How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?
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  1. #1
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    How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    I'm a complete newbie. I'm trying to weld box section 40mm x 20mm galvanised steel. To make a gate.

    One piece with butt up its open end against the side of another piece - that's where the horizontal top and bottom bars butt agains the uprights, okay?

    So - being such a beginner I've been practicing just that weld. To see if I can do it. Can I build this thing? It looks like I can. Just. Horrible messy looking welds and a couple of times I've burned holes through, but I've joined the pieces so's they don't come apart when I bash them with a hammer.

    I'm using a cheap SIP stick welder at about 55amps according to the sliding scale pointer and 2.5mm and 2.0mm general purpose electrodes.

    I wanted to get 1.6mm sticks but I couldn't find any.

    It isn't as I thought it would be - I'm not sure that the bigger electrode isn't better for the job than the smaller one.

    So that's my first question: What would you all advise me to use for an electrode? The smallest one I can get, or what?

    And the second question: A couple of times there was a bit of a gap where my angle-ground 'edges' test piece butted up against the 'wall' test piece and I found that when the electrode touched that free edge it just burned it away.

    I tested this by trying to weld together two edges - got a gaping hole.

    You can see it on the pic there.

    So the second question: How to weld two 'edges' coming together?

    I'll post pics of my test piece. It looks pretty horrible I warn you. I've included a pic showing the end of the stuff so's you can see the thickness and what I've been doing. I invite any comments at all......
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  2. #2
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    Shorter arc. Smaller rod. slow down. The arc should be one rod distance (the wire part) or less. You need to grind off ALL the galvanize. How thick is the piece. One amp for .001 inch of steel is the general rule. or 39 amps for one mm. Your rod shouldn't be thicker than the piece.

    David
    Real world weldin.

    When I grow up I want to be a tig weldor.

  3. #3
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    It is VERY impotant that you get rid of the galvanizing, the fumes are toxic, and it will bugger up a weld really bad.

    I wouldn't suggest grinding it off, since you are having trouble with the stock being thin already. The best (most eco-friendly) way is to soak the pieces in a bucket of white vinegar overnite. The acetic acid in the vinegar will dissolve the zinc.

    Aside from that, just practice. In my early welding days, before I had a TIG, I found that a 3/32 7014 worked best for me for thin stuff. Dont try to lay a long bead either. Tack it in 1" increments, bouncing around to avoid too much heat build-up in one spot, then tack in between the first tacks until you have it all welded. Be sure to clean the slag off after each set of tacks.
    Miller Econotig
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    Yes ma'am, that IS a screwdriver in my pocket!

  4. #4
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    If you get flap discs for grinding you should be able to remove the galvy without really grinding out anything much as far as the steel is concerned. Galvy coatings can certainly make welding more difficult, and as mentioned earlier the fumes are toxic.... METAL FUME FEVER, is the resulting illness from too much exposure.

    Depending on the size of the hole filling holes can be tricky with stick as well.... sometimes it is necessary to using a whipping motion as well as changing your arc length to fill holes. Whipping the arc in and out of the puddle allowing the puddle to cold creating a small shelf to bring the arc back to, repeating the porcess. Changing the arc length gives you a little ability to vary to heat input as well.
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  5. #5
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    Thanks for the advice. That's pretty shocking news about Fume Fever - I read up about it a bit on the web, a real danger. So I've taken the galv off with a grinding disk on my power drill, that seemed to do it well enough without grinding away any metal.

    gets down to bright metal - that would mean all the gal has gone?

    I can't get the gal out from inside, though, without doing the vinegar thing and I might have to do that in the future, if I get any signs or symptoms whatever of this fume fever.

    AND I got some thin rods. 1/16 inch - 1.6mm - pretty hard to get. And I've been practicing with them and, frankly, I'm not doing too well. I can weld the stuff together so's it won't fall apart but it's a very ugly weld, I still don't feel I've got the 'knack' or a real understanding or ability.

    The welder is down to 40amps in theory, that being the bottom end of the scale. I say 'in theory' because there's a glass window to watch how the indicator slider moves. And above that window are the amperage figures. Well, the window doesn't extend as far as the figures - so when you get to the bottom end of the window the figure on the casing above the pointer is still about 50 amps.

    But common sense would indicate bottom end of the slider equates with the lower figure: 40amps.

    So I can't go lower. But it'll still blow through.

    I can lay a bead along the wall of the RHS (rectanguar hollow section - do you use the same name in the USA?) without any trouble. And I can lay a thick or hot bead along the corner of the RHS where there's 'wall' beneath the bead.

