Blowing holes!
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Thread: Blowing holes!

  1. #1
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    Blowing holes!

    How do you guys Stick weld thin steel without blowing holes.

    I can not seem to stop blowing holes through thin box still with my 6013s..even when the amps are low..!
    I just use a basic drag technique but blowing holes are driving me crazy!

    So any tips?
    Should I whip the rod when welding thin steel, lower the amps..keep any extremely tight arc???

    Please help

  2. #2
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    Re: Blowing holes!

    What welder and settings and what size rod? AC or DC?

  3. #3
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    Re: Blowing holes!

    We need the settings and material thickness to give you any suggestions. Picts would also help.

    BY "thin" are we talking 16 ga or 22 ga? What size rod, 1/16" or 1/8"? DC+, DC- or AC? How many amps?...
    .



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  4. #4
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    Re: Blowing holes!

    When i'm stick welding thin sheet I almost instinctivly start whipping. Don't know how to really put it but here goes. Once i'm all tacked up i'll work off the tacks and whip quick back, almost long arcing and come back quick tight arc push into the previous weld and repeat until you feel like your pushing the limits of a blowout. Sometimes i'll long arc my whips crazy lenghts like six inches or so just to give some cool down time in between dabs. I may start off with half inch whips making a run sometimes and finish with four inch whips by the time i'm at the end of my run. Takes time and practice to get a feel for it and just be able to react to reading your puddle and your base metal and giving it what it can handle. Hope that helped a little bud
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  5. #5
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    Re: Blowing holes!

    Fronius transpocket dc inverter welder, 1/8 6013 running on dc positive...box steel is 3mm thick
    Last edited by Paddypower; 02-20-2013 at 03:56 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Blowing holes!

    Running at about 90-95 amps, I've tryed used 2.5 mm rods at 80 amps and still blow holes

  7. #7
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    Re: Blowing holes!

    3mm isn't all that "thin" in my book, but it is getting there. I make that out to be roughly .118 which my chart on sheet gauges makes it 11 ga.


    Here's some picts I posted up the other day. 125 amps, 7018, DC+, lap welding 14 ga to 1/8" angle. Very tight arc, drag no motion. I was rushing the bead a bit and going faster than I usually would have. Welds look a bit colder than they really are in the picts. Bead was very flat and the slag chipped off with my fingers.

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    I'm no where near blowing thru the 1/8" angle even at those amps. I'd have preferred to have run 3/32" rods instead to drop my amps, mostly because of the 14 ga, but it's doable with 1/8" rods. I've done decent welds with no problem on 14 ga with 3/32" rods. If I have to weld anything thinner with stick, I have some 1/16" rods some where. Probably 7014, but they might be 7018. I almost never use them.


    6013 can be run DC+ or DC-. You get a bit less penetration on DC- IIRC. 6010/11 is also used for sheet even though it's a deep penetrating rod, because it's fast freeze. I know one member ( Don IIRC) here was showing welds on even thinner sheet running 6010 and a whip, but I've never really picked that motion up well. I played a bit with it on 20 ga with mixed results. For anything thin I almost always go to mig with solid wire and gas given any choice at all.
    .



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  8. #8
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    Re: Blowing holes!

    Yeah Doug I was thinking thin thin like you, i'm talking like 16, 18 gauge. But the same would apply if I was jammed in a piece of equipment with a handfull of 5/32 and had to patch up some 1/8 and all I had around was a stick machine.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Blowing holes!

    I will admit trying to weld the 2 pieces of 1/8" angles together with an 1/8" to 3/16" gap to get the spacing right with those same settings was tougher. I did have the weld start to open up and seriously keyhole on one or two of the 2" welds if I got lazy. Nothing major as I broke the arc the moment the hole started to open up too big. You can just see one of the "holes" on the far left edge of pict #2. I might have had it open up an extra 1/16" or so before I broke the arc. You can just barely see the "blob" where the puddle fell out since I was welding from the other side. If I had to guess, I'd say the areas I had issues with were where the angles started to separate a bit more and the gap was on the wide side vs the areas where I had to jam a wedge in between the two angles to open up the joint to maintain correct spacing.
    .



    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

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  10. #10
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    Re: Blowing holes!

    Yeah Doug ya gotta be quick on the draw sometimes!
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  11. #11
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    Re: Blowing holes!

    is a whipping technique usually the best option to avoid blowing holes so..

  12. #12
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    Re: Blowing holes!

