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Thread: fillet welding with stick

  1. #1
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    fillet welding with stick

    Hello all,

    I recently got into welding. It is a hobby for me. I want to make some stuff, smoker, pizza oven, etc. I wanted to take a welding class, but the only welding schools near me are really intensive 8 hour per day for 36 weeks courses, which don't work for me. No one offers a weekend crash course, or even a night course. So I have been teaching myself, reading everything I can and watching YouTube.

    I bought a DC stick welder and got some practice coupons. I can lay a pretty straight bead. I am still trying to get the hang of proper voltage. I think most times I am running too hot. But that is a different issue. I have been trying to get the hang of fillet welds. I set up my pieces, I tack them together, and run a 3/32 6013 at a 45 degree angle into the corner, just like they do in the YouTube videos. I have tried running straight beads and little circles and from the slag it looks like I am fusing both sides into the fillet, but when I break off the slag, I either got weld on the top plate or the bottom plate and no real fusion between the 2. Does anyone have any pointers? What am I doing wrong?

    Thanks

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  3. #2
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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    Learn to watch the puddle, not the arc, & not the molten slag puddle. Slag will be a slightly different color/texture than the metal puddle. Once you can see the puddle, you can see when it washes in to each side.

    Try a thicker coupon so you can slow down a little & see what is happening under the arc - 1. arc flare, 2. slag puddle, & 3. metal puddle.

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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    6013 has a LOT of slag. I think you would be better off trying something with a more defined puddle...6011, 7018 both have well defined puddles. 7018 can be run as a drag rod if needed. It won't give you the optimal weld, but its better to run the arc too short than too long with 7018.

    Also try slowing down and letting the puddle fill out more.
    Miller Multimatic 255

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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    Thank you both, I will try your suggestions, I thought I was watching the metal puddle on the sides, but I guess what I was looking at was just the slag puddle. I have some 6011. It is a really hard to use, I end up just constantly sticking the rod. I wanted to try 7018, but I don't have a rod oven, it was my understanding just keeping them in the box they would spoil.
    Last edited by tryonix; 07-18-2021 at 04:06 PM.

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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    you do not need a rod oven for 7018. Don't worry about it. for what you are doing, even "spoiled" rods will work fine. They don't actually spoil. They lose their low hydrogen properties, which really doesn't matter at all for what you are doing. Plenty of stuff is welded in this world with 7018 that never makes it to a rod oven.
    Miller Multimatic 255

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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    Quote Originally Posted by tryonix View Post
    Thank you both, I will try your suggestions, I thought I was watching the metal puddle on the sides, but I guess what I was looking at was just the slag puddle. I have some 6011. It is a really hard to use, I end up just constantly sticking the rod. I wanted to try 7018, but I don't have a rod oven, it was my understanding just keeping them in the box they would spoil.
    My guess is you have a small inverter welder, based on your description. 6011 can sometimes be tricky to start. The main thing is amperage, You need to run hotter, hold a tight arc so you can get into the root of the joint, and you need to be able to see the slag just barely separate from the puddle. It's tough with 6013 because it produces a lot of fluid slag, but it is possible. It's a balancing act between having the right arc length and amperage. If you have a cheap inverter welder, I can guarantee you, it is not producing the amperage it says on the display (if it has one). You have to keep experimenting with the amperage until you make it run right. Try to run the rod with one hand and use your other free hand to adjust the amperage knob and you'll see what I mean.
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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    Yea, I have this welder running on 120v

    https://www.amazon.com/DEKOPRO-Machi...+welder&sr=8-4

    I dunno if the link will show, itís the DEKOPRO 110/220V MMA Welder,160A ARC Welder, cheap $130 welder on Amazon. I eventually want to get a nicer welder, wanted to make sure I could weld first before I invested a ton of money.

    I havenít quite figured out how hot I should be running, I keep experimenting. I ran a bead on 50 amps and then at 120. I see penetration outline on the back of the plate in both cases. 120 melted the plate lol so I guess that was to hot. 80 seemed good. Trial and error I guess.

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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    I'd forget 6013 try some 1/8" 7014 to start. Similar to 6013 but less chance of holes and lack of fusion from too much slag. Easier to see what the puddle is doing too. 1/8" should run in the 130+/- amp range. Experiment with the amps a little. 3/32" rods can be tricky for a beginner because they get hot and can bend. A 1/8" rod should burn 6 to 7 inches. For fillet welds I typically have the rod tilted down a little more to force the puddle up on the vertical piece. Your practice pieces should be at least 1/4" thick. If you want to test fillet welds, just weld one side of the T and then clamp the piece in a vice or to a good table and beat it back on itself from the other side. The weld should should break in the middle and not along the edges. Rods to try are 7014, 7018 and 6010/6011.