    But if I try to lay a bead like that along the corner where it butts up against the edges of the joining piece - as in the pictures I posted before and these new ones - then the 'edge' will simply burn away like lightning.

    So I can only run along this join with the thin rod and lay an almost invisible 'bead' and then go over it again and again and again - chipping and brushing between each time.

    OR - I can lay the bead on the 'corner' until it is built up quite a bit and then make puddles on there that I can push or tease or whatever you call it over onto the 'edge'. Very slow, very clumsy.

    Seems to me I was doing better with the thicker rod and I'm going to give myself another practice session as big as this one, with the 2.0mm rod or even the 2.5mm

    Meanwhile I'll post pics of this practice session and invite comments from anyone at all, any comment at all, and thank you all for your patience and help.

    I don't know how to put the photos into this text, I only know how to add attachments like i did last time. I'd rather stick them into the text though, I think, if that's okay with the moderators and if someone will tell me how to do it.

    regards,

    ab
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  6. #6
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    That second set of pics isn't so bad after all. You joined the metal together so that's a plus .

    If I could suggest you start just laying stringer beads on flat metal. First step, practice starting the arc and forming a puddle. Just do this over and over until it's second nature. When you are done practicing this, your starts won't look like snots on the tubing anymore .

    Now lay some beads. Watch the puddle and concentrate on a straight weld of uniform width. No need to get fancy with rod motions and so forth just yet. Just work on some nice straight beads of uniform width. You'll be doing it well before you know it.

    Now join some metal. Think of the rod as a torch. Where you point the end of the rod is where the heat goes and where the molten rod goes. If you are running a bead, you can move or angle the rod to keep the puddle centered on the joint line. In a case as you describe where you have a cut piece butting a whole piece, you may need to angle the end of the rod more toward the whole piece. Slow down, watch the puddle and you will quickly get a feel for moving or angling the rod to keep the puddle evenly distributed on the two pieces. Maybe think of the cut piece as thinner than the other piece and you can imagine how you would want to direct the heat to maintain a uniform puddle on both.

    There -- a few practice sessions and you'll be ready to start the fancy stuff. Whips, crescents, weaves, . . . . Keep trying and post more pics.

  7. #7
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    phila.renewal is right, things are looking better. Don't forget to skip around, then come back & fill-in, after grinding the high stuff. Remember the Zinc!
    Bruce
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  8. #8
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    I missed if you are welding DC. If you are, try electrode negative. It will put heat into the electrode instead of the piece. 1/16 electrodes are a blast. They vibrate in my hands. Kind of like an automatic weave or whip.

    Keep at it and you will get it. A little mig would do an awesome job.

    David
    Real world weldin.

    When I grow up I want to be a tig weldor.

  9. #9
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    I wonder if there's any chance I just don't have enough current, even though it blows through? Harking back to David R's advice he says 39amps for 1mm and I've got 2mm galv steel here.

    Thanks for the new starter's course, phila, I will do it. I think you've picked up on what I'm doing - starting the rod again and again and again along the bead. So it looks like a string of currants. That's the only way I've found of doing it.

    The thing is I don't get a chance to 'watch the puddle' - by the time I've got a watchable puddle it has blown through. That's if the weld is across the join.

    If I weld just on the 'whole' piece I can build up a bead, as I've said, and there I can build a puddle. But not on the join because the 'ends' will just blow through.

    I'm pretty sure I'm welding DC though, would you believe, it says nothing at all about it either on the welder or on the two-sheets-of-paper manual that came with it. How would I reverse the polarity? There should be a switch or place to move the lead to? There's nothing.

    I would like to check the welder. Is there a way of checking the amps a welder is using? With a multimeter?

    Keep at it is what I'll do. A friend lent me a MIG some months ago when I wanted to weld my car panels. I practiced with it and couldn't do much good. Using gasless wire. He himself couldn't do much good. I've since been told I should have used it with gas.

    I will keep trying.

    Thanks again for the help and encouragement.


  10. #10
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    I still learning myself, butI re-read this thread & couldn't find what weldor your using?

    I'm pretty sure I'm welding DC though, would you believe, it says nothing at all about it either on the welder or on the two-sheets-of-paper manual that came with it. How would I reverse the polarity? There should be a switch or place to move the lead to? There's nothing.

    As far as DC goes, most weldors have the option of reversing the polarity, inside the chassis or cabinet?
    Bruce
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  11. #11
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    Quote Originally Posted by abrogard
    The thing is I don't get a chance to 'watch the puddle' - by the time I've got a watchable puddle it has blown through. That's if the weld is across the join.

