Today I was doing some welding for a friend (nothing structural life threatening) and was really struggling with both my vertical welds and my overhead welds and was hoping I could pick up some pointers. Machine is a 225A AC Lincoln buzz box.
I have done both before on 1/4" material with 1/8" 7018AC at 135A and not really had too much difficulties. But today was a whole different story.
The material to being welded was 1.25x1.25x.065" square tubing. For the vertical weld it was oriented like this ||=
At first I tried to use the 7018 @ 120A and it just burned through regardless of if I tried to weld from the bottom up or from the top down. So I switched to 3/32" 6013 at 90A. It stopped burning through but it seemed like the arc was really sporatic (strange popping noise pop.... wait a second pop pop pop then quiet then pop again). It was hard to keep it going regardless of the arc length I was trying to hold. And even when I did get the arc going well the puddle looked like it was drooping and the weld had a very high crown on it. I think the reason that I was having a hard time keeping the arc going was that the slag was flowing downward back onto the electrode (it got stuck due to this several times). At this point I was welding from the top down and had the stick perpendicular to the way of travel. Should I have angled the electrode up to try and keep the slag pushed away?
For the overhead welds, I was welding the same material 1.25x1.25x.065" sqr tubing and was now trying to weld the bottom joint of the the same ||= orientation. For these welds I went with the 3/32 6013 at 105A. The problem I had here again was the drooping or sagging of the weld. I was not able to get it pushed up into the joint so that it looked good. The weld was "sound" (I stomped my foot on it pretty hard and it did not give) but it looked like total crap. For this weld I had the rod at a 45 to the to pieces and tilted in a 10-15deg angle in the direction of travel. What should I have down differently? I tried traveling along washing the puddle from side to side pausing for a half second on each of the sides in a C type pattern. I know the weld was not cold, was it too hot, it just felt like I could not find the sweet spot in amperage to get a good looking proper weld? Sorry I dont have any pictures of the welds.