I can make pretty lines but still cannot join metal.

I can run pretty lines on 1/4 scrap steel using my DC welder EP and EN
with 3/32 6011, 6013, and 7104 rods.
I was even able to drag 6011 which I found very surprising.
The lines are weleded onto the scrap piece OK.
OTOH when I lay one piece on another for joining, the weld might look
OK but when I drop both pieces onto concrete, they separate. It is
plain to see that there was no penetration or'sticking' to one piece or
the other.
I have varied the current from 40 A to 120 A, whipped, weaved,
grounded, etc. but I have failed tgo weld time after time.
Looking for a few pointers.
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Sir, The best advice I was given and I'll gladly pass it on to you- practice, practice, practice. Identify your weak points, put them up here and one of the masters will surely help you as they have helped me. Don't let it get you down. do some reading too. Then take that info onto the shop and in time, it all starts to fall together. I went from a guy with only highschool welding to today, where I make sheetmetal manifolds, custom headers and little pieces of whatever winds up in front of me and I'm no journeyman or expert by any stretch of the imagination. I get so frustrated at times I wanted to toss in the towel but every time I run any type of welding, I know I'm getting better. It's that way for all of us. What are you welding? also are you prepping the materials really good before putting the torch to it? I know I did not answer your questions but I'm just letting you know your not alone. I struggle with some weird stuff and Randy, Ernie, John and a bunch of the guys here got me corrected each time. I spend more time on prepping most of my welds than time on the torch, that was my biggest quality improvement.
Enjoy it brother,
Fraser Competition Engines Chicago, IL. Long Beach, CA. ( Soon!)
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| I can run pretty lines on 1/4 scrap steel using my DC welder EP and EN | with 3/32 6011, 6013, and 7104 rods. | | I was even able to drag 6011 which I found very surprising. | | The lines are weleded onto the scrap piece OK. | | OTOH when I lay one piece on another for joining, the weld might look | OK but when I drop both pieces onto concrete, they separate. It is | plain to see that there was no penetration or'sticking' to one piece or | the other. | | I have varied the current from 40 A to 120 A, whipped, weaved, | grounded, etc. but I have failed tgo weld time after time. | | Looking for a few pointers. | | BoyntonStu
Keep the current up a little. 40A is way too low. 120A a bit on the high side, I think but don't know for sure right off I think you just need to slow down and let the puddle grow as wide as you can. Crank up the current and slow down until you get holes in the work, then back off the current or speed up just a bit. Then practice, practice, practice. For starters, just go straight and flat, don't bother trying to weave or join plates just yet. These come to you when you have the basics down.
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carl mciver
Learn to weld just like you are going to school. Burn 6010. Then burn some more. Then burn some more. When you get good at it, burn some more.
Throw away all those other rods for now. They have specialty applications that vary off the abc's of welding.
When you have burned enough 6010 that you think you are going to have a fit, switch to 7018. Same thing. Burn some rod. Burn some more. Burn some more. About 100# of each should about do it.
If you haven't got the hang of it by then, go on to macrame or massage therapist.
Trying to learn proper welding on 6013 and 7014 is like trying to learn how to drive on a motorcycle. Whatever you learn is only good for a motorcycle.
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Watch the puddle, not the arc. You should be able to see if the puddle is melting into both pieces.
If possible watch somebody else's puddle while they are welding.
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You might be having ground trouble and never actually getting an arc on one piece. Start your arc on the first piece and cross over to the other enough to be sure you're getting current through it. Come back to your joint and watch the front edge of the puddle, you'll see the gap between the pieces melt back as you travel. Watch the front and the molten steel puddle, the slag isn't important- the slag can be hard to tell from the puddle with some rods, the puddle should be sort of flat-surfaced and the slag will show a bit of surface tension at it's edge.
If you get the 6011 pretty hot you should see some digging going on before the puddle fills, look for the joint there. It's real easy to loose your place and just barely miss..
Do you have some weird scrap? That might be the trouble but something hard should at least show some penetration after it breaks apart..
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Steve, I would have said it the other way around -- but then again, I've only been welding a couple of years, so it may just be my inexperience showing. I know from your comments here that you've done all kinds of welding for a long time, so I very much respect your experience.
In my *limited* experience, I would have said that 6013 and 7014 are the general purpose rod for most home/hobby welders, while the 6010/6011/7018 are more specialty rods. Also, I would not want to try to start someone out learning on 6010/6011 -- at least the way I learned it in the one and only class I have taken (obviously, now I'm an expert :), and the way I have used it the last couple of years, these require more practice and technique. The few times I've taught someone to weld, I've started them off with 6013 -- it's easy and forgiving, so that they can concentrate on watching the puddle, moving the rod smoothly (learning how to brace the arm for control), keeping the tip at the proper distance, not moving too quickly, etc. Once they begin to get the hang of a basic stringer bead, then I teach them how to make a stack of dimes with the 6011.