    Depends.

    1st thing would be choosing the right rod, diameter, amp and polarity combo for the material thickness and joint configuration you have to start with. Trying to weld 18 ga sheet but joints with poor fit up, with 5/32" 6010 at 165 amps isn't going to work no matter what technique you want to work with. Either that or you have extraordinary skills and a ton of hood time.

    Joint configuration. But joints are usually the easiest to blow holes in. Lap joints tend to soak up heat better if everything else is the same. Fillets sort of fall in between. If you need to keep the surfaces flush, you can often flange the seam so that you can still get a lap weld, but keep the two sheets even on the face.

    Rod choice. Fast freeze rods or low penetration rods tend to be a better choice than deep or medium penetrating rods. Smaller rods allow you to run less amps, thus helping to prevent burn thru. Given a choice, I'd rather run a smaller rod than a larger rod at the same amps, though it's often a toss up. The larger rod will tend to be a bit "colder" in the weld, but you'll often have issues when you go to run a very tight arc with the rod sticking. Running the next size smaller at the same amps, will give you a bit more control over the arc many times than running the larger rod. Down side is very small rods tend to get very flexible and some times you need to cut the rod in half to keep them stiff enough to work with easily. Also what rods do you weld well with? I don't really do well with 6010/11 rods, so they usually aren't my 1st choice to do things where I'm welding on the edge of my skill set. I'll fall back on 7018 or 7014 where I'm much better and have more control over what is going on.

    Arc length. A close arc tends to put less heat in the material and give you a "colder" puddle than using a longer arc. Here's where whipping can bite you as well as help you. When you swing the rod back in, you short arc the rod depositing material and cooling the puddle. When you swing out if you aren't careful you can long arc the rod increasing the heat and making it easier to blow holes. There's a trick to this that honestly I've never gotten down well enough to make it work well on thin sheet. I simply don't honestly have a need to do this usually, so I don't really practice. It wouldn't hurt for me to see someone really skilled in doing this and watch them go thru the motions a few times to pick up some of the subtleties I'm probably missing. Some rods like 7018, don't take well to a whip and pause as when you long arc them you get a lot of porosity.

    Polarity. As mentioned running DC- often will give you a bit less penetration than running DC + or AC. AC usually needs more amps than running DC. Not all rods run well in all polarities. 6010 runs like crap in DC- or AC most times, as does some 7018's. 6013 and 7014 tend to run OK in all polarities, though many prefer to run it in one over the others.


    None of these "tricks" will help you though if you can't read the puddle well. I could tell when things were getting out of control and either make changes to adjust for what was going on, or know when to stop and then try again. Biggest issue I see with students and thin material is they haven't yet learned to read the puddle. It aggravates them to no end when I can take the same machine, not touch the settings, and do nice welds while they blow massive holes in things. There's nothing I can really do to help them "see" what is going on. I can make suggestions on fine tuning settings, joints etc, but in the end, if they can't read what is happening and adapt as the material heats up, there's nothing I can do to help.
    Last edited by DSW; 02-20-2013 at 06:19 PM.
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    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

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  13. #13
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    Re: Blowing holes!

    Excellent reply..thank you very much..

    Ivan

  14. #14
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    Re: Blowing holes!

    Pretty much what DSW said, switch to DC electrode- for thin steel. you don't want to whip 6013, but you can 6010, or 6011. Realize there are many styles of those rods, some are more aggresive then others. Also, like he said, drop down a size or so in rod dia. Rule of thumb is your rod shouldn't be a lot thicker than your steel. You're almost in 120V mig territory. You can almost whip 6010-11 off and on, although most welders wouldn't recomend it, it's not good practice. If you do that with 6013 you will get slag inclusions.

  15. #15
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    Re: Blowing holes!

    Biggest mistake slot of people make is they slow travel speed down to fill and it sags and they slow down until the hole develops
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  16. #16
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    Re: Blowing holes!

    I know many welders do not need to follow this advice for SMAW, but...

    Our high school textbook says ideal rod thickness is approx half the metal thickness for more control of heat input.

    It specifies to never have the rod larger than the metal thickness.

    When I first started welding, that would have been very good knowledge to have

    Dave J.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Blowing holes!

    Something that is popular for guards and covers is to use E 6013 electrode negative and set the joint sloped at 45 degrees or steeper. Strike up , tight arc and keep ahead of the dribbling metal. 6013 is a fast follow electrode

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