Welding with 7018 vs 6013

Many, many, years ago when I learned to weld I was told to use a can of

7018 that had been left open for a long time, and not to sweat when and if the flux flaked off. Didn't do any welding worth bragging about since then. Starting up to bring my skills back recently, I used 6013, and my welds looked like crap, and with some effort, they looked less and less like crap, but it was hard to avoid spilling a little crap in there. I bought some 7018 the other day and finally cracked it open and laid some beads down on a project. Holy cow, what a difference! It was beautiful! Why didn't I do this sooner? I haven't done anything other than simple beads with just a few rods burned up, but what are the reasons I shouldn't use this rod for all my mild steel projects? Any particular applications to avoid? The flux "cup" makes it a bit of a pain to restart, but a quick scrape on the concrete and problem solved, although not quite as easy to restart as 6013.
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carl mciver
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You can use for all mild steel projects, just don't use to join mild steel to stainless. It looks great but with dye penetrant you will see cracks every 1/4" or so that looks similar to a ladder with the cracks going across the bead. Talking about the flux cup, I use my thumb and index finger as you would to snap your fingers to remove. The part that is so good about the rod is the fact that it burns back inside the rod and once started it is almost impossible to stick. I keep constant pressure on the rod and my welds look the same every time. Try to keep rod tilted about 10 degrees from 90 in the direction of the puddle and if amps are correct and metal is clean it will peel every time. You can also use on double dipped galvanized but you will need to turn up the amps about 30 and wash about 2" ahead of you on first pass and after that it's as if welding regular mild steel because you are only removing half as much galvanize per pass. I would rather use wire when possible but 7018 is the only rod needed for mild steel. When more strength is needed to match material strength you can also use 8018 and

11018 because they are all low hydrogen.
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7018 is a great rod for all-purpose work. I generally keep my chipping hammer in my left hand and use the side of the chisel end to tap the tip of the rod on for restriking. I like tacking with 7018 too- it makes nice, soft tacks that can be manipulated quite a lot before breaking.


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