Help! My Project is a disaster

Hi all,

I recently took up welding. I've started with ARC welding as its the cheape st and most accessible. I spent a few days getting the hang of laying down beads with 6013 rod (the dominant rod they sell where I live.. Spain). Firs t I just practiced putting beads on top of somethign, then I practiced some square butt joints. After some practice I was pretty satisfied with the re sult and so as with anything you're learning, I find its best to have a pro ject in mind. In my case, I decided to build a custom luggage rack for the roof of my car.

I purchased iron square tubing, 25x25cm and 20x20cm with 1.5mm wall thickne ss (measurements converted to imperial below for reference). I experimented with two types of rod, both 6013 in 2.5mm and 2.0mm sizes.

In building the frame with many crossbars, I was trying to do fillet welds. As you can see from the pictures, its a big heaping sloppy mess and I coul d use some tips. I've read through a lot of forum posts previously talking about welding thin square tubing. I seem to come across conflicting informa tion though.

Let me describe my experience first:

- With the tubing being so thin, I tried always setting amps to as low as t he rod would allow. With 2.5mm I set it around 65-70 With 2mm I set it arou nd 30-35.

- Most advice was to use a thinner rod, but for whatever reason I found the 2mm rod harder to control and would burn much more quickly and violently, even at 30 amps.

- The 2.5 rod seemed easier to control puddle

- To avoid burning through the metal (which I did at first), I did multiple short passes rather than try to lay a bead across the length of the fillet .

- Mostly i kept my rod angle around or above 45%. If I kept it above 45, it got too hot, if i went beyond 45 to say 60 or 70 it got messier.

The results:

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Direct links:

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Well the pictures show a lot already. I pretty much failed every sign of a good weld.

Lots of undercut, no penetration, porosity...

I'm surprised however that despite all this, the welds still seem to hold u p. I put all my weight on each bar and jumped on them and they did not budg e. I also used a ratchet tie down by wrapping it around the cross bars to t ry and squeeze them together with as much force as I could get the ratchet action to make and they also held up.

Anyway, thats my story. I'm really enjoying learning welding but this exper ience was discouraging! Any tips would be appreciated!

many thanks in advance

Conversion table:

25cm = 1 inch 20cm = .78 inch (almost 4/5ths) 1.5mm = 1/16th inch
Reply to
A. Peled
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It appears to me that you are having trouble seeing just where the weld material is being deposited . Most of your welds really need to be ground out and redone ... but first , cut some small pieces of the stock you're using and practice with a strong (halogen maybe?) light shining over your shoulder . You'll be amazed at the difference the light makes in how well you can see the weld puddle . Works for me , and I've been welding (mostly poorly) for many years .

Reply to
Terry Coombs

I've done exactly that back in the day. I discovered I seemed to be able to weld better outside in direct sunlight so I tried to always do that, but once when I really needed to weld something at night I fired up my 1000watt halogen work light and it was almost as good. Finally giving in to autodark technology has made me less dependent on the sun since then.

Reply to
Bob La Londe

You need to practice on junk before you start welding your real projects. What you want to do is doable.

Reply to

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