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Old 05-19-2013, 08:03 PM   #3436
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Things I've notice for welding thinner metal- move faster. Also let the metal cool a LOT before attempting another weld- it retains a lot of heat so once its warmed up you'll blow holes in it a lot faster. You can also lower your amperage and go slower, bit of a trade off there and for me I just have to play with it 'till I get the results I want.

Rough rule of thumb- arc length (gap between the tip of the electrode and the workpiece) should be about the thickness of the welding rod- which means CLOSE!

The pinholes are probably due to the fact that it looks like you're just welding over top of rust / paint / etc...

One last thing- your good weld on the thick metal- notice how where you started the bead is quite a bit higher than where you ended? I believe that is cause by not preheating your metal before you start moving. By the time you get to the end, the metal is good and hot and you are getting a lot better penetration.

Great start! Takes my 7th graders a lot longer than 20 minutes to get to that point!
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:18 PM   #3437
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Originally Posted by dorkpunch View Post
Things I've notice for welding thinner metal- move faster. Also let the metal cool a LOT before attempting another weld- it retains a lot of heat so once its warmed up you'll blow holes in it a lot faster. You can also lower your amperage and go slower, bit of a trade off there and for me I just have to play with it 'till I get the results I want.

Rough rule of thumb- arc length (gap between the tip of the electrode and the workpiece) should be about the thickness of the welding rod- which means CLOSE!

The pinholes are probably due to the fact that it looks like you're just welding over top of rust / paint / etc...

One last thing- your good weld on the thick metal- notice how where you started the bead is quite a bit higher than where you ended? I believe that is cause by not preheating your metal before you start moving. By the time you get to the end, the metal is good and hot and you are getting a lot better penetration.

Great start! Takes my 7th graders a lot longer than 20 minutes to get to that point!
Thanks! About that paint/rust- I started out having some trouble getting an arc started, and I remembered some things that pro welders have mentioned in the past: have a good ground and prep well. So I cleaned up the ground clamp area, and brushed off the welding area, but there was still some paint and rust.

I've done a fair bit of gas welding and a little bit of mig welding on borrowed equipment before this, so the 20 minutes of welding experience comes with an asterisk.

I'm going to be really tempted by one of those combination stick/dc lift arc tig welders if I end up needing to weld much thin metal and tubing.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:24 PM   #3438
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Thanks. It seems like once I get an arc started, I can almost keep the rod coating touching the metal to keep the arc the right length. I was noticing that as I was welding.

Any tips for the thin stuff if I do have to? Or is welding <1/8" with a stick just not done any more? I have some 3/32" rod, it's a lot harder to keep up with than the 1/8".
14/ga and 12/ga sheet metal can be welded with 3/32 5-p+, 5-p, or 6010 as all three will run at a fairly low amperage. 7018 requires more heat
and is not really suitable or practile for anything lighter than 3/16" (12/ga is about 1/8" and 14 is .0781 or just over 1/16th" thk. 6011 is also a fair light guage stick electrode that has a little quicker "freeze" than the other 60xx mentioned above.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:20 PM   #3439
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Originally Posted by slackmeyer View Post
Any tips for the thin stuff if I do have to? Or is welding <1/8" with a stick just not done any more? I have some 3/32" rod, it's a lot harder to keep up with than the 1/8".
I never had much luck with thinner steel until I got a good measure of experience hobby arc welding. You need to be on your game but in time you should be able to weld 1/8", 3/32" ok. Back the amps off until you can just start & maintain an arc with a 3/32" rod & see how you go. Once you can lay a bead at low amps turn it up a little if required to get adequate penetration.

