Arc Welding,,,, please help.....

   / Arc Welding,,,, please help..... #1  


Bronze Member
Jun 11, 2007
Southwest Ohio
Hi all. I recently bought a trailer and i wanted to replace the small flimsy rails with some larger taller rails. (angle iron). Anyways, i got all the old rails off and grinded everything down to flat bare metal on the trailer, and made sure the angle iron I was adding was cleaned where i would be adding the weld. (i borrowed a 230 amp ac/dc arc welder from work) I have been using the low AC setting as the welder recomends for non-flat welding. I am using 3016 sticks. Basically i just cant get the angle iron to bond to the trailer. It seems like the bead will go on great to just the angle iron, but just wont stick to the trailer. The trailer frame is much lighter weight than the angle iron, could this be the problem? Should i ground to the trailer, or the added angle iron. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
   / Arc Welding,,,, please help..... #2  
I am kind of surprised that you haven't received any replies yet. There are some genuine welding experts on TBN, and I am not one of them. ;)

Nevertheless, I will go out on a limb and state that you should have your ground lead on the trailer frame.
   / Arc Welding,,,, please help..... #3  
Yep, ground to the trailer. It has been a long time since I did any stick welding and my vague recolection of weld rod ID numbers, does not recall the number 3016(it almost sounds like a stainless rod). For this job(all mild steel?)I would think you would want some basic 6011 rod. Depending on how thick the metal is, you will probably want around 1/8" dia rod. How thick is the trailer metal and the angle you are trying to attach? A good starting place/Rule of thumb for arc is about 100A for 1/4" material. The trailer may also be a better heat sink, particularly if you are trying to weld to the edge of the angle iron. It's greater mass absorbs the heat better and transfers it away before melting when compared to the edge of the angle iron. To compensate for this, you need to favor the weld puddle onto the trailer metal a little more than the angle iron to get it to melt and flow together.

I don't know how much experience you have, but vertical is a bit more difficult than horizontal. I would get some practice on some horizontal scrap, then do some vertical practice on scrap in the same config you are attempting on the trailer before I started on the trailer itself. I personally prefer to work from bottom to top as I weave the bead. This leaves a place for the weld puddle to settle on the already formed bead that has started to cool.
   / Arc Welding,,,, please help..... #4  
I agree 100% with everything Ron said. I can't add anymore to it, but would highly recomend you follow his instructions.

   / Arc Welding,,,, please help..... #5  
a 6013 rod will be a little easier to master than a 6011 rod. A 6013 will not penetrate as deep as a 6011 but it should hold up well.
These sites should help some:
Fundamentals of Professional Welding|2030|



I'd run a 1/8" 6103 rod at about 100 amps for vertical up for what you are doign if the material is 1/4".
   / Arc Welding,,,, please help..... #6  
I'd say the same as the others. Switch to 3/32" 6011 or 6013. I use 6013 with the welder in DC. The ground should be clamped to the trailer frame. then try your weld. If you are getting it to stick try increasing your setting for better penetration.
   / Arc Welding,,,, please help..... #7  
Put the heat to it & apply the heat to the thickest metal. Then, feather out to the thin stuff. I would use the 6011. Of course, this is only my opinion. I had to cut & weld some angle to my trailer today
   / Arc Welding,,,, please help..... #8  
I would ground the trailer and clamp the angle iron to bare spots. You might try using more amps too...around 130 to maybe even 150? You can always turn it down once you get your weld started and the metal heated up. For OP (out of position) welds like vertical or overhead, use 6011 or 7018 AC rods and 1/8 diameter should work well. Start your weld on the flat surface (probably the trailer) and weave to the angle iron edge to pool it together. Keep the weaving up so it doesn't glob. The weaving allows just enough cooling to run a decent vertical bead. I have not used the 3016 rod, I use the 6013 only for flat horizontal welding.
Here is a basic chart:
Welding Electrodes
   / Arc Welding,,,, please help.....
  • Thread Starter
Thanks for all the replies guys. Im going to give it another shot today but using only scrap to practice. The angle iron is probably close to 1/4" thick. The trailer is thinner than that, but tubed (like a boat trailer frame.)
I had the angle iron grounded and i was going top to bottom, and and i was focusing most the heat on the angle iron, so looks like i did everything wrong. Im gonna get some new rods, and try again. Ill keep you posted
   / Arc Welding,,,, please help..... #10  
The angle iron is probably close to 1/4" thick. The trailer is thinner than that, but tubed (like a boat trailer frame.)

If it's that thin & you focus most of your heat there ,most likey you will burn it up. Strike your arc there, but quickly move the heat to the angle