I find 7018 to be not too different from 6013 in terms of how it runs, but most home/hobby welders are not going to need the lo-hydrogen capability, nor are they going to have an oven to keep them dry. But in any case, given the similarity in technique, why would learning how to weld with 6013 be significantly different from learning how to weld with 7018?
Hopefully I am not coming across as a smart-aleck with these questions; I am genuinely wanting to learn. What am I missing or misunderstanding? Thanks,
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Andrew H. Wakefield
Stu, if you could post some pictures to the metalworking drop box, it might help us to diagnose. Post pictures both of your successful flat welds and of your attempted fillet welds. Also, provide details on thickness of steel. Be aware that it takes more amps to make a fillet weld than it does a flat weld.
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Andrew H. Wakefield
"Andrew H. Wakefield" wrote
No offense taken. Perhaps it is rude of me to insist that the way I was taught is the only way to go. One just goes with what they know. There's a hundred different ways to cook a poodle.
In the real world, when you need to REALLY put some metal together, you get out the 6010 and 7018. That was what I was prepared for ....... welding in the oilfield.
But, if you are going to be working with other things, thinner metals, non critical welds, non structural welds, welds that don't have to hold pressure, welds that people's lives and safety don't rely on, there's a hundred ways to do it. None of them right or wrong. Even using the wrong rod for the job, if it's all ya got.
Ultimate test? Will it hold? I've seen forty year old gorilla welds that you need a cutting torch to separate.
I guess I am going to have to get me some of this 6013 and try it so I can give an honest evaluation from having actually burned the rod. In my training, and learning about electrodes, I heard it described as the "sheet metal" rod. Used for thin metals, and left a very attractive bead on top of the metal with enough fusion to keep the metals married. This is a rod that I was never called on to use, as most of my stuff was 1/4" to 1 1/2" thick. Now, if I need to do sheet metal, I use a Lincoln wirefeed, and do sheet metal down to 22 ga.
Were I to train a welder, I would still use the 6010 to 7018 method. I think 6010 is about the easiest and most forgiving rod for thick metal, and 7018 is about the hardest, especially for vertical travel up, and overhead. If you can learn to use these two rods, everything else is pretty easy because you know what to watch for. How to strike the arc ........ what to look for in the puddle ........ whip or not whip ......... boiling out slag inclusions as you go ........... what a slag inclusion looks like in a molten pool ........ many things.
I have always been a fan of buying a machine that is more than you need so you don't grow out of it. I also believe that about training. Don't just get the abc's but learn also how to make words and sentences out of them.
Welding is about as simple or complicated as you want to get. But it's nice to know enough to be able to feel like you can fix something someone brings to you, and do so with confidence. Or tell them you don't think you can fix it.
With welding, a lot of times, you get ONE chance, and you either fix it or destroy it. Having that extra knowledge sometimes makes the difference. And still one learns something new and different every day and from every job.
I know what I know. And I know I don't know much.
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Steve, I absolutely agree, except that cooked poodle has never appealed to me. Now, cooked terrier on the other hand ... :)
Even in the one class that I took, which was *not* a curriculum course, but rather just a continuing ed course designed for home/hobby welders like me, I was taught to use 6010 for the root and 7018 for the rest. I do like what you can do with these rods ... I can't run 6010 at home, since I have an AC only machine (about 50+ years old!!), but I wouldn't want to try to do without 6011, even though mostly I'm welding stock in the 1/8" thick range.
When I took the class, I don't think the instructor started us out on 6010, but I could be remembering wrong -- it's been a while, and I already knew a bit about welding (some of which I had to unlearn, as it was almost all self-taught :), so I didn't start where the absolute beginners did. When you first learned, did they start you out with 6010? As I said, I've found it harder to teach someone starting with 6011, though I think everyone needs to learn it (or 6010) if they're really going to do much stick welding.
Yeah, get some 6013 and see what you think. As I said, I find it to be pretty similar to 7018 in terms of how it handles, except that it's a lot easier to re-start. After a good bit of experimenting, I've actually come back to using 6013 as my main rod, even though I don't usually do sheet metal. I've heard here that you can use 6013 running really hot and fast on sheet metal, but I've actually done better with 6011 on some of the thin (very, very thin!) tubing that I've done -- being able to freeze the puddle gives more control. I do use 6011 whenever there are fitup issues, or I need to ensure more penetration, or I'm in a tight corner where 6013 or 7018 or such is just going to trap slag. Otherwise, for the 1/8" stock I'm usually using, it seems to be overkill to run a root pass of 6011 and then another pass of 6013 or 7018 ... much faster just to run one pass.