    If I weld just on the 'whole' piece I can build up a bead, as I've said, and there I can build a puddle. But not on the join because the 'ends' will just blow through.
    I can't help you much with the machine settings on the machine you describe (if I had to guess, it's a small AC buzz box, 110V -- the slider actually moves a steel core into the transformer to cut the current -- that's how I started welding at first back in, I think it was around 1980 -- it will work I can guarantee you that but it can be hard to get a bead going -- I remember that part very well so what you've got so far is not bad at all -- just striking the arc without the rod sticking is a challenge on that type machine so you are more than halfway there).

    If you can get the puddle started on the whole piece and run a bead with good penetration at minimum current on the machine, you probably have things very close to just right (and you can't go any lower in current so your choices are easy from here ).

    As another thing to try so you can get a better feel for it, start the puddle on the whole piece and guide it nearer, nearer, nearer the cut piece, then quickly move or whip over the cut piece (angling the rod toward the whole piece) and then and back to the whole piece as you move down the weld. You will get the puddle to fuse the two pieces without even holding the rod over the cut piece. If you do this at the right pace, the cut piece will get enough heat to melt but not blow through, you will get penetration and enough build up -- a successful weld.

    Another approach would be to start the puddle on the cut piece but not on the edge and do a similar approach toward the whole piece. The build up of bead on the cut piece will help absorb some of the heat as you move toward the edge and if you get the timing right it won't blow a hole in it. This often works for butt welds too -- get the puddle started on the plate and then move toward the joint once you have a puddle established and under control.

    Likely not the best technique (I'm no expert), but things to try.

  12. #12
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    If its a DC welder, put the electrode in the ground clamp and clamp the electrode holder to your work. Give it a shot. If you are burning through, you probably have enough amps. We need to know the name of the machine.

    And no you cannot check the amps with a multimeter. What Number rod is it? 6010? 6011? 6013? 7014? 7018?.....

    If there is any galv on the steel it will flare up and make the arc go nuts on you. Try some OTHER stell and see what happens.

    David
    Real world weldin.

    When I grow up I want to be a tig weldor.

  13. #13
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    The welder is a 'SIP'. I don't know if you get that brand in the States, it's Chinese I think.

    I've made some progress today, I think. I turned round the other way and ramped the amps up and I grabbed the 'big' rod - 2.5mm, a size the local people told me I should be able to use (couldn't get small rods locally).

    It seemed to go easier. I can still burn through but that's a funny thing, too, because the risk of burning through seems about exactly the same!

    If I make one quick pass and then come back and go over that glowing metal it's easier - much easier - to avoid burning through and that glowing bead provides the illumination to help me see the damn thing. I can then go over it again until the bead is fat enough to reach the join if I've missed the join - and that's easier to do than you'd think (for me).

    I run what I think is a good bead and when I check it I find it has run right along the shoulder of the piece and missed the 'edge' of the other piece entirely.

    The thicker rod puts down more metal so that the first pass leaves something substantial there. With the 1.6mm rod a first pass might leave virtually nothing - and if I slowed it down to try leave a good bead I'd get a burn through.

    Maybe I'm kidding myself. Perhaps the pics will help you decide. I've photographed the welds as welded and then ground them back to nearly flat so's you can see just how good they might be.

    I forget what the number is on the rods and its late at night here now, I can't go look. I'll post that later.

    regards,

    ab
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    You're not kidding yourself. The welds are getting better.

    I forgot you have 220V mains power as standard so the box would be a 220V on the primary -- that will help make arc starts easier. The welder you are using is very similar to my first welder of almost 30 years ago and it will work. I used one just like it for several years and I had the same trouble you are having so don't get discouraged.

    Keep trying and experimenting. How about this as another experiment. Run short, quick beads perpendicular to the joint as tack welds. If you can get that to work, a series of tacks, with cooling time in between, will form a weld that may be strong enough for your gate. As a "second phase" if you can get a series of tack welds in place, it may make it easier to then connect them together running a final pass down the joint.

    DavidR mentioned the welding rod you are using. I would recommend the E7014. The flux is an iron power, penetration is lower and you can drag the rod along the work which makes it easier to get started. If you can't find it locally, send me your address and I'll mail you some so you can try it. I've got plenty that I've had properly stored for a while now and I'd be happy to send you some.

    Sorry I can't be more help. There's a lot of trial and error that just can't be avoided. All part of the game.
    Last edited by phila.renewal; 03-29-2007 at 08:49 AM.

