Thanks, Gunner. I'm really not too sure if it's a problem with anything
other than my lack of experience, which is what I am kind of assuming (only
ran a dozen rods so far). It's getting a little easier, but I do notice
that it's easier to get it going once the rod is hot, so I scratch it a
couple times now before I give it a good try. Hopefully I'll develop a
little more of the touch to keep it at the right level, without pulling it
too far off or sticking it.
Aye, thanks, Iggy. Joining things will be when it gets really interesting,
especially when I pull 'em apart to see what is going on.
As for projects, once I get to where I can reasonably join metal I'm
planning to build a little welding table, then once that is done a rack to
store some of the lumber that is currently in a big disorganized pile; this
will have the added benefit of giving me some more space, which I can always
Thanks, Dave. I tried the "tap"method a few times, but I had a bit more
success wtih scratching first (at least until it gets hot, though). I'll
likely play with some different rods (using 6011 right now) when I burn up
my current supply.
Been following this for some time, and I can remember when I first
started. got the basics, but after talking to a few friends, in the same
boat, we all had a day at our local college.
the sorted us all out ok we are not coded welders, but for our little
bits it all works. Met loads of great guys all having problems, so we
all learnt loads.
Give it a look, you never know, I personally cannot learn by just
reading, I have to have a go as well, and having an expert to hand to
say what's going wrong, and then show you how is the only way for me.
All the best and have fun ;-)
Those aren't bad at all, Jon. They're certainly a lot better than my
first welds were 30 years ago. Keep practicing, you may have "the
They're a bit cold and convex because 60 amps is a bit low for 3/32"
rod. Keep experimenting, you'll quickly discover what works well for
you. I find 6011 a bit aggressive for 1/8" material, while others
would use nothing else. I preferred 6013 or 7014 on thinner metal
like that. YMMV, of course. On the other hand, you might get better
arc stability on the LOW (higher voltage) output of your particular
I'm not sure anybody answered your question 'What is ""undercut?""
I would define it as a little "ditch" between the edges of the "parent"
(the material you're joining) metal and each edge of your weld metal
(the bead). It's sort of a thin line of missing metal.
Think of it as an unborn crack.
J> > Jon,
Thanks, Don. I did try a higher amperage setting the other night, bumped
the rods (5/32 6011) up to 80A. It made a nicer arc, and was easier to
Joining a piece of angle iron to that plate, however, ended up with some of
the angle iron getting "eaten up" by the current. Here's a picture:
Despite the "eating up", the bead did lay down lower, and after a couple of
passes I wasn't able to budge that angle off of the plate by repeated blows
with a good hammer.
Maybe I just need to move a little faster?
That's what I meant when I said I find 6011 a bit aggressive for 1/8"
material. You might find 6013 or 7014 more to your liking for work
with clean 1/8" steel.(Mill scale is still "clean" in this context.)
6011 is great when you need to blast thru rust, crud, petrified
dung, etc on heavier metal. Some call it "farmer rod" for that
reason. The resulting welds may not satisfy a nuclear containment
inspector, but they do get the machinery back in service.
I always used 3/32 and 1/8 6013 and/or 7014 when building stuff out of
1/8" angle and such, about 1 amp per thou of diameter but don't
hesitate to experiment to see what works best for you.
Then I got a 210-amp MIG and haven't burned a stick since. My only
objection to stick welding was the smoke in an indoor shop. Running a
3500 CFM exhaust fan isn't compatible with sub-zero weather, heating
bills being what they are these days.
Next time you try that weld, there are some alternatives to just
pulling the electrode off the metal (which causes the crater
- SLOWLY tilt the electrode to point toward where you intend to stop
and let it backfill there
- Reverse the direction of travel and slowly pull the electrode away
- Let the puddle form at the end, then slowly lift the electrode to
break the arc
- Weld a runoff tab to the end of the joint, stop on the tab and cut
it away after the bead cools
- If you were using a TIG machine with a foot pedal for amperage
control, you would be able to gradually reduce the amperage in place.
I suppose some is better than others. I just buy whatever they have
at the welding store.
Eutectic + Castolin makes some really excellent rods, but they're hard
to find and very pricey.
Email me your snailmail addy and I'll send you a small handful of
6013. It's been sitting on a bench looking for a home for most of a
year now. There's also a couple of sticks of Eutectic 3001 in there. I
don't know what 3001 is, but I do know that everything Eutectic makes
is excellent. There are also a couple of stick of 7018, but it's been
out in the air so it would need to be dried in the oven before using
-- which wouldn't be a bad idea for all of it. Bake it at about 250F
for an hour or so. 7018 can be bitchy to strike, but it sure welds
nice! I'll toss in a few sticks of 7014 too.
That's because 6013 strikes an arc really easily. It's a characteristic
of the electrode. You're also using a higher open circuit voltage than
the electrode strictly needs. People often use 6013 on the 50 V
terminal of an Oxford; it doesn't need 80 V. But try 6011 on the 50 V
terminal and it will stick to the work like crazy. 6011 does need 80 V.
I've been given to understand that drying 7018 is beyond the reach of
mere mortals since it requires something like 700 degrees for some
length of time.
I've always assumed that by the time the rod is half burned the second
half is good enuff.
Randy and I have talked about this in the past. As I recall, the
Zimmer Meister's opinion was that, for the stuff a hobbyist would be
doing, it doesn't really matter that it's not up to code. 7018 is my
favorite rod. But that issue is why I always buy the smallest possible
packages of it.