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Unread 03-17-2011, 06:24 AM   #1
krazymatt
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What welding rods for learning?

I plan on starting to self teach myself on an old stick welder my dad has. I hope to be able to at least get to where I can weld a bead then proceed to build me some bumpers for my TJ. Which rods should I buy? I'll probably be practicing on 3/16" steel and possibly some thicker stuff on some old farm implements. I checked out the Welders Handbook 2007-Finch and plan to read through that first so I get the basics down in my head. Thanks for any info.

I do understand that it would probably be best to learn with a Mig or wire feed welder but I don't have funds to buy one at this point. I have enough 3/16" steel on hand to make some bumpers though, and of course this stick welder.

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Unread 03-17-2011, 10:13 AM   #2
LandersmiXJ
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Ok so this is my first reply to anything in the fabrication side of the forum. I do not have any posted projects or anything but i have been welding for about a year now. I am a student and have done stick, mig, and tig so here are my thoughts. Mostly what I've started out with and used is E7018 rods which make very pretty good looking beads with very little splatter, and E6010 for roots beads for applications which require deeper penetration. The E6010 will have better penetration and have a much lower slag content, whereas the 7018 will have a thick slag covering and look much better. Usually i use the 6010 for root welds that will be covered with 7018 caps. From what I have been told these two are some of the most used rods in the industry and provide a good starting point.

I hope this helps and if anyone else has any differing information please post it, I'm a student and I'm always eager to learn.
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Unread 03-17-2011, 10:32 AM   #3
krazymatt
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Hey, Thanks buddy. I will keep that in mind. Sounds like for just practicing the e7018 rods are fine. I know I have some old rods in my shed but are likely not good. I've heard they are sensitive to moisture. I'll have to see.
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Unread 03-17-2011, 01:46 PM   #4
Griff97
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For old rods that have been sitting around in humid air, you can cook them in an oven before use.
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Unread 03-17-2011, 04:46 PM   #5
krazymatt
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I don't know that we know what that is here in NM. Humid air that is.
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Unread 03-17-2011, 04:48 PM   #6
krazymatt
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That Welder's Handbook has some very good info. It explains different characteristics of the different rods. If I actually learn successfully and start fabing stuff I might consider buying it to keep for reference.
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Unread 03-17-2011, 06:13 PM   #7
Bigbob
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You did not say what kind of welder you have. AC? AC/DC?

The 7018 is a DC rod. They do make a 7018AC rod though.
If the 7018 has got moisture in it a lot of times if you dry it in a oven it is still shot. The trick is to buy dry rod and keep it dry.
I suggest you practice with 6011 rod. The Lincoln brand Fleetweld 180 you find in Home Depot and such is good stuff. It lays down a ugly bead, but it is easy to start an arc and keep it. It has a lot of harder to remove slag, but a good all around rod and good for learning on. Once you get comfortable with that then get some 3/32" 7018 and start practicing with that. Easy slag removal and nice beads, but harder to start for a new guy.
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Unread 03-17-2011, 09:17 PM   #8
krazymatt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbob View Post
You did not say what kind of welder you have. AC? AC/DC?

The 7018 is a DC rod. They do make a 7018AC rod though.
If the 7018 has got moisture in it a lot of times if you dry it in a oven it is still shot. The trick is to buy dry rod and keep it dry.
I suggest you practice with 6011 rod. The Lincoln brand Fleetweld 180 you find in Home Depot and such is good stuff. It lays down a ugly bead, but it is easy to start an arc and keep it. It has a lot of harder to remove slag, but a good all around rod and good for learning on. Once you get comfortable with that then get some 3/32" 7018 and start practicing with that. Easy slag removal and nice beads, but harder to start for a new guy.
It is an old Sears Craftsman AC stick welder. My dad was doing a repair weld on a implement today for me and he hadn't used it in a long time therefore his rods were old. He couldn't strike an arc with some old 7018 rods probably because they were old. He went to buy some new 6011 rods and finished the job quickly. I will keep the 6011 rods in mind. I need to install a 50amp breaker and 220 plug in my garage this weekend so I can start practicing. Thanks for the advice!
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Unread 03-17-2011, 10:26 PM   #9
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7014 rod is an easy rod to start with and it is a good all around rod good strength and a reasonable bead. With a setting in the 90 to 120 amp range for 3/32 rod should work for most work that you would be doing.
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Unread 03-17-2011, 11:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodger889 View Post
7014 rod is an easy rod to start with and it is a good all around rod good strength and a reasonable bead. With a setting in the 90 to 120 amp range for 3/32 rod should work for most work that you would be doing.
I agree.

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Unread 03-18-2011, 01:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krazymatt View Post
That Welder's Handbook has some very good info. It explains different characteristics of the different rods. If I actually learn successfully and start fabing stuff I might consider buying it to keep for reference.
The "Welder's Handbook" is a waste of money. Buy "Performance Welding" by the same author (Richard Finch). There is a lot more useful information in the latter and it is more geared towards our type of use. As I understand it, Finch wrote the "Handbook" at the behest of the welding gear manufacturers, and because of that he couldn't say everything that he would have liked. When he wrote "Performance Welding" he didn't have to pull any punches.
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Unread 03-18-2011, 05:40 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rixcj View Post
I agree.

Rich
Thanks guys. I'll get some 6011 and some 7014 to try both.
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Unread 03-18-2011, 05:41 AM   #13
krazymatt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Netpackrat View Post
The "Welder's Handbook" is a waste of money. Buy "Performance Welding" by the same author (Richard Finch). There is a lot more useful information in the latter and it is more geared towards our type of use. As I understand it, Finch wrote the "Handbook" at the behest of the welding gear manufacturers, and because of that he couldn't say everything that he would have liked. When he wrote "Performance Welding" he didn't have to pull any punches.
Thanks for the advice. I checked the Welders Handbook out at my library so I have no money into it. I'll keep an eye out for the Performance Welding book.
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Unread 03-18-2011, 05:49 AM   #14
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To help with moisture in the rods build a box with a light bulb in it and set the rod in the box about 15-20 mins. before you start welding with it. It will dry moisture out of the rod making it easier to work with.
Dont get discouraged with the way your welds look at first. just be patient and practice. I have my 9 and 12 year old welding on my jeep and people are amazed at there welds but I let them practice and try and teach them. Good luck and remember safety!
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Unread 03-18-2011, 08:11 AM   #15
krazymatt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigwilly View Post
To help with moisture in the rods build a box with a light bulb in it and set the rod in the box about 15-20 mins. before you start welding with it. It will dry moisture out of the rod making it easier to work with.
Dont get discouraged with the way your welds look at first. just be patient and practice. I have my 9 and 12 year old welding on my jeep and people are amazed at there welds but I let them practice and try and teach them. Good luck and remember safety!
That is cool teaching your kids to weld! Yeah, I plan on practicing on scrap till I can get something that will hold and look decent before I start constructing a bumper. If I have trouble I'll consult with my dad. He's been welding for some 40-50 years.
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