View Full Version : New at this "stick" thing. Questions
10-14-2008, 11:30 AM
I've been checking out this site for a while now, reading up as much as possible on stick welding. It's unbelieveable, the knowledge on this site.
I've gotten profficient with wire feeders, so I'm not completely green, but I've got a ton of questions on stick.
I finally sprung for a new Hobart Stickmate AC/DC.
Question 1. I've been trying to weld 1 1/2" angle iron, 1/8 thick, onto a piece of 3/16 plate steel, with the angle pointing up like a tee-pee, (flat, horizontal weld). The only rods I have at the moment are 6011's, both in 3/32, and 1/8.
The problem I'm having is that the 6011's seem to have too much bite, meaning they blow through the bottom portion of the angle where it meets up with the plate, and leaves a hole there. This happened with both size electrodes, but more so with the 1/8 as I would assume.
I was running the 1/8 rods at 110ish amps, and the 3/32 at about 80-85.
So the question is... Is it the rod #, the rod size, the heat setting that's most likely the cause? I get pretty decent welds on heavier steel. The light stuff, I kinda suck.
Question 2, (and the last one for today)... Sometimes I need to weld 2 pieces of steel together that don't quite fit together perfectly. There may be a tiny gap in the middle when the outer edges are touching. For arguments sake, where would be a good starting point to butt join (2) 3/16 or 1/4" plates with semi-poor fit-up, in terms of the rod #, size, and heat?
Thanks in advance, Jim
10-14-2008, 12:05 PM
Question 1. I've been trying to weld 1 1/2" angle iron, 1/8 thick, onto a piece of 3/16 plate steel, with the angle pointing up like a tee-pee, (flat, horizontal weld). <snip>The problem I'm having is that the 6011's seem to have too much bite, meaning they blow through the bottom portion of the angle where it meets up with the plate, and leaves a hole there. <snip>I was running the 1/8 rods at 110ish amps, and the 3/32 at about 80-85.There are several things at play here, but for starters, turn it down. You're running on the upper end of the current ranges for those rods. Don't be afraid to experiment with different current settings. If you're blowing through, turn it down.
10-14-2008, 12:46 PM
Turning it down will allow you to control the burn and make things slow down a little for you. I myself use 7018 at about 80 amps for this type of work.
10-14-2008, 02:00 PM
Thanks for the replies.
Should I be messing with the polarity? I thought I read on here that I'm supposed to set the machine to DC+ and rip the knob off. I have been running on DC+. Haven't even tried DC-. Should I? I know that has less penetration.
I'll have to try the 7018's. That was gonna be tomorrow's question!
10-14-2008, 03:49 PM
I have the same machine and I am a newbie, so take what I say with several grains of salt but I would probably try to use 1/8" 6011 DCEP at around 80-90A, and try to focus more of your heat on the thicker piece of metal, since that won't burn through as fast as the angle iron since the 3/16" plate will tend to act as a heat sink to some degree.
I can't offer anything on your 2nd question, but good luck and welcome. There are a lot of knowledgeable and helpful people here.
10-14-2008, 05:03 PM
1/8 6011 at 85-90 on that machine. DC+
10-14-2008, 05:21 PM
OK, that's what we're gonna try. I obviously was way high on the amps. I was running those amps on the smaller rod. No wonder.
Thanks everybody. Stay tuned for many more questions!
Hell on wheels
10-14-2008, 05:46 PM
Yea run the 3/32 6011 on material that thin anything 1/4" or thicker u can run 1/8" rods.
If u run it on AC polarity it will help w/ the burnthrough,AC doesn't penetrate as deep.
10-14-2008, 09:04 PM
Practice. Practice more.:) What I am saying is that technique will develop with practice. Asking questions will certainly speed up the learning curve, but stick welding is a little like learning to write. You have to develop a feel for the rod and will learn to manipulate it so that you control the puddle better. For a beginner using 6011, maybe just moving the rod tip in a circular motion is the easiest. Do it like you are drawing small "O"s as you move the rod ahead. You will learn how to recognize whether you are moving too slow or too fast. The 7018 is more of a drag type and some slight side to side movement is about all you need on it. You will also need to run it at higher amps for the same size rod.
Practice and ask questions.;)
10-14-2008, 11:12 PM
6013 is good to learn with too. Doesn't stick bad, easy to strike an arc with and won't overpenetrate, but thats about all its good for.
