Tried running some 6011 electrodes

Hi folks,
A while back I posted a thread about fillet welding. Having followed people's suggestions about technique (Roy, Grant, Randy, Don and a few
others) I found I was getting neat but weak welds. Gunner suggested using 6011 electrodes instead of 6013. After much searching I tracked down an 11 lb box of 1/8" 6011. No one seems to stock it in this area, which was no doubt how I ended up with 6013. The place I got my welder from only keeps 6013. The place where I found some just had one box in stock, which I bought.
Soon afterwards I was helping a friend build a large crossbow. He wanted a ring welding to a piece of flat bar to create an anchor point. Tried with 6013. Useless: one big slag inclusion with a little metal deposited down each side. I guess there is a lot of opportunity for a slag inclusion here as there's a deep crevice where the round section rests against the flat bar. So I got out the 6011. Got the job done nicely, but striking the arc seemed hard. Here's a picture of the ring:
http://www.mythic-beasts.com/~cdt22/crossbow_ring.jpg
Last night I had chance to experiment properly with the 6011. It was a bitterly cold night here in England! I put the heater on, but had to keep the shed door open to let the fumes escape. I noticed it said "AC min. 70 V" on the box. I was running on 50 V before, so I switched over to 80 V. No problem striking the arc now. I welded some fillets on 1/8" mild steel, starting at 120 A. On the 50 V setting 115 A was a little low, and 145 A too high. Now here's something I don't understand. If I switch from 50 V to 80 V, but keep the same current setting, does the arc dissipate 8/5 as much power? Or does the voltage across the arc drop to a similar value in both cases (perhaps 25 V) as soon as the arc is struck? I believe my welding set uses a tapped inductor to control current. But I'm not familiar with the electrical characteristics of the welding arc, so I haven't yet figured out how it works. If anyone knows of a site which explains how welding current controllers work, or is willing to explain, I'd be most interested to know.
120 A seemed a bit hot. It caused small undercuts and large areas of the metal were red hot after welding. Also, the tip of the electrode was glowing red when I lifted the mask. I remember someone (perhaps Roy) saying that this is a clear sign that you're using too much current, so I turned it down. 110 A still seemed a bit hot, but 100 A perfect. 90 A was too low. I used maybe 10 or 12 rods practising at 100 A. I had no problems with slag inclusions, and could lay a reasonably neat bead. But I couldn't get as neat a bead as I could with 6013. I've read that this is a characteristic of the rod. Is this true? I found restarts somewhat harder than I did using 6013. The arc seemer brighter and the rate of deposition faster, so I found it hard to see the solidified weld pool. They weren't too messy, though. Here's a picture of one of my fillets:
http://www.mythic-beasts.com/~cdt22/fillet6.jpg
I also tried the drag rod technique with 6011. It didn't work at all. The bead was rough, the rod stuck, and the weld metal ended up on one side. I also noticed this weird jet of flame emerging between the rod and the deposited metal. I assume 6011 just isn't meant for the drag rod technique. Next I made a 2" long test piece and attempted to break it. Here's a picture of the piece:
http://www.mythic-beasts.com/~cdt22/fillet_test14.jpg
I bent it back and forth using a mole wrench (vise grips) and counted the number of complete cycles of bending required to break it. It took four complete cycles and the parent metal broke rather than the weld. This is fewer cycles that it took with some of my earlier test pieces, but I think the amplitude of bending was greater, so fatigue probably set in earlier. I was pretty happy because the weld proved stronger than the parent metal. 6011 does appear to give a much stronger weld than 6013, even if it looks uglier. Here's a picture of the broken test piece:
http://www.mythic-beasts.com/~cdt22/fillet_test15.jpg
I've wondered recently if I need another welder. At 50 V (AC) my welder offers the following current settings: 65, 90, 115, 145, 165, 180 A. At 80 V (AC) it offers 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, 120 A. I've been finding that the current control on the 50 V range is a bit coarse. I didn't used to find this, but maybe I'm noticing it because I'm getting better at welding. Soon I'm going to be using 1/4" mild steel (both plate and sections) for a project. If I weld using 6011 at 80 V, do you think 120 A is enough? I'm guessing that it is if I grind a chamfer on the edges, but I'm not sure. Any thoughts?
Thanks for all the advice!
Best wishes,
Chris
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On Sat, 31 Dec 2005 01:39:52 +0000 (UTC), Christopher Tidy

"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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Hi Chris
I've posted before on 6010/6011 and have a web-site with welding comment. Bit steam-engine like compared to current technology, but grabbed by this process since tried it after hearing of it.
http://www.weldsmith.co.uk/tech/welding/learn_proc/SMA/SMA.html
http://www.weldsmith.co.uk/tech/welding/welding.html
And search the s.e.j.w. newsgroup. Try at Google http://groups.google.com/groups?group=sci.engr.joining.welding
Comments infilled in your post.