  15. #15
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    They are looking more substantial! I'm thinking the galvanic stuff is still an issue, if the tubes were galvanized.......so was the interior? Do the vinegar soak, it might look like a por did the welding?
    Bruce
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  16. #16
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    The tubes are galvanised on the inside I would say - they look exactly the same both sides. I will try the vinegar soak technique and see if I can detect a difference.

    The "short quick beads perpendicular ...." is really what I (I cannot use single apostrophe... throws me out of the editor... into a "find.." mechanism...ever had that happen? ) have been trying to do from the beginning.

    That was my attempt at a tack weld. But as I crossed to the thin edge metal I would always burn through the edge. I could not tack.

    My technique now is what someone suggested - I lay metal on the thick part until I can make a pool and then I put that on the edge. Now that I am going better I can lay metal in something that looks like a good bead right across the whole 38mm of the tube. Then pass over it again and I have immediately got something I can work with.

    These are the rods I have been using:

    1.6mm from Gemini 12, rutile coated, E6012

    2.00 mm from Easyweld SH421.0

    2.5mm from Nuweld E6013

    Thankyou for the clue about rods. I will follow that up.

    I am thinking I do not have the "knack" and I am wondering where I should look for it, if you see what I mean:

    Is welding a fine and delicate thing or more a brute force kind of thing?

    Does welding get so easy you can do it in your sleep or does it always require close concentration?

    I am thinking fine and delicate and ever present concentration.

    Seems to me you have to look right into that weld and you are working with minute movements of the rod tip, shortening and lengthening the arc, weaving the arc, changing the angle, manipulating the arc around the job.

    That is all very fine and delicate despite the fact you are working with the fierce heat of the sun.

    But nobody ever mentions "fine and delicate.." so just maybe I have got it wrong.

    And, lastly, if it IS fine and delicate in its nature how about the current? Do minute alterations to the current affect everything or is that very forgiving (another way of saying "does not matter much" ) ?

    I thank you all for the time you have given me and let me tell you I much appreciate it and the advice.

    regards,

    ab

  17. #17
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    Once you get the hang of it, 5 amps makes a difference. I don't think delacite or how ever you speel it is the word. Maybe precise. And after you get then hang of it, it will be like tying your shoes until you get a different thickness or steel or rod.

    The 6013 might work if you tilt your work and weld pretty fast down hill. Keep the amps low and WATCH THE PUDDLE

    YOU CAN DO IT!
    David
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    When I grow up I want to be a tig weldor.

  18. #18
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    After TIG welding alot stick welding seems pretty brutal, but it realy isn't. It is fine work that requires alot of control. It just takes some practice.

    When I first started welding my biggest problem was being able to watch the puddle and manipulate it according to how it was looking. I didn't even realize that for awhile. It finally hit me one day, all of a sudden I got the eye. Pay no attention to the fireworks show, just concentrate on the glowing molten puddle, and the area immediately surrounding it. Watch what happens and take note, eventually you will be able to manipulate it without consciously thinking about it.


    If you haven't been already, try cutting your rods in half instead of starting with a full length stick. It is much easier to control a shorter length, especially with the small diameter rods you are using.
    Miller Econotig
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  19. #19
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    Perhaps you could get some thicker plate and learn to weld, then do the job at hand. It would be a lot easier.

    David
    Real world weldin.

    When I grow up I want to be a tig weldor.

  20. #20
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    I think you're right. cutting the rods might help. I notice the difference myself, when the rod gets about halfway I start really getting into it and just when I feel I'm getting somewhere the rod's finished!

    Practice. I need more practice. David's right. I could use to do a welding course and learn to weld in a proper setting - with instructors and a properly set out course of tuition.

    Later I might even be able to do that.

    But I'll build this gate now, as best I can.

    In the past I've only ever done one welding job before. I have this 16metre x 8 metre x 5 metre high shed. It has railway line for uprights every 4 metres and needed some wall cladding when I got it. So I cut and welded 4mm thick x about 4" angle iron brackets onto the railway line to carry 4metre wooden stringers that I could screw corrugated iron sheets to.

    70 odd of those brackets. I did that job as best I could, learning as I went, knowing nothing really, absolutely no training and no assistance. The brackets are still holding. That was a snack compared to welding this thin stuff.

    I had the idea that when you got a thin enough rod and low enough amps then welding thin stuff would be as easy as those brackets had been.

    Not so, is it? Different ballgame entirely.

