Cutting with 6011 at 200 amps AC - followup report

I've had a chance to experiment some more with cutting using wet 1/8" 6011 at 200 amps on an AC welder (no DC available, so can't use 6010).
I continue to be pleased with the quality of cut -- not that it is great, but it is far better than expected, with edges that mostly look *cut* rather than simply melted. I've had a chance to experiment some more and wanted to report my findings:
1) It seems to work best if I "push" the rod rather than dragging it (opposite of the normal SMAW technique). It works pretty well cutting flat; it works even better cutting downhill vertically. In either case, I hold the rod at about 30-45 degrees leaning back from the direction of travel, start the arc and let it dig through (with a little push as well), and then push into the direction of the cut, keeping the tip just at or even a fraction below the surface of the metal. (Naturally, in either case, the piece is held above the table in a vise; otherwise I would be welding to and/or cutting the table! Also, one does need to think about where the super-hot molten bits are going to fall ...) Here is an attempt at ASCII graphics: workpiece | / rod cut direction / rod | / <------ / |/ || _____________/_________ | || direction of cut workpiece | \/
2) Speed of travel is important! If I push along just a little too quickly, I leave some bits still connected; if I push along too slowly, I gouge out too much and leave the cut edge more ragged. This is also where it seems to work best to keep the tip of the rod right down in the cut, moving right into the cut as I blast out a place for the rod to go. I would estimate that the cut line is around 1/4" or so when travelling at the optimum speed -- not exactly plasma cutter specifications!
3) So far, I've cut metal of around .1", .125", and .2" with pretty good results. Naturally, the thicker the metal, the slower the travel.
4) Changing the amps up to 225 or 250 did not seem to give any appreciably better results, at least on my machine, using 1/8" rod. I did try some 3/32" rod at 150 amps, and that worked fairly well (and it made a slightly narrower cut), but it tended to heat up the rod too quickly, and to be used up too quickly.
5) Keep the rods wet! I found that it is better to use about 1/2 a rod, then drop it back into the water (AFTER taking it out of the stinger, of course!) and switch to another rod, and then go back and use up the remainder.
To sum up, this has turned into a useful technique for me, since I do not have a plasma cutter or O/A cutting torch. I cut up quite a bit of salvaged bedframe material (cutting off the unusable bits) in pretty short order, and while the resulting edge would not be ready for fitting up a joint, it is good enough to enable me to stack the metal easily, and straight enough not to require too much trimming for when I do need to make a joint. And maybe, if I practiced enough, I just might be able to produce edges that could be used as-is in a joint ... maybe, perhaps, possibly!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.