how do you store your welding rods (7018)

   / how do you store your welding rods (7018) #51  

Oldpath05

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Just as big a problem as the hydrogen that is released when welding is that of rust of the steel electrode. When any rod whether it be cellulose coated like the 6010 or iron powder like the 7018 is left exposed to moisture, the iron core will start to rust. How fast depends on the amount of moisture. Cellulose rods don't absorb moisture like the iron powder rods do but will eventually become unusable if left in a high moisture environment as evidenced by the white powder that will form on the outside of the flux. Can you still weld farm equipment with it? Likely you can although the flux will start to "fingernail" that is it will start to burn off faster on one side than the other and leave a long point (fingernail) on one side that makes the arc a bit unstable.
The iron powder rods (xx18) rods will start to have lots of porosity even if you stick the rod and let it heat up till the cloud of steam erupts from it. This is because of the coating of rust on the electrode that you cant see by looking at the outside. Again, you may get "fit for purpose" welds for farm machinery from it as long as you get the water vapor out. The rust will just cause a bit of porosity that while weakening the weld, does not weaken it to point of it failing to hold the part together in most cases.
Hydrogen embrittlement which happens when water is welded over on in case of wet rods is very dangerous as it can cause the weld to fail catastrophically ( as in break in half with no warning and without bending or yielding ). This is very dangerous in lifting mechanism that could be holding something overhead or in something like bridge spans.

I keep my rods in an oven because it basically cost me nothing to do so AND more importantly because I have done so for more than 40 years in the construction industry (25 of which was in Quality Control Management) so it is a habit I really don't want to break.
My shop is on a separate meter and has a minimum charge which I don't normally go over unless I do a lot of welding. So if I didn't use the electricity to heat my rods, I would just be giving it to the electric company anyway. At over $2 per pound (last time I checked pricing which was a few years ago) having 50 lbs. of rods go bad will pay for a lot of electric utility.

I usually read 1-2 lines then skim through a long-ish post to see if something jumps out at me and something jumped out. I picture an electric oven running none stop on high heat keeping electrodes dry costing a little more than, lets say atleast 2 X more than nothing, almost a wow factor to me,
 
   / how do you store your welding rods (7018) #52  

MinnesotaDaveChalmers

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Oldpath05 - the 50lb rod ovens like mine only have a 150 watt element and are thermostatically controlled.

As a result, they don't use much power.

I have a small 15lb one that doesn't get used much, that one is designed to go to a job and runs the element continuously.
 
   / how do you store your welding rods (7018) #53  

Eric Salop

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That might also eliminate the possibility of contaminating the rod ends as you handle them, which could easily skew such minute data points.

As PJ says, when weighing moisture content, the changes involved are tiny. After 96 hours the 3.2mm(1/8th) rods I left inside had gained only 1.04 grains.

For anyone wondering about how accurate these relatively crude tests are, I used 3 rods for each test so that I could make sure the weight changes tracked one another and I hadn't inadvertently chipped off a piece of coating or picked up something else up that would give a misleading figure.
 
   / how do you store your welding rods (7018) #54  

Eric Salop

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Hydrogen embrittlement which happens when water is welded over on in case of wet rods is very dangerous as it can cause the weld to fail catastrophically ( as in break in half with no warning and without bending or yielding ). This is very dangerous in lifting mechanism that could be holding something overhead or in something like bridge spans.

I keep my rods in an oven because it basically cost me nothing to do so AND more importantly because I have done so for more than 40 years in the construction industry (25 of which was in Quality Control Management) so it is a habit I really don't want to break.
.

Gary, I really appreciate now, after seeing how easily moisture flows in and out of these rods, why you and other using these for critical applications keep them in permanently heated ovens.
 
   / how do you store your welding rods (7018) #55  

Eric Salop

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Oldpath05 - the 50lb rod ovens like mine only have a 150 watt element and are thermostatically controlled.

As a result, they don't use much power.

I have a small 15lb one that doesn't get used much, that one is designed to go to a job and runs the element continuously.


Thanks Dave, that answers another question, as to why ovens need to "waste" 100 or 150 Watts continuously. Insulated ones like yours with a thermostat, are going to be much more efficient.

Nowadays there are also other small electrical devices that can take moisture out of a container without significantly heating it. Doubt they would be a commercial success in the welding industry though, as warm rods feel nice when you take them out and give 100% confidence that the oven has been doing what it is supposed to.
 
   / how do you store your welding rods (7018) #56  

Oldpath05

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Oldpath05 - the 50lb rod ovens like mine only have a 150 watt element and are thermostatically controlled.

As a result, they don't use much power.

I have a small 15lb one that doesn't get used much, that one is designed to go to a job and runs the element continuously.

Darn now you've peak my curiosity so I have to go back through the post find picture of your low cost operating rod oven, it sounds cheaper to run than an old small fridge with 60 watt bulb on all the time, that's what I use to use.
 
   / how do you store your welding rods (7018) #57  

Oldpath05

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   / how do you store your welding rods (7018) #58  

MinnesotaDaveChalmers

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"the 50lb rod ovens like mine only have a 150 watt element and are thermostatically controlled." <<<I found it.....not, on second look, there's no such animal...

Keen KT-5 Holding Portable Welding Rod Oven (12V/24V) - Maintains up to 5 lbs (22.7 kg.) of 18" (45.7 cm) electrodes at optimum temperature. - Arc Welding Equipment - Amazon.com

I'm confused, you found the right one - 150 watts, thermostat controlled.
I bought mine used for $75
image.png
 
   / how do you store your welding rods (7018) #59  

Oldpath05

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I'm confused, you found the right one - 150 watts, thermostat controlled.
I bought mine used for $75
View attachment 504268

Electrode Capacity: 50 lbs. (22.7 kg) 18" (45.7 cm) rods
Volts: Dual Voltage 120v/240v.
Watts: 150W
Temperature: Factory Preset @ 275° (135°C) - Includes Field Adjustable Thermostat 100°F-300°F

(Temperature Factory Preset)<<<This part threw me off, then it says>>> (Adjustable Thermostat) <<<That's how I got confused, because to me it's a confusing product description, cant make up it's mind, is it right left, up down, in out or hot cold. Sounds like we both got kunfused, atleast you straighten it out. $75.00, I'd buy that all day long.
 
   / how do you store your welding rods (7018) #60  

BeezFun

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This shows how much water the 7018 rods took up when I left them outside. They were open to the air under a roof, so neither sun nor rain could get directly to them.
Very interesting, thanks for doing this. I would not have guessed the rods would absorb and release water so quickly.

Shield Arc, when you showed us that picture, pouring water out of a can of rods, could that be because the air had cooled below the dew point, so when rods loose some moisture back to the atmosphere, it then condenses out on the inside of the cold can ?
I would agree with you, I've had moisture condense on the inside of a sealed container on electronics just because of the moisture that was in the warm air when the container was closed. Adding something absorbant like flux could produce a lot of water. I've ruined enough things by putting them in sealed containers that I don't do it any more unless I put packets of dessicant inside the container and close them up when the air is as dry as possible.
 
 
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