overhead welding question

I'm pretty new to SMAW (stick) in the overhead position. I had to practice up on it to pass a state certification test, but I'm still not positive I was doing it
"right" (although I did pass the test). I've been standing looking down the bead, welding towards myself with my hand closer to my nose than the top of the rod, in other words with the rod angled in the normal way. I found this to be difficult, but (barely) doable because I couldn't really see the puddle, which in turn made it harder for me to control my travel speed.
Anyone want to take a crack at telling me how you do it? Looking at images on the Web, I mostly see guys doing exactly what I was doing, /unless/ they are welding away from themselves, which to me would have the rod tilted the wrong way. I had an Air Force-trained instructor swearing to me today that this is the one place where you tilt the rod the wrong way. I simply cannot imagine doing this.
GWE
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You lose your sense of depth very easily with over head. I like to hold the rod so that I am holding my hand knuckles up and fingers down. You run about the same drag angle as when you are running on the flat. I run from far left to near right positioning my head so that I am looking at the joint about 30 degrees off the centerline. That way I get a sense of depth. I do lose sight of the other side of the vee but that is not a big deal if I can at least see a bit of the cooling bead behind my rod. You are doing stringers so once you are going it is just a matter of pacing yourself. I find the last few beads are critical to make sure of a nice cap. Work at getting the next to last passes so that they leave that notch at the corner of the vee. If you lose that it is much more difficult to set your cap passes. This is all E 7018??? Some tests will ask you to run 5/32 since in real life time is everything. Randy
I'm pretty new to SMAW (stick) in the overhead position. I had to practice up on it to pass a state certification test, but I'm still not positive I was doing it "right" (although I did pass the test). I've been standing looking down the bead, welding towards myself with my hand closer to my nose than the top of the rod, in other words with the rod angled in the normal way. I found this to be difficult, but (barely) doable because I couldn't really see the puddle, which in turn made it harder for me to control my travel speed.
Anyone want to take a crack at telling me how you do it? Looking at images on the Web, I mostly see guys doing exactly what I was doing, /unless/ they are welding away from themselves, which to me would have the rod tilted the wrong way. I had an Air Force-trained instructor swearing to me today that this is the one place where you tilt the rod the wrong way. I simply cannot imagine doing this.
GWE
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Yup, all E-7018 1/8", it's what's called for in the Washington Association of Business Owners spec (WABO). Thanks, Randy. Wish I'd asked 3 weeks ago! - GWE
R. Zimmerman wrote:

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1/8th is straightforward :')) Worst overhead test I heard about was on a dam project. The test piece was positioned overhead in the booth before candidates were let in. The plate was tipped so that alternate corners were high and low. If you didn't spot it your puddle would run across the seam ruining the weld. The test was to measure one's ability to adapt quickly rather than one's ability to weld overhead. There were too many candidates for the available jobs so this eliminated many. Randy

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On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 15:54:43 -0700, Grant Erwin

I'm definitely not certified in any way and I'm pretty much self taught so the following is just my opinion from 25 years of trying to figure this art out.
Regarding the tilt I can't say for sure. Usually when I'm doing a overhead I'm in a position that doesn't allow me any flexibility with tilt so I just go with what's available. It's not unusual for me to tilt in the "backhand" direction slightly with 7018 anyway. There's a definite limit to how much you can tilt but a slight say 5 deg tilt has been beneficial to me on overhead welds in the past. Now that's usually just with a single stringer bead on thinner stuff than you're welding and is definitely without any inspection requirements so it might well fail a proper test.
However I do feel that I do a better job if I weld away from me so I can see the puddle. Attempting to do it toward me usually ends up in a mess. Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX http://members.dslextreme.com/users/waynecook/index.htm
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