Settings to weld 3/8 with AC225?
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  1. #1
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    Settings to weld 3/8 with AC225?

    Newbie questions - I'm doing ok with my little HF 90 amp flux wire welder and participate in the HF sub-forum here, but now I'm trying a project with my elderly AC 230 Wards welder (about the same as a Tombstone) and I've got enough sense to know I'm over my head.

    I need to weld 5/16 plate to 3/8 at right angles. I beveled the upright plate (5/16) intending to put a bead down the grove but all I'm accomplishing is depositing slag on each piece. All material has been ground down to clean metal before welding, and it was clean material to start with.

    I tried 6013 rod in 3/32 and 1/8 size then 6011 1/8 size. Welding with the 6011 looks more dramatic but that's the only difference, none are getting any penetration. I tried amps up to 125. Note this is an AC-only welder.

    What do I need to know to get this project done with my welder? I don't care if it looks a little rough, it's for farm equipment.

  2. #2
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    Re: Settings to weld 3/8 with AC225?

    Here's the link to Lincolns PDF on rods. You'll find the suggested settings for most rods there.
    http://content.lincolnelectric.com/p...ature/c210.pdf

    From there

    6013 AC 3/32" 75-105amps, 1/8" 110-150 amps

    6011 AC 3/32" 50-85 amps, 1/8" 75-120amps


    Every machine runs differently, just because the dial says 120, may not be where the rod needs to be. It's just a starting point. Picts of your "welds" would help greatly. If I was to guess, I'd say you are moving too fast and not letting the puddle form. Thats a very common mistake for most new stick welders. 6013 1/8" will probably get you 6-8" of weldbead in 1/4" fillet IIRC. With the groove, you'll probably get less length. Slow way down and see if this helps. Actually try to almost go too slow. 6011 is a bit harder to run ultra slow since it digs so agressively, but 6013 should work better too slow than too fast..
    .



    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!

    Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
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    Re: Settings to weld 3/8 with AC225?

    Quote Originally Posted by California View Post
    but all I'm accomplishing is depositing slag on each piece.
    Sounds like too long an arc to me. That was my major problem when starting out; I was holding the tip of the rod too far back from the welding surface - sort of waving an electric flame around! My 'welds' were all black slag full of porosity and my 'welds' fell apart when I knocked the 'welded' pieces onto the floor.

    With 6011 the gap betweeen the end of the rod and the work piece is to be no more than the rod diameter. With 6013 and 7018AC, once the rod gets burning some, there is a sleeve of ceramic formed around the metal tip of the rod that forms the exact gap needed, you simply drag the rod along the surface.

    Also, I didn't use up near enough rod length when welding. Like DSW said - Go Too Slow!
    Rick V

    1 Airco Heliwelder 3A/DDR
    3 CTC 70/90 amp Stick/Tig Inverters in Parallel
    1 Lincoln MIG PAK 15
    1 Oxy-Acet

  4. #4
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    Re: Settings to weld 3/8 with AC225?

    Quote Originally Posted by DSW View Post
    Every machine runs differently, just because the dial says 120, may not be where the rod needs to be. It's just a starting point. Picts of your "welds" would help greatly. If I was to guess, I'd say you are moving too fast and not letting the puddle form. Thats a very common mistake for most new stick welders. 6013 1/8" will probably get you 6-8" of weldbead in 1/4" fillet IIRC. With the groove, you'll probably get less length. Slow way down and see if this helps. Actually try to almost go too slow. 6011 is a bit harder to run ultra slow since it digs so agressively, but 6013 should work better too slow than too fast..
    DSW, I wonder if I need to turn up the amps. I intended to tack the four corners of the project then evaluate if I should take it to a 'real' welder or continue myself, but adhesion is so bad that I don't have the dimensions fixed by my attempted tacking. I don't think I'm moving too fast, I'm depositing nearly a quarter of a rod in two separate 'grapes' at each corner I intend to tack but they don't merge together or penetrate, at most the steel surface just sizzles and no material goes into the groove. I would guess there is too much thermal sink with insufficient amperage. Is is possible with 6011 to deposit so much flux that it prevents penetration?