Everything that is important to a good weld like cleanliness, good joint fit etc becomes critical on thin stuff. You need to be very precise with your starting, speed, feed, stick angle, staying on line, stopping. Make sure you & the work are in just the right position for every run before welding. Like Dorkpunch says, let the work cool, do short runs ideally. I got to where I enjoyed the challenge, it's quite satisfying when you get it right. The new TIG with the foot pedal is like cheating

Cheers
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:12 PM   #3440
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Another 20 minutes of practice:

Found a bit more time to go through a couple more rods today, this time on cleaned steel. Went well. Not sure if the higher amp (145, at bottom) or the lower (130, top two beads) is better. Also did a fillet weld, which went fine, and would be better if I had a longer piece I was welding to get a bit more consistent.

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Old 05-20-2013, 09:27 PM   #3441
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Looks much nicer!

My usual theory to get the amps right is to try on a test piece & keep crankin em up until I see undercut then back it off a bit Others may have more scientific advice Be aware that as the piece heats up you will need less amps or to move faster - this will be noticeable on smaller bits like your practice scrap.

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Old 05-20-2013, 09:32 PM   #3442
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Thanks, and thanks for the tips on welding thinner metal.

My scrap isn't as small as it looks in the picture, it's about 5" across channel, about 1/4" thick where I'm welding, but about 3/8" thick on the flanges. It heats up, but not as fast as a 1/4" coupon would.
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:16 PM   #3443
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Originally Posted by slackmeyer View Post
Found a bit more time to go through a couple more rods today, this time on cleaned steel. Went well. Not sure if the higher amp (145, at bottom) or the lower (130, top two beads) is better. Also did a fillet weld, which went fine, and would be better if I had a longer piece I was welding to get a bit more consistent.

Thats lookin a lot better.
The porosity is caused by improper storage of the rod.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:10 AM   #3444
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Looking better.

The first bead on top with the big valcano sized hole at the end is from dirt or slag included in the weld.

When you get to the end of the bead, pause for a second or two and let the weld build up.

The top two beads of the bottom group look good. It should be a bunch of Cs instead of a bunch of Vs. Vs mean you are going too fast.

<<<<<<<<< It should be (((((((( or CCCCCCCCC

Porosity and undercutting are generally opertor error.

1/8" 7018 can be run from 110 amps up to 165 amps depending on how thick the base metal is.

I try to stick to 135 to 145. All welder machines are different and so are brands of rod. I use Lincoln rod which seems to like 10 more amps than the rest.

I thin its time to join a few pieces together.

Have fun!
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:26 AM   #3445
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Would V's also be characteristic of a stick held at an improper angle? Ignorant minds want to know.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:46 PM   #3446
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Would V's also be characteristic of a stick held at an improper angle? Ignorant minds want to know.

http://www.lincolnelectric.com/asset...d2mr/c2410.pdf


Read this guide. It will explain everything you need to know about stick welding.

Use 3/32 Fleetweld 180 for sheetmetal. 40 amps.
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:35 AM   #3447
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Thats lookin a lot better.
The porosity is caused by improper storage of the rod.

That's why I gave it to him, it was crap and perfect for free practice rod.
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:37 PM   #3448
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That's why I gave it to him, it was crap and perfect for free practice rod.

Have you ever bet anyone they couldn't bend 3 or 4 3/32 7018
rods around the back of their neck?
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:10 PM   #3449
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That's why I gave it to him, it was crap and perfect for free practice rod.
Yep, perfect.
7018 seems to run on vertical welds, maybe I should try a few different rods to see how they work.



Some of these worked pretty well:


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Old 05-25-2013, 08:19 PM   #3450
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60xx rod will burn away(thru) a lot of crud and corruption, However, every bit of contamination from mill scale, paint, rust, grease, what ever is gonna wind up in the weld (and weaken it). 70xx series electrodes are not as forgiving as the 60xx are and require clean bare steel and proper storage. 60xx will tollerate some moisture, not wet. 70xx needs to be completely dry and stored in a rod oven @ 450f (and don't use the oven for cooking or warming up lunch.)

ps: the exception is 7010 or hyp can be stored the same as 60xx.
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