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  1. #1
    Veteran Member canoetrpr's Avatar
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    Default Welding rods

    Well you guys got me onto learning about welding so I might as well ask here as well as WeldTalk.

    Got me a Hobart AC/DC Lx235 stickmate and I plan on starting to experiment with it.

    It came with 6011, 7014 and 7018 rods. They've been in one of those enclosed rod holders for about 2 years now (says the guy I bought them from). From what I hear the 6011s should be fine. Figure I might as well burn the 7014s and 7018s up while practising.

    I also bought some 3/32 and 1/8 6013s.

    My questions are:
    • What rods would you start with for a beginner?
    • What are your goto rods for fabricating stuff out of 1/4" or 3/8" clean metal - e.g. say something like welding on a QA plate to a loader? I've learned here that the 6011s are a good goto rod for rusty or dirty stuff so I'll remember that for repairs.
    • For 1/4" material what thickness in rods should be selected?
    Pretty basic questions but I'm pretty darn new at this so will appreciate any tidbits you can throw my way.
    Current: Kubota M7040 cab, hydraulic shuttle, Kubota M20 loader (made by ALO), LandPride RCR1872 rotary cutter, Horst bale spears & forks, Woods HB72 box blade, Kodiak 7' rake, Walco cultivator, chain harrow, Meteor 74" pull style blower

    Traded: Kubota L3400, LA473 HST (300 hrs), and various attachments

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Welding rods

    Look at the local welding supply store (or ebay) for books or cd's. That will get you a good start. And a place to look at for the correct way to use the rods, as well as applications, etc.

    Since you have a DC box, you have a lot of choices compared to an AC only box.

    6010 (dc)/6011 are great starter rods (first bead) and can be used to burn through things as well. They will work in rusty metal and are noted for their penetration.

    7018 is a popular rod (ac & dc) for filling, and I think all positions (as is 6010/11).

    I seem to remember 6014 or 6024 makes a real pretty bead, with the slag curling off as it cools.

    The manufacturers all have good info sheets (a lot like gun powder, bullet reloading sites). Better than opinions and memories.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Welding rods

    Ok, I'll take a stab at it. I'll try to keep it sweet and simple and give you some golden rules to go by ( I am not a welder by trade, just do some welding on the side ).

    Your most popular goto rod should be 6010 and 6011. These rods can dig through some rust and grease and dig deep. Your 6013 will simply weld over rust and is most used for thinner materials up to a 1/4. 7018 and the 70 series rods are low hydrogen rods and like 6010 and 11 dig deep but deposit more material. The 70 series rods are moisture sensitive and so need to be kept dry in an oven or used soon after you open the packaging ( soon being a week or two ). Then there are your nickel rods for doing cast iron work. If you're working with thicker material, say 3/8 or thicker, vgrove your butt joints to get full penetration. It's good to do a first pass with 6010 or 11 and then subsequent passes with a 70 series like a 7018. You will get must better looking beads with the 7018 then the 6010 for example. Getting back to your point about welding 1/4 and 3/8. I would use either 6010, 6011, or 7018 if just making one pass. For thinner material, say thinner than 1/4, go ahead and use 6013. Also, the 60 and the 70 indicate tensile strenght, 60,000 psi and 70,00 psi respectively. Hope this helps.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Welding rods

    In terms of rod thickness, don't go larger than the thickness of the material you are welding.

  5. #5
    Super Member LD1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Welding rods

    6011 seems to be a real popular rod on here however I have never had much luck with it. IMO it burns way too hot to get a good looking weld. But then again I am normally weldingmostly clean metal. As for a good beginner for mild steel, I don't think you can beat 6013 or 7014. they both are very easy to weld with. My dad always swore by 6013 just because of how easy it was to weld with. It took me awhile but I finally got him hooked on the 7014. IMO they weld about the same but the 70 series rod is stronger as noted above.

    I havent used much 7018 as idon't have much use for low hydrogen rod, all we weld is mild steel.

    As to the thickness of the rod, 1/8 is a good rod just to keep on hand for whatever comes up. If you are planning a job that you know is going to be a lot of thick stuff, like 1/4 +, get bigger rod like 5/32. If you got some lite work to do, less thatn 1/8", get 3/32.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member canoetrpr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Welding rods

    Thanks for the posts folks.

    Yesterday I lit up my first arcs. It was a BLAST! I was just playing with some 1/4 angle iron from scrap that I cleaned up just to run some beads on. This is all with DC+

    I started with 3/32 6013. It was easy to light and to keep going. My welds were pretty crappy. Then I tried the 1/8 6013.

    Overall

    3/32 6011 was next. Overall it was MUCH tougher to light than 6013, lots of sticking of the electrode to the metal. It burned more 'voilently' :-). However once I got it going, I thought the bead was much better than the 6013. More than likely because I just had had a bit of experience running my first beads with 6013 :-). There as a fair amount of spatter with 6011 which made me think that the current was too high. I had the 3/32 6011 set at about 70 amps. However any lower and it was next to impossible to start .... waaaaaay too much sticking.

    7018 was no use at all.... might be just because the rods were old. It left a lot of holes in the weld bead. I might try some newer 7018s to see what they woudl be like.

    My favourite rod of all was the 7014. it was a 1/8. I set the amps to 120. I could not imagine that I'd be able to run as nice beads as I did on my first day doing this with this rod. The deposition rate was also really good. This rod was as old as the 7018s so it must store better - they were both at least 2 years old - stored on one of those plastic rod holders.

    My overall impressions:

    - I found 1/8 rods MUCH better to run than the 3/32 rods. I'm guessing the deposition rate matched better with the speed I was moving the electrode at.

