Please bear in mind I am in the UK. Can get Lincoln rods. Bohler also well-supplied.
Ernie recommended "Lincoln Excalibur" 7018 rods as a good choice - that's right isn't it?
We have DC inverter machines. Wouldn't ever need to use it on AC (well, ability to wouldn't be bad, but dominating interest in good performance on DC).
Bit of context... Hre in UK, all technical colleges here stock nothing but rutiles (6013's). They usually have a tin of 6011's for the pipe-welding unit they teach to heating and ventilation students - but sometimes teach pipe-welding with 6013's anyway.
Want to practice with the rods you would actually use if you were doing commercial stick (SMA/MMA) welding.
Hardly ever run 7018's before. Any advice for someone switching from
That's odd Richard - when I did my welding course at Lewisham Tech last year I had to use 7018's for all the root runs of plate welds - never could get the hang of getting them running - starting the arc on AC was a pain - ok when up and going. Spent hours practising - even got some at home and did it here for homework ! Ah well - our enlightened Government has now forced the cancellation of that course in favour of placements to get 'youffs' off the unemployement register. Probably the same 'youffs' that were flung off my course for being high on pot whilst wielding an oxy-acetylene torch !!!!
Yes but they are DCEP only, and you can only buy it in 50 lb cans in the US, not sure what quantity they would sell in the UK.
BTW 6013 and 7014 are the 2 rods used the most for underwater welding.
First rule of 7018, NEVER NEVER NEVER move it quickly, because you will likely cause a slag inclusion.
7018 is incapable of remelting it's own flux, so move slowly, giving the molten flux time to flow out of your path.
Second rule, 7018 needs a short, short, short arc. Did I mention the short arc? Really short, as in obscure the arc with the end of the rod.
Flat is easy. Drag backhand with an angle between 40 and 70 degrees from the table.
An 1/8" electrode of 7018, 14" long should give you 5 - 6 inches of bead in any position. Convert that to metric as needed. If your beads are longer, slow down. If they are shorter, speed up.
Overhead is identical to flat, only upside down.
Vertical up requires an angle of about 80 degrees from the plate on the lower side, so your electrode is pointed a little bit uphill.
Try to set your practice plates so the top edge of the plate is 1 - 2 inches below your eye level. This way you are always looking down on the weld puddle.
When welding overhead, set your plate about 2 inches above your head. Start the pass with your knees bent. Instead of raising your arms as you progress, just slowly stand up. This tires your arms less.
Normally you will run narrow "stringer" beads. No weave, moving slow. This works for flat, and overhead.
Cover passes require a weave, but again weave SLOWLY,
I do vertical up with a slight weave, no wider than 2 electrode thicknesses total, or around 1/2". Weave slow, I SAID SLOW!!!!. When high quality 7018 is running at just the right speed, the flux should be peeling off below you as you go.
If you travel up too fast you will end up with undercutting on both sides of your bead.
A general rule of stick electrode is that the diameter of your electrode sets your amperage range. The conditions of the weld set where you will be in that range.
Start with 1 amp per each 0.001" of electrode diameter.
So a 1/8" electrode would be 0.125" or 125 amps. You can go 20 amps below and 20 amps above that amperage. So 1/8" electrodes have a range of 105 amps to 145 amps. For vertical up and overhead I like 105 - 110 amps, for a flat weld you can run it a lot hotter.
oh yes it's the bread and butter of mild steel welding. But I how I got to hate those 7018's for root runs - like the little girl - when they were good they were very very good, and when they were bad they were horrid! Our instructor had to go into hospital for a couple of weeks, and we got a substitute who imediately said 'you can't run
7018's on an Oxford AC set - odd as it was all we had to use !!!
The "AC" versions of LoHi are made specifically for the low end buzz box type homeowner machines, that have low open curcuit voltage. Regular LoHi is made to, and does run fine on industrial duty AC welding machines. I know one pipe welder that likes the Lincoln Excallibur, Only one, every one else dislikes the rod including me. None of the Lincoln LoHi rods have ever been favorites in the pipe trades. It will do, but no one really preferes it.
Atom arc is hands down the weapon of choice amoungst the pipe hands in my circle. All of the major brands are very high quality rod, because the Lincoln marketing dept put a neat medievil type name on a rod doesn't make it "high end". User friendlyness is the only distinction of note amoung the major brands. Lincoln LoHi has always required the welder to work harder than the others. Most flat iron welders won't notice a difference.
Interesting. We have many old 10lb. cans of Atom Arc at South Seattle CC in the store room. I have never seen it sold anywhere in Seattle. The stuff we have is all 9018, 10018, and 11018. It has been there for many years. I started teaching there 8.5 years ago and it was old then.
I will have to see if I can get some locally. How does it compare in price to Lincoln?