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Thread: Cutting steel with a stick welder (not arc gouge)

  1. #1
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    Cutting steel with a stick welder (not arc gouge)

    So... I got a 275 gallon steel tank from my neighbor and wanted to cut a couple doors in it. It's a horizontal tank that probably used to hold #2 fuel oil. Used to fuel a heater for a house or something like that. Anyway, I needed to cut a couple 24.5"X24.5" holes and a 12"X4" hole. They didn't have to be exact - maybe within 3/4", since I needed to weld a big flange around the openings and a piece all the way around the doors, anyway. So, since where it was, I had access to the stick machine and nothing else (I started on it with an angle grinder. with a cutting wheel... no thank-you). I took some 1/8" and 5/32" 6011's and ran a little over 200 amps and burned the holes in the drum. I've done the same thing (also with 5/32" 6011) in a 1/2" AR cutting edge on a blade for a tractor. I'd say (conservatively) 1/2" - it was probably thicker than that... Anyway, cutting the 12 gauge steel drum was actually really fast and reasonably accurate with a stick machine running a 6011. Most of the cuts I did with a 1/8" rod since I ran of out 5-32's. I ran a SUPER shallow angle, basically keeping the flux touching on the base metal in front of the arc. I rotate the stinger down, to keep the flux pressing on the base in front of the arc, not doing much dragging. I kept my hand in basically the same spot through the cut, and just tipped the rod into the cut. The pressure you put on the rod seems to be relatively important - You don't want a whole lot of pressure, but feeling the flux on the unburned metal wasn't too much pressure. When I was cutting, I'd control the cut quality by varying how much pressure I had touching the rod to the base metal. **That's if I was using the "twisting the rod into the cut" method. If you're cutting it as if using a regular rod and were welding a stringer, ignore that.** The kerf of the cut was pretty wide - 1/4", PLUS the melted edge and the heat affected zone. I'd call it +/- 3/16" either size of the cut line... IF YOU HIT THE CUT LINE. I had a whole inch of play with my cut lines and when I was learning on the first few cuts, I NEEDED it. By the last few cuts, I stayed well within my tolerance.
    Last edited by 52 Ford; 11-14-2021 at 01:05 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Cutting steel with a stick welder (not arc gouge)

    Ive cut a fair amount with 6010-11. Not pretty but effective. Soaking the rods in water for a while helps because it slows the burn off of the flux on the electrode.

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    Re: Cutting steel with a stick welder (not arc gouge)

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    Ive cut a fair amount with 6010-11. Not pretty but effective. Soaking the rods in water for a while helps because it slows the burn off of the flux on the electrode.
    My Twentieth Century AC 295 welder I bought in 1974 recommended 5/32 6011 soaked overnight. They also sold a tool carbon arc torch. Two carbon electrodes arced to each other to provide a heat source. It didn't work very good.
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    Re: Cutting steel with a stick welder (not arc gouge)

    The only I used stick for cutting I had no cutting torch or saw.
    I have also used a cutting torch for cutting wood.

    This all when first start working with father. He relied on Forman's to bring everything need to job site that was 200 miles or more from shop. After times we both would remember bring few extra tools to job sites. Like hand-saw a set screwdrivers, socket set and torch.

    This came handy in 1972 going to job site. The fuel filter became clogged the auto mechanic was back log for 5 hour. Auto mechanic sold a filter for $20.00 and I change on top of the grapevine I5.
    After that I take a few tools and a spare filter from Pep Boys for $5.00.

    There žs down side to taking to many tools it takes alway on how tons you haul on a 3/4 ton pickup. We stop at 3 tons of material and tools.

    Dave

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    Cutting steel with a stick welder (not arc gouge)

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    My Twentieth Century AC 295 welder I bought in 1974 recommended 5/32 6011 soaked overnight. They also sold a tool carbon arc torch. Two carbon electrodes arced to each other to provide a heat source. It didn't work very good.
    My experiences EXACTLY with the Forney AC 230 we bought in 1966

    Didn't know about soaking the rods at the time tho.





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    Re: Cutting steel with a stick welder (not arc gouge)

    I cut my 275 up into pieces so scrap yard would take it.
    Cut it in half first with Sawzall and scraped out sludge,
    torched remaining residue and cut into pieces using wet
    6010 and 6011. I found it easier than cutting up with sawzall.
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    Re: Cutting steel with a stick welder (not arc gouge)

    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    So... I got a 275 gallon steel tank from my neighbor and wanted to cut a couple doors in it. .
    kBOOM!

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    Re: Cutting steel with a stick welder (not arc gouge)

    Turn it to straight polarity will cut faster and easier

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    Re: Cutting steel with a stick welder (not arc gouge)

    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    e that. Anyway, I needed to cut a couple 24.5"X24.5" holes and a 12"X4" hole. They didn't have to be exact - maybe within 3/4", since I needed to weld a big flange around the openings and a piece all the way around the doors, anyway. So, since where it was, I had access to the stick machine and nothing else (I started on it with an angle grinder. with a cutting wheel... no thank-you). I t
    u might not b doing it quite right. cuttoff wheels cut like real good (even on thick, when done right). not sure what u mean by thick, but i can cut a 36" .375 wall pipe in half an hour

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    Re: Cutting steel with a stick welder (not arc gouge)

    How does this wet 6010/6011 compare to rods made specifically for cutting? I've tried the latter, and they just made a mess.
    -Ruark
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    Re: Cutting steel with a stick welder (not arc gouge)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruark View Post
    How does this wet 6010/6011 compare to rods made specifically for cutting? I've tried the latter, and they just made a mess.
    Nothing pretty about it. Rough cut but it will blast thru aluminum, stainless or cast iron.

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