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Thread: Questions about stick welding

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    Questions about stick welding

    Okay so first of two questions- I have a friend that got into pipeline work down in Texas. He has been asking me a few times if I would want to work at that company. I have never welded pipe for anything besides farm type bull crap and other non code type stuff. Since I have limited funds to practice with, and an over abundance of scrap rims would welding the rims of the same size together be a good way to practice pipe welding or are the two completely unlike each other? Is 14-18 inch pipe common for pipeline work or would I need to be doing practice welds on something of a much smaller diameter?

    Question 2- I have a junk cast aluminum motor housing of some sort that I happened to find laying in the back of my truck one day. I was just gonna scrap it but then today I saw a crack in it and figured I could practice welding aluminum on it. I know that on cast Iron you would grind out the crack then preheat weld and stick in a bucket of sand. On cast aluminum how would one go about grinding out the crack? I've heard that grinding pushes all the oxides into the aluminum. Would you just grind it then preheat, then scrub the crap out of it with a stainless steel brush? I'll be stick welding it as well. If it breaks or I mess up I don't really care as I don't even know how I acquired this piece, but I was trying to learn the proper way on this scrap piece before I would need to attempt it on something not scrap.

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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    Pipe welding is it's own craft in and of itself. The only similarity between pipe welding and welding the rims is that they are both round. You can't bevel the rims to get the proper bevel and landing, or to lay a root or hot pass, might be able to do a cap. On the aluminum you need to grind it with carbide burrs and pre clean after that with a clean/new stainless steel wire brush. What kind/type of machine are you using?
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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    the good old transformer type Hobart Stickmate. Its one of the newerish ones. I bought it in 2016 I think and its got AC/DC. I was doing 2F fillets and cutting em up and etching em with navel jelly. then smashing the longer 4 inch part with a sledge hammer to simulate a break test. At first I wasn't passing because of slag in the root, but once I worked out a different angle with the electrode I think i'm getting passing 2F welds with 1/8" 7014 and .030 E71-11. I wouldn't know what size welds they are and didn't get around to doing it with 7018 yet but thats my best rod and I learned alot doing it with 7014 and proved that me and the Stickmate can put down hopefully certifiable welds. Apparently everyone that says to run a real steep rod angle with 7014 to prevent slag from getting in front of the weld puddle is really just forcing slag into the root. I would have never known had I not cut apart my own welds as they looked pretty good on top. A more straight on approach seems to be the best for that rod.

    And I see what your saying about the beveling on the rims. I might do a few rim welds to get used to the constant twisting motion until I can find some cleaner scrap pipe to practice on. most of the pipe I get is busted up rotted out sewer pipe. ain't no way I'm welding that. Although I'm sure if I got good at that, welding on new pipe would be childs play.

    The carbide burrs are those the spinning stick looking thing you put on a drill or dremmel type deal? I just grinded the piece I got now and scrubbed the crap out of it with a clean brush and it didn't turn out too bad, but knowing the right way always helps for the future when I may need to apply the knowledge. Thank you for your help.

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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    Ask him to get a couple of coupons to try. I dont know about where he's at, but usually we take a union test and many have a job test too.

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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    To practice open root welding (for future pipe practice) bevel some 1/4" and 3/8" plates and practice root, hot pass and fill.
    Plate practice is faster to bevel, fit and practice on.

    After you nail that in horizontal, vertical and overhead positions move on to beveled pipe.

    Experiment with bevel landing size vs gap width.
    Try 1/16" landing and gap, 3/32" landing and gap and 1/8" landing and gap.

    Personally, I don't like 1/8" gap for stick. I like the first two better.

    I'm not a pipe welder, but this practice helps with repair work too.
    The same fit and bevel you end up liking is now the one you'll shoot for when repairing cracked pipes, square tubing, c-channel and flat stock.
    Dave J.

