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Author Topic: Best welding rod for beginner  (Read 16763 times)

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Offline chainsaw_louie

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Best welding rod for beginner
« on: January 30, 2006, 10:46:17 pm »
Hi.

I just got the old Lincoln 225 AC welder hooked up and have been teaching myself to weld.  The welder was made in 1957 but it still works great! This is in preparation for building a sawmill.  Somebody gave me 20 or so electrodes and I have been burning them up, laying down practice beads on an old brake disk.  What do you guy suggest is the best rod for me to buy when I run out of what I have (not sure what it is either).   I guess that I will be welding mild steel about 1/4" thick.

And what sort of amperage do you generally burn these rods at on 1/4" steel?

Thanks.

Tim

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2006, 11:03:41 pm »
6013 is commonly used by beginners.  More advanced welders will use a DC machine and use 6010 for deep penetration and 7018 for cap passes.

The amperage depends upon the metal thickness and rod diameter.  For an 1/8" rod on 1/4" plate, I'd try a range between 50 - 80 amps; probably starting around 70 amps.  You should have a smoother transition from the edge of your weld to the base metal.  If it looks "globbed" on top, you're probably need more amps.
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Offline Coon

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2006, 11:08:13 pm »
Tim  I think that this post would be better posted in the GENERAL BOARD.  It sounds like it would be more appropriate there.

Personally, I taught myself to weld and I generally use 6011's and 7014's for any welding that I have done but I am not positive if these would be right for the use that you intend.  I have not had very many welds break on me and I have burnt 100's of pounds of rods in my lifetime.  I have welded on farm equip, sawmill and logging equip, and numerous of projects that I have built over the years and will continue on hopefully for years to come.

Brad.
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Offline getoverit

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2006, 11:10:24 pm »
6013 and 6011 are good beginner's rods. The main thing with ANY rod is to make sure the rod is 100% dry when you weld. Welding rods have a tendency to absorb humidity from the air, and the wetter they are, the more they stick and splatter. A good dry rod will do some mighty pretty welds, even with ancient welders. Keep them in a "light box" (a metal box with a light bulb inside to provide heat) to keep the moisture out. The box should be fairly air tight. I have seen people use old refrigerators for welding rod boxes, but you would need to dry a BUNCH or rods to keep one this size running. you get the picture anyway...
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Offline jrokusek

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2006, 11:14:43 pm »
I think the 6013 rod is more of an advanced type of rod if I remember correctly.  6013 and 6011 (6010 too) are deep penetrating rods.  They work great but it is difficult to start a good arc.  Try the 7014 to get a good-looking weld.  It does a nice job, looks good, and holds well also.  Easy to start an arc too.  6013 works better for vertical surfaces, 7014 for horizontal surfaces.  

Or....buy a mig welder and forget everything else I said!   :D

Jim

Offline Dangerous_Dan

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2006, 11:20:55 pm »
An easy rod to run and makes nice bead is 7018.
60XX series rod don't make pretty welds and are harded to keep an arc going.
7014 gives more "cut" than 7018 but has sloppier bead.
I use a mig for most of my welding these days but if I need to make a stick weld and I want it to look nice 7018 is the best standard rod.
If you want to spend some $$ and make some really nice welds check out Certanium (spelling??) rods.
I use these when it's gotta be perfect. ;)
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Offline toxedo_2000

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2006, 12:17:23 am »

Or....buy a mig welder and forget everything else I said!   :D

Jim

Yep, that is the thing to do. A Mig, will make a professional from your amateur skill.
Tox
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Offline Bob_T

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2006, 01:00:07 am »
Tim,

I've been a perpetual beginning welder for as long as I can remember.  I think most of the advice you got is good.  If you plan on buying 7014 or 7018 rod, read the box first to make sure it's suitable for an AC welder, as some of the various types are intended for DC only.  I think I've seen 7014 "AC" rod though.

Also, about MIG welders.  In the hands of a beginner they are notorious for making very nice looking welds that aren't very strong.  You can build just about anything you need with that old Lincoln AC machine.

There's more to a good weld than meets the eye and it's hard to teach yourself to be a good welder, even with the help of a book.  If you have a good community college system near where you live, they usually have night welding classes.   Some classes are geared towards training professional welders and are very good.

Bob
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Offline Jason_WI

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2006, 01:03:17 am »
7018 low hydrogen rod is a little difficult with an AC welder and overkill for most gen purpose welding. Works better on DC. 6011 will burn through the rust, paint and manure :-X to make a nice weld. We buy 50 lbs of 1/8 6011 at a time for the farm. Cant be beat for an all around gen prupose rod.

Jason
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Offline etat

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2006, 01:58:46 am »
Quote
7018 low hydrogen rod is a little difficult with an AC welder and overkill for most gen purpose welding. Works better on DC. 6011 will burn through the rust, paint and manure  to make a nice weld. We buy 50 lbs of 1/8 6011 at a time for the farm. Cant be beat for an all around gen prupose rod.

Dang betcha!   :)


Start with 6011 for your  welder.  It will burn just a little bit hotter and pop just a little bit more than 6013, which burns just a little bit smoother but you will get better penetration and less slag in the weld.  Also it will make a stronger weld.  I always considered a 6013 just a bit weak for higher strength applications.

If you are welding anything structural stay away from 7018  until you learn to weld with the 6011.  While 7018 makes a nice bead it doesn't burn deep and doesn't make as strong a weld, especially if you start, stop while you are welding.  It works MUCh better as a DC rod.  Also it doesn't start penetrating as quickly, you can actually run a 1/4 inch or more without penetration if the welder isn't set hot enough.  If there's much of a crack in between the pieces they can fill the crack with slag and then weld on top making a weak joint.  That's why they burn smoother, because they have more slag to cool the puddle of hot metal,  however that more slag can get you in trouble if it mixes with the weld.

