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Thread: My first beads with stick welding

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    My first beads with stick welding

    Hello! My name is Ian, I just decided to learn welding, mostly to do some bodywork on my car in the future. I bought a 130A welding machine, which does stick, "gasless MIG" and MIG welding. I heard that MIG welding is easier to learn than stick, but I felt like I'd be cheating if I went straight to MIG.

    Since the machine arrived I haven't found much scrap metal besides a 2.25mm thick pipe, so I tried to run some beads on it. I had 3 rod types: A single 3.25mm 6013, some 2mm "J422" rods that came with the machine and 2.5mm 6013 rods I bought.

    The 2mm J422 rods, which doesn't even have the specification written on it, felt like they were very bad quality. I'm a total beginner, but in comparison with the other two rods it was harder to strike an arc with it, it stuck often and splattered a lot more (using about 70-80A). The 3.25mm 6013 was easier to handle, but since the pipe is very thin I had to increase the speed of travel a lot to avoid making a hole (using about 110A). The 2.5mm 6013 was also easier to handle (settings at about 90A).

    Right now it's still not easy to strike an arc precisely and cleanly. I also still need to practice lowering the rod while it's consumed, since a few times I cut the arc before I was done because I forgot to lower the rod. And I definitely need to find some thick metal plate. I think I'll do better if I don't have to be worried about welding through the material and can take my time with working the bead.

    3.25mm 6013
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    2.5mm 6013
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    J422 (just as a comparison, it looks ugly)
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    Any tips for this total beginner? I also had a small doubt. If I ended up cutting an arc before I finished a bead, can I just restart the arc where I stopped or should I first remove the slug, clean the bead and then restart the arc?

    Thanks!

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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    Welcome to the forum, Ian. The beads you did look fairly good to me, except the last one, of course. There are a lot of folks here (probably just about everybody!) that know a lot more than I do. Hopefully they will chime in soon.

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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    switch to 2.4mm 7018 (or 6013 if you can't find 7018). Forget the 3.2mm rods on 2.anything wall tubes/pipes. For that matter, forget practicing on any tubing/pipes. Practice joining flat plates together (butt welds), T-joints. Things like that.
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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    the usual weld practice is with plate to learn to lay a bead. another option is angle iron so it simulates fillet weld. The minimum thickness of plate is 1/8Ē to prevent burn through. 1/4Ē would be ideal, but of course costs more.
    You will hear that 6013 and 6011 will burn through mill-scale or rust. But you. should always clean it to bare shiny metal especially when learning. You donít want to make practice welds difficult and frustrating because of dirty metal. It is too hard to learn when your welds are poor due. to contaminants instead of technique.


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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    Thanks for all the feedback guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by somorris View Post
    Welcome to the forum, Ian. The beads you did look fairly good to me, except the last one, of course. There are a lot of folks here (probably just about everybody!) that know a lot more than I do. Hopefully they will chime in soon.
    Glad to hear the first one don't look that crappy! I think I'll do better on the flat plates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    switch to 2.4mm 7018 (or 6013 if you can't find 7018). Forget the 3.2mm rods on 2.anything wall tubes/pipes. For that matter, forget practicing on any tubing/pipes. Practice joining flat plates together (butt welds), T-joints. Things like that.
    You think it's better to start with 7018? I heard it's a bit harder to weld with it, and that it's usually used on heavy duty like truck frames for example. Is that why I should switch to it? To get used with a harder electrode? The 6013 are easier to find around here, but I could search for some 7018.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffrey.penfield View Post
    the usual weld practice is with plate to learn to lay a bead. another option is angle iron so it simulates fillet weld. The minimum thickness of plate is 1/8Ē to prevent burn through. 1/4Ē would be ideal, but of course costs more.
    You will hear that 6013 and 6011 will burn through mill-scale or rust. But you. should always clean it to bare shiny metal especially when learning. You donít want to make practice welds difficult and frustrating because of dirty metal. It is too hard to learn when your welds are poor due. to contaminants instead of technique.


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    That pipe was covered in rust when I found it, I used an angle grinder to clean the surface. I'm on the process of looking for a scrap thick flat plate to practice on, but you know how those things are: When you don't need it you find lots of it. When you do it's like they're all hidden

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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    That looks pretty good, gorilla, ,, ugly but strong. But a good thing is you are not scared of the heat, melting it together is a good thing, just short of burning thru. That's one of the major things that make it strong.

