Thoughts on Welding

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awake

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In a recent hijack of a new member introduction (New from Atlanta Ga), there seemed to be some energy / interest in discussing matters related to welding. As one of the hijackers, I thought I'd repent and start this thread to relocate that discussion.

One of the matters that has been raised is which rod people prefer to use, with several expressing a preference for 6013. There was also some discussion about drying rods. Here are my $.02 on the rods I tend to use:

6010 and 6011 use a cellulose-based flux that is not affected by moisture. I have seen at least one chart that recommends against drying these rods or storing them in a rod over. Following directions I read long ago, I have soaked either of these rods in water, then used them at very high amperage as cutting rods - pretty crude cutting, but effective. They are fast-freeze, deep penetration; they can be used on rusty metal.

6013 and 7014 use a "rutile" flux ... whatever that means. IIRC, it is not particularly sensitive to moisture - it can be stored without any particular precaution, but can also be dried / stored in a rod oven. These are low penetration rods; 7014 is higher deposition of metal due to iron content in the flux.

7018 is a low-hydrogen rod, and this is the one where dryness really, really matters. Moisture in the flux will mess up not only the welding characteristics but also the low-hydrogen characteristic. Low-hydrogen is particularly important for higher-carbon steel. Should be stored in a rod oven.

Of these, 6010 is DC+ only, but the others can be run DC+ or AC. I think 6013 and 7018 can be run DC- as well; I'm not sure what the advantages or disadvantages would be.
Of these, 6010 and 7018 require a higher open-circuit voltage, which may make them hard to start when using lower power welding machines.

All of the above is based on fuzzy memory and a brief skimming of some reference materials, so I welcome corrections, alternate experiences, etc.
 
In a recent hijack of a new member introduction (New from Atlanta Ga), there seemed to be some energy / interest in discussing matters related to welding. As one of the hijackers, I thought I'd repent and start this thread to relocate that discussion.

One of the matters that has been raised is which rod people prefer to use, with several expressing a preference for 6013. There was also some discussion about drying rods. Here are my $.02 on the rods I tend to use:
snip
They are fast-freeze, deep penetration; they can be used on rusty metal.

6013 and 7014 use a "rutile" flux ... whatever that means. IIRC, it is not particularly sensitive to moisture - it can be stored without any particular precaution, but can also be dried / stored in a rod oven. These are low penetration rods; 7014 is higher deposition of metal due to iron content in the flux.

7018 is a low-hydrogen rod, and this is the one where dryness really, really matters. Moisture in the flux will mess up not only the welding characteristics but also the low-hydrogen characteristic. Low-hydrogen is particularly important for higher-carbon steel. Should be stored in a rod oven.

Of these, 6010 is DC+ only, but the others can be run DC+ or AC. I think 6013 and 7018 can be run DC- as well; I'm not sure what the advantages or disadvantages would be.
Of these, 6010 and 7018 require a higher open-circuit voltage, which may make them hard to start when using lower power welding machines.

All of the above is based on fuzzy memory and a brief skimming of some reference materials, so I welcome corrections, alternate experiences, etc.

Any rod can be used on rusty metal - - - its all about the technique and heat.
7018 can, for short periods of time, be stored in a very dry environment.
For welds to code - - - nix - - no way - - - never - - - (that's when rods are removed from the box and overnighted in the rod oven (and packed to the use area in a portable oven) before use!!) !!!
The use of reverse and positive polarity can help you with your bead appearance and weld puddle characteristics.
Some brands of 7018 really suck when using them on a buzz box (small line welder). Some brands have a special version of 7018 for buzz boxes.
imo 6013 rod should be rarely used - - - far too easy to create a weld that looks good and really doesn't do what its supposed to do.

7024 has been alluded to - - - its a great rod when used to work in parameters that it was designed to do - - - its a 2 position rod and likes heat - - - so
if you don't have access to that level of heat (1/8" 7024 likes 175 to 180 A) and you're not trying to burn lots of rod - - - well - - - don't bother with it. (Now if you're capable of running through a box (40# or 20 kg) in less than 8 hrs you just might find yourself liking the stuff and you can do some interesting stuff with it.)

One serious advantage to stick (SMAW) welding is that one's environmental options are a LOT bigger. It doesn't take much of a breeze to seriously diminish the shielding on your mig setup.
 
Now that you mention it, maybe I use a 6011.

I will have to go out in the shop in look.

I have been welding too long to remember.

I do recall keeping 7018 very dry, and I do keep those sealed.

