# Amperage by rod diameter or base metal thickness?

• posted
Howdy,
I bought myself a box of rod today, 3/32" 6013. I will be using this for
welding angle iron that is 1/8" thick with an AC buzzbox.
The recommendation for rod of this thickness is 30 to 80 amps, but I have
also read the rule of thumb to use an amp per mil of base metal (125A for
1/8" metal, for example).
So, for welding 1/8" angle iron, should I go with the max recommended for
the rod (80A), or the recommendation for the base metal (125A)?
I'm kind of assuming I'll want to use 80A, but since I'm a newbie at this
any advice is very useful.
Thanks for any insight into this,
Jon
• posted
30 amps seems very low to me. 80 amps even seems a little low, but then I very rarely run 6013 and extremely rarely run AC. I think trying it at around 80 amps would be a good place to start, but I personally wouldn't hesitate trying it a little hotter too.
Grant
• posted
Try it at 65 amps AC to start. Thats right in the range I run 3/32 6013 on my Dialarc 250
Gunner
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• posted
The amperage rule is applied differently to stick welding than TIG welding. It is applied to the electrode diameter, not the base metal thickness.
1/8" welding electrode = 1/8" wire = 0.125" = 125 amps midrange. You can go from 20 amps colder to 20 amps hotter, or 105 amps to 145 amps.
3/32" = 0.094" = 94 amps, or 74 amps to 114 amps.
You rarely run electrodes in the higher range, but you can if you must.
The most practical range for a 3/32" electrode is 75 to 95, and for 1/8" electrode, 105 to 125.
• posted
Thanks for the information, guys, it is all very helpful for me.
And Ernie, thanks for setting me straight WRT the rule of thumbs there; it makes a whole heckuva lot more sense now.
Jon
• posted
The amperage required will also change based on the type of rod you use. A 1/8" 6010 runs at around 85 amps, where as the same size 7024 needs closer to 160 amps. So for stick, it's the rod size and type that are the major factors in setting amperage.
Here's a document from Miller that includes a chart for amperage range for different size and type electrodes on page 9: