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
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.
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
Long Beach, CA. ( Soon!)
| 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.
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.
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
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.
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..
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,
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
"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
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
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
I know what I know. And I know I don't know much.
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!
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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
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.
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.
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