    I think my ground is secure. I sanded to clean metal before setting the ground clamp.

    Will turning up the amps penetrate better or just deposit more rod faster?

    I'm thinking in the morning I'll get out the little flux-core welder and tack it with that, then go to a pro to run the beads.

    But I'm frustrated that this doesn't work and I don't know why. When I got the welder about 2005 I welded a trailer hitch assembly onto the back of my tractor's box blade, 1/2" plate laid flat on 1/2" and welded around the perimeter. I got excellent penetration and a solid weld doing that project. I have done a few more repairs since and all were solid, verified by grinding and re-welding a few spots that didn't look very presentable. (And all are still in service without problems!) Today is the first time I haven't seen the 6011 penetrate, just sizzle the base metal. For this project I thought my technique was the same as before but nothing works.

    Thanks for the Lincoln chart! I'll take a look at it.

    Rick I just noticed your post while I was drafting this. I think you are on to something here. I'm laying down solid 'grapes' of rod instead of porous slag, but I wasn't holding the gap as close as you specify. That advice gives me another variable that I can try to improve when I resume tomorrow. Thanks!
    Last edited by California; 07-09-2010 at 12:33 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Settings to weld 3/8 with AC225?

    It sounds like to me that Rick is right on. When I have tried to weld stuff at a 90 and had deposition on both pieced but no fusion it was caused by having too long an arc length.

    I have found (since I am still a beginner) that when I use 6013 on thicker stuff, that once I get the arc struck and the pool formed I can push the electrode in very close to the material. With a 3/32 rod the rod is so thin that you are almost dragging it. I read on another site that the biggest mistake that people make is holding too long of an arc and that its better to be shorter than longer. Someone correct me if i am wrong but as the distance grows the voltage drops?

    Here is a good video you might was to check out around 2min. I think he describes what you are experiencing (worm holes). He has the correct arc length just not enough amps.


  6. #6
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    Re: Settings to weld 3/8 with AC225?

    Thanks to ggarner for that excellent video.

    My 'no-stick' problems were described in an older thread, "My Welds Don't Stick" http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=5330
    By far the most useful thing I found was a series of color photos (see attached) from the Miller site at url http://www.millerwelds.com/education...ps/stick_tips/
    Name:  diagram7stick.jpg
Views: 1099
Size:  40.2 KB
    The color photo series shows welds: Good, Travel too fast/slow, Arc too short/long and Amps too high/low.
    In my case, the problem was a combo of arc too long, travel too fast and current too low! Whoppee - A Three Time Winner!
    California, maybe that will help you to zoom-in on the problem. Best O Luck!
    Rick V

    1 Airco Heliwelder 3A/DDR
    3 CTC 70/90 amp Stick/Tig Inverters in Parallel
    1 Lincoln MIG PAK 15
    1 Oxy-Acet

  7. #7
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    Re: Settings to weld 3/8 with AC225?

    Even if you choose not to use stick for this project, post up some picts of some practice welds and the guys here will try to get you dialed in. Be sure to post material (steel, ss, alum), thickness, AC or DC (AC in your case but we usually don't remember unless reminded), amps set at, rod type and size and any other info you can think of that might help. The more info we get, the better we can help you.

    If you haven't already, you might think about a night class at a community college or local tech school. Usually the cost of the materials and rod will more than offset the cost of the class if you apply yourself. Having someone who knows what they are doing will go a long way to helping identify your issues and speed up the learning curve greatly.
    .



    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!

    Ronald Reagan

  8. #8
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    Re: Settings to weld 3/8 with AC225?

    I think everybody gave decent advice.

    One additional thing...................

    If you've been running a wire machine, you have to change techniques when running a rod.

    PUSH the rod into the work. It won't feed itself. It's easy to lose the "touch" if you don't often switch between wire and stick. Your hand is now the "feed", not the machine.

    My impression of amp settings with stick is pretty straightforward (I think )

    On the 6013 push the amps up to around 135, or to the point where you start to get excessive spatter (then turn it down a click). Hotter is always better. You want to drag the 6013, but the characteristics are a bit different than 7018.......you may have to pull off the steel just a bit, whereas 7018 can ride on the steel.