    It was like that with the MIG, too. I had the idea that the MIG would make it child's play to weld thin stuff. As easy as that brackets job.

    Not so. The MIG would burn through just like the stick. The MIG would spatter and lay a string of currants, just like the stick.

    I have read in this forum, I think, people claiming that in welding school they welded gum wrappers!! I'd like to know just how they did it. I've never seen where they say if it was stick or MIG or TIG or what.

    What I really want to do is weld thin stuff. That's the challenge and that's my future desire because I want to fix my car. You can see it http://xyford.com I want to cut out the floor wells and weld them in, cut out the rust in the tailgate and weld in new stuff.

    That's good old steel in that car, thicker and better than modern stuff, but it is still very thin. Much thinner than this 2mm gal steel I'm hassling with now. And it is my goal.

    I'm hearing, here and there, that I should give up the idea of arc welding entirely and go for using an oxy torch. Which sounds convincing. But then I recall those claims that they've welded gum wrappers. Presumably with arc welding.

    So the search continues. It is hard to come up with any certainties. I mean like someone who can say "Do it this way and it will be as easy as that 'brackets' job." Probably because there's no way it ever will be. Thin stuff welding is probably - I'm thinking - an entirely different thing.

    So how do they make it so easy that they can actually weld a gum wrapper?

    I talk a lot don't I? Sorry. Hope I'm not wasting the forum's space and time. Probably I simply need to keep trying and trying and that way I'll eventually find out for myself. Perhaps it is one of those things, where each individual finds his own way. I seem to be preferring the 2.5mm rod where in theory it should be easier with the 1.6mm rod.

    Perhaps, probably, I should shut up about now and just go away and practice and practice and get back to you all when (if ever) I have cracked it and can weld 2mm without any problem at all, and 1mm.... and car panels... !


  21. #21
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    That is why we're here, bounce ideas & techniques off'n each other.
    Bruce
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  22. #22
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    I've usually had good welders to use at work, even though I no longer work on the shop floor, but for those occasions when I have to fix something on the weekend, I have an old Century "buzz box", which is a 115v unit without any adjustments for amperage. The penetration or heat is controlled by the size of the rod you use, where the smaller rods actually burn hotter and the larger ones cooler. If your machine is at the minimum setting and still burns through, try a larger rod, 3/32" or even 1/8" if you can get it to start. I think you would have better results with an iron powder rod like 7014. As for learning to control your stick better, I hope you are using two hands, and not one hand with the other holding the shield. You need both hands when learning to keep the stick steady. The hard part for many people is learning to feed the stick in as you move the bead along. Some, but not all people can get better results when first learning, by placing the stick straight out, rather than at a right angle in the holder, and grasping it like a pencil. They seem to have the muscle memory to write, even largely like on a blackboard, which can be used to better control the stick until it becomes second nature. Just 2 cents from a half wit.

  23. #23
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    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    You are very far from a halfwit, aren't you, Carl. Thanks for your post. I've reached the stage where I can comprehend what you're talking about - where a short while ago I would have understood the English, of course, but not really have understood what you meant.

    But I've noticed for myself that when I went to the smallest rod (1/16" - 1.6mm) things didn't get easier, they got harder. More burnthrough. Swifter burnthrough. Even though I went down to the minimum amps.

    And that if I went back up to a heavier rod and left the amps the same it got easier.

    I was saying in this thread that I seemed to be favouring the heavier rod. That was because of that mechanism.

    My surmise was that if the current was the same then the smaller rod carried it all on a 'sharper' point and therefore penetrated more.

    Right or wrong about the reason it is heartening to have some confirmation that this thing actually happens - after so much encouragement to believe that I should go smaller rods/smaller current all the time.

    Thanks for the clue about 'iron powder' rods. I will look for them. I've never heard of them. Not unusual, I've heard of nothing, I'm not in an environment to hear of things related to welding.

    I am not using two hands. I'm waving my mask around with one and welding with the other. This, too, I can appreciate your remarks about. Why? Because I am just beginning to get some understanding of rod control.

    I've now welded about 60 odd of these particular joints that I'm trying to make. And about 40 of the 'wire mesh onto the RHS' welds. I've made one gate and have started on the other.

    All the welds are atrocious. The last quarter or more of all my welds have been with the 1/16" rod.

    It was easier with the heavier rod. But not easy enough. The technique was to build a big puddle on the strong side and then slur it over to the edges, across the join. I got the job done at the cost of an enormous heap of weld metal that was doing nothing except sitting there looking ugly.

