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Old 02-17-2010, 09:57 PM   #1
Dustodust OP
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stick welding thin guage ?

What is the best method for welding thin guage steel with a stick welder ( besides getting a mig wire welder )
can it be done ?
does anybody have a trick for it ?


the smallest I can do well is 1/8" with the smallest rod I have found 3/38 7018
is there smaller stick somewhere ?
no matter what if it strikes it will blow through even turned way down
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:15 PM   #2
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Thin metal is a challenge with a stick welder, one way to do this is with what's called a carbon arch attachment, the only guy I know who uses one is oldschool, its basically a holder which has two carbon rods. These rods then form an arc which is used to add filler material. This is very similar to using a torch, which a number of old timers types weld sheet metal with a torch and filler.

Mig of course would be good, but you already know that.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:34 AM   #3
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never heard of that carbon arc deal
I was hoping maybe someone invented a magic rod that i haven't heard of
I tried puddling by backing into it too but that seems weaker than brazing

gee I guess thats why the fencing people like those MIGs for welding up that thin wall tubing
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:54 AM   #4
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I was doing this two days ago.

I got some 7014 (by far my favourite low-penatration rod) in 1/16".
I turned my 115v welder down to 35 amps.

Within a few minutes I'd blasted several large holes through the pipe on which I was working. But I suck at welding. Just about anyone will do better than I.

Anyway, these are the rods, and they still seemed to work better than anything else.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=96813
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:07 AM   #5
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Try using 3/32" 6010 or 6011 & run down hill. If you have room you can use a copper backing plate also.
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:21 AM   #6
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Just gas weld it , if you have a welder your bound to have a torch and bottles sitting around . Thats how it was done before all the electric processes were invented . Dont use coat hangers , they are trash . go to the welding supply and get real steel rods or coated brass and brase , with just a little practice you can weld like a pro . The thinner the metal the smaller the welding tip . SEYA
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:44 AM   #7
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I've had a Lincoln 225 since Nixon was in the White House, and have put more holes in sheet metal I was trying to weld than anyone, so I am qualified to answer this question.
My father was always sending me cracked lawnmower decks and handles to weld. As others have said, 35amp setting (or 40, the Lincoln's lowest setting) and thin 1/16" rod (no bigger) and do everything you can to clean the material where you are welding and the where you are attaching your ground. Also touch up your ground clamp a bit with a couple of shots with a fine file. Cut the rod in half (full length rods are a bitch to strike an arc with), shine up the rod before you put it in the electrode holder. (Anything that reduces electrical resistance helps a lot when you're using low amp settings). Striking an arc by the "scratching a match" method helps. Be careful to keep the rod close to the work to keep from blowing holes through the work. (Listen for the wonderful "frying bacon" sound, not the horrible "VOOOOOF" electric blowing sound). The rod will probably stick. Just be ready for it, release the rod from the electrode holder quickly, use your pliers to free the rod, clean the ends, and go again.

I've been tempted to get one of the Eastwood "stitch welder" attachments:
http://www.eastwood.com/email/defaul...RCCODE=1CJBAN8
but they are $80 (!) now (they used to be more tempting @ $50). $80 is a fair ways toward a low-price wire/MIG welder, which is SO much easier to use, making it easier to make a good weld. The only downside of the MIG I noticed is that it makes more of a mess (spatter and fogging) around the weld than the stick does.

Eastwood sells 3lbs of 1/16" rod for $20 here:
http://www.eastwood.com/welding-rod-...&parent_id=553

What are you trying to weld?
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Caldwell
Try using 3/32" 6010 or 6011 & run down hill. If you have room you can use a copper backing plate also.
Beat me to it!
I welded 16 gauge cold rolled (Metal door frames) for two years with 6011. It's a "feel" thing but with practice can be done!

Good luck.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:30 AM   #9
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Welding

I've done it with 6013"s don't penetrate like others,lowest setting,it's an art,takes awhile to get good or ok,I have welded exhaust pipes for yrs.torch&coat hangers best.Patience&determination,you can do it.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cagiva549
Just gas weld it , if you have a welder your bound to have a torch and bottles sitting around . Thats how it was done before all the electric processes were invented . Dont use coat hangers , they are trash . go to the welding supply and get real steel rods or coated brass and brase , with just a little practice you can weld like a pro . The thinner the metal the smaller the welding tip . SEYA
+1 on the gas welding.
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zecatfish
+1 on the gas welding.
Agreed, but many people buy a stick welder because they don't need to screw around with gas bottles and lease on tanks, hydrotesting etc.

Here's a picture of what "carbon arc brazing" and such are.



The arch between the electrodes produces heat essentially equivalent to a torch for brazing.

Its a usable way to use a stick welder on thin gauge metals. The one pictured is not equivalent to a commercial product, but I used to see these things in miller/lincoln catalogs. So I assume someone is still selling.
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:06 PM   #12
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Thanks for these tips ALL

i wasnt aware of the 6010 and cleaning the grounds for less resistance

I do have a torch setup , so i'll look for some rod at the local welding supply but all they seem to have is the common industrial stock stuff
I suppose since all welding is basically melting the metal together, gas welding should be as good as arc ...IF the impurities can be left out of the weld joint.
for the amount and type of welding I will typically do, I cant see buying a MIG and if i did I would want a 220 rig with a full size bottle and large $pool
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:27 PM   #13
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I would suggest 6013 1/16 diameter as it is a fast freezing shallow penetrating electrode. Try this at 40 amps and "push" the arc ahead of the puddle. You can also try reversing the polarity which will but less heat into the work. Good luck.
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:00 PM   #14
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Yea, what they said 6013 would be my choice as you want easy and penetration will happen anyhow. VERY clean ground points etc. As close to the weld area as possible and clamped to the weld material not just touching.

I "flash" when I do this type of weld. "Flash" the electrode ahead of the joint and bring back to puddle continue.... Less concentrated heat.

Stitch weld and let cool and come back.....Preheated metal burns through faster. Practice til you get the feel.

Good luck.
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:42 PM   #15
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try this

A friend of mine arc welds and uses another rod at the same time just like brazing. He uses the second rod to take the arc and lets the puddle run down onto the metal below. Its a timing thing that takes lots of practice but works as the filler rod can be much thicker than the intended welded metal.
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