Your weld likely won't be quite as pretty as a 7018 but I'm absolutely guessing as a beginner it will be stronger.  When you stop for any reason be sure to chip the slag off before you stop back.  Slag is your friend for cooling the hot puddle of melted metal, but it is your enemy if it gets cooled underneath the weld. 

For steel up to 1/4 inch I'd start with a 1/8 inch rod.  I welded with one of them little crackerbox lincoln welders for years. 

Play with the amperage depending on the steel.  I'd start at around a 100 and work my way either up or down.  With the smaller rods you will be using, it is better to make multiple passes than to try to build it all up and one time.  There's LOTS to learn.

Years and years and years ago when I was working in a steel fabrication plant they actually gave me a whole BOX of 6011 rods, a pile of scrap steel, and turned me loose practicing.  They'd come by ocassionally and offer suggestions on making different type of welds.  When ALL of the rods were burned up they actually made me a fitters helper, tackwelding the steel as he fitted ti together and before it went to the welding shop.  That was my training grounds. 

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Offline mike_van

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2006, 05:24:54 am »
The best rod I ever used was Cyrodyne 80 -  It was a little pricer than the 6013's etc. but ran nice beads up, down, & upsidedown too. The 7018 is terrible on an AC welder -
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Offline isassi

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2006, 05:55:45 am »
I have a different takeon this then the other guys, but here is my opinion: There is a 7018 rod available for a/c machines...i.e. 7018AC, not standard 7018LH. That said, if you want to develope the skill to strike an arc and control the arc and travel the weld puddle in different positions, try a pound of this rod. When you are learning, you are not trying to develope 70,000 psi weldments. From my teaching experience, starting and controlling an arc are the toughest things to learn for a beginner. Once the technique is down, then moving to working on weld passes for deep penetration or overlays. Once you start, you will find a balance between amperage and rod size (use 1/8 as your general purpose rod, it will do anything up to inches of metal in multiple pass use. smaller rod for thin, 11 gauge or less). After you can strike and work an arc, then refine what you are doing by varying arc length, i.e., running the rod close will "cool" the weld puddle slightly, longer arcs spread the temp outward, weaving the weld bead covers a wider area, varying the weave with a deeper center point tends to drive penetration...or, make it easy and get a mig machine. I learned on an a/c machine and then did tech training and later teaching fundamental welding and i still do not own a mig. I use a Miller Bobcat 225 and we hang a lot of steel in the air (metal building erection) and while I can't speak for others and welding rod preferences, we use only 7018LH in 1/8 inch to cover every welding application and every position.  ;)I just remebered something my uncle that taught me to weld when I was much younger advised: When you weld, it should sound just like bacon frying in a too hot skillet when running 6011. Good luck with the welding, you will have fun.

Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2006, 08:47:46 am »
I'm self taught and learned on a 7018 AC like joasis referenced. I like using the 5P+ too. I noticed no one mentioned this rod.
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Offline Todd

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2006, 08:55:43 am »
If you want to make porcupines I can help.....none of the rods I've ever tried had any welds in them :D :D ;D
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2006, 10:13:36 am »
I've seen guys around here put their rods on a wood stove before welding with them.Good-bad I don't know,I only have a small mig,but what they welded for me is still together.
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Offline Daren

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2006, 10:26:31 am »
I like using the 5P+ too. I noticed no one mentioned this rod.

Yep, it is good, the slag cleans off easy. I bet I have used 1000 lbs of it.

chainsaw_louie, 20 rods? I threw 200 as far as I could in anger learning, better get some more :D. It's like riding a bike though, once you learn you never forget. I had to go to trade school to learn how, I was a union pipe welder in a past life, MIG, TIG, stainless steel, aluminum, cast iron.... I had a good teacher, my Dad was an instructor at the school. I think that is why I got so frustrated, he was/is GOOD and made it look easy. I kept forgetting he had been doing it every day for 20 years.
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Offline mike_van

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2006, 01:28:16 pm »
How I learned to weld - Part 1 - I bought a 3 ph Montgomery Ward  rear blade - rated about 20 hp I think - Every time I used it, it broke -  I got lots of practice on that baby -  :D  Welding, like a lot of trades, needs some OJT - a few hours from a pro can save you weeks of disapointment - 
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Offline Sprucegum

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2006, 02:02:22 pm »
As far as rods and temperatures go you already got all the good "beginner advice" you need.

Just keep in mind what you really have there is a "hot glue gun".  ;)

If you want to do a good job of glueing something together you makes sure the joint is a good fit and clean of all dirt, etc.

 A good grinder has saved many a dubious weld   ;D  ;D

Offline rbarshaw

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2006, 05:46:46 pm »
Yep, a 4 1/2" angle grinder ;D, must have one, not only to clean and prep the weld but also to make the  :o horrible  :o weld look like a professional did it. :D :D :D
Been doing so much with so little for so long I can now do anything with nothing, except help from y'all!
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Offline chainsaw_louie

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Re: Best welding rod for beginner
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2006, 06:03:08 pm »
Hey fellas thanks for all the good advice. 

I posted here because I am going to build a sawmill, so I figured its related. 

The post about 6011 sounding like bacon frying in a pan is EXACTLY what it sounds like,  those are probably what I have. 

The amperage may be too high cause my welds are kind of full of holes.  But when I lay one over top it looks much nicer.   Anyway its lots of fun.

Thanks.

Tim