MIG welding liner is one of the most important components of a MIG gun. The primary purpose of the liner is to guide or direct the welding wire from the wire feed all the way to the welder tip. Without the liner, it would be practically impossible to move the wire from one part of the gun to another.
One thing that can interfere with the liner’s ability to perform its tasks properly is the lack of proper cleaning and maintenance. When this happens, it may results in poor weld quality, making the entire process virtually worthless. Learning how to clean a MIG welder liner is critical in ensuring the best welding experience.
The welding liner can get dirty through;
- Bending the liner can which can create spaces for debris accumulation. The debris might build up and block your liner.
- Improper installation of the liner may increase the chances of scrapping off the feeder wire, which might also accumulate inside the liner.
- Irregular and improper cleaning of the liner has a higher chance of residue accumulation, which might stunt your weld quality.
MIG liners come in different types and forms, and your choice is going to depend on your welding parameters and your filler metals.
Steel MIG gun liners are known for their rigidity and flexibility, and they are used with different types of welding wires, i.e., ER70S-3, ER70S-6, etc. Steels liners are cost-effective and have different attributes that make them a better fit for different types of filler metals and various welding processes.
On the other hand, plastic MIG Gun Liners come in different forms, including polyamide liners, polyethylene liners, Teflon liners, and more. And just like steel liners, plastic liners are designed to work with a range of wires, from soft wires to hard ones.
How to clean a MIG welder liner-Step by step guideline
How to clean a MIG welder liner-Step by step guideline
Most MIG welders come with a wrench or spanner, so removing the liner nut should be easy, and it should not take much of your time. First off, you’ll need to remove the welding wire, diffuser, and contact tip from the front end of your torch before you take out the liner.
For a MIG welder wire stuck in liner, you’ll need to remove it carefully to prevent damaging the liner and take precautions to prevent the wire from getting stuck again. You can then proceed and remove your liner from the welding gun.
Clean the welder liner
The easiest way to clean a MIG welder liner is by using compressed air to blow any accumulated dirt or dust. Using compressed air will help eliminate metal fragments and other accumulated dirt without damaging delicate parts. It is recommended to blow out the liner after every spool change to minimize most potential liner problems and increase service life.
Inspect the condition of the liner
Once you’re sure that the liner is clean, check the liner for any signs of cracks, molds, and any other malfunction. If the liner has noticeable cracks or folds, you’ll need to repair it before reuse. If the condition is dire, consider replacing your liner altogether. A liner that’s completely blocked or with kinks is worthless, and even cleaning will not help fix the situation.
Re-install the liner
Once you have checked the liner and satisfied that everything is fine, you can now re-install it back in the welding gun and continue welding. You may want to do this slowly and carefully so that you don’t kink or ruin the liner. You can place the gun on a flat surface to avoid bending the liner along the way.
Once the liner is in position, you can put the nut back in place to secure the line. At this point, you are now ready to weld. Always keep the gun as straight as possible when welding to prevent the liner from getting kinks while ensuring it remains clean.
Remember to clean the tip with a MIG welder tip cleaner to keep it performing at its best. Using a dirty contact tip can create problems such as wire jamming, which can have a significant effect on welding downtime.
Tips for MIG welder liner maintenance tips
- It is always a good idea to blow out your wire liner regularly during spool changes to eliminate debris and ensure a smooth feed.
- Always use a liner that’s compatible with the filler metal that you intend to use. Using the specified type of liner will minimize feeding issues for stellar welding results.
- Also, marrying up your liner to your gun type will let you get the most life out of the MIG welder liner. For instance, if you’re using a Lincoln MIG gun such as the MAGNUM 100L, you’ll need to get a Lincoln MIG welder liner. Always refer to your MIG welding gun owner’s manual to help you select the correct liner.
- Be mindful of the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to install a MIG gun liner properly. Different MIG welding guns have unique features and different installation modes. Proper installation may make a world of difference in terms of decreased downtime and improved weld quality.
- MIG gun liners are designed to fit specific welding wire sizes. Any extra space may create room to collect more debris, so it always a good idea to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
In any welding environment, it is absolutely imperative to work in the most efficient way and minimize downtime as much as possible. In MIG welding, a dirty gun liner is one of the most frustrating issues confronted. Choosing the correct liner and keeping it performing at its best will result in decreased downtime and smooth operation required to produce quality welds.
William Phillips was born and raised in Keller, Texas. He is a licensed general contractor, and he has been a home improvement specialist for two decades. His passion for the trade led him to freelance writing to share his life experiences with his readers. Phillips enjoys thoroughly researching DIY tools and writing guides at ToolsHaunt as a way of giving back to the community.