I just bought a Miller 225/150 AC/DC stick machine.
I'm using 3/32 6013 recommended by the sales person to weld 1/4 thick
When I butt it together I grind the ends to form a V about 45 deg to
about half the metal thickness. This is 4 x 4 x 1/4 tube and at some
point I will also be welding it butted side by side where the rounded
corners will form sort of a V.
I started out running at 80 amps DCEP and have been playing with
various settings up to 100 amps.
The problem I'm having sometimes is that I get pockets of flux trapped
down inside the weld. Cranking up the current seems to make it less of
a problem but I suspect that operator error is really the culprit
here. I don't want to get into the habit of fixing everything with
Also when I try to run a first bead "root pass??" without weaving I
get a weld that looks like a worm laid on the metal.
The metal is used and painted but I grind the weld area clean.
I suspect that this will be difficult without being able to see what
I'm doing but any help would be appreciated.
With quarter inch wall you should be using 1/8 th electrode. E 6013 can be
used AC or DC any polarity. I would try AC to avoid arc blow.
At around 125 amps you should be able to use a drag technique if you
like. If you are doing a side by side ( double flare preparation) I would
be up around 140. Slag inclusions indicate improper electrode manipulation
or arc blow. With 3/32 diameter the rod would require a weaving motion in
order to ensure the puddle covers the joint and fills properly.
On top of what Randy said I would add that 6013 is a low penetration
rod that is best suited to thin materiels.
I would prefer 7014 over 6013 for what you are doing.
It is better at penetraion and leaves very pretty welds.
It is best suited to pipe and tube fabrication of clean metal.
And definitely move up to 1/8" rod.
The work will go faster and you will have fewer inclusion problems.
A good selection of rods to have:
6013 - 1/16", 3/32"
Low pen all position, very ductile weld, great for sheet metal seams.
6010 - 3/32", 1/8"
The king of penetration, extremeley agressive will weld through paint,
grease, rust, dirt, zinc...anything.
6011 - 3/32", 1/8"
The best general purpose rod around.
Good penetration, very good at dealing with dirty metal.
Requires a whipping motion to get pretty welds, but works either way.
7014 - 3/32", 1/8"
An excellent rod for simple pipe and tyube structures.
Better penetration than 6013, with a little more strength.
7018 - 3/32", 1/8"
For critical structural welds where it really matters.
Must be stored sealed and dry or heated.
6013 and 7014 are the easiest to make pretty welds with.
6010 is your best friend when dealing with repairs on old rusty or
6011 takes some practice to make pretty , but is an excellent rod for
Buy 7018 is small packages and leave it sealed until you need it.
All of these rods are all position.
Thank you both for all the help.
Looks like I will be buying some 7014 and 6011 at least.
Ernie, you said that all of the rods you listed are all position. Are
they also both AC and DC?
Randy, when you said you would use 140 amps for the side by side I
assume that was with 1/8 rod. I would rather learn to maintain the
proper arc length than go to a drag technique.
I know my technique needs work and lots of practice. Right now I start
at the right side of the joint (I'm left handed) and tilt the rod
holder to the left about 15 to 20 deg (by my estimation) and weld from
right to left.
I was going through the manual that came with the welder and it
suggested using a 30 deg angle (60deg included) when Ving a joint. I
will give that a try as even with the 3/32 rod I didn't get the
feeling there was enough room to get the rod to the metal that was
butted together. Also is taking the V down to where there is still 1/8
inch of metal that butts together ok or should I make the butt portion
Finally (for now) what is arc blow and if you can see it when running
a bead what should I look for?
You get arc blow when running DC. The DC current flow through the piece
creates a magnetic field which causes the arc to wander and in extreme
cases can cause it to be extinguished. I have had it on occasions with
TIG because that what I do with DC. I would try repositioning the return
somewhere else and see what effect it has.
Double flare groove joints don't need any grinding. They are what is called
a "natural preparation" Your thirty degree bevel on both sides is good
enough in most cases for butt joints.
If for some reason you feel the need to get 100 percent penetration on
a butt joint you would bevel at 30 degrees down to a 1/16 inch land then set
a gap of at least 1/16 at the root. You install a short ring on the inside
of the tube before tack welding together. Open roots with no backing ring
are required for piping carrying fluid. For structural a backing ring is
Your rod position is about right. My 140 amps suggestion is on the high
side and suited for drag technique with 1/8th.
Arc blow is a magnetic filed effect that bends the arc as if a breeze is
blowing it around. The problems is aggravated by holding a long arc.
repositioning the ground clamp sometimes helps. Other tactics such as
wrapping the ground lead around the work can be tried.