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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    Thank you all for the help. I will try your suggestions.

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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    Quote Originally Posted by tryonix View Post
    Yea, I have this welder running on 120v

    https://www.amazon.com/DEKOPRO-Machi...+welder&sr=8-4

    I dunno if the link will show, itís the DEKOPRO 110/220V MMA Welder,160A ARC Welder, cheap $130 welder on Amazon. I eventually want to get a nicer welder, wanted to make sure I could weld first before I invested a ton of money.

    I havenít quite figured out how hot I should be running, I keep experimenting. I ran a bead on 50 amps and then at 120. I see penetration outline on the back of the plate in both cases. 120 melted the plate lol so I guess that was to hot. 80 seemed good. Trial and error I guess.
    Yes it will require a lot of trial and error. Make sure you practice on scrap first, not on the actual project, or you'll make a mess of it as you're trying to learn how to weld.

    It can be done, but the main problem is right now you're not fully aware of how to read the puddle, so amperage suggestions on a machine that is lying to you will not serve you too much. It would be great if it was accurate, because then you could focus on learning how to read the puddle, instead of figuring out what the machine is actually doing. I have a couple of similar cheapies, and they work MUCH better on 240V. On 120V, the arc isn't as forceful as it needs to be. If 80 "seemed good", but didn't actually produce the weld you wanted, then it wasn't good. Try 90, 95, 100, 105, etc.
    Last edited by Oscar; 07-18-2021 at 07:50 PM.
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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    Learning to distinguish and watch the molten metal puddle is the first step to controlling it, but it should come with practice.

    60xx rods are usually hard with cheap inverters (they stick because they need a high open voltage is what I understand), moving to a 70xx might make a big difference in your case.

    If you're on 120v power keep the rod small. 85ish amps is usually the max I've seen good units (miller) pull from a 120v (20 amp), cheaper units will generally be much lower. 3/32 70xx rod

    Having a general range for a rod/material and then having to find the sweet spot is an every weld thing, don't be too discouraged by it. Many weldors adjust DURING the weld (remotes, or yelling at a helper to "UP THREE!").

    You're always fighting highly dynamic variables, and everyone has their preference.

    Good luck and have fun!

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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    Thank you all for the help

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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    Looks like you're getting lots of good advice. Welcome to the forum.

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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    I am not a great welder,, or anything like that,, but, the welding leads I have for my "buzz box" welder cost more than the welder that is in the Amazon link,,
    Seriously,, It is possible that you are loosing too much voltage in your welding leads, to be able to weld some of the rods that have been mentioned.

    Good welding leads, made with serious copper,, will always be something you will use,,
    I would not be surprised if the leads that you are using are copper coated aluminum,,
    similar to the jumper cables Harbor Freight sells.

    Do you ever wonder why Harbor Freight jumper cables do not seem to start a car as well as real copper jumper cables??

    That might be a first step in getting pretty looking welds.

    Oh, yea,, I am always amazed how much slag is associated with 6013 rod,,
    I ONLY use 6013 when I can weld with high amps, on a project that does not mean much to me,,
    I guess I should toss the 6013 rods I have, they are truly just taking up shelf space,,,

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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    You are correct, it is not copper. I will upgrade stinger and clamp and see if that makes a difference, any suggestions on quality stinger or clamp?

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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    Quote Originally Posted by tryonix View Post
    You are correct, it is not copper. I will upgrade stinger and clamp and see if that makes a difference, any suggestions on quality stinger or clamp?
    Do you have a welding supply store near you? (we don't know where you are ) If you do, that would be the best place to start. Take your old ones to see if you or they can un-do the cable from the dinse connector that goes into the machine; that way you only have to re-insert the new cables for the new parts and still use the same connectors.
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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    General rule of thumb for amperage is decimal of the rod size = amps. 1/8 = 125a, 3/32 = 95a, ect. Not an exact science, but a good starting point.