Yup - most 6013drop a lot of slag. Not much good for short welds in awkward locations. They are not awkward with a 6010 or 6011, where most of the flux covering goes to gas and the arc is directional and penetrative.

125A is the max. for 3.2mm (1/8th inch) 6011 rods. Mustn't degrade the cellulose by Ohmically (resistance) heating the rod.
140A is max for same sized rods in rutile (6013).
Using 6011 and feeling really psychopathic, dip in water then exceed the recommended current a bit. The water makes the arc more fierce and keeps the rod cool, both making for a fiercely penetrating arc.

Yes, you've got it. Voltage across the arc is a characteristic of the rod, not the welding machine, for a given amperage setting.

Surprised rod was overheated on 120A. When break arc and flip up visor, should see little flame from end of 6010 or 6011 rod for a second or so. But rod should otherwise be cool.

100A would be alright, if it works for you.

Dragging the rod is for root-running a butt weld with a V-preparation. Dragging gives a very misshaped weld bead. On root run, the advantages of gettign a full-pen. weld with neat underbead vastly overweight and you accept the price of having to grind off the raised top-bead, grinding out the "wagon-track" slag traps down by its vertical sides.
For fillet and all others, you want open arc. There is no tradition of this in UK, but seems is wideely used in North America. You can get pretty neat fillet welds by slightly oscillating the rod backwards and forward by about a rod core diameter (1/8th inch in you case. Practice of a straight peice of metal until you can get a flat bead with no undercut, but keeping good penetration.

Normally you "nick-break" - you saw a notch in the top surface of the weld bead so that the break is made to occur across and into the weld root. Then you look for penetration.
The problem with your test is that you could always make the parent metal break by over-filling the weld into a great big blob. That would never break. But is would be a discontinuity in the component shape and a concentrator of fatigue. Not good. So nick-break to see is penetrated on underside of weld and visual inspect for good top shape - a small but minimal fill above plate profile.

Sounds like you have a Oxford oil-cooled arc welder, judging from your "50V or 80V open-circuit" anbd the current taps. These are AC machines, so cannot be used for some rods. However, there are rods to cover every situation, so you are well OK. BTW - 6011's crackle at mains frequency on AC, compared to a smooth hiss on DC. Makes no difference. 6013 rutiles hiss on both AC and DC.
Oxford arc welders are superb. They cost twice as much as a contemporary inverter welding machine, which is inherently DC welding. The handling of the arc and welding is lovely. With a well-behaved machine you can bring on your technique well.

Richard Smith
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Happy New Year everyone!
Thanks for the wealth of suggestions. I'll offer responses to your comments individually.
Gunner: That photograph is a bit misleading I think. The weld is very close to the camera, plus I don't have enormous hands. I've just measured the leg length of the fillet in that picture and it's 1/4". The weld pool is therefore a little over 1/4" in diameter. On other samples I measured the length of deposited bead compared to the length of rod consumed. I am pretty consistently depositing 5 1/2" of fillet for every 11" of rod consumed. When I try to get the weld pool much smaller than 1/4" diameter I find that the bead becomes uneven and looks rather like fish scales. Were you suggesting that 6011 should work as a drag rod? The welds I photographed were not done using the "drag rod" technique and 6011 rod - those were a disaster. Most of the welders I know locally are hobby welders like me. I did know a guy who was a pro, but he had a lot of family problems and I lost touch with him. If I meet a pro I might well do as you suggest.
Wayne: What you say about a shorter arc reducing the power output makes sense. I figured this out for myself at one point in the past, but wasn't sure whether or not to believe it because, as you say, it's rather counter-intuitive. I'll practise working with a short arc. At the moment my arc is about the same as the rod diameter (1/8"). I find if I make it much smaller than this I struggle to see what's going on in the weld pool.
Tom: I'm pretty sure the ring and strip were both mild steel of a similar composition. I think the quantity of slag and low penetration of 6013 just allowed the crevice to fill with slag. That's the way it seemed. I'll try to get some 3/32" 6011 rods. Welding a fillet with 1/8" I find it hard to get a weld pool smaller than 1/4" across. At the moment I have 1/16", 5/64" and 1/8" in 6013 and 1/8" in 6011. I couldn't weld that ring with 5/64" 6013, but was fine with 1/8" 6011.
Richard: Thanks for all the advice and links to your website. You mention that dragging is for root-running a butt weld with a V-preparation. Something I want to do soon is make a box from 1/4" plate. This is an electrical enclosure, but is load bearing too. I don't want to use intermittent welds as I want the enclosure to be sealed from moisture, plus I want it to look neat. Do you think that if I grind a V at every joint, I could drag a rod using the V as a guide in order to produce a narrow, neat bead? My welder is a Cytringan (180 A @ 50 V, 120 A @ 80 V), which is very similar to an Oxford. From the opinions expressed here it looks like it will be fine for welding 1/4" mild steel, and that with experience the coarse current control won't prove to be a problem.
RWL: The lack of availability of rods is strange. The place I got my welder from only keeps 6013. They have it in a variety of diameters, but that's all they keep. They do seem to be specialising in MIG now as there are a lot of automotive and auto-related businesses in the area. Another place down the road keeps 6010, 6013 and some 70xx series rods, although I didn't inspect those closely. I bought the one box of 6011 they had.
Best wishes,
Chris
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On Sun, 1 Jan 2006 05:16:20 +0000 (UTC), Christopher Tidy