You don't get arc blow with AC current since the magnetic field is
I noticed that you are using electrode negative on DC. I prefer it for
E 6013 but many people do all their stick work with electrode positive.
I hesitate to add anything to what Randy and Ernie have said; they both
know far more than I do. But it sounds as though you are just starting
with stick welding, and I have been on that learning curve over the last
year or so, so perhaps I can add a couple of cents worth --
I have found that 6013, while a beautiful, easy-to-use rod on a flat
surface, easily produces the the kind of problems you describe with any
sort of fillet (particularly the slag inclusions). Like you, my initial
response was to turn up the heat, and that did help ... but as I've
learned more I've realized that the problem had more to do with technique.
If you do not stay ahead of the puddle--if you jiggle back a
little--you can easily get slag into the puddle, and that slag acts like
crayon on an easter egg -- all the weldment parts around it. Likewise,
just the other day I learned something from Randy (thanks, Randy!) -- if
you pull the rod too far back (too long an arc), it results in
insufficient shielding and that leads to inclusions. Finally, if you do
not have good fitup, you can get slag building up in the nooks and
crannies, with again the problem of weldment separating around the slag.
Here are some additional suggestions to deal with the problem: More than
anything else, good welding depends on smooth control. The one thing that
has made the biggest difference in my welding was learning how to use my
other arm as a brace so that I could position the rod and move it through
the weld smoothly, evenly, with no jiggles. If you are right handed, put
your left elbow down on the table and rest your right wrist on top of your
left hand (don't hold your wrist; just brace it on top of your hand). By
allowing your left elbow to pivot downward, you will be able to move your
right hand, and thus the electrode, forward and down smoothly -- exactly
what you want to be able to do as you move along the weld and as the
electrode is consumed. Your right hand is free to pivot and to keep the
electrode right where you want it, but it is braced so that it doesn't
jiggle all over the place.
Second, make sure you keep the rod tip right down at the edge of the
puddle. My own early tendency, and the tendency of everyone that I have
ever taught to weld (all three of them!), is to keep the arc too long.
Partly this is a matter of learning how to move the rod to keep up with
the consumption; partly this is a matter of learning how to control the
rod smoothly. When you are burning 6013 at an appropriate amp setting, you
will be surprised how close you can and should be with the rod tip. One
way that helps me to think about it (though I don't know if it is an
accurate understanding of the actual physics) is that you want to keep the
rod tip close enough, and angled just so, so that the puddle can't run out
from under or ahead of the rod tip. *You* want to control exactly where
that puddle is; you don't want it to go wherever it pleases, while you
chase after it with the rod tip!
A third suggestion has to do with your joint preparation. It sounds like
you have made an effective 90 degree fillet when you butt the pieces
together; you might want to try a somewhat shallower angle, more like 60
degrees. This makes the joint easier to get into, and less likely to trap
Finally, while I agree with Ernie and Randy that 1/8" rod is appropriate
for 1/4" material, and will certainly make it easier to fill the entire
joint in one pass, I don't think the problems you are having are simply a
matter of selecting the wrong rod. If you practice on getting a good,
smooth, continuous bead down the center of the joint, you may not fill it
completely using a 3/32" rod, but you shouldn't be getting slag inclusions
I hope this helps! (Corrections from those with more knowledge and
experience are welcomed and expected!)
The only one that is DC only is 6010, and 6010 is one of the toughest
rods for small machines to run well because it prefers a very high open
Here is a nice webpage with more info on each rod
Arc blow is when a magnetic field in the base metal causes your arc to
wander way from the weld area.
It is quite obvious when it happens.
A common cause is the use of magnetic right angle clamps too close to
the weld joint.
Only use them while tacking, then remove.
A lot of things can cause arcblow, AC arcs are unaffected.
Lots of great info; thanks.
Randy; I have been running the 6013 on DCEP which I assume is
electrode positive but I will give it a try on AC.
Thanks all for the info on arc blow and Ernie thanks for additional
info of 6010.
Andrew; Thats great info coming from another beginner. I have no doubt
that a lot of what is happening is due to technique or the lack of it.
The 6013 seems to be a nice rod when I get it right but I think for
this roject I will switch to something with more penetration. Its also
why I put a V on the joint. I want to make sure I get good penetration
given my learner status and also I plan to grind all the welds flush
with the surface so I can paint and have a nice smooth finish.
On the fit of the joint. What I do is cut the tube on a band saw and
check that the joint fits tight when butted together. Then I V out the
joint to where the material that is left is only 1/8 inch thick. This
allows me to butt the joint back together for alignment using the
remaining material and still have my V for better penetration.