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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    Quote Originally Posted by BD1 View Post
    Ask him to get a couple of coupons to try. I dont know about where he's at, but usually we take a union test and many have a job test too.
    He's down in Texas. Sorta near where I was when I lived there. I'm in Pa now. So I gotta make sure I can actually put down decent stuff before running down there and running out of money again. and Thank you MinnesotaDave. I actually just bought some 3/8" flat bar I was gonna use to make things here and there. I might just cut it up and bevel it out instead. Right now it would be more beneficial to get a decent job than to make the occasional carry all or something similar. We also do get a crap ton of scrap thats got flat bar holding something or other in place. I got a plasma and a grinder and could make lots of useable flat bar out of it.

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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapman Industries View Post
    the good old transformer type Hobart Stickmate. Its one of the newerish ones. I bought it in 2016 I think and its got AC/DC. I was doing 2F fillets and cutting em up and etching em with navel jelly. then smashing the longer 4 inch part with a sledge hammer to simulate a break test. At first I wasn't passing because of slag in the root, but once I worked out a different angle with the electrode I think i'm getting passing 2F welds with 1/8" 7014 and .030 E71-11. I wouldn't know what size welds they are and didn't get around to doing it with 7018 yet but thats my best rod and I learned alot doing it with 7014 and proved that me and the Stickmate can put down hopefully certifiable welds. Apparently everyone that says to run a real steep rod angle with 7014 to prevent slag from getting in front of the weld puddle is really just forcing slag into the root. I would have never known had I not cut apart my own welds as they looked pretty good on top. A more straight on approach seems to be the best for that rod.

    And I see what your saying about the beveling on the rims. I might do a few rim welds to get used to the constant twisting motion until I can find some cleaner scrap pipe to practice on. most of the pipe I get is busted up rotted out sewer pipe. ain't no way I'm welding that. Although I'm sure if I got good at that, welding on new pipe would be childs play.

    The carbide burrs are those the spinning stick looking thing you put on a drill or dremmel type deal? I just grinded the piece I got now and scrubbed the crap out of it with a clean brush and it didn't turn out too bad, but knowing the right way always helps for the future when I may need to apply the knowledge. Thank you for your help.
    Most decent burrs are 1/4" shank and available in several shapes, form ball, tree, cylinder etc., the biggest problem with aluminum is the fact that it will foul up the burrs if you run them too fast or too hard.
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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    You also need to see if your machine will run 6010 as any pipe test may require 6010, not sure on that, I would find out from your buddy how they test and get proficient with every process you can. Have you thought about getting on as a helper or some other position?
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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    You can't exactly do a bevel on the rims, but you can do an open root. Just tack them 3/32 apart. The natural curve of the lip on the rim will simulate a bevel. No reason you can't get the motion down doing it that way. Keyhole will be different, but any practice is good practice.
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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    Not much pipe is welded with buzzbox welders. There’s a world of difference between buzzbox welders and diesel portable or industrial electric welders.
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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    To practice open root welding (for future pipe practice) bevel some 1/4" and 3/8" plates and practice root, hot pass and fill.
    Plate practice is faster to bevel, fit and practice on.

    After you nail that in horizontal, vertical and overhead positions move on to beveled pipe.

    Experiment with bevel landing size vs gap width.
    Try 1/16" landing and gap, 3/32" landing and gap and 1/8" landing and gap.

    Personally, I don't like 1/8" gap for stick. I like the first two better.

    I'm not a pipe welder, but this practice helps with repair work too.
    The same fit and bevel you end up liking is now the one you'll shoot for when repairing cracked pipes, square tubing, c-channel and flat stock.
    Dave the 3/8 plate 3/8 by what I was thinking 3/8X 3 inch would that be good or would you use something different
    Thanks John

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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    To practice open root welding (for future pipe practice) bevel some 1/4" and 3/8" plates and practice root, hot pass and fill.
    Plate practice is faster to bevel, fit and practice on.

    After you nail that in horizontal, vertical and overhead positions move on to beveled pipe.

    Experiment with bevel landing size vs gap width.
    Try 1/16" landing and gap, 3/32" landing and gap and 1/8" landing and gap.

    Personally, I don't like 1/8" gap for stick. I like the first two better.

