What to do with old stick electrodes?

I have been doing much more stick welding this quarter than usual. I have 3 students that have been doing nothing but stick welding. All 3 are making their peace with 7018 vertical-up, as well as getting the hang of 6010, and 6011. I have been making them play with other rods as well like 7024, 7014,

309L, and NiRod. Along the way I have gotten much better at 7018 than I have been in years.

I have been digging around in the store room lately, trying to sort out the hundreds of pounds of rod we have. My Boss hates throwing anything away so we have tubes of rods with no labels left and the rods are only marked with 3 white dots or such.

So along with all the above rods we have piles of stainless rods in all flavors, and lots of XX18 rods like: 8018, 9018, 10018, 11018, and


I am a bit curious about all these higher tensile XX18 rods, since we do not store them in the rod oven and they have been sitting around open to the air for 10 - 30 years.

Should we just toss them, or are they still good?

We also have over 36 flavors of hardfacing rods, including 15 stoody rods, 7 McKay rods and the rest Rankin, Hobart and Bohler .

7 types of cast iron rods, and several types of Aluminum electrodes.

See we get all the stuff left over when local high schools liquidate their shops, as well as all the sale samples from a local welding sales rep who recently retired. It makes for a massive array of rods that for the most aprt nobody uses.

The rods we go through the fastest (in decending order) are; 7018,

6011, and 6010.

Everything else just gathers dust.

I was wondering if any of you older hands know of anything toxic in older stick electrode flux coatings? Are there any old rods that are truly dangerous to your health?

Last weekend I had to repair the edges of a 280 lb cast iron anvil. It turned into quite a challenge. I ended up trying 9 different hardfacing rods before I came up with the combination of an underpass of Certainium Cast Iron rod with a top pass of a Iron-Carbide Nickle Manganese hardfacing rod. I hammered the bejeezus out of it before grinding off the excess.

I got to pondering how old the rod was that I was using and whether or not it might predate really good medical tests.

I had this same thought while playing with some old Allstate Smoothcote Aluminum electrodes. The smoke off those aluminum welds smelled of strong acid fumes. I made a point of keeping my face out of the smoke and the welds near an exhaust duct.

So any words of wisdom out there?

Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
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There was a letter put out by Lincoln in about 1990 re: their 6011 rods. They said that they had been found to contain arsenic. They then stated that the government determined that the arsenic levels "were within acceptable limits."

Is that like, "hardly ANY radiation, barely pregnant, or this will only hurt a little"?


Reply to
Desert Traveler

So as long as they are not rusty or have flaking flux, they are still good, as long as they get baked out before use.

I know the Boilermakers Union is training people to use 9018 and 10018 for welding of HSLA steels being used in some of the new boats.

Probably some crossreference rods that are comparable, but we have a lot of different kinds, Manganese, Titainium Carbide, Iron Carbide, Tungsten Carbide, Boron, Cobalt, and lots of different combinations of those.

Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler

Wonder if you can do a grinder spark shower and determine the metal.


Reply to

We have about 200 lbs of mystery rod. That is a lot of grinding.

The last time my boss disposed of old rod was when they poured the pad for the Tank farm out back. He tossed a few hundred pounds of old rod into the wet concrete.

Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler

:-) Wish I were closer.

Oh - now you have him by the handcuffs - EPA - wonder what was in those metals - some hasz mat materials :-)


Reply to

Yeah. It's possible for the flux to look okay now, but after baking it gets too fragile and tends to spall off while welding, but it's surprising how often they turn out just fine. I've even had some that were not just left open but *rained on*, and after giving them a couple of hours to evaporate dry, then cooking them, they were fine.

The higher tensile stuff is critical for those uses. If you use too low a tensile then you can expect underbead cracking... and you can't always see it, which is the real horror.

Cool. They're nice to have!

Reply to
Mike Graham

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