    7018 will run very good from 115-125amps, or where it "snaps". You can even run hotter if you increase travel speed (and the starts are easier too)

    With either 6013, or 7018, you want to bury the rod in the steel to the point of arc outage, then pull back just a TINY BIT.

    7018 allows you to dally around and make a nice puddle at a slower pace. 6013 piles metal when you really slow travel speed down, not such a good thing (you won't get any more heat into the weld by super slow travel, 6013 penetrates just so far)

    With either rod, the only thing you need to do is to establish a hot puddle, and move fast enough (or angle the rod enough) to keep the puddle from overrunning the rod/arc.

    6010/6011 responds well to a little bit longer arc, and whipping (circling in and out of the hot puddle to build metal). By longer arc, I meen a teensy weensy bit (tech term)

    Anyhoooooo, that's my take on it
    "Any day above ground is a good day"

  9. #9
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    Re: Settings to weld 3/8 with AC225?

    Ok, problem solved!

    I really appreciate everyone's advice. That taught me what I needed to know.

    In summary turning up the amps and sticking the rod (1/8 6011) right into the puddle gave the penetration that was missing before.

    I should use this larger welder more. I only pull it out for unexpected farm repairs, which are thankfully rare.

    Here are a few photos:

    Project: Add a new 2x6x3/8" plate to the tractor's top link bracket, to spread tiller stress across five bolts instead of two.


    Here's where the bracket fits on the top rear of the tractor. It gets yanked hard by the torque of the tiller if the tiller hangs on a root in my orchard. The two existing upper bolts had stripped.


    The new plate was tacked in place using the little wire welder, then the tack welds were ground to verify that they were sound. Note the curved seam at the right edge, it will be welded in the next photo.


    The upper and lower edges of the new plate were welded to the bracket using the 140 amp setting on the larger welder.


    Then the left and right edges were welded.


    Well there it is.

    The project is maybe not as pretty as the guys can do who earn their living welding (and have more sophisticated equipment to do it with), but I expect it will hold up.

    This sort of farm repair is exactly what I bought the $50 antique welder for. It's a Montgomery Wards PowerKraft AC-230 nearly 50 years old. It weighs a ton. I've owned it for several years but this is only about the third project I've done with it.

    Now if I can just remember how to run it, the next time I need it....

    I use the little welder more. For example last week I repaired a cracked shovel ( a narrow trenching shovel) that I put back in service until I had time to go buy one. Lighter projects like that are more frequent.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Re: Settings to weld 3/8 with AC225?

    So the original factory top link bracket only had two bolts? I would have been afraid to use that lower hole for anything the way it was. Looks like you've got it nailed down good this time.
    "The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life." -Theodore Roosevelt

  11. #11
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    Re: Settings to weld 3/8 with AC225?

    The original design has two bolts on the back plus two on top. (The bracket is L-shaped). I agree, that lower hole isn't properly supported by anything.

    And someone had put in shorter bolts than original in those two critical rear locations. Then I had neglected to check tightness when I put on the tiller.

    I ran a tap in and cleaned them up, and found that I can tighten longer bolts to full recommended torque. But I didn't want to rely on that alone.

    Still, that design held up for 25-some years until I put a tiller on it that Yanmar had intended for one of their larger tractors. I own the larger model Yanmar that the tiller was sold with, (YM240/YM2000, 24 engine hp) and this was the first time I tried its tiller on my smaller YM186D, 18 engine hp. I'm going to add a slip clutch and keep going, because the little Yanmar fits under my orchard trees where the larger one can't go. I hope this strengthening plus the slip clutch will avoid future damage.
    Last edited by California; 07-10-2010 at 01:26 AM.

  12. #12
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    Re: Settings to weld 3/8 with AC225?

    Okay I slowed down enough to see the two on the top. On my old kabota I had to add the tabs to pick up two top bolts but at least it had bolts all the way down the back side. I wouldn't have done anything but the existing bracket was cracking out. At least the bracket was cracking tho instead of breaking the cast or pulling bolts out.
    "The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life." -Theodore Roosevelt

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