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Sometimes when I weld heavier pieces, and I turn the amps up, the rod will overheat before I get through the entire rod.
I am using a standard size rod, which I guess is 1/8"? (I will have to check that too).

So to avoid overheating the rod on high amperage welds, do I need a thicker rod, or what?

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I still say that getting the gap right plays a big role in getting a full penetration weld.
I saw a guide somewhere for how much gap for a given thickness metal.
And tacking or clamping the pieces to keep the gap open is important.

And for very thick metal, I see folks vee out the joint, and make multiple passes, cleaning between passes.

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I fabricate my own foundry equipment, and so it is very handy to be able to weld.

I will post some of the stuff I have welded.
I don't spend too much time fabricating and welding museum-grade equipment, but prefer to spend the bulk of the time on the design, patterns, etc. and just have solidly welded equipment that won't win any awards for looks.

These are lifting tongs that I made.
A bit wide at the top, but they work well.

I think I broke down and wire brushed and painted these.
I am trying to get into the habit of painting anything I fabricate from steel, just for cosmetics mainly.

The welds on these tongs look very sloppy and weak, but I did set the gap correctly, and the welds are very deep and strong.

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I needed to move some equipment upstairs into my office, and so I built a hoist, using EMT conduit.
I was looking for IMC conduit, which is thicker, but EMT is all they had, and so I tried it, and it was plenty strong enough for what I needed to hoist (generally under 300 lbs).

I welded up a trolly, and spliced the EMT, since a 10 foot piece was too short.

I did not want a permanent installation, and I did not want to spend much money on a hoist, and so this one is a bit crude, but it really works surprisingly well.

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Some ingot molds that I made.

I welded handles on them so that I could hold them in the exhaust stream and get them hot to drive off the residual moisture.

The ends have a slight draft angle, to facilitate removal of the ingot.

And a very crude steel crucible.
This was the first crucible I made and used, and while it did work well, I transitioned to clay-graphite for all metals, and don't use this crucible anymore.

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I welded up a thick hoop for my Hobart mixer.
The standard kitchen mixing hoop was too thin and flexible for mixing bound sand.

Again, not great looking welds, but they are very solid, and full penetration.
I never have a weld break.

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I started to build a muller for my foundry sand, and before I got this completed, I changed to bound sand.

I went to Northern Tool, and purchases what was inexpensive, such as fenders for a trailer, trailer bearings, and 2nd hand dumbbell weights.

I think this muller would have worked well.

Note that if you build one of these, use a clutch that will slip, or a shear pin.
There are many stories of people building these, and then a piece of slag in the sand catches the rotating parts, and the muller self-destructs because it was geared down, and did not have a shear pin or slip clutch.

I have gotten good with sheet metal welding using the tombstone Lincoln.

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Here is a pouring cart for the heavier pours.
It is made from a purchased two-person pouring shank with some wheels added.

I get ridiculed online for running bare metal rims on concrete, but if you have operated a foundry, you understand that anything rubber near the crucible will melt.

This cart works well, and one person can pour a crucible and melt that weights in excess of 100 lbs. easily.
I used wheels large enough to easily roll over grass, if it is desired to pour over grass.

I fabricated the lift-out crane also.
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Fuel tank fabricated from a new empty 40 lb propane bottle.
This was tricky to weld, and I should have leak-tested it before I used it.
I weeps a bit of compressed air (it is pressurized to 10 psi), but does not leak fuel, since I kept the fittings at the top above the fuel level.

I was not pleased with these welds at all, but the tank is functional.
It is not safe to reweld once you have had fuel in it, so test it with compressed air first.

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This is a burner tube made from muffler pipe.
I used the lowest setting (40 A), and got a pretty rough weld, but I got it closed up.

I have since developed a better thin metal technique which is an in-out technique, where you hold the rod in for about 1 second, and then pull it back to elongate the arc for about 2 seconds, to give time for the puddle to solidify.
The in-out technique works much better than a continuous close-up arc, and prevents burn-throughs.

For foundry equipment, the welds just need to be structurally sound.
Cosmetics really does not matter, unless you are into that sort of thing.

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I made the furnace shell from a beer keg, so that it would not rust.
It ended up requiring more than one keg, and I would have been better off just buying a stainless steel 55 gallon drum.
Hindsight is 20-20.

One has to improvise in order to transform things into off-use items for foundry work.
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Furnace support base.

I originally thought I could use a lightweight sheetmetal pan, and thus the lattice work.
I ended up using a steel plate, which eliminates the need for the lattice work.

Learn as you go.

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