Welding Rod Assorment

Hello, I've trolled this newsgroup for awhile, and posted once or twice in the past. I was hoping someone could point me towards an assortment of
welding rods for a stick welder. I have a pretty old one, but it works well enough for me. The only problem, is I'm not familiar enough with welding to know what rods I need for what project/metal I'm working on. I mostly work on any scrap I can afford so it's nothing very nice. I know welding rods aren't very expensive, but I hate to have to buy a bunch of types. I was hoping someone sold like a variety pack so I could get a bunch of different sizes/types. It doesn't have to be very big, maybe 10-20 rods of each type. Does anyone sell anything like this? I tried some online welding supply stores and Harbor Freight, but none of them had anything like what I was looking for. Sorry if this is an easy question, but I'm not familiar with most of the welding stores and such. Thanks
-Zipper
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Zipper wrote:

What is the amp-range? AC only or AC/DC?
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Zipper wrote:

AC only machine or AC/DC?
I'd suggest getting a box of E7018 and E6011 for normal use on AC. There are stainless and iron welding rods out there that can be had in small quantities if you need them, but those two rods should do for about everything.
I'd suggest to you, that having a whole pile of different rods is not worth the trouble, as you will have to adapt your welding to each different rod you try. I usually find that I start to get good practice welds with a type of rod right about the time I run out of it.:-)
Cheers Trevor Jones
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One problem with 7018 rod, it has to be DRY DRY to work worth a damn. keep it a sealed container. Then once/ summer, when the SO is gone all day, throw it in the oven at 600 for four hours with the windows open. BTW I did this once, she came home early, and I nearly had to go sleep in the dog house.
I like 7011 because it really burns in for strong deep weld penetration.
I like 6013 for pretty welds on thinner metal, doesn't burn in like 7011 so you won't burn a hole in the metal.
I like 7014 because its by far the easiest to weld rod, just drag it along. Its great to fill in that hole you burned in something.
BTW, dry these other rods also. Trying to use wet rods will cause all sorts of troubles you don't need. The other rods don't take near as high a temp to dry out, and don't pick up moisture as bad.
Karl
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Karl Townsend wrote:

Yep this would be my exact recomendation as well . 6011 for deep welds and the 6013 and 7014 for shallow stuff . Plus with the last two almost anyone can run them pretty easy . I have 7018 but seems like I never grab it . You can buy rods by in one lb. batches but that way is real pricy . You do not say how big your welder is but you not only need to know what type of rod to go buy but also the diameter . I think you will probably want 3/32 or 1/8 . Luck . Ken Cutt
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Well I went ahead and bought 3 boxes 6011 3/32, 6013 1/8, and 7014 1/8 from Welding Depot, all three boxes were 5 pound boxes, not sure how many that is though. The total including shipping and some 9 dollar "leather" gloves came to $41.41. Thanks for the help, not really sure what those numbers mean though, hmmm, time for more reading. Thanks again.
-Zipper
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Zipper wrote:

Well now is the fun part . Take the time and just do some playing around rather then launch right into a project . Run bead of each next to each other at different settings and mark it all down as you go . My guess is every hour spent playing now will save a lot of time down the road . Best of luck Ken Cutt
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As others have asked...what kind of machine. A common 6013 or 6011 of 7018 should be about all the rods you would need for just about any welding projects. They have got to be about the most used and common rods made. Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wifes, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
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FWIW, when I got my AC-only machine, I picked up a selection of 6011, 6013, 7014, and 7018AC in various sizes. I find that I use 3/32 7014 the most, closely followed by the same size 7018AC, and all the rest a far far distant 3rd 4th etc. This is for random objects out of 1/8" angle, and the like.
HTH, --Glenn Lyford
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I have hardly any experience with a variety of rods - 6013 works just fine for the things that I want to do (frames of things using steel pipe, square tube, and angle. 1/8" mostly). 3/32", sometimes 1/8". Bob
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Bob Engelhardt wrote:

That's rod size.
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I checked out a "local" welding supply and they wanted about $60 to $80 for 50 # containers (all the same) or they'd sell the rods at $3 / #.
Harbor Freight has some at $1 to $2 / # (? average). I think I saw (online) some 1# packages, 2# or 5#. This might be a good way to pick up a variety without breaking the bank. :-)
In case Wal-Mart is much closer than other sources, you just might find - especially in the Super Stores -- a few welding rods. I was surprised to see in one today that they had 5# pkgs. of 6013 and ? 7011 in 1/8" only at about $7.78 / pkg. They also had roll wire (? 4#) with flux (? 20.00) and solid about 5 or 6 dollars. No great variety, but it might allow you to finish a job sometime if you run out of rods.
http://www.metalwebnews.com/howto/weldrod.html has "A BASIC GUIDE OF ARC WELDING ELECTRODES" which will help you decide which electrodes to use for various positions and the heat to use with each.
Nope. I don't know of anyone that sells the "variety pack" of rods you seem to be interested in. It might be a good way for some electrode mfg. to pull in some extra business though.
Al
Zipper wrote:

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Al Patrick wrote:

Must be a regional thing . Here they sell 50 lb tins , by the lb. but the most common way is in 10 or 11 lb boxes . I think I pay around 13 to 15 Can for a 10/11 box of the more common rods unless they are real small diameter then the price goes way up . Nirod , yikes I cringe when I have to go buy that stuff . So if anykind hearted soul is giving nirod away sign me up ;-). Ken Cutt
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Ive either gotten bad rod from HF, or its simply bad rod. Never bought any that was worth a poop.
Also check Ebay. Often the prices are good enough that even with the shipping, its cheaper than out of the store. If you have a seller in your area who will allow pickup, you can buy a lot of rod really cheap.
I got 150lbs of 7018 and 6011 for $35 total from such a seller.

