How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?
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  1. #1
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    How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    I'm thinking about getting a 220v welder when I have the money so I can weld thicker stock. I'd like to be able to do 3/16" mild steel in a single pass. I was thinking stick welder, but now I'm not sure.

    According to Lincoln's guide: http://www.lincolnelectric.com/asset...eld2/c2410.pdf

    It looks like I would need 200+ amps to weld 3/16 in a single pass. That seems awfully high to me, but maybe it's right?

    Let's say that I wanted to buy a machine that I could make skid plates, maybe a small utility trailer, bumper for my truck with...what would I need to get the job done? I had it in my head that I could do 3/16 stock no problem with basic 1/8" 6010/11 and 7014 rods running on any old 220v stick welder, most of which are capable of 200+ amps AC or ~150 amps DC.

  2. #2
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    I think they are mistaken. Maybe with rod larger than 1/8", but 1/8" 7014, 7018 should not be 200 amps. Maybe 125 amps max. 6011 even less.

  3. #3
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Look real close at that PDF. I think what you will see is that the electrode size is very large for some reason. Keep in mind lots of Lincolns stuff is written with high speed, high deposition production work in mind. The listings I looked at showing 200 amps for 3/16" material all were using something like 3/16" rods. Not something the average hobbyist would want to use.

    I'd probably opt for 3/32" or 1/8" rods. Choice to be dependent somewhat on what rod I was using and the joint style.


    There's almost nothing the average home hobbyist usually needs to weld that can't be done with a machine that's capable of 225 amps Ac or say 180 amps DC approximately. Most guys never need anything larger than 125-140 amps to run 1/8" 7018 on DC. The amps to run 1/8" 7018 would be slightly higher. Even if you needed to jump up to 5/16" rods, 225/180 amps would probably let you do what you wanted to on average, even if you had to stay on the lower end of the setting in some cases.
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    So how do you decide what size rod to run? Is it basically that the larger rod will go faster/fill more? If so, is there any reason you couldn't run 1/16" rod to weld 3/16" steel in a single pass, just go real slow?

    There must be something to it that I'm missing...

  5. #5
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    I'll start out with a basic definition of terms so we are all on the same page. By "weld" I'd define that as something suitable for structural or critical applications. If you are simply looking to "glue" or "stick" metal together, the requirements are much less stringent.

    A lot of this is done thru experience and comes from what has been proven to work for others. To truly determine if a rod size/process will work for an application, usually a weld engineer would work out a process and then they'd test it to determine if the process worked for that application or not. This is how they determine what would work on say a bridge or a piece of heavy equipment in a production setting. Some times they "cheat" and use an existing proven set of parameters. Hobby stuff is less exacting.

    There is a minimum amount of power that is required to get decent penetration into the base material of a given thickness. You can't simply use 1/16" rods to weld up 1" solid steel for example. 3/16" with 1/16" rods would be "iffy" in my opinion as far as being suitable for "structural" use. I'd want more amps to know I was getting proper depth of fusion into the base material. If all you want to do is glue together a welding table, it could probably be made to work with no major issues as long as the welds didn't have a lot of major flaws.


    I usually try to use the largest rod/amp combo possible within reason. I know for example from proven practices that 1/8" rods will do for 1/4"- 5/8" with no problems. Much thicker and I'd want to jump up in rod size, though I do know that there are proven procedures to do welds on 1" material with 1/8" rods. It will take quite a while to do this however. Less than 1/4" with 1/8" rod is certainly doable, but on average the welder has to be a bit more skilled than the typical hobby guy to pull this off. Dropping down to 3/32" reduces the heat input and allows thinner materials to be welded easier. I'd say 16 ga- 1/4" is a decent range for 3/32" rods. 1/8" material is certainly doable with 1/16" rods, but you are getting on the low side amp wise to get solid welds. These rods are really for thin material.
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  6. #6
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Quote Originally Posted by DSW View Post
    I'll start out with a basic definition of terms so we are all on the same page. By "weld" I'd define that as something suitable for structural or critical applications. If you are simply looking to "glue" or "stick" metal together, the requirements are much less stringent.

    A lot of this is done thru experience and comes from what has been proven to work for others. To truly determine if a rod size/process will work for an application, usually a weld engineer would work out a process and then they'd test it to determine if the process worked for that application or not. This is how they determine what would work on say a bridge or a piece of heavy equipment in a production setting. Some times they "cheat" and use an existing proven set of parameters. Hobby stuff is less exacting.