I was trying to make each side of the V about 22 1/2 degrees (by eye)
so the finished joint was 45 deg. I'm going to open that up to 60 deg
total as you and the miller book suggest and see what happens. I was
planning on that with the 3/32 rod anyway but it will be a must with
the 1/8 or the rod will not fit down into the V. I don't think I will
try to leave a gap to get full penetration, as someone suggested,
because at this stage I don't have enough control to keep the
alignment from getting pulled all out of shape by the weld. What I do
now is to use the fit provided by the material that is not V out for
initial alignment while I tack at each corner. Then I finish by
welding opposite sides. I don't know if all this is necessary but I
don't think it can hurt.
I will try using different angles on the rod to see if I can see what
you are talking about on the puddle and also try positioning myself
for a more steady hand.
The "local" welding supply is about an hour away and isn't open on
Saturdays so I have to wait until I can get off work to go. However I
managed to ge a small package of 1/8 6010 from a guy at work and will
give that a try keeping in mind what Ernie said about it and small
machines. If I have to much trouble with it I can put this aside until
I can get to the store.
Thank you all for the help. I'm sure I will be back many more times
with many more questions.
When you get the 6010, be sure to do some practice on scrap first. This
rod is very aggressive, and you can't just run a stringer (well, you can
try ... but you won't be happy when you start blowing holes through!).
With this rod, you will need to use a "stitch" motion: Start your arc, and
position the rod where you want to begin the weld. Count to two, watching
how the puddle forms. Quickly move the rod along the weld about 1/2", and
hold for about a half a count or so. Keep your eye on the original puddle;
you should see it quickly "freeze." As soon as it starts to freeze, flick
the rod back to the edge of the puddle and start over (count to two, move,
freeze, flick back ...). If you do this right, you will generate a weld
that looks distinctly like a stack of dimes (after you remove the slag,
which is much thinnner and much harder to remove that 6010).
When you perfect the technique, you can use it as a first pass in welding
your project, but you will then need to come back with 6013 or 7014 (or
7108, for that matter) and lay on a cap pass ... but only after grinding
off some of those nice ridges you created with your "stack of dimes";
otherwise, you may trap slag in the ridges. (If you're going to grind, you
also don't have to worry about getting all the slag out of the ridges.)
Why generate a stack of dimes if you're going to grind it off? Well, as I
understand it (or perhaps misunderstand it :), the stack of dimes is not
the goal; the goal is to allow the rod to penetrate, but keep it from
blowing through. The stitching back and forth allows you to accomplish
this; when you get a good puddle formed, you "freeze" it, and then come
back and do the next puddle, and so on.
With respect to your project, note what you will have accomplished by
doing the above: You will have gotten "more penetration" -- but not all
that much more if you do not leave a gap (and I agree that a gap is not a
good idea at this point given your newbie status). You will only have
joined maybe a millimeter more depth (if that much? I'm guessing here --
what say the experts?) -- not enough to make that big a difference in the
strength of the final weld. 6013 may not penetrate very much, but given
the joint preparation you are doing, if it penetrates even 1 molecule
deep, you will have formed a continuous fusion of metal throughout the
veed out area. I would tend to guess that if you need more strength than
that will provide, you need to do a full penetration weld by grinding a
deeper vee, leaving a gap, sliding in an inner tube to back the weld, and
running a 6010 root pass followed by 7018 to cap it.
The best reasons to use 6010 are rusty or dirty metal; poor fit-up;
full-penetration welds using a gap (because of the fast-freeze
characteristic of the rod, it is good at filling up a gap -- thus also
good for poor fit-up). The downside is more steps and more time to
complete the weld.
Have fun learning -- I certainly have, and continue to do so!
Hehe... If you manage to get anything that resembles
a real weld with 6010, please upload a pic - I'd love
to see it. Either I have shitty 6010 rod (ESAB), or I'm
just a shitty welder, cause I can barely get, and keep a
6010 rod running, much less making anything that even
"looks" like a weld. Funny, I can master 7018 with no
poursity bubble holes and such, but not 6010. :(
Problems running 6010 -- you mentioned in an earlier post that you
prefer using AC most of the time. You're not by any chance using AC with
the 6010, are you? (That will definitely make it hard to run and produce
rotten welds!) Have you tried running 6011 (AC or DC)? Do you have similar
problems with that rod? One more thought: What is the OCV of your welder?
(6010 needs a high OCV ... but then so does [most] 7018.)
Sorry if I'm repeating things you already know!
Thanks to all for the advice.
I was hoping by now to post my progress but work has picked up and my
tractor started acting up so the welding project has been set aside
for now. I did manage to get some 6011 and 7014 so I will have plenty
tor try out when I get back to it.