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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    I found a supply store, heading there tomorrow,thanks

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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    Quote Originally Posted by Roert42 View Post
    General rule of thumb for amperage is decimal of the rod size = amps. 1/8 = 125a, 3/32 = 95a, ect. Not an exact science, but a good starting point.
    Your "125" is not his "125". Let me explain: the problem with that and this situation (and a whole lot more to come as these rinky-dinky inverter stick welders start to become more prevalent), is that the digital display on the machine is NOT the actual amperage that is being delivered. It's literally a lie (I know because I have two cheapies that do the same exact thing). So while the rule of thumb you mentioned is perfectly valid for decent quality welders that actually show you the real amperage, whether display or dial, it's actually proving to become a hindrance to new/beginning welders that have zero clues about this kind of stuff in advance. You can find some videos on YouTube for other similar cheapies like the "Yes" welders. One guy, WeldLab I think, found the same exact thing because he knew better because he already has professional level equipment.

    I eventually want to get a nicer welder, wanted to make sure I could weld first before I invested a ton of money.
    It's actually quite interesting, for if he had spent "a ton of money" he'd likely already be welding a whole lot better, and not have to be unknowingly fighting against the machine.

    Don't worry tryonix, just keep practicing and learn how to "tune" the machine (even though you shouldn't have to and should only have to be reliant on true amperage display's). One quick way is to use an ammeter that can measure DC amps up to ~200A. Clamp it onto one of the leads, run a steady bead, and it will tell you the truth (at least as accurate as the ammeter is).
    Last edited by Oscar; 07-19-2021 at 11:12 PM.
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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    Interesting. What are you thoughts on the lower end forney machines, specifically the Easy Weld 140 MP, or should I just stay away from the 120v machineís altogether and have a 240 line run. I really enjoy welding so far and would like to eventually learn tig.

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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    The biggest thing you could do to help yourself is find a teacher. Update your user CP with your location, so we know where you are. Lots of us are pretty friendly. I have had several guys out to check out their equipment and learn a few licks. Having someone else use your tools and tell you it is great, or something is wrong helps immensely.

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  27. #22
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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    Quote Originally Posted by tryonix View Post
    Interesting. What are you thoughts on the lower end forney machines, specifically the Easy Weld 140 MP, or should I just stay away from the 120v machine’s altogether and have a 240 line run. I really enjoy welding so far and would like to eventually learn tig.
    IMO. Stay far away from cheap 120V-only machines when you are barely starting out and learning on your own. I know it seems counter-intuitive; when starting out we usually tend to go for the "cheaper stuff" (usually due to thinking "easier" or "simplicity") until we get better at whatever that thing is, but after a few years of visiting the various welding forums, you start to see a pattern: cheap machines with limited control make it really difficult (IMO) for a beginner to teach him/herself without any reliable reference such as a teacher/more experienced weldor to see exactly what is going on. I'm positive an experienced professional welder from here or anywhere else can take a cheap 120V wirefeed welder and make miracles happen; but that is because they already have an intimate knowledge of all the variables that they need to take into account, whether they are aware of it or not. So I'm not saying go out and buy a $5k welder, but what I say/recommend is: when looking at the price of the welding machine, make sure it makes you wince a little bit and you know it's gonna hurt the bank account a little bit. Quality costs and this is not a cheap game to play. I'm not saying to buy blindly just by cost either, but I think you get the gist of what I'm trying to say.

    As for that Forney Easy Weld 140 MP. Did you know that it will not produce 140A for you? Do you know why? (hint: it's another one of those "experience" type things of prior knowledge )
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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    I do not know. Why will it not give me 140A?

    I am in NJ, will update my location, thanks

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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    Quote Originally Posted by tryonix View Post
    I do not know. Why will it not give me 140A?

    I am in NJ, will update my location, thanks
    To support 140A welding current output, while providing an acceptable voltage level, a machine on 120V needs about 30A if current available from the electrical outlet. That means if you plug it into a standard 120V-20A outlet, you're limited to about 90ish maybe 100A tops on a good day. Try to get more than that and it will trip the breaker in short time. So I could be wrong, but I doubt you have a 120V 30A outlet in your home. It's not a standard/typical outlet to have and even if you did, it would be a completely different connector that the Forney would not be able to be plugged into, unless you chop off the connector it comes with and add your own L5-30P (I think that's the plug).

    I'm not saying don't buy it, I'm just saying there a lot of "hidden" tidbits here and there when it comes to the 120V-only welders. I just looked it up and I saw it at least has infinitely-variable Voltage and Wire Feed Speed. That's a big plus that helps fine-tune things.
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    Re: fillet welding with stick

    Makes sense, yeh I am on a 20A breaker. I am gonna get an electrician in here and see if I can get a 220 line installed.
    Last edited by tryonix; 07-20-2021 at 08:15 PM.

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