.

And the spool gun connector. This machine will actually run a spool gun for aluminum. We'll get into that on another how-to video - as soon as I get my spool gun.

Don't forget your adjustments for your feed on your rollers. These adjust the amount of pressure that is actually in the roller itself. And that's all the adjustments there are to it.

Once you get the arc force and the burnback set, you can just close this up, keep your fingers out of the moving parts in there, and you're ready to go to work.

Well, let me get back to work. We'll see you next time.

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