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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    Quote Originally Posted by IanCaio View Post
    you know how those things are: When you don't need it you find lots of it. When you do it's like they're all hidden
    Same thing with money and finding things. Seems every time I have money to burn a hole in my pocket itís hard to find what Iím looking for and when Iím broke ďalwaysĒ have no problem finding things to buy.
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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    if you want to learn fast with easy and pretty welds, you can use 6013. it is all around rod but near as strong as 7018. you use 6013 if you wont do much welding and strength is not an issue.
    if you want to put some time in and use stick welding for thicker stronger welds, use 7018 7018 is harder to weld with and requires clean metal. The problem with starting with 6013 is that it too easy and you wont want to learn 7018.
    6011 is good for tacking or for welding galvanized or zinc plated metal. Zinc is a contaminant and 6010/6011 can run hot enough to remove the Zinc but Zinc stays behind and becomes a contaminant with 7018.
    So, your main electrode should be 7018 with occasional use of 6010 or 6011


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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    Quote Originally Posted by IanCaio View Post
    You think it's better to start with 7018? I heard it's a bit harder to weld with it, and that it's usually used on heavy duty like truck frames for example. Is that why I should switch to it? To get used with a harder electrode? The 6013 are easier to find around here, but I could search for some 7018.



    That pipe was covered in rust when I found it, I used an angle grinder to clean the surface. I'm on the process of looking for a scrap thick flat plate to practice on, but you know how those things are: When you don't need it you find lots of it. When you do it's like they're all hidden
    I don't know who told you 7018 is harder to weld with, but I don't agree with that. 6013 has a very fluid puddle and slag covering that IMO is more prone to leave slag inclusions if you're not running "right". I find 7018 a bit easier to run. So 6013 isn't too bad just have to make sure you're doing things "right" so you don't have slag inclusions. The problem is simply practice, proper practice that is. Go BUY scrap at the scrap yard and get to proper practice.
    Last edited by Oscar; 11-15-2019 at 01:58 PM.
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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    Try 7014 3-32

    Wall Mountain Arc Weld 1 and 2 videos

    Flat plate to weld on

    Grind

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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    Quote Originally Posted by Sberry View Post
    That looks pretty good, gorilla, ,, ugly but strong. But a good thing is you are not scared of the heat, melting it together is a good thing, just short of burning thru. That's one of the major things that make it strong.
    Thanks! I'd be happy enough with strong welds, even if they don't look that pretty.

    Quote Originally Posted by N2 Welding View Post
    Same thing with money and finding things. Seems every time I have money to burn a hole in my pocket itís hard to find what Iím looking for and when Iím broke ďalwaysĒ have no problem finding things to buy.
    That's pretty much how it works

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffrey.penfield View Post
    if you want to learn fast with easy and pretty welds, you can use 6013. it is all around rod but near as strong as 7018. you use 6013 if you wont do much welding and strength is not an issue.
    if you want to put some time in and use stick welding for thicker stronger welds, use 7018 7018 is harder to weld with and requires clean metal. The problem with starting with 6013 is that it too easy and you wont want to learn 7018.
    6011 is good for tacking or for welding galvanized or zinc plated metal. Zinc is a contaminant and 6010/6011 can run hot enough to remove the Zinc but Zinc stays behind and becomes a contaminant with 7018.
    So, your main electrode should be 7018 with occasional use of 6010 or 6011
    I'll look for some 7018 electrodes. I probably will still want to learn it even if I start with 6013, because who knows, in the future I might want to work on some welds that will require some more strength.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    I don't know who told you 7018 is harder to weld with, but I don't agree with that. 6013 has a very fluid puddle and slag covering that IMO is more prone to leave slag inclusions if you're not running "right". I find 7018 a bit easier to run. So 6013 isn't too bad just have to make sure you're doing things "right" so you don't have slag inclusions. The problem is simply practice, proper practice that is. Go BUY scrap at the scrap yard and get to proper practice.
    I guess I heard on a video from a welder, that it was slightly harder to weld with it and I noticed from the video striking an arc looked a bit more tricky. But it's probably just a matter of getting used to it. I'll find some decent practice plates, even if I have to go to a metal shop and buy some, and post my attempts with the 6013 and 7018.