    I'm not a pipe welder, but this practice helps with repair work too.
    The same fit and bevel you end up liking is now the one you'll shoot for when repairing cracked pipes, square tubing, c-channel and flat stock.
    Like Dave says. Practice on plate first untill you have that under control. Flat, horizontal, vertical and overhead will give you practice on most of the positions you need with pipe, but with pipe there is another variable that makes it much harder and that is manipulating the stinger so the rod keeps pointing at the centre of the pipe.
    The smaller the diameter the harder it gets.
    I doing ok on plate and have tried pipe, but i still suck at it. Need a lot more practice.

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    Last edited by E T; 07-15-2018 at 03:13 PM.
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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    Quote Originally Posted by johnrbauer View Post
    Dave the 3/8 plate 3/8 by what I was thinking 3/8X 3 inch would that be good or would you use something different
    Thanks John

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    If you are gonna use scrap, whatever size you can lay your hands on.

    At welding school we used 12x70x250mm plate with a 30 degree bevel for open root V groove. That's about 1/2x3x10 inch.
    My preverence is a 1/8 gap with a 3/32 landing. But that is with 1/8 7016 on DCEN for the root.. With 6010 on DCEP you might want something completely different.
    Experiment with the gap and landing for what you like best.

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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    Thank you I wasn't sure what width
    John

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    Re: Questions about stick welding

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    Unsure if the pics will upload, But if they do I tried 1G on 3/8" plate around 2 inches wide and 4 inches long. (tried for 6 but cut on the wrong scratch mark). Bevel was done freehand with a new powermax 30 plasma. Not really all that scientifical as far as the angle. Kinda close to 30 degrees I believe. The root failed with out question. I kept blowing holes in it no matter what I did to stop it. I started around 100 amps with 6010 then blew a hole so I backed it down to around 90 amps and switched to 6011. went twice as far before blowing a bigger hole. If I wasn't blowing holes I was going to fast and the arc wouldn't stay lit. I tried keeping the arc pretty tight like that guy bob on weld.com did. He made it look easy, but I couldn't get it at all. I did get full penetration though and If I woulda cared enough to grind out every last hole I dug I probably could have made it pass. But I just got it done then grinded out what I could and moved on to the hot pass with 7018 at around 130 or so amps. It went way better and had I gotten a good root pass I probably would have made an xray quality weld. I went on to the fill pass but moved a bit two fast at 120ish amps with a 1/8 rod. so I had to make a two bead cover pass which went ok except for the arc exploded and kinda got a wee bit of slag in the one toe. I tried to grind it down flush but my sander wheel doesn't want to come off the grinder at the moment. so with a shot disk I did what I could before running out of daylight.

    When yall talk about a landing, does that mean the little flat part right at the bottom of the bevel? If so I had no landing. Just a point. Also I spaced the plates 1/8" apart as measured by the bare side of my 6010.

    Also that random weld spot outside the bead is not a misplace arc strike. Its how I had to make room to connect a ground clamp. Stuck a 6010 on it and grounded to the bare spot on the 6010. Welding on a lumpy pickup bed sucks. everything was done with the stickmate as well. Thats all I got at the moment as far as Stick welders are concerned. If I knew I was actually good enough to get a job or was able to get more side work then I would get an engine drive, but as for now, I gotta use what I got.
    Last edited by Scrapman Industries; 07-16-2018 at 11:28 PM.

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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    A knife edge with large gap is for a tig root.

    Try 1/16" landing with 1/16" gap or 3/32" landing with 3/32" gap.

    Yes, the landing is the flat edge thickness.

    Mastering this takes a long time and many practice sessions in each position.
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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    how would one get a proper landing cutting freehand with a plasma? the only other tool I have that would bevel is a grinder and oxyfuel torch. but for that I need to go to the park to burn. after the fire we had next to the house awhile back I'm no longer allowed to use that.

    The one skill I forgot how to do after school is bevel things properly. I never really had to weld anything that needed a proper bevel in it until now. I guess I could get a knife edge and run the grinder over it to make it flat again in spots but Is that the best way?
    Last edited by Scrapman Industries; 07-17-2018 at 12:00 AM.

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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapman Industries View Post
    how would one get a proper landing cutting freehand with a plasma? the only other tool I have that would bevel is a grinder and oxyfuel torch. but for that I need to go to the park to burn. after the fire we had next to the house awhile back I'm no longer allowed to use that.
    Cut a straight line with a straight edge. True up the bevel with a grinder, then put the flat on last.