Gunner
"To be civilized is to restrain the ability to commit mayhem. To be incapable of committing mayhem is not the mark of the civilized, merely the domesticated." - Trefor Thomas
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Right you are. HF rods are made in India. They're crap.
Northern Tool sells Hobart rod in small packages. Good stuff, but rather expensive in the small one pound and five pound packaging. You don't know how long it has sat on their shelf, either. Known fresh rod is preferred, so it is better to buy from a welding supply house that moves a lot of rod.
The best place to buy rod is a real welding supply store which stocks Lincoln Fleetweld 180, Fleetweld 37, Jetweld LH73, and Excaliber 7018HR rods. Those are the best rods for a machine with low OC voltage. All of them will tolerate being run on AC, though DC+ works better.
Jetweld LH73 is the easiest low hydrogen rod to restrike, so it is great for tacking up stuff that benefits from being welded with a low hydrogen rod. But Excaliber burns better, and is my choice for difficult low hydrogen welding.
Buy these rods in 1 or 5 pound quantities unless you have a rod oven. They need to be kept *very dry* once the sealed packaging is opened. Without an oven, the only way to do that is to *use* them immediately.
Fleetweld 35LS is probably the best 6011 rod, but Fleetweld 180 runs better on small machines. You'll probably want to buy this in 50 pound cans. Fleetweld 37 is the 6013 rod of choice for those with small welders. Very easy runner. You'll also want to buy this in 50 pound cans.
These latter rods have a cellulose cover, and actually benefit from a little moisture. Don't leave them out in the rain, but you don't have to take any elaborate precautions to keep them dry. As long as they aren't dripping and rusting, they'll be fine. So don't worry about having to use them up immediately when you open the can.
Gary
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Thanks, sorry I forgot to mention my welder. It is an old Craftsman welder, it can go from I think 15 or 25 to 300 Amps. It's actually a pretty nice one. It only does AC at 60hz, so I don't get any of the nice higher frequencies of the newer welders, but it still does a good job. Almost all my work will be with Steel/Iron around 1/8-1/4. I'm trying to do some aluminum, and I got a cheap welder from Harbor Freight, but, well it's cheap, so it doesn't work so well, but I'm not very good at MIG welding anyway. Thanks for the suggestions, I'm going to go look on Harbor Freight for some of those sizes. Sorry it took so long to respond, haven't been able to get to the computer till now. Ohh yes, to the person who suggested drying them out in the oven, when you said windows open did you mean the house windows or the oven window. I would assume house windows as I've never heard of someone leaving the oven window open (seems like that you cause a lot of trouble), but then again there are a lot of things I do not know. Thanks.
-Zipper
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Zipper, sounds like you are working in the same sizes of steel as I am, and with a similar type of machine (AC only). As others have said, 6011, 6013, 7014, and 7018AC would all be good choices. I find that I can get a decent price on 5# or 10# boxes at Lowe's, Home Depot, Northern Tool, or Harbor Freight (usually $7-$10 for a 5# box, and $10-$15 for a 10# box, depending on type and size of rod). Lowe's and HD sell Lincoln brand rod (at least they do around here), while NT and HF usually sell a Hobart brand. HF also sells no-name Chinese rods; I've tried one package of 6011, and it runs okay, but I don't entirely trust it. I find that I mostly use 3/32" rods; the only 1/8" rod I use routinely is in 6011.
I like to run a stitch pass with 6011 to "seal" the fitup and to ensure a deeper penetration. I then grind this pass down to get the ridges out, and then run a stringer using 7018 or 6013 (or 7014, but I don't use that rod very often). For thicker metal (1/4" or 3/8"), I normally run more than one stringer pass, rather than stepping up to a larger rod and trying to do it all in one pass. Yes, it is more work doing it this way than simply running a single bead, but I've found that making the first pass with 6011 virtually eliminates the problem I used to have with nasty slag inclusions, particularly with inside fillet joints. Sometimes I would think I had run a perfect bead with, say, 6013, only to find out, after I chipped the slag, that I had laid down weldment on either side of the joint, with a bunch of slag stuck right in the middle. A welding instructor told me that slag gets trapped in the corner (or in a pocket of poor fitup), and then the weldment flows right around it. With 6011, though, you have very little slag, and the rod penetrates right through, so you can seal off any poor fitup. The only thing is, you really have to do a stitch weld with 6011; just trying to run a stringer will leave deep gouges, in my experience.
Speaking of experience, please note that I am a relative newbie -- I've been welding as a hobby for about a year, and have taken one class. It may be that someone with better technique than I have can successfully run a single bead of 6013 or 7018 in a fillet joint and have it come out perfectly every time. For that matter, it may be that I could do that now that my own technique is so much better than it was 6 or 8 months ago; hmmm, I'll have to give it a try ...
Finally, I hate to disagree with a previous poster, since I don't have years and years of experience ... but as I understand it, 6011 and 6013 rods actually need a little moisture in them to run properly. I think the same may be true of 7014. In any case, the only rod that I would bother to dry (or have ever seen put in a drying oven) is 7018 or similar.
HTH,
Andy

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Andy,
I'm not a welder, though I've burned a few rods. Just getting back into trying to do a tad of welding on a hobby basis now. However, I used to work maintenance and electrical support for some VERY large construction projects. There ALL rods were kept in a drying oven until needed. When needed in the field some would be delivered to the welder's little personal upright oven he kept plugged in near his work area. The size and type were his choosing, or those of the specs. He'd only carry a few in his leather pouch to use as he needed them. Some of the metals had to be pre-heated to set temperatures prior to doing the welding. I don't expect ANY moisture is required in the rods, but I could be wrong.
Al
=================================Andy Wakefield wrote:

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6010, 7010, 8010 and other cullulose rods are never kept in an oven. They require a small percentage of moisture to operate properly. That's why cellulose rods are not stored with lo hi rod, at least not properly. This is pretty common knowledge as easily verified.
JTMcC.

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