Hummm..I wonder if there is some special "educational" rate by which we could all send Chris some samples of the various rods we have. I think I alone have 9 different types.
Im not sure what 10lbs of rod shipped to old blimey would cost.
Anybody know? Id donate 10 lbs of rod, single or assorted if it werent too expesnsive
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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Gunner Asch wrote:

Thanks for the kind offer, Gunner. I just looked at the USPS website and the cheapest option for an 11 lb package is $34.45 by surface mail. Ouch. Pretty expensive! I think my best bet is to have a chat to the guy at the better of our two local welding stores. Most of the stuff I weld is 1/8" to 1/4" mild steel. Currently I have 1/16", 5/64" and 1/8" in 6013 and 1/8" in 6011. Is there anything else I should definitely try? I'd rather stay away from weird rods which need sealed cans and rod ovens - I keep my 6011 and 6013 in the house, and that seems fine.
Happy New Year!
Chris
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Chris
A good welding supply store in the UK will have all the different electrodes.
There are some 7018's (basics) for AC. That would be interesting for you to try.
In a house, all rods will store reasonably. Cellulosic (6010 or 6011) might get a bit dry. Basics (7018 (also 7015 and 7016 but you never meet those)) will pick up moisture, but not as much as matters welding mild steel in smaller thicknesses (less than 6mm / 1/4inch) (???).
7018's come these days in shrink-wrap plastic.
Cellulosics come in a tin to keep the moisture *IN*. But in colleges they are left in the open in the dry centrally-heated atmosphere and still work fine. You do know if a cellulosic is too dry. The arc goes "flat", lacking "bite" or directionality. Well, I reckon that. So you "re-moisturise" a bit in that case...
Also - don't try to dry 6013's in an oven - they rely on moisture for shielding.
Richard Smith
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Wrap up in poly - and stuff in new postal express ? box - anywhere any weight - $7.++ IIRC. I sent a bunch of CD's out that way - I had confirm on the other side and it was 11.45. It was 4lb 1.90 oz. Might be 11.45 - not 7.++.
Martin Martin Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder
Gunner Asch wrote:

-
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On Sun, 1 Jan 2006 05:16:20 +0000 (UTC), Christopher Tidy

On dragging 6011 I don't think you'll be able to or like the results. One is the fact that you're running a AC machine. My experience with my old buzz box is that 6011 won't drag with it unless the current is set way to high for the thickness of metal that you're welding (it's possible on really thick stuff and high amperages but still not recommended). Now I can drag it some with my stiffer high powered DC industrial machines but it produces a high narrow bead that's not wanted (the only exception I've seen is that the root pass on pipeline work around here is done that way).

You should be watching the trailing edge of the weld pool primarily with secondary attention to the leading edge (just to make sure it's actually melting into the metal on both sides). The trailing edge tells the most info of how the welds going. If it's melting into both sides you'll see the molten metal drawing itself into the work in. If it's building up to much you can see it in the trailing edge. If there's not enough build up you can see it there as well. In other words you can tell most of what you need to know by watching the trailing edge. Did I say that enough times. :-)

It can be difficult to weld with a high slag rod on a deep groove provided by a round object sitting on a flat object. It's not impossible but it does take practice and personally I've never liked 6013 for that particular reason.

My advise here is to butt the corner joints corner to corner leaving a nice 90 V for the weld to fill. In this case properly run 6013 will give a nice smooth round cornered appearance to the box. Though my preference is still for 7018 for jobs like this.
I like 7018 for it's smooth weld with less slag than 6013 making it easier for me to run. However it's a DC only rod unless you buy the kind specifically made for AC. As for the purist cry that it's has to be kept in a oven all I can say is that there's many many pounds of it run all the time that's not been oven kept. If it's a critical job then yes it should be kept in a oven. But for mild steel as long as it's kept reasonably dry then it's perfectly possible to make acceptable welds with it.
Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX http://members.dslextreme.com/users/waynecook/index.htm
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Wayne Cook wrote:
<snip>

Yes, you said it enough times. Thanks for the tip. I'll concentrate on watching the trailing edge :-).

