Cutting with Welding Rod

Ok, I have read refferences to this a coupel times,but somehow it sounds like a shade tree shortcut, like packing an old transmission with sawdust.

How does it work? What kind of cut do you get?

Do you just use soaked rod at your regular settings, or do you crank up the power?

Is it anymore hazardous than welding?... ie steam, explosive vaporization etc?

Bob La Londe

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Bob La Londe
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I tried it. You need to take 6011 rod, wet it in water, and then set your welder to a very high setting, like 220 amp for 1/8" rod.

It works, but the result is very ugly.

Not really, but it makes more sparks and spatter, you would be advised to wear good protective clothing, hat etc.

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Ernie always said to use 6010, but obviously 6011 works too 'cuz Iggy tried it.


Ignoramus13610 wrote:

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Grant Erwin

Now that you said it, maybe it was 6010.

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Depends on the thickness of the material (which rod, settings, etc.) I've cut up to 1/4" with a 7018 and it worked well. I never wetted a rod to cut.

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There are 'special' cutting/gouging rods available, but IMHE they are only marginally better than over powered plain old 6010 DCRP.

It is not a technique for 'fine' or precision work and the results are pretty crude but it can get you out of a tough spot. When I am welding structural work some distance from my rig, I will carry a couple of 1/8" or

5/32" 6010 which can be useful to open up a tight fit or to blast off a 'hanging grape' resulting from losing puddle control on a vertical or OH with 7018. The proper (just a bit hot) setting for welding 7018 seems to work quite well for cutting/gouging with a same or smaller size 6010 (YMMV) and it saves having to stretch out torch hoses or a grinder or to climb down and reset the machine. Wetting the rod does help but is not necessary for a typical small job which will seldom use a complete rod.

It is not a 'code approved procedure' and IMHO should not be used on critical work.

Good luck, YMMV.

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6010 works best for this. 6011 will also work, but will not be as aggressive. Run it DCEN, and dip it in water. The water disassociates into oxygen and hydrogen, which both add to the CO2 and hydrogen produced by the flux to make the arc even hotter. DCEN makes the rod last a little longer, and improves the jetting qualities of the rod to clear the cut.

You can buy special cutting/scarfing rods. I was given some Xergon rod a while back to play with.

What I found was that it had similar cutting/scarfing ability to the

6010, but the Xergon rod's flux seems to make the melted metal less likely to bond back to the base metal, so you get a cleaner cut.

I demo this every month to a new class of students. I use 1/8" 6010 running DCEN at 300 - 400 amps. I can slice 3/4" steel just fine. Use a sawing motion from the top to the bottom of the kerf to clear the dross. Piercing works best if you use a circular motion to melt a large pool (3/4" diameter for 3/4" steel) to start, decreasing the diameter of the motion as you penetrate.

The higher the amperage you use the less of the rod you will be able to use. At 400 amps I get about 1/2 the rod before it lights up like a sparkler.

Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler

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