    There is a minimum amount of power that is required to get decent penetration into the base material of a given thickness. You can't simply use 1/16" rods to weld up 1" solid steel for example. 3/16" with 1/16" rods would be "iffy" in my opinion as far as being suitable for "structural" use. I'd want more amps to know I was getting proper depth of fusion into the base material. If all you want to do is glue together a welding table, it could probably be made to work with no major issues as long as the welds didn't have a lot of major flaws.


    I usually try to use the largest rod/amp combo possible within reason. I know for example from proven practices that 1/8" rods will do for 1/4"- 5/8" with no problems. Much thicker and I'd want to jump up in rod size, though I do know that there are proven procedures to do welds on 1" material with 1/8" rods. It will take quite a while to do this however. Less than 1/4" with 1/8" rod is certainly doable, but on average the welder has to be a bit more skilled than the typical hobby guy to pull this off. Dropping down to 3/32" reduces the heat input and allows thinner materials to be welded easier. I'd say 16 ga- 1/4" is a decent range for 3/32" rods. 1/8" material is certainly doable with 1/16" rods, but you are getting on the low side amp wise to get solid welds. These rods are really for thin material.
    Sounds good. I appreciate the input. So it sounds like I'd want to be running 3/32" most of the time as I anticipate working primarily on smallish projects using 1/8" or 3/16" steel. Now comes the question, how do you know what rod to run? There are a fair amount of choices if you have a proper welder. With my current 50A welder I've tried 1/16" 6013 (very poor) and 1/16" 7014. The 7014 works well but does more "sticking together" than welding of metals. It has worked for the little things I've done, but I wouldn't trust it with anything imperative. Since the 7014 has worked well, I'm currently partial to it but no doubt would feel different with a better welder.

    So let's say I'm putting together a skid plate for my Ford Ranger using 3/16" steel, what rod type, size and amps would be good to try?

    What about a bumper?

    Trailer?

    **edit**
    I should note that I do plan on taking a welding course at some point, I just don't have the time or money right now and I love learning. That said, this forum has been a HUGE help and has already made me 10x the welder from before I came on here.

  7. #7
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Here's something that may help.http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/calculators/

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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Quote Originally Posted by BD1 View Post
    This is helpful, but only if you already know what rod size and type to run...which are my primary questions.

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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Run a 7018, 3/32 or 1/8" at about 75 amps.

  10. #10
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    There's quite a bit written here about rod types and when/where to use them. The average hobby welder can get by with just about anything for noncritical projects. If it is a critical project, new 7018 on average is probably the rod to use. For most semi critical projects. (I'd put a bumper in this category) I'd suggest you run the rods you run best as your 1st choice. If you run several rods about equal, I'd run a 70XX rod over a 60XX rod. CEP did a good backyard "test" that shows how certain rods perform by smashing them with a hammer. If I get a chance later tonight, I'll dig up the link. It shows how different rods compare in "toughness" ( toughness being the ability to flex rather than break)
    .



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  11. #11
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Quote Originally Posted by joecool85 View Post
    This is helpful, but only if you already know what rod size and type to run...which are my primary questions.
    As a rough guideline, start with a rod size between 0.5x and 1.0x the thickness of the metal you are welding. With multiple passes, you can go up to perhaps 4x the rod thickness. This is just the roughest of rough guidelines, and as DSW's answer suggests, the reality can be much more complicated.

    Most hobbyist stick-welding is on material between 1/8" and, say, 1/2". Getting much thinner than 1/8" requires a higher degree of skill, although it absolutely can be done. Getting much thicker than about 1/2" requires more output than a typical "hobbyist" machine can accomplish, and besides, if whatever you're welding requires 1/2"+ material, you are probably leaving the realm of "hobbyist" behind.

    If you limit yourself to between 1/8" and 1/2" material, you could do everything you ever needed to do with 1/8" rods. Once you get thicker than about 1/4", you're going to end up doing multiple passes, and depending on the joint type, you may need to bevel it, but there's nothing wrong with that. On smaller stuff, between perhaps 1/8" and 3/16" you may want to drop down to a 3/32" rod, especially as a beginner, to give you more time to work without burning through. At 1/4", though, I'm more than comfortable running 1/8" rod, and if I'm comfortable, really anybody should be, because I'm not a very skilled weldor.

    As for choosing rod type, try not to let yourself be overwhelmed with options. IMO, you will make yourself a better weldor if you try to stick with one or two rod types until you get good with them.

    6010/6011 require more finesse to use and produce a rough bead, but penetrate very well and can be used on metal that is rusty or has a little bit of paint or oil on it. This rod also excels when fitup is poor, or for filling gaps.

