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BurnBern
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Joined: 17 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17 16 1:33 am    Post subject: Fustrated Reply with quote

Hi

I'm no welder and I'm learning as I'm building my cooker. At this stage I'm trying to weld the end caps on.

But why is it sometimes the weld comes out great and on other days it is just diabolically BAD!!
No matter what I do just can't get it right. Is my setting wrong as I'm using 7018 rods set at 85amp? The range for them is 70-110 amps. Aarr!! It's driving me crazy. Before I start on the cooker I do some practice burns to get in the rhythm.
But what I find is that I have to get into a comfortable position and that helps some.

Any advice will be welcomed. Thanks Bern
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gandrfab
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17 16 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you are learning dry run every weld.
Comfort and knowing the move and rotation you have to do makes all the difference.
Dry rods when stick welding helps a lot, keep them in a box with a light bulb turned on in the box.

Don't tell the wife. You can cheat and put them in the oven for a little while to dry out your stored rods.
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17 16 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've learned to make sure the two pieces of metal are clean, no rust or paint or oil, and make sure you've got a good ground.
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gandrfab
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17 16 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smokin Mike wrote:
I've learned to make sure the two pieces of metal are clean, no rust or paint or oil, and make sure you've got a good ground.


This is good advice.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17 16 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am guessing you are running 3/32" 7018's if your setting is 85 amps.
Try coming down to about 75 amps. You want the rod at the lowest setting for your work and not stick when striking the ark.
Comfort although not always available is very important. Try and visualize the rods position from start to finish you should be getting on average about 6" to 8" from a rod so note to yourself what position you will be in at the end. It does you no good to start comfortable and finish in a bind not seeing your puddle or out of position.

Practice keeping your ark length constant. 7018's like a short ark this prevents ark blow on semi dirty metal and maintains a consistent bead. Practice your travel speed it should be the same through out the rod.
I hope some of this helps. Very Happy
I keep my rods in my bedroom closet where there is low humidity. There is no reason to keep 7018's heated unless you are welding to specifications. You want them dry and not damp but there is no need to keep them heated for home use.
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17 16 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
I am guessing you are running 3/32" 7018's if your setting is 85 amps.


Thanks to all for the help.

The rod size I'm using are 3,2mm. I have the rods stored in the workshop in the plastic packaging it came in and then in a screw top sealed rod holder container to stop moisture getting to it. I will take it off in doors.
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wango
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17 16 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Burn, I'm not a pro myself but my stick welder tends to weld differently after its warmed up. (Its really old) After 2 or 3 rods I back the temp down a little bit and it helps a lot. It seems at first I can barely get it to strike an arc, then after a couple rods, it seems like it wants to burn through so I back it down a bit. I know your machine is new but it might be worth a try.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17 16 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using 1/8" (3.2 mm) you should be running at around 90 amps on thin metal and between 110/140 amps on 1/4" plate. I rarely use 1/8" (3.2 mm) rods at home unless I am repairing something heavy and need to lay down some metal. My go to rods are 6010 or 6011 in 3/32" and 7018 in 3/32" My machine rarely leaves a setting of around 75 amps unless I am welding thin material under 1/8".
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18 16 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
Using 1/8" (3.2 mm) you should be running at around 90 amps on thin metal and between 110/140 amps on 1/4" plate. I rarely use 1/8" (3.2 mm) rods at home unless I am repairing something heavy and need to lay down some metal. My go to rods are 6010 or 6011 in 3/32" and 7018 in 3/32" My machine rarely leaves a setting of around 75 amps unless I am welding thin material under 1/8".


Thank you all for he advice. I only have 6013 in 3/32" but I have ordered some 7018 2.5mm and should be here Tuesday. I can't wait to try them out when they arrive.
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20 16 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big thank you to all for the advice. I used the 2.5mm 7018 rods today and kept it at 75amps. My welds definitely improved. Just have to remember to weld slow and steady and hold the ends of the weave stroke.

But strangely enough I can't quiet see my welds while I'm welding at times. I wonder if it's my welding helmet it's a cheap one.

Thanks Bern
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gandrfab
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20 16 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are the lenses clean?
Stick welding I was using a shade 10 to 12 lens.
Switch to a gold lens, That is friggin awesome for viability on a flip down hood.

Auto shields are the bomb but if you are not doing it for a living getting a good one is not worth the investment.
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gandrfab
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20 16 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could also mean you need glasses.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20 16 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BurnBern wrote:
Big thank you to all for the advice. I used the 2.5mm 7018 rods today and kept it at 75amps. My welds definitely improved. Just have to remember to weld slow and steady and hold the ends of the weave stroke.

But strangely enough I can't quiet see my welds while I'm welding at times. I wonder if it's my welding helmet it's a cheap one.

Thanks Bern

By not seeing the weld are you referring to your puddle while welding?
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20 16 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:

By not seeing the weld are you referring to your puddle while welding?

I can see the puddle but the area just behind the stick in the the direction I'm welding I can't see it properly.

I clean the lense regularly and my glasses also. I have started to put a cloth over the top of the helmet to stop the light getting in.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20 16 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try taking your grinder and running the wheel on edge over your weld area to clean it up. You can follow the notched area easier.
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20 16 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
Try taking your grinder and running the wheel on edge over your weld area to clean it up. You can follow the notched area easier.


Thanks good advice and I'll do that.

How wide is is your weld bead usually? Is it the same width as the rod size or is it twice the width of the rod?
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gandrfab
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20 16 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Done right.... the weld shouldn't be much wider then the base metal is thick.
But I don't follow the book all the time.
Some metal I'll seem, no filler.
Other jobs the welds are a bit wider then they should be.


My only hard part about welding any more is dealing with customers.
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21 16 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Done some more welding today and I'm much happier with it. But I also learnt to sit back a bit from the point of the weld and I could see much more of what I was doing.

Also did what Kevin said and ground a light line so I could follow it. All in all welds seem good good enough to prevent the smoker from falling apart. Very Happy hopefully. I'm also grinding the welds down so it looks presentable if I ever want to sell and build another. I suppose I'm future proofing it.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21 16 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on the work and whether multiple passes are required. Every job is different and there are calculators for certain spec jobs that require them. On average back yard work using say 3/16" to 3/8" metal my weld face averages a 1/4" to 3/8". It shrinks below a 1/4" as the metal gets thinner.
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21 16 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big thank you to all for the advice. I used the 2.5mm 7018 rods today and kept it at 75amps. My welds definitely improved. Just have to remember to weld slow and steady and hold the ends of the weave stroke.

But strangely enough I can't quiet see my welds while I'm welding at times. I wonder if it's my welding helmet it's a cheap one.

Thanks Bern
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