    Quote Originally Posted by 12345678910 View Post
    Try 7014 3-32

    Wall Mountain Arc Weld 1 and 2 videos

    Flat plate to weld on

    Grind
    I'll look for those videos!

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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    Just have a file near you (that isn't touching the table/part) to knock off the slag before you re-start 7018. That's all there is that is "different". As with any stick electrode, keep a consistent tight arc and you will be fine. Don't worry about trying to make any kind of "look". Get a nice straight bead going.
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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    @IanCaio

    Check here for some practice plates

    https://www.jflf.org/ProductDetails....ductCode=METAL
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    Re: My first beads with stick welding




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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    I think I found some rod labeled J422 and found out it was the same as 6011.
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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    Not bad for a first timer!

    You're going a little fast. Focus on the puddle. As your variables vary (angle, speed, arc length), so will the puddle. Let the puddle control you. As my welding instructor used to say, "become one with the puddle, grasshopper."

    Using a file to restart 7018 is doing it the hard way. What you do is flick the rod - e.g., tap it against something - the INSTANT you stop welding with it. The little glob on the end will fly right off. Pinch off the flux and you're good to go. Try it.

    Many of your welding schools start students off welding a pad. Get about a 6" square of 3/8" plate and start welding beads across it with 6011 at 75-80 amps, with about 50% overlap. Wire brush each bead. Cover it, then turn it 90 degrees and do it again, until you have 4 or 5 layers.

    Then flip it over and do the same thing with 7018 at about 100-110 amps.

    Then do it all again, but in a horizontal position (welding left to right across a vertical surface).

    Then do it all again, but welding vertical up.

    This ingrains your welding skills, sort of like when you were learning to write, making row after row of that letter "e."

    Learn to relax and stay calm and focus. If you find yourself getting frustrated and cussing, put away your tools and try again tomorrow.

    There are two basic kinds of skills.

    The first kind, you learn to do it, and that's it, you got it. For example, baking a cake. Using a computer. Changing your oil.

    The second kind, you practice and practice, and over time, you gradually get better. For example, playing a musical instrument. Playing golf or tennis.

    Welding is the second kind.

    Good luck, grasshopper.
    Last edited by Ruark; 11-16-2019 at 12:02 PM.
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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    I found a new victim!

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    Went to sort of a junkyard + metal working shop and asked if there were any scrap metal. Guy there was pretty cool! Told me to look for something that I could use. At first I found a thick plate, but he said it was harder to practice on it because it was galvanized metal and got me that one. I'll clean it up with a grinder and cut it in smaller plates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Just have a file near you (that isn't touching the table/part) to knock off the slag before you re-start 7018. That's all there is that is "different". As with any stick electrode, keep a consistent tight arc and you will be fine. Don't worry about trying to make any kind of "look". Get a nice straight bead going.
    Cool! I was probably misinformed about the 7018 rods being harder, will definitely try to burn some!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rangerhgm View Post
    @IanCaio

    Check here for some practice plates

    https://www.jflf.org/ProductDetails....ductCode=METAL
    That looks cool to practice, but I live in Brazil. Never seen those practice plates kits around here.

    Quote Originally Posted by precivilization View Post



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    I just finished watching it, very cool! Got really impressed at 7:52!

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    I think I found some rod labeled J422 and found out it was the same as 6011.
    Could that be why it felt harder to weld with it and why it spattered much more? Maybe I was using the wrong settings and technique for a different rod?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruark View Post
    Not bad for a first timer!

    You're going a little fast. Focus on the puddle. As your variables vary (angle, speed, arc length), so will the puddle. Let the puddle control you. As my welding instructor used to say, "become one with the puddle, grasshopper."

    Using a file to restart 7018 is doing it the hard way. What you do is flick the rod - e.g., tap it against something - the INSTANT you stop welding with it. The little glob on the end will fly right off. Pinch off the flux and you're good to go. Try it.

    Many of your welding schools start students off welding a pad. Get about a 6" square of 3/8" plate and start welding beads across it with 6011 at 75-80 amps, with about 50% overlap. Wire brush each bead. Cover it, then turn it 90 degrees and do it again, until you have 4 or 5 layers.

    Then flip it over and do the same thing with 7018 at about 100-110 amps.