    7018 is relatively easy to run and produces a very pretty bead, but has little tolerance for gaps or poor fitup, as well as requiring a relatively clean weld surface. It forms a slag coating over the tip, which must be broken off for restrikes, meaning that it's a pain to use if you're doing short stitch welds or tacking up. 7018 is a low-hydrogen rod, which means that it is supposed to be stored in a rod oven to keep it from absorbing moisture from the air. There is some disagreement among people on this forum as to whether it's acceptable to use 7018 as a general-purpose rod if it's not stored in an oven. I won't get into that.

    6013 is a low-penetration rod designed for use on sheet metal. Some people run it very well, but most people, and especially unskilled weldors, should not use it as a general-purpose rod, because it has a propensity to produce weld beads that look good on the surface, but either lack penetration or have slag inclusions inside. IMO, of course.

    7014 has similar characteristics to 7018, but is not a low-hydrogen rod, and so does not have to be stored in a rod oven. One feature of 7014 that stands out is that the rod itself burns up inside the flux coating, meaning that the beginning weldor can drag the flux coating on the base metal and the rod automatically maintains the proper arc gap.

    7024 has very fast deposition rate, but it is only usable in the flat position, so don't bother with it except for specialty situations.

    Based on a survey here, the vast majority of weldors use either 6010/6011 or 7018 primarily. Some of that probably depends on where they work. A lot of pipeline work is done with 6010 for the root and 7018 for the hot and cap passes. A lot of structural work is done with 7018. If I was to choose one rod type to run forever and ever more, it would be 6010/6011. The reason being that it will work in nearly any situation: dirty metal, poor fitup, you name it. It is an incredibly versatile rod even though it is harder to run well. You can run 6010/6011 in all positions. For cases where I have good fitup and clean metal, I love 7018. It makes me look like I know what I'm doing. But if you were concerned about not storing it in a rod oven, you might switch to 7014 instead.

  12. #12
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Josh, 6010/11 is like eating a cupcake compared to 7018. Esp. when you get into 5/32 7018. The 60 series rods will give you a false sense of security that you know what your doing as far as i'm concerned. Trust me i'm not knocking you bud, but keep at it and you will see. When it clicks it clicks and one day you'll be saying that d!ckhead weldermike was right!
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Quote Originally Posted by weldermike View Post
    Josh, 6010/11 is like eating a cupcake compared to 7018. Esp. when you get into 5/32 7018. The 60 series rods will give you a false sense of security that you know what your doing as far as i'm concerned. Trust me i'm not knocking you bud, but keep at it and you will see. When it clicks it clicks and one day you'll be saying that d!ckhead weldermike was right!
    Is 7014 strong enough for something like a trailer? Assuming that the welder is of sufficient skill to be working on that type of project? (I'm not...yet)

    I like that it wouldn't have to be stored in an oven.

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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Quote Originally Posted by DSW View Post


    There's almost nothing the average home hobbyist usually needs to weld that can't be done with a machine that's capable of 225 amps Ac or say 180 amps DC approximately. Most guys never need anything larger than 125-140 amps to run 1/8" 7018 on DC. The amps to run 1/8" 7018 would be slightly higher. Even if you needed to jump up to 5/16" rods, 225/180 amps would probably let you do what you wanted to on average, even if you had to stay on the lower end of the setting in some cases.
    Back in the day, the 180 amp AC Lincolns were all most people used.

  15. #15
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Assuming the operator is skilled and the machine is big enough, then yes you could build a small trailer with 7014.
    .



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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Quote Originally Posted by joecool85 View Post
    Is 7014 strong enough for something like a trailer? Assuming that the welder is of sufficient skill to be working on that type of project? (I'm not...yet)

    I like that it wouldn't have to be stored in an oven.
    I made my first utility trailer in 1971, using 1/8" 7014 rods and an Airco 225 amp AC machine. It is still on the road.

  17. #17
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Quote Originally Posted by joecool85 View Post
    Is 7014 strong enough for something like a trailer? Assuming that the welder is of sufficient skill to be working on that type of project? (I'm not...yet)

    I like that it wouldn't have to be stored in an oven.
    If you not secure with your abilities yet then no rod would help with that question. Just being honest bud! Practice, Practice, Practice till you can weld all position in your sleep with any rod
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  18. #18
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    7018 and 7014 are both 70,000 psi rods. They are strong enough for a trailer

    7014 is my favorite cause it welds very nice and needs no rod oven.

    I lean towards 6010/6011 and 7014 as the two general purpose rods for my shop.

    If there is one rule for a new welder to remember - don't try to weld metal thinner than your rod. It's frustrating when you are new.