    - 7014 1/8 ways my favourite by far. Deposition rate was good. Arc was easy to start and very controllable. I could see the puddle nicely etc.

    - 6011 was my next best. It was a 3/32. Layed down not a bad bead. It was a **** to start though. Way more times sticking the rod than starting an arc! Not quite sure if I have the amps set right. The instructions on my machine provided a range of 40-85A for 6011. I'm guessing from the spatter that I am running it too hot and just need to pick up a lot more skill at starting the arc (and not sticking!).

    Things I am confused about:

    - Current range on the 6013 rod package (I bought new rods) was different from what is listed on the quick guide on my welder. The lincoln provided range for 3/32 6013 was 70-100. On the Hobart I think it was more like 40-85. I'm guessing I should use what the rod manufacturer provides as a starting point?

    - How much switching off and on of the welder should I be doing? Everytime the rod sticks, should I be turning the welder off - or just pulling the rod off and putting it back on the electrode holder? I found out that it didn't electrocute me if I just stuck it back in the electrode hold with the machine on :-) I was wearing thick welding gloves etc.?

    Am I generally fine leaving the machine on while I am putting a new rod in etc. as long as I make sure that the electrode holder does not contact the base metal?

    - Duty cycle question. If I turn the machine OFF - does this count towards off time for the duty cycle?
    Current: Kubota M7040 cab, hydraulic shuttle, Kubota M20 loader (made by ALO), LandPride RCR1872 rotary cutter, Horst bale spears & forks, Woods HB72 box blade, Kodiak 7' rake, Walco cultivator, chain harrow, Meteor 74" pull style blower

    Traded: Kubota L3400, LA473 HST (300 hrs), and various attachments

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Welding rods

    Duty cycle question. If I turn the machine OFF - does this count towards off time for the duty cycle?
    Duty cycle is the percentage of welding time versus non-welding time with the machine turned on. If the machine has a cooling fan, it needs to be running to reduce the internal temperature of the machine.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Welding rods

    Geeees, I've been DIY welding for years and have never really given much thought to using different types of rods... I've always picked up a box of 3.2mm (or 0.125in) rods from my local agri supplies store. ALWAYS keep them stored in my wifes hot press (nice n toasty) and have never really had problems welding.... I've never had a weld break on me and always seem to lay down a pretty good bead. My dad taught me to weld when I was a kid. Practice and patience are the key to welding imho.
    The most important thing I've found about welding is to keep the rods in a dry place always, only taking out enough rods to get your job done. Many years ago, an old engineer gave me a tip about welding, i'm not sure even if its true but I keep it as a rule of thumb.... 1 inch of perfect weld will hold 1 ton of dead weight. For some funny reason, that fact always pops into my head as I am laying down a bead... I guess someone will come on here and rip that theory to shreds, but I thought I share anyway....

    Heres another tip for you... If you haven't already got one, why not make your first project a welding table? I have one and would be lost without it. Mine is a little over 40" high which is a nice working height for me. The top is made from a solid sheet of 1/4 plate steel a little under 4ft square. It sits on a 1.5inch box iron frame. I have a vice bolted to it too which is handy... Nice thing about a welding table is you can attach your clamp onto the leg of the table and once you have your work piece on top of the table, it will make electrical contact. You can tack fixtures and jigs onto the table top and even attach magnets to the top to hold your work piece in position...
    If you are having problems with your rod sticking to the work piece... maybe you could try pre heating the tip of the rod? Pull it across your work piece, the tip will ark as you pull it along. Once the rod tip is red hot, you will find it doesnt stick so much .... Of course you will have to clean that up after, but in time you will get the knack and not have to pre heat.
    I'm teaching my daughter to weld at the moment, she is getting the hang of it too. She prefers using the mig over the arc though, if the mig sticks she just pulls the trigger, zaps the extended wire and carries on... (scares the be jesus out of me when she does it). When the arc rod gets stuck, she has to get me to cut the rod off...

    Both of my machines have fans at the back and I let them switched on while I'm working.
    Last edited by Blagadan; 06-17-2008 at 10:50 AM.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member canoetrpr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Welding rods

    Quote Originally Posted by swines
    Duty cycle is the percentage of welding time versus non-welding time with the machine turned on. If the machine has a cooling fan, it needs to be running to reduce the internal temperature of the machine.
    Swines: So what does one do with the electrode holder after you've burned up the rods you had out and need to go open a canister to get a new set? I'm assuming I shouldn't just set it somewhere while I am puttering around? I'm also assuming that if I touch it mistakenly with bare hands (as a mistake) it will electrocute me (right?). I'm probably missing something basic here? Is the electrode safe so long as it is not touching the work piece that the clamp is on?
    Current: Kubota M7040 cab, hydraulic shuttle, Kubota M20 loader (made by ALO), LandPride RCR1872 rotary cutter, Horst bale spears & forks, Woods HB72 box blade, Kodiak 7' rake, Walco cultivator, chain harrow, Meteor 74" pull style blower

    Traded: Kubota L3400, LA473 HST (300 hrs), and various attachments

  10. #10
    Veteran Member canoetrpr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Welding rods

    Blagadan:

    Thanks for those good tips. I was able to pick up a nice welding table used. It's 72" by 28". Nice setup. Otherwise that was going to be my first project.
    Current: Kubota M7040 cab, hydraulic shuttle, Kubota M20 loader (made by ALO), LandPride RCR1872 rotary cutter, Horst bale spears & forks, Woods HB72 box blade, Kodiak 7' rake, Walco cultivator, chain harrow, Meteor 74" pull style blower

    Traded: Kubota L3400, LA473 HST (300 hrs), and various attachments

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