have Lincoln Bullet - what rods, techniques?

Hi everyone
At last have got hands on a Lincoln Bullet. Reckon is 500A version.
What rods should I be getting?
I believe Lincoln 5P is where you really see where it's at with an
inherently DC welding generator.
Not 5P+. The modern rod to use with an inverter?
Any suggestions for technique and things I should try?
A suggestion already made is - on a given Amps, try welding across the full range of the "voltage slope" control. That I should really see what this control does - and hence understand what it does.
The machine is standing there and I'm keen to see what it will do.
Suggestions and guidance?
Rich Smith
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wrote:

6011, 6013, some 6010
They work fine on DC.
Gunner

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!!!
I asked this question back in September 2006 as "instructions on using Lincoln Bullet" and there were great responses - thanks guys.
I'd seen this same machine but my path has been long to the events which have taken me back to where it is.
Rich Smith
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IMHO, you have the right idea that the secret to stick welding is slope management. Understanding the interplay between volts, amps and arc length is often difficult to describe and many good welders have a more rules/procedure based understanding of how to obtain desired results. Those of us with a more ceribreral learning style need to understand the theory and physics behind the processes we seek to perform.
I was unable to learn to make consistently smooth aircraft landings until one day when I could visualize the lift/drag formula like it was a heads up display of the calculations changing in real time on the windscreen as I performed the final flare. From then on landings were easy and (usually) smooth.
The family of Lincoln welders often called the 'bullet' series are normally motor generators in 300, 400, and 500 amp capacities but the same generators were also available engine driven. IIRC the generator was developed during WW2 specifically to burn the low hydrogen rods developed to solve weld cracking problems in construction of the Liberty ships. These generators are IMHE probably the best straight DC power source ever developed but require a powerful engine which uses lots of fuel and are usually considered too heavy for mobile mounting on a small truck, and in a stationary installation are very noisy and require much more maintenance than transformers. Their DC only output is also a limitation. The 200 amp 6090 engine driven units so loved by pipeline rig welders are not really the same design but are very similar and are much lighter.
Of the various 'bullets', IMHO the nicest for general and pipe work is the 300 amp model. The larger capacity units are still good but are optimized for the higher heat outputs required for really large rods. I suspect that a 500 amp unit will really like 1/4" 7018 and would be great for 7024 'Jet' rod and 7028 and others with high iron powder content in the coating. Unfortunately these big high power rods can suffer from arc blow when used with DC and have mostly been replaced by AC and automated processes such as subarc.
I suspect that you will do most of your work at the very low end of the power available scales.
Good luck, YMMV
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I would add that you will learn a LOT more when welding 'out of position' and suggest that when possible you position your simple welds in more difficult positions. Vertical and 45 overhead is hardest for most especially when weld is judged by appearance.
Remember that 'the way to Carnegie Hall is practice, practice, practice.' The trick is not to practice mistakes or poor procedure.
Hint, when welding 'out of position' with an adjustable slope power source it is often helpful to turn the heat (amps) up and the volts down then keep a very short arc and travel faster as you have increased the burn off rate.
Good luck, YMMV
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Hi Private
Thanks for hints.
That one about higher amps / lower volts for positional is one I'll try and see.
I take it therefore that lower current high volts is the way for ripping penno especially on the flat?
I know the one about having a multi-dimensional model in your head of the process you are doing. That's why spray MIG and cellulosic stick came easy to me - which is diametrically opposite to what many others reckon. I have struggled more with "easier" processes where "it comes with experience". As someone says "You think too much!".
Thanks
Rich Smith
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@weldsmith4.co.uk says...

Ha! I'm the same way, unless it involves a mirror. If I'm mirror welding something, I have to turn the brain off. Should I start thinking about how to move, I'll screw it up every time. If I just move according to what I see in the mirror without thinking about it, it usually ends up looking better than welds done right in front of my face.
--
Tin Lizzie
"Elephant: A mouse built to government specifications."-Lazarus Long
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Like lawyers say, the answer is 'it depends', on base metal thickness, rod size, preheat and more, but in general the answer is yes. Crank up the volts and you can cut or gouge with 6010, it isn't pretty but sometimes it can save a lot of work pulling OA hose. Handy to remove a couple of grapes but can cause porosity. It also helps when the base metal is heavily rusted or painted. High volts can inrease arc blow. Will also make it easier to strike an arc.
snip

Usually someone who doesn't.
Once muscle memory and sound and visual clues are learned then less thinking is required.
Good luck, YMMV
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