    Then do it all again, but in a horizontal position (welding left to right across a vertical surface).

    Then do it all again, but welding vertical up.

    This ingrains your welding skills, sort of like when you were learning to write, making row after row of that letter "e."

    Learn to relax and stay calm and focus. If you find yourself getting frustrated and cussing, put away your tools and try again tomorrow.

    There are two basic kinds of skills.

    The first kind, you learn to do it, and that's it, you got it. For example, baking a cake. Using a computer. Changing your oil.

    The second kind, you practice and practice, and over time, you gradually get better. For example, playing a musical instrument. Playing golf or tennis.

    Welding is the second kind.

    Good luck, grasshopper.
    Thanks man! If I recall well I was trying to focus on the puddle, but it was hard because when I could see it more clearly I was really close to the edge of burning through. I'll keep trying, and I'll do that: Cut that plate I just got and make beads one next to the other. Let's see how it goes!

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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    Good evening everyone!

    Sorry it took me a while to post again. I haven't had time to weld again until today. Since I don't have a garage where I can keep my welding machine, I spend half an hour to set everything up and another half an hour to put everything back in place. Today I followed your advice and tried to run beads in parallel in the flat position. I didn't find 7018 rods yet, so I did everything with the 2.5mm 6013 rods. So here are some pictures:

    Top view of the beads, they were run from right to left, starting from the bottom one
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    Side view of the beads (starting side)
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    Side view of the beads (ending side)
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    My first slag peel
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    Some notes:
    1. I'm still not being able to accurately start an arc. Because of that the beginning of the beads looks worse than the rest of them. The last bead (top one in the first picture) had the worse start, resulting in slag getting trapped and probably porosity right at the beginning.
    2. After I get the arc running, things seem to go smoother. I'm being able to notice when I'm getting a long arc and fix it, but it's not easy to keep a constant arc distance the whole run. I'm constantly correcting it.
    3. I used basically 1 rod per bead.
    4. I need a welding table so I can stop welding on top of a wood plank. As you can see I almost burned it down


    Well, still lots of training to do. I think next time I'll spend some time exclusively on practicing starting the arc.

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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Just have a file near you (that isn't touching the table/part) to knock off the slag before you re-start 7018. That's all there is that is "different". As with any stick electrode, keep a consistent tight arc and you will be fine. Don't worry about trying to make any kind of "look". Get a nice straight bead going.
    I like a brick, can't flash that.

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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    For consistency, try running a metronome in one ear headphone ( so you can still hear the burn )

    There's probably an ap for that.

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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    Quote Originally Posted by 12345678910 View Post
    For consistency, try running a metronome in one ear headphone ( so you can still hear the burn )

    There's probably an ap for that.
    what does that do? Time the whip and pause or back and forth motion of the rod?
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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    Fast freeze rod lets the puddle solidify and build the next weld puddle on top of it/in front of it. Just the way itís designed to be used.
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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    Quote Originally Posted by 12345678910 View Post
    For consistency, try running a metronome in one ear headphone ( so you can still hear the burn )

    There's probably an ap for that.
    That sounds like a good idea! Should I use it to time the weave pattern or the run as a whole?

    Quote Originally Posted by soutthpaw View Post
    Fast freeze rod lets the puddle solidify and build the next weld puddle on top of it/in front of it. Just the way it’s designed to be used.
    Not sure I understood. You meant I should have used a fast freeze rod? From a quick research I read 6010 and 6011 rods are fast freeze rods, but I used 6013.

    By the way, to avoid that slag trapping when I fail to start an arc (like on my last run), I should stop, clear the failed bead and then start over on top of the clear weld right? Or if I start over without clearing the slag will float up anyways?

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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    Well, after practicing on both sides of this plate, I realized I've been doing it all wrong. I've been stitch welding, doing some "whipping" (that's how you call it?), because I thought I was supposed to. I naively thought by doing that I was preventing slag getting trapped because I'd be "pushing" it up. But apparently with 6013 making those stitching does more harm than good. I should have just dragged it, which would actually be easier than what I was trying to do.

    Should I grind the plate flat again to run new beads or can I just run the new ones over the old ones?

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    Re: My first beads with stick welding

    Those look really good for a starter self learned type. Practice them next to each other, lap 50 %.

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