    Grinder control skills and a good eye are important.

    After a while it's easy to eyeball it.
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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    Thanks. I guess I thought of that just as you were posting your response. It's definitely not as easy as I thought it would be, to do this open root stuff. Things with a backing strip seemed to be way easier back in the day.

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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapman Industries View Post
    Thanks. I guess I thought of that just as you were posting your response. It's definitely not as easy as I thought it would be, to do this open root stuff. Things with a backing strip seemed to be way easier back in the day.
    Open root is only easy with enough practice and proper prep.

    Welding with a backer is very structurally sound and more forgiving on prep.
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    Questions about stick welding

    What's the second picture of? Is that your 1g cap? Or the backside view of the root pass?
    Either way, neither of those will pass a visual inspection, you have to pass the visual inspection first, before any bending or X-ray takes place.
    Your joint prep was not correct for a stick welded pipe joint. You should be using a land on the edges. Most guys like a 3/32"-1/8" land thickness. Combine that with your root gap thickness and once you get it correct, you can put a root in with 6010 easily without blowing holes and achieve 1/16" reinforcement on the inside of the pipe joint.
    Last edited by snoeproe; 07-17-2018 at 09:51 PM.
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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    Quote Originally Posted by snoeproe View Post
    What's the second picture of? Is that your 1g cap? Or the backside view of the root pass?
    Either way, neither of those will pass a visual inspection, you have to pass the visual inspection first, before any bending or X-ray takes place.
    Your joint prep was not correct for a stick welded pipe joint. You should be using a land on the edges. Most guys like a 3/32"-1/8" land thickness. Combine that with your root gap thickness and once you get it correct, you can put a root in with 6010 easily without blowing holes and achieve 1/16" reinforcement on the inside of the pipe joint.
    Thats the back side of the root. Kept blowing holes on that one. If I had a cap that looked like that I think I would just quit now. (although I have had some poorly prepped junkyard welds that I had to do look like that). But only because of the extreme lack of prep and having to do 10 other things at the same time.

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    Re: Questions about stick welding

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    Almost had It on the one tonight. I ran a loose 1/16" gap on the right one there and a tight 1/16" gap on the left. I think a 5/64 or 3/32 inch gap would work better. 1/8 was too much and 1/16 was too tight. the landing on those was a questionable 5/64. root pass with 1/8" 6011 around 90 amps. hot pass around 130-140 amps with an 1/8" 7018 and a cap with 5/32 7018 at 160 amps or what ever the stickmate taps out at. the one on the right was my first time ever running a 5/32 inch rod on anything. I didn't even test it out on anything first. The stickmate will run it but the generator I had it hooked up to was screaming. I think I got good root penetration for about an inch or so on the one on the right. Gonna try 3/32 inch gap when ever I get time to try again.

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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    The thrid pic , the uppe part there was a lack of penetration, not enough heat to get it fill. The cap looks good.
    Down the road you will face all kinds of poor fit up, if gap iswide, use low amp when gap is tight, higher amp to burn it in.
    For idea fitting which you are doing now, the little secret is to use a nickel as a spacer guide to get an idea gap. Or the bare tip of the rod tobe use
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    Re: Questions about stick welding

    Quote Originally Posted by irish View Post
    The thrid pic , the uppe part there was a lack of penetration, not enough heat to get it fill. The cap looks good.
    Down the road you will face all kinds of poor fit up, if gap iswide, use low amp when gap is tight, higher amp to burn it in.
    For idea fitting which you are doing now, the little secret is to use a nickel as a spacer guide to get an idea gap. Or the bare tip of the rod tobe use
    I actually just heard that from my current boss today as well. I guess I will try both. 3/32 inch at the same settings and 1/16" again with higher amps. I think the 6011 I was using said to run around 120 amps at the top end. 80 or so on the bottom and I was around 90. I'll try turning it up a bit. maybe around 100-110 for the same gap and see what happens. Once I get it with 6011 I'll see if the stickmate really is as bad with 6010 as people say. I haven't noticed it being bad with 6010 but I may just not be skilled enough to notice.

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