I read here that 7018 must be kept dry to be effective. I do have a
Phoenix dry rod oven off ebay.
I was at Home Depot this weekend, and read on a box of Lincoln 7018
that Lincoln recommends redrying before use at 650 - 750 deg F for an
hour. I thought I read you could redry the stuff in a household oven.
Mine won't go that high.
Is this temperature required, or will lower work for redrying the rod?
If the rod is dry, is the flux less prone to flaking?
It is highly unlikely that you are welding critical material that requires E
7018 if you are buying rod from Home Depot. If you are welding low alloy
steel over quarter inch thick it then becomes important. Just store your
rod dry and you are fine for most applications.
Once the electrode is damp the flux will flake off with simple handling.
If it is that moist then the rod is often thrown away rather than salvaged.
Welding codes often require heating in an oven before the electrode is
used fresh out of the sealed container. Some shops I have worked in require
that you do not take out more than one hour's worth at a time. Other shops
just require fresh rod before and after lunch.
My guess is that ninety percent of e 7018 is used in non critical
applications. all that is needed is dry rod rather than fresh out of the
Where do you live? If it is in a humid place, it is an issue. If not, I
have seen small refrigerators with light bulbs inside used for rod storage.
It is surely better to do it right, and weld with dry rods, but, depending
on the criticality of what you are welding, it might not make two cents
Now, if the rod is really soaked, or been sitting in high humidity, it will
retain a lot of water and have to be dried for a time.
The only welding I do is my own projects so a box of rods goes a long
way.I hardly ever use 7018,and they would give me problems after being
open a long time.I put a 100w glassplate element from a food warmer in a
4x4x16" aluminum box.I plug it in while I am setting up,then unplug it
when it is warm on the out side.The rods work fine as long as I keep the
Pete Keillor wrote:
If you are welding to a code like AWS D1.1, unless the 7018 came out of
a hermetically sealed container, you have to dry it before using it.
The boxes at Home Depot are not hermetically sealed. The flux will
absorb moisture from the atmosphere even though there is plastic wrap
around the box. The moisture will result in increased probability of
porosity, hydrogen embrittlement, etc. in the weld. If you aren't
welding to code, it is up to you. It may or may not make a significant
difference in the weld. I would consider it unwise to ignore the
manufacturer's instructions welding anything to which liability might
attach, like a trailer hitch. FWIW I have seen successful bend tests
done on welds made with 7018 that came of non-hermetically sealed
containers of dubious history.
Thanks for all the input. I think I'll leave 7018 alone, at least
until I build a heat treating oven. If I have time, I'm going to give
Watlow a call today. They have new pre-insulated heater panels with
the heating elements close to the surface. It'll be interesting to
see what they cost.
I keep my 7018 in an ammo can with a good seal. Got a little fancier
and it now has a removable power connector and a 100W reptile aquarium
heater bulb keeping things a nice 132 degrees when I plug the cord in, and
very dry after I take it out. All in all I think it cost me less than
| >If you are welding to a code like AWS D1.1, unless the 7018 came out of
| >a hermetically sealed container, you have to dry it before using it.
| >The boxes at Home Depot are not hermetically sealed. The flux will
| >absorb moisture from the atmosphere even though there is plastic wrap
| >around the box. The moisture will result in increased probability of
| >porosity, hydrogen embrittlement, etc. in the weld. If you aren't
| >welding to code, it is up to you. It may or may not make a significant
| >difference in the weld. I would consider it unwise to ignore the
| >manufacturer's instructions welding anything to which liability might
| >attach, like a trailer hitch. FWIW I have seen successful bend tests
| >done on welds made with 7018 that came of non-hermetically sealed
| >containers of dubious history.
| Thanks for all the input. I think I'll leave 7018 alone, at least
| until I build a heat treating oven. If I have time, I'm going to give
| Watlow a call today. They have new pre-insulated heater panels with
| the heating elements close to the surface. It'll be interesting to
| see what they cost.
| Pete Keillor
Sometime back (maybe a year or more ago) I seem to remember some discussion
on this newsgroup about using some of the silica (?) crystals that absorb
moisture to help keep rods dry. Anybody tried this? Results?
Once you learn what you can do with a 7018 you'll likely not want to
mess with a 6013 again.
It's a far superior rod for any application I'm aware of, it runs so
much better.. you can really do some nice work with the 7018.
I was dissatisfied with 6013 for inside corners on tubing frames,
probably because I'm a novice. It was very difficult to get a good
weld. I had much better luck, decent looking fillets, with 7018.
However, you need to get rid of the flux hydration to eliminate flux
flaking off and get the best performance.
For this project, I switched to 6011. It produces a much rougher
bead, more splatter, and doesn't clean up as nice as 6013 or 7018, but
appears to give lots of penetration and good welds. I'll probably
stick with it, at least until I have a way to dehydrate 7018.
Can't remember if I'm thinking of 7013, 14 or 18, but whatever "wuss rod"
is, I think I prefer 6013 to it... just lay it down and slide it on across.
701x seems to like a longer arc.
"California is the breakfast state: fruits, nuts and flakes."
I believe you are thinking of 7014 when you are refering to "cheater's"
or "farmer's" rod. Like many of the other rods, different companys'
7014 will run differently, and some will even make several types that
can all be loosely defined as 7014. It's worth it to try several
different brands to see what you like. It's also worth noting that
the same rod in 3/32 may perform differently at 1/8 or 5/32 on the
same machine, or the same rod can behave quite differently on different
machines. Personally, I find all the 70xx easier to run than any of
the 60xx, on my machine, with my current skill level. Need I even
As for 7018 (low hydrogen, LoHi), if you have an AC-only buzzbox,
it's worth getting the 7018AC over the straight 7018, it makes a
quite noticable difference.
If you're thinking 7014, yeah, you gotta pay a little attention to it
our you'll get the slag inclusions from hell. If you can run it a little
uphill, it helps. Downhill is asking for problems.. That's a very useful
rod in some situations, especially plugging a hole- you can turn it way
down and still hold an arc.. Also, you can put a lot of steel down in a
hour with it, even more with 7024, very high rate of deposition.
Don't be afraid to hold a short arc, if you're having trouble keeping it
lit then turn it up a little, especially on thin stuff. That's where a
lot of people go wrong on sheet; they turn the amperage down and then
they have to hold a long arc, the heat spreads, they're travelling slow,
they get a huge hole.. Hot, short arc, fast, unless the job requires
otherwise, is best.
Well, far from being an expert, here's how I understand it:
7018 and 7024 are both the same strength rating (the 70xx) part.
The difference is in the flux coating. 7018 is a low-hydrogen
rod, that reduces porosity and embrittlement due to hydrogen,
often from water, that is often found in the flux on other rods
such as the xx10 and xx11 series. 7024 (and 7014) are high
deposition rate electrodes that have extra metal in the flux.
You would typically use 7018 or 7018AC anywhere you are worried
about a weld cracking under high stress, either from a fresh box
or out of a rod oven, or preferably, both.
You would use 7024 or 7014 anywhere you want to put down a lot
of metal in hurry, and are less worried about stress (such as
where you know the piece will be lightly loaded or you have a
lot more weld than needed to support the intended loads). They
are a very easy rod to run.
Damp (from leaving out in the open in humid air) 7018 nullifies
its advantage as a low-hydrogen rod, so that unless you dry it
out again, you basically have a 7014 or 7024 equivalent (a
relatively easy to run rod with no special properties).
How'd I do, guys?