I might buy some 7018 or 7014. Am I right in thinking that 7018 is more penetrating, but that 7014 deposits metal at a higher rate?
Best wishes,
Chris
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A short arc is good though. You need to keep a very short arc with 7018, as you only get so much shielding gas from breaking up the limestone in the flux -- CaCo3 -> CaO (flux) + CO2 (shield) -- and you are likely to be working outdoors if you are doing commerical welding, as MIG indoors and stick outdoors.

Richard Smith
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That's because what Wayne is telling you is very crucial advice.
That is especially so when you are using "low slag" processes. Like 6011. You can see the weld metal solidifying at the back of the pool and what you see there is what you get as your finished weld. So if what you are seeing is not good, you better do something about the technique of rod manipulation, etc.
Sometimes with 6011 used open arc, if you simply move the rod down the joint at a steady rate you get a good weld with deep penetration and a smooth flat top bead without undercut. Other times it doesn't behave for reasons I have never deduced and you have to "whip" the rod to take control yourself of the weld bead shape you are producing. In "whipping" you oscillate the rod quicly along the direction you are going, by about a rod core diameter. You can both "dig" a deep pentration into a fillet corner and drop metal where it is needed on th eweld pool, giving a flat weld fillet.
6010 and 6011 are "cellulosics" - the main part of the flux cover on the rod is cellulose.
Only cellulosics can be manipulated really fast, as they put out so much shielding gas. Rutile can be moved around a fair amount. Basics (typically 7018) must not be moved around. You must doing everything (thanks Ernie L.) s...l...o...w...l...y.
Cellulosics are "fast freezing", probably mainly because there is so little slag. Good for a lot of bits of welding, as you metal goes where ou put it and it stays there. Godo for postional welding, where you don't want big sloshing volumes of liquid falling out of the weld (and probably down your neck!). Good for full-penetration root runs, where form a neat underbead by surface tension and freeze that into place quickly before anything can muck it up. OTOH, you get a rough weld top surface. Apart from these really skille dfolk who know how to manipulate the process so well they get a smooth top surface anyway! As someone once said to me "you could used cellulosics and get good weld fusion, but your weld will look like s*%t". Well, with the control which Wayne poointed you to most correctly, you can fairly easily master getting a good weld profile, but it will always be slightly "ribbed" in the direction of welding.
With "high slag" processes like for example 6013's (rutiles) the thick slag covers the weld blocking view of weld shape and the function of the slag is to take command of shaping the finished weld. You get a very smooth and well-shaped weld. I think but have not enquired or had it explained to me that the length of time in the liquid state under a thick insulating slag enables surface tension to pull the weld top bead very flat and smooth. BTW - look up "self-peeling slag" - nott only is a smooth profile engineering desirable, it makes for the welding economical feature that a correctly formulated slag peels itself off the weld.
Richard Smith
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I have used a rod, that I can't find, a 6012. When I first started welding, too many years ago, this was used to build car haulers. Best mild steel rod that I have ever seen. Bead looked like the 6013 but not all of the flux. Man you could run downhand, and it would look as if it was painted. Anyone got any idea why this rod is not being made? Of course now, all I use in my shop is a MIG. Have to go for speed and no slag. Building handrails and stairs, MIG is the way for me. All of the other shops around use the MIG like I do and very little stick welding. I do stick in the field on installing, but I also have a 110 volt MIG that I can carry when leads cannot be used, like on the 5th floor of a building.
Please for everyone, keep in mind, when you are doing welding for somone that there is a LOT of liability. I carry over a million dollars of liability insurance with products completed insurance. Typicial liability insurance ceases when the job is completed. Products completed carries the liability insurance forever, which is extremely important. Also if you are not incorporated, you are putting you, your family, and your home at risk of being lost if you are sued and don't win. I have known of cases where this does happen.
OK, that is my soapbox for today.
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I've heard of this rod, a 6012. Described by national Lincoln headquarters folk.
It's there to be seen on Lincoln website. Is called a "Fleetweld 7". Most Fleetweld's are cellulosics, but this one isn't. I found for instance http://www.mylincolnelectric.com/Catalog/consumabledatasheet.asp?pU49 for 1/8th inch 6012
Is a sodium-binder rutile. 6013 is potassium-based-binder rutile.
6012 was decribed to me as being slightly harsher and fiercer than 6013. And seems particularly likes to run on AC.
My own AWS classigication list copied from goodness-knows-where lists this:
"Exx12 High rutile. Quiet arc, medium penetration."
Reason had this conversation - was trying to deal with problem of technical colleges here demanding melting of fillet corner as pass criterion for "weld penetration" for T-fillet welds Lincoln mentioned 6012 which they said is more penetrative than 6013, which is almost the only rod you meet here in the UK in technical colleges (they keep some 6011's "for the pipewelders" and usually get very upset if you use them open-arc and for any other purpose).
Richard Smith
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