    Dave J.

    Edit: like said above - no welding trailers when you are new
    Dave J.

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  19. #19
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Quote Originally Posted by weldermike View Post
    The 60 series rods will give you a false sense of security that you know what your doing as far as i'm concerned. Trust me i'm not knocking you bud, but keep at it and you will see. When it clicks it clicks and one day you'll be saying that d!ckhead weldermike was right!
    No offense taken, but I couldn't disagree more. When I weld 7018, my beads look okay. Yeah, you could easily pick them apart, in terms of consistency of travel speed, rod angle, etc... but there is zero slag inclusion, zero porosity, and attractive and smooth profile. Slag peels easily and cleanly off if the heat is right, and even if it's not, it chips off cleanly with a few whacks of the hammer. With 6011, it is usually just a mess. Tons of slag inclusion, especially at the toes, very uneven bead profile, slag is impossible to clean off. I don't know what to tell you...

    Granted, I'm only ever welding on the flat, so maybe if I start working out of position I'll see what you're talking about.

  20. #20
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    7018 and 7014 are both 70,000 psi rods. They are strong enough for a trailer
    Wouldn't even 60XX be okay? It seems like it's probably the penetration of the rod, and the ability of the rod and the weldor to lay down a quality bead, more than anything else. I mean, 6013 is a 60kpsi rod, but I doubt I would trust a trailer to it in most weldors' hands.

  21. #21
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    All rods ok for mild steel under 50 ksi , big rods more production . We used to have 100 500 amp ac transformers ,Hollups and Lincoln TM -500 and used tons of big stick up to 3/8 dia. Doing D1.5 bridges thr code requires min heat imput at times with 5/32 min dia . 7/32 E7028 and E7024 will run away from .045 fine wire mig all the time . For the trade center Lincoln 1/16 we are using Outershield 71 Elite by the ton . well over 100 to date!! For sub arc LA-75/860 flux 5/32 dia twin wire 900 amps 35 lb /hr .

  22. #22
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuabardwell View Post
    Wouldn't even 60XX be okay? It seems like it's probably the penetration of the rod, and the ability of the rod and the weldor to lay down a quality bead, more than anything else. I mean, 6013 is a 60kpsi rod, but I doubt I would trust a trailer to it in most weldors' hands.
    Ductility is also a consideration when choosing a rod. As a result, I would not use 6013 for a trailer.

    Dave J.
    Dave J.

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  23. #23
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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    7018 and 7014 are both 70,000 psi rods. They are strong enough for a trailer

    7014 is my favorite cause it welds very nice and needs no rod oven.

    I lean towards 6010/6011 and 7014 as the two general purpose rods for my shop.

    If there is one rule for a new welder to remember - don't try to weld metal thinner than your rod. It's frustrating when you are new.

    Dave J.

    Edit: like said above - no welding trailers when you are new
    As I said above, I wouldn't be working on trailers or anything crucial until I am a much better welder and will probably even take a course just to make sure I really know what I'm doing. I also have a buddy that is a mechanical engineer and does a lot of welding - he really knows his stuff and he said this summer he'd help me out. He does mostly MIG though with a large 220v unit, not stick.

    Anyway, so you use 7014 and 6010/11. What do you use the 7014 for and what do you use the 6010/11 for? Just curious, this has all been very interesting and informative.

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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Quote Originally Posted by DSW View Post
    There's quite a bit written here about rod types and when/where to use them. The average hobby welder can get by with just about anything for noncritical projects. If it is a critical project, new 7018 on average is probably the rod to use. For most semi critical projects. (I'd put a bumper in this category) I'd suggest you run the rods you run best as your 1st choice. If you run several rods about equal, I'd run a 70XX rod over a 60XX rod. CEP did a good backyard "test" that shows how certain rods perform by smashing them with a hammer. If I get a chance later tonight, I'll dig up the link. It shows how different rods compare in "toughness" ( toughness being the ability to flex rather than break)
    This is probably the link you meant: http://weldingweb.com/showpost.php?p=935021&postcount=4

    Looks like 7018 is double the "toughness" of 7014. And 7014 matches or exceeds 6010/11. Poor 6013 is total crap in that test.

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    Re: How many amps to stick weld 3/16 in a single pass?

    Here is a chart from AWS comparing the different rods. (mild steel electrode selection chart)

    If you look at soundness, ductility and low temp impact you can see why 6013 gets poor results in destructive testing and 7018 is at the top.

    Dave J.
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    Last edited by MinnesotaDave; 04-10-2013 at 09:07 AM.
    Dave J.

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