ok so I am learning how to weld and I am on an AC welder. My electrodes
stick an extreme amount. I mean I know I am a beginner and all, but what
could be causing this?? I have a bunch of electrodes that say excalibur 7018
H4R on them. I am trying to weld to sheet metal. My welding ranges are from
35 - 200 or so. I was trying to weld at about 75 - 85. I am just looking for
possible explanations for the extreme sticking. Could the electrode be for
DC only? Am I running to low or too high an amperage?? Anything would be a
great help. TIA
7018's are tough to use with AC. Try 6013 for sheet metal or maybe 6011 for
thicker stuff when you want better penetration. Those are about the only
ones I use so hopefully someone else with have even better suggestions.
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"
Ahhh lessons learned in life. I guess this is what this group is for. I have
some 6013 and have better luck with this not sticking.
Don't have a DC welder so I guess I will just have to stick with the 6013
and keep practicing with that. Thanks for all the help..
Now what metal will weld well with the 7018 running off AC?? I have a ton of
electrodes that were given to me so maybe I should pick up some
metal to match the electrode. I am just practicing so buying more metal is
not a big deal to me.
I just finished up 2.5 hours of padding and surfacing with 7018. The
first thing I'd suggest is a class (that's where I was doing the padding
and surfacing). What size electrode was it? IIRC, 75-85 is too low.
As far as AC-DC, I'll let other answer that.
If those are 1/8th inch rods then you need to turn the amps up. I would
advice practicing with too much amps and then as you master the running of a
rod then turn the amps down. I would also throw the rods in an oven at
350-400 degrees for a while to get them dry. 7018 does fine on AC and on
sheet, it is just practice that you need. There are easier rods to start
with like the 6013, 6011, 7024, and such, but if you have the 7018 use them
they are great rods. I have a Miller Thunderbolt that is AC only and it has
welded a bunch of goodies. Yes, I would love to have a DC machine, but I
would have to start over on the learning curve.
Possibilities for curing sticking.
- make sure the amps are high enough
- make sure the tip is clear of flux especially on a 7018.
- use a drag start not a stabbing start.
- make sure the 7018 are dry, most of the time wet rods won't run a bead
well or they will extinguish themselves spitting and sputtering all over the
place i.e. won't hold an arc.
- make sure the work is clean
Try these and see if they can help.
For a newby, I'd suggest going through 10 pounds of NEW 1/8" 6013
at 100 to 110 amps and another 2-3 pounds of 3/32" 6013 at
perhaps 70 amps. Once you get the hang of it, dial the amperages
down. Look for long straight beads with nice "stack of dimes"
appearance. The slag should pretty much pop off by iteself when
you get it right. Invest the 10 hours and the $15 for the rod and
you will be well on your way.
10 pounds will take you 6 to 10 hours to go through if you run a
rod, chip the slag, and inspect what you did.
I know a lot of guys don't like 6013 because of it's shallow
penetration but lets start with something that WORKS for a newby
without much of any outside help. Once you get to this point,
then try 6011, 7018, etc.
Some 7018 rods are designed for use with AC, and some are not. I've
tried both kinds with my AC welder, and the difference is obvious and
dramatic. I might have gotten two pieces of metal to stick together
with the non-AC variety, but it would have been very, very ugly.
That said, I wouldn't describe the problem with the non-AC rods as
sticking, or not only sticking; more like sputtering, extinguishing,
sticking, spluttering, etc. (And yes, these were dry rods right out of
Even if you have the correct variety of 7018, you will probably need
practice before you can run these well. Once you learn, you will love
7018 -- they run so smoothly, and leave a beautiful bead. But they can
be hard to start without sticking, even when everything is set up
You said you were practicing on sheet metal -- how thick? One
suggestion I would make is to find a fabrication shop and see if they
will let you scrounge some 1/8" to 1/4" scraps. Tell them what you
want them for, and offer to bring them back if they would like (to
throw back in the recycling bin). If you are trying to learn on much
less than 1/8" thick material, I think you'll find it much, much
harder. You need something thick enough that you can go ahead and run
a little hotter. If you are running 3/32" 6013 rod, try running at
85-100 amps; for 1/8" 6013 rod, try 100-130 amps. (As someone else has
said, once you learn you can back off the amps as needed.)
Also, one last thought: What kind of AC welder are you using? If you
are using a 110v welder, or even one of the low-end 220v welders (such
as from Harbor Freight), you may not have enough open circuit voltage
(OCV) to run 7018 or 6011. I started out with a 100 amp, 110v Century
welder, and had an experienced welder swearing that it was broken
because he couldn't show me how to weld with it -- it kept either
sticking, or sputtering, or just not cooperating. Turned out that we
were trying to run 6011 and 7018, and the manual said specifically
that neither would work with that machine! Once we switched to 6013
and 7014, the machine worked fine (within its limits). By the way, if
you are using a 110v machine, I would modify my suggestion above --
don't use anything thicker than 1/8".