Thanks for continuing my education!
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Andrew H. Wakefield
Success! Thanks to your valuable inputs.
I received a small batch of UTP 612 3/32" today and it showed me whaqt a quality rod could do.
It is almost like a caulking gun.
My earlier practice today with Lincoln 6011was getting better because I dwelled longer on trying to melt the base metal instead of trying to make a pretty bead.
I took a piece if 1/4 and layed on a piece of 1/2 and after welding a 1/2" tack they could not be broken apart!
Then I tried it with the German rod and again with the 6011 and I could do it with both.
I feel that by trying to burn through, that it made a big difference.
BTW I am using a Merlin 150 110 VAC welder that I converted to DC.
My side hobby is to improve the lowly 110 VAC welder.
I am feeding it with 110VAC 40 amps. Yes 40 amps.
If you are interested I will describe how to get high current 110 VAC anywhere in 1 minute.
Thanks again,
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If your metal is clean mild steel, beveled if it's 1/4" or thicker, your electrode's positive, your welder dialed high enough to readily strike an arc with the appropriate size 6011 electrode, you're gonna get SOME kind of penetration, even if your technique's less than ideal.
Something's odd about your experience. Using SMAW I've produced 100 ugly welds for every weld that was merely "homely". But I've never produced a stick weld that didn't hold together for it's intended purpose.
Of course, I also recognize my limitations. Therefore, I have not welded any pressure vessels and never mind nuclear reactors.
But everything I've ever built is still in service. And I cannot believe you're a worse weldor than I am. Therefore, I cannot help but wonder if sumpin's wrong with your equipment.
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An "AHA!" moment.
I love "AHA" moments.
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Hmm, it sounds like you've worked out the problem, but in case it reappears -- you may be making it harder on yourself while you're on the learning curve by trying to join 1/2" thick stock to 1/4" thick stock. 1/2" thick may be stretching the capabilities of your welder, even after you've souped it up. I would suggest using coupons (rectangles of stock for practicing on) between 1/8" and 1/4" thick, but try to make whatever you're joining the same thickness. Once you've got that down cold (or, er, hot) then you will get more consistent results trying to join stock of unequal thickness, and/or pushing your machine to its limits.
Don't ask me how I know this!
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Some more practice results.
1> I was able to burn 1/8 6011 on my 110 VAC powered dc welder.
2> My best welds are 3/32 6013 electrode negative ~80 amps. Best means, even width, good side penetration, easy slag removal, good looking. 3> Easiest rod is the expensive 3/32 UTP 612. Runs like a caulking gun. Anyone could weld with it.
4> Also got good results with 7014 3/32 electode negative. Easy to run.
5> 6011 runs ragged and is much harder to control. Like walking an angry pit bull. It goes where it wants to go. Leaves a lot of tan crud over everything.
Since 6013 runs so well for me, could I use it as my all around rod?
I understand that 6013 is a medium penetration rod, but with the electrode neg it seems to penetrate just fine.
I am interested in your experiences in choosing a rod as 'the' rod if there is such a thing.
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6013 is an excellent rod for new work (does not tolerate scale, grease, and paint as well as others eg 6011) on thinner materials (not as much pentration) in non critical applications (only 60k psi). It's my first choice for the 3/16" angle iron and .120" wall square tube projects.
6011 is a good choice for repair work where you have to deal with rust, grease, paint, poor fitup, etc. Move up to the 7014 series for higher strength. Keep in mind that a good weld with a 60kpsi rod will be stronger than a crud weld with a 70kpsi rod. Use what gives you a nice weld with good flowout. Good weld prep (V notch) is a MUCH better idea than trying to "burn it in"
Boynt> Some more practice results.
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Howdy! What enters my mind, is base material cleanliness. Perhaps the smaw method is better with manufacturing slag and mill scale then my lil mig, but it has been my experience that you must get the metal pieces to BARE metal, even where the ground connects for good conductivity. I thought for the longest time after a quick wire wheeling that the steel was good to go. found out later after really looking at it, that there was about a 1/32ths to 1/16th" thick of grey black scale keeping me from getting good penetration. It took about another 2 minutes with a wire wheel, rather then a 30 second brushing over, and I would say it gave me about 20-30% better penetration/welding performance. It also helped alot to do the same where the ground clamp attaches. Just somr thoughts from the peanut gallery! Take care Brian Lee Sparkeee24
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