I was welding something (thick metal), welding inside corner,
vertical, travel up, with E7018, 1/8" rods, going upwards, 110 amps or
The weld ended up being functional, but with a couple of steel
"icicles", kind of. The weld looks runny, in other words. They look
bad and I want to learn how to avoid them. Any ideas?
Weaving at all? Or vertical stringers? If weaving, try running a
little cooler, like around 90 to 100 Amps, swing quickly through the
middle, hold the sides a moment longer. If you're running stringers,
treat it like a narrow, fast weave.
Donkey dongs usually appear cause your base metal got too hot. Try
backstepping the joint once you've got all your tacks on. Start welding
an inch or two down from the top, going up. Then run your next bead
from a few inches below the prior start, going up. This way you're not
welding into extremely hot metal, but you're still burning into your
starts and stops, cleaning them up as you go.
Verticals can be tricky, and most people (myself included) had the most
trouble with them vs. the flats, horizontals, and overheads.
Aha, Grashopper. You have reached a plateau. Welding 7018 travel up
involves making what I call a "shelf", and each successive bead has to be
stacked on the previous shelf. Rod angles are critical, as is watching
puddle formation and rate of travel. Try speeding up a little, and maybe
reducing amperage .......... Obviously, the drip is from deposition of too
much metal, or melting away some previously deposited metal.
I'm interested in how Ernie is going to try to explain it to you. I could
show you, but words fail me. Welding a test plate of 1" thick with an open
root was always a favorite test of mine .... left ...... pause .... right
..... pause .... etc etc etc........ when you get to the last pass, you're
pouring on some metal.
I was pulling my hair out on 1" plate. Then this old Navy welder, my
instructor, showed me. He said he always let students fight with it to see
if they were serious about learning it by keeping at it. He helped those
who didn't give up. Yeah. Swing across, but pause on the side to tie it
in, and form the new puddle for heading back.
Burn more rod.
That's a common problem with people in the learning phase. A few cans of rod
usually cure the problem as you become familiar with what you're looking at
the results of your movement.
There are several things going on in a proper stick weld, everybody knows
the variables, arc length, rod angle, weave width, weave speed, speed of
progression, pause duration, heat, material thickness, amount of heat
already in the material, on and on it goes.
Arc time is the only way for the variables to become second nature where the
welder just welds and the results are all groovy.
Welding is a art where there is no magic bullet (and learners are always
looking for one), rods must be burnt. There's no special speed, no magic
weave, no special "setting".
Some people get it rather quick, some take a lot more practice time and some
people will just never get slick with stick.
It's a lot like drawing, everybody can get better but not everybody can get
really good. ALMOST everybody can become "somewhat" competent given enough
rod to burn.
A slick welder can see what's happening in the puddle as it happens and
knows what the bead looks like before cleaning it off. That is just a result
of watching many rods burn down. You should be able to see the puddle well,
and know the shape you're leaving as you make it.
Most of the the action is happening at the trailing edge of the puddle.
That's where you will see too much or too little deposition and that's what
the finished product will look like. That, plus the edges where you'll see
the wetting in and tieing in (and undercut that's not getting filled) of the
outer edges, but that's best viewed again toward the trailing edge of the
puddle. Really the only thing you're seeing up toward the front of the
puddle is if your heat's too high and you're digging more than you can fill
but you can see that at the back as well.
From your comment about welding vertical and not being able to see the
puddle, I'd say THAT'S your biggest problem and where you should spend your
time. Learn to see it, it's there, and it'll become quite a bit easier.
Experience will tell you what final shape you are leaving then.
Nobody can make a slick weld if they can't see the puddle and determine what
the final bead profile will look like, while they are putting it in.
What you say is true, but I'd only add one thing. I had my biggest
breakthrough in vertical up 7018 after the instructor had let me burn a lot
of rods, THEN showed me in five minutes how to do it right. It was like
getting the secret password. I probably would have gotten there, but he
watched me, then showed me where to pause, how to travel, and corrected the
little things that were giving me goobers. I've always said I could show a
guy how to weld much faster than I could teach him how to.
Yep. I struggled a lot with vertical-up, and occasionally still do. A
lot depends on your frame of mind, too. I am my own worst enemy, when I
lack patience. Most of the time I just want to weld the joint complete
and get the heck out of a cramped little space. I have to keep a tight
rein on myself and curb my impatience or I get the joint too hot,
Unfortunately, we have a saying in the Yard- "There's never time to do
it right, but there's always time to do it twice." It sounds terrible,
and I hate the waste, but I've seen it happen to many people who cave to
the pressure from bosses or competitive peers. IMHO, practice and
patience are the true lessons learned from welding.
If your boss rides you about "progressing the job" or somesuch,
tactfully reminding him that he could spend 8 hours getting a good weld,
or 24 getting a crappy weld, grinding it out and restoring the joint,
then welding it up again, usually reminds them that quality is more
important than quantity.
Quality comes with practice and patience, quantity comes with
Great post JTMcC, I agree with Steve about the value of mentoring and
demonstration after practice. It is easy to see who here has spent
significant time 'under the hood'.
The only thing I would like to add is the concept that rod angle is 3
dimensional. One of the frequent characteristics of good vertical weldors
is that they have fluid wrists and continually change the rod angle to point
from side to side as they work on each corner of the weave. This seems to
allow the center to cool while causing the edge of the puddle to tie in to
the corner very well and is particularly helpful when in a corner or deep
A man on his first visit to New York asks a local how to get to Carnegie
Hall. The local answers "Practice and more practice".
Oh was that my cue?
Sorry, got distracted.
7018 vertical up.
1/8" electrode, 105 - 115 amps.
1/8" arc length, rod up angle of 10 - 15 degrees from horizontal.
The single most important thing to remember is that you have to use the
entire 14" electrode in 5" - 7", in any position.
If you finish a 6" bead and have 3" of rod left over...too fast.
If you burn the whole rod in 4"...too slow.
1" structural weld tests use a 5" wide test plate, so 6" of weld gets
you on and off the plate.
I tell my students to g for a consistent speed.
try not to second guess your travel speed mid-rod.
Boogers or icicles are caused by either too long of an arc length, or
too much heat, either from a high amperage or too many previous welds.
Be careful of weaving too wide.
It is really easy to get slag inclusions.
I advocate a "wiggle" rather than a weave.
a Wiggle is where the weave is no wider than 2 electrodes side by side.
The rod can go from the center of one rod to the center of the other
It is very useful as an incrementally wider bead when filling deep
My contribution to the subject - writing etc. more "stream of
concience" than Hunter S Thompson (of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"
and other classics).
I reckon "side to side solidification" is the thing - you have about
1/4 of the molten metal in existence at any one time as when you are
"clueless" and have a complete liquid ledge.
Also - it is as if slag "sheds" just as pool solidifies (no proof or
scientific demonstration, but looks that way). Well, if so,
additional reason why have "alternate freeze".
When you are doing this technique, you are always looking at the side
you have just departed - and as soon as it solidifies you switch the
arc back to that side and switch your visual focus to the other just
completed side - again looking to switch sides at the moment of
solidification of that "other" side.
Here is a "stream" of my learning - more like a personal diary - for
Vert-up see last three from "By mid-June 2008"
This is all done with Rutiles (6013's) because of UK majority use of