401-724-8800 1211 High Street, Central Falls, RI 02863, USA


Frequently Asked Questions 

The following section contains troubleshooting tips and some frequently asked questions.

Q: Does the quality of my bobbins affect the quality of the braid? 

A: Both the quality of the bobbin itself and the precision of the winding can affect the quality of the finished product and overall efficiency of the braiding process. Wardwell offers several payoff and bobbin winding alternatives designed to give you the best winding quality possible. Please call our sales department to discuss your specific needs.

Q: What happens if my braider is not lubricated properly?

A: Proper lubrication is essential to the efficient operation and long life of a braiding machine. Improper lubrication can cause heating and discoloration of the upper carriers, frequent machine stops, and premature wear of the track plate, driver plate, upper carriers, and driver bars.

Wardwell recommends following the lubrication schedule in the Machine Operation Manual and using Wardwell red oil Part No. S1-2000. This is a lubricant that is formulated for the materials, speeds, and friction characteristics of our braiding machines.

Wardwell’s central lubrication systems are designed to ensure proper delivery of oil continuously and automatically. These systems can be installed on both Rapid and Speedmaster models. Our sales department can give you more details.

Q: Do Speedmaster and Rapid models use the same parts?

A: Speedmaster and Rapid models have similar design concepts but they use different parts. If you need assistance in ordering the right replacement parts you can get help easily and quickly by doing one of the following:

  • click on the "finding parts" tab in the site
  • email us at sales@wardwell.com
  • call your Wardwell service representative

Q: How can I keep my braider producing top quality product at peak efficiency? 

In addition to using good quality bobbins and following recommended procedures for lubrication, regular periodic inspection of the carriers will help you achieve the highest productivity. Some important inspection points are noted below. A more comprehensive description of inspection procedures can be found in the “Troubleshooting Guide” in the Machine Operation Manual.

Upper and Lower Carriers

  • Make sure that the supply packages are wound properly and are free of crossovers
  • Ensure that the material is threaded properly
  • Check the tension on the material. If the tension spring is applying insufficient tension, the tension lever will stop the machine. Upper carrier tension should be approximately 60% of lower carrier tension. It is also important that the tension be consistent from one carrier to another. Inconsistent tensioning can cause a loop in the braided product.
  • Check the ratchet teeth and the pawl for wear. Excessive wear can cause uneven tension resulting in and imperfect braid pattern or a machine stoppage.
  • Check all material contact surfaces for nicks and burrs (deflector, thread guide, supply spool cap, tension stand guide, tension lever pulley).

Upper Carriers

  • Make sure that the upper supply ratchet rotates freely when the pawl is released.
  • Make sure that the ratchet spindle hole is free of contamination and not excessively worn.
  • Make sure that driver bar slot entrances are smooth.

Lower Carriers

  • Make sure the lower carrier spindle is clean, lubricated, straight, and not excessively worn
  • Inspect the thread guide assembly. Guide wires should be seated in grooves. Rollers should rotate freely without excessive end play.
  • Make sure the lower carrier stopping wire moves freely.
  • Make sure the lower carrier tension lever moves freely and that the retainer rivet is fastened firmly.

Q: What is the finest wire I can run on a Wardwell Rapid Braider? 

A: The Rapid Braider model is designed to braid wire between 32 and 38 AWG, and is the most productive braiding wire in this range. Wardwell offers different models for braiding wire outside of this range, including very fine wire. Please contact the sales department and tell us what you need.

Q: Do I need to adjust the reel windup mechanism as the package builds? 

A: It depends on the characteristics of your material and how much tension it can withstand without damage. It is necessary to apply only enough torque to the windup reel so that it rotates and doesn’t allow excessive slack in the material from the capstan.

If your material is tension-tolerant, you may be able to keep the windup torque fixed at a level sufficient to rotate a full package. However, if the tension at this setting would stretch or break the material, you must set the torque lower when the package is empty and adjust it periodically as the package builds.

For extremely fragile materials, Wardwell offers optional reel windup systems that adjust the torque automatically and continuously as the package builds. With these systems, it is possible to ensure a maximum tension limit of 30 grams.

Q: Can a Wardwell Rapid model be used to braid wire? 

A: One of the advantages of the Rapid model is its versatility in braiding different materials. In most cases, the Rapid can be converted from textile to wire (including stainless steel) applications by simply changing the carriers and drive pulley. Maintenance schedules may also be different. Please contact the parts sales department for assistance.

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