10-15-2008, 07:26 AM
welcome to a brand new world. i went from stick to wire and had quite a time making the shift so i 'feel your pain':D my rule of thumb with stick is run it hot till i can't control the flow. when i started welding my welder didn't have a amp indicator. it was an old t-bolt. i then went to an old sa-200 that didn't have a face plate. so i learned to turn it up till i lost the puddle and then back down a little. it wasn't until this last couple of years that i now own a welder that let's me know the amps.
stay with using the 6011 and learn it well. it will be your goto rod. the second rod will be 7018. i use to use a bunch of 6013, but have not used them in years due to the fact that i can accomplish everything with the former two rods where i would use 6013.
10-15-2008, 10:02 AM
Went out and played a little today. Turning the amps down made a world of diffrence. Seemed to make it a little harder to strike the arc though. I did a nice job of welding the electrode to the plate!!! I know that's just a practice thing.
10-15-2008, 11:57 AM
The technique you need to learn with 6011 is whip and pause. You need someone that "knows" to demonstrate it. If your intent is to build and you want good results get some 7018AC, run it on DC+. Whip and pause will help with the gaps on the 6011, allows control to weld them right up.
You can see at the top of the pic, a gap maybe 3/16 on 1/4 plate, no bevel just stack it in the joint.
10-15-2008, 01:22 PM
Sberry, thanks. My gaps are smaller than that, and my results kinda sucked. Now I have something else to practice.
For anybody (like me) who thinks they're gonna go out and buy a new welder and start making welds like that right off the rip, get that thought out of your head right now!!!!
10-15-2008, 01:26 PM
Sbarry, also, by the looks of the surrounding metal, am I right in saying you're running at the lower end of the heat range?
And what is the difference between 7018, and 7018AC? Does the AC rod work better even if you run on DC+?
10-15-2008, 02:10 PM
The reason I say the 7018 AC is basic. It re strikes well and if you got it hot enough, go slow enough its almost cant miss for simple mostly flat work for a beginner. They can simply drag it along.
Basically the machine is not turned down for that weld, fairly hot, its the technique is the point I try to get across, someone that run that all the time could make some improvement, its what gives puddle control with this electrode.
I believe this was the back, in the first pic you can see the face of the bead isn't quite full 100% and from this pic you can see I pushed a bit too much out the back.
10-15-2008, 05:53 PM
...Does the AC rod work better even if you run on DC+?
Yes. (I'm putting a parenthetical expression here to lengthen my response so that my post will be accepted...)
10-16-2008, 08:15 PM
This is where ease and speed was everything, I stick it over wire just because I could and moving leads, could avoid grinding some rust. Square cut, very little grinding work and basically stack the gap full of metal flush. I might have used a bigger electrode if I had it but no "little circles or C's", just basic whip and pause, put a spot of metal then whip away, let it cool and come back and put another spot, repeat. You can see when the puddle look like it was going to fall thru or the fit up change the spaces between it changed. Almost all single pass, a couple spots I might run a small root/ stripper type pass where the gap was big, maybe 6 or 8 rods around this pipe, 1/8.
10-16-2008, 08:24 PM
Piece of tubing welded into the pipe. The overall project which was using anything I could scrounge at the time.
10-16-2008, 08:31 PM
I mentioned the little circles because that's the way I got started in about 1974. A guy came out and hooked up my new Airco buzzbox and asked if I could draw circles. After laying down a piece of metal he said to draw circles with the rod tip. This was just running 6011 flat on some plate thick enough to not burn thru very easily. It was my first time welding and I think he had a good idea. :)
10-17-2008, 07:51 AM
Nice pics. So far the only welds I've made that look like that were by accident! I'll get the hang of this. Thanks again for all the responses
10-17-2008, 09:02 AM
This electrode is a series of deposits. Getting them spaced right gives good appearance and gives control.
Craig in Denver
10-18-2008, 12:26 AM
For anybody (like me) who thinks they're gonna go out and buy a new welder and start making welds like that right off the rip, get that thought out of your head right now!!!!Driver444:
It's too bad every new weldor 'on Earth' won't see this. At least when I started welding, I knew that I didn't know. And anytime I think I might know, someone asks "Can you weld vertical up, overhead, or horizontal?" Uh, no; I can't. :( (unless it's O/A)
10-18-2008, 08:36 AM
The other thing new weldors need to remember is that the weld does not have to LOOK good to be a good weld. The prettiest weld beads can still be bad if they lack the right properties.
What counts is having good fusion, and no defects like undercut, porosity, slag/hydrogen inclusions, etc.
A good weld is a weld that gets the job done.
That being said, a good weldor does take pride in their work and wants to get the job done AND look pretty, but you need to focus on getting the job done first.