    This didn't look or feel right to me so I decided to fathom out these 1/16" rods - after all, that was the prevailing wisdom, lightest possible rods, and I'd paid enough for them, even driving 200km to get them.

    Well there was all kinds of hassle as you'd imagine. The thin rod waving around everywhere. Burning through like lightning. I had to be so quick that I couldn't see where I was going. I'd strike the arc and then the rod had to move immediately and would be at the other end of the join before I saw it wasn't on the join!

    So I got the job done with a mixture of repeated arc striking, or multiple tacks you might call it, and wavering all around the place, and repeated passes along the length of the join, and building up that heap of metal again and slurring it over.... a great mishmash of stabs at it.

    I thought I had a technique for a while. I would pass quickly along the joint. Dragging the rod along the metal, in the join. Spluttering and spitting and crackling. It would lay a tiny bit of metal. Then I'd go again and again and finish up with a weld, a thin weld, right there where it was needed, in the join.

    But I couldn't repeat it at will. Sometimes it would cause immediate burnthrough. If there was a bit of a gap so's the rod could find the edge it would immediately eat away at the edge. I'd get an immediate hole in the joint.

    It was like this right up until the last couple of welds yesterday. Then I found myself making circles with the very tip of the fine rod over the joint and moving along it. Moving too quick to burn through but not too quick to fail to leave some metal behind. I built two good welds - good for me, that is.

    And that's what I mean by understanding your remarks about rod control. All that work with the fine rod has finally got me to where I am beginning to pay full attention to the very tip of the rod and what it is doing, where it is and how much metal it is putting down, how big the puddle is.

    I can fill the holes in a crappy 'string of currants' weld like this with fine detail because the little rod gets right in those holes.

    I'm hoping I've found a way and learned something. Maybe I have and maybe I haven't. Maybe I'll get back out there today and the first joint with a little gap it'll eat the gap away again. Back to the drawing board.

    A couple of gaps were so big I had to fill them with lengths of the 6mm mesh wire.

    I don't really know what to do. So I've decided to stop changing every ten minutes. I'll stick with the 1/16" rods until the packet is finished and see what I learn.

    I realise now the learning comes slowly.

    Someone said CLAMS and all the important things about good welding. Current. Length of arc. Angle of rod. Manipulation of rod. Speed.

    I realise now I've been welding with no control over any of them. Not any. At any given time I've had the current set blindly, not really knowing if it where it should be or not. My arc length is totally random... I'm too busy moving that rod to avoid burnthrough. The angle of the rod is unknown to me entirely. I strike the arc with the rod laid over pretty well and probably weld at the same angle. The Manipulation is all over the place without understanding or method, just stabbing and re-striking and hovering and whatnot at random, trying to do the weld. And the Speed has just been a frantic running away from burnthough.

    And that's true. For about 100 welds in total.

    So it takes a long time for me to learn.

    And perhaps I've just now made a start.

    I've got to thank all you guys who've had the patience to read my long winded posts and the consideration to think about it and post advice to me.

    I will plough on. I've got the mesh to weld on this second gate now - and that's a whole story in itself - and then the job's done and I'll go get steel specifically for practicing and I'll see if I can teach myself to weld.

    regards,

    ab

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Mackay,Australia
    Posts
    115

    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    Hi Abrogard,

    Ok I"ll jump in for my 2 cents worth. First of all you are to be congratulated for sticking with it this far.

    You have started your welding experience by selecting a combination of possibly the hardest of everything weldable to start with.

    I don't like to sound critical, but lets just say the SIP welder, a bottom of the range machine is a cheaply built Italian design,which needs soaking - in deep water.
    The cheaper components make it especially hard to do what you are doing -weld thin stuff.The initial arc strike spikes up the voltage which blows your thin metal away before any deposit happens. Anyway if it is all you have we will have to work around it.

    Welding thin metal, let alone galvanized steel is just another burden which a beginner welder should not have to bear. Tube and particularly thin walled stuff is no fun for experienced welders with the level of equipment you have.

    Perhaps a better way to get you rolling is to forget the gal for now,just put it aside. Grab some 3/16 or 1/4" flat bar and run some beads parallel to the edge. When you get some success on thicker plate,you could then step progressively down until you achieve your goal.

    I have some tips for welding square tube ,but will go a put them in picture form for you.

    I"ll get back tomorrow as its evening here in Oz.

    Grahame

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    259

    Re: How To Weld Thin Steel Edges?

    i think you are exactly right grahame, he didnt exactly start with the easiest first.

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