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request for tips on welding

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by infinitymike, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    I bought my first welding machine. Its a Lincoln AC225 "tombstone"

    I'm a carpenter not a metal worker.:rolleyes: So I need a few pointers.

    First off the cord that plugs into the wall is only about 8 feet long. I would like to make another cord that can extend the factory supplied one. How long can I make it before I lose power?

    Secondly the guy I bought it from said to use "odd" numbered rods.

    Is a 6011 rod a good general purpose rod for general welding.

    My first project is on my 7x12 dump trailer. I need to weld the back corner posts where the tail gate connects to. They are a 2"x2" post and the weld broke so they lean out and its hard to close the gate.
    Then I woould like to remove the plywood walls I installed to make the cargo volume larger and weld metal posts and put metal grating in as walls with removable cross bars that act as a ladder rack.

    After that, who knows, maybe some abstract metal art work.:eek:

    Any experience is welcomed.

    Thanks

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  2. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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  3. ajreid

    ajreid Member

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    Try a 7018ac rod. 3/32 set at 85 amps. Play around with the amperage some welders vary. A wire brush on a grinder helps knock off the old paint.
  4. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

  5. Hydro

    Hydro New Member

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    6011 is for max penetration and when looks don't matter. 7018 is much easier to use as a beginner, the weld can end up looking like a pro did it. Keep a file on hand to rub the tip of the 7018 before restarting. The tip will ball up and prevent you from striking an arc.
  6. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I have one of those old Lincoln AC225's, among several other welders. You will indeed want an extension cord, so you can roll it outside to weld. A wood shop is no place to do welding! If I recall, the AC225 is set up to run from a 60A circuit, but I did see one run off a 35A circuit, which only blew a fuse once in 10 years of use. Draw is proportional to how you load it (what you're welding or cutting).

    In any case, let us know what size circuit you plan to run this from and desired cord length, and we can tell you how to make up the cord.
  7. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Is there any truth about using odd numbered rod for an AC unit and even numbered rod for a DC unit?
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    6011,6013, 7014 should all be in your stick stock. 7018 is a low hydrogen rod (for stuff like high test / high carbon welding - splitter wedge, anybody?) Keep in mind that the old tombstone can be difficult to dial down. You may find that welding "metal grating" (I am assuming expanded metal) to be difficult to control. I actually torch weld that stuff (a mig is on my short list of tools to get).

    Drag your rod at about a 45 deg angle to the bead. It may serve you well to get a few pieces of scrap to play on before you go after a project that you care about.

    From the link that MasterMech pointed to this will help in rod selection (goto page 9)
    http://www.millerwelds.com/pdf/guidelines_smaw.pdf
    ScotO likes this.
  9. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I have an AC225, MIG (actually set up with flux-core now), and oxy-acetylene. I can't remember the last time I used anything but the MIG. The AC225 has far more power for big stuff, but I don't often have something that the MIG can't handle. Gas welding is a lost art, and a lot of fun. I wish I had more time for it.

    The AC225 is a great machine to get started, and nearly every welder owned one in their past, but they're combersome for light work. If the welding bug really bites you, I see a MIG in your future. >>
  10. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Rod basics;

    6011 is an all purpose rod designed to run on AC.
    It is part of the fast freeze group. If you could ever own only one rod size and type, it should be 1/8" 6011.
    6011 is appropriate for rusty/dirty/painted metal, filling large gaps if needed and out of position welds
    and is far more forgiving and easy to learn than 7018
    Run 1/8"6011 at 90 amps on your Lincoln AC buzz box or 80/85 if you have a newer model.
    If you are welding thin metal, you can lower the amperage a lot, once you gain some rod controll (at lower heat, it is harder to keep the rod from sticking to the work.

    For your machine, you would need 7018 AC, since 7018 is a DC rod. Most profesional welders use 1/8" 7018 for most structural steel work.
    7018 is part of the fast fill group. Welding with 7018 requires clean metal and close fitup. Gaps are difficult to fill with 7018, and while it is possible to do so with much technique and practice, it is still not recomended, for metalurgical reasons. (most of the welding instructors I have ever met simply say that gaps cannot be filled with 7018.
    As mentioned before, 7018 is a medium carbon, low hydrogen rod with iron powder in the flux for faster higher buildup. Low hydrogen properties will be ENTIRELY lost when 7018 rods are wet or even damp. In fact, 7018 should be stored in a heated rod oven if one expects low hydrogen properties.
    7018 is also an all position rod, meaning it can weld flat, horizontal, vertical and overhead. 7018 prefers to weld uphill. Down hill weld with 7018 are absolutely forbidden for anything other than cosmetic work.
    For certain metals, 7018 is appropriate, whereas 6011 is not. These are medium carbon metals, such as grader blades, certain cast irons, etc.

    It is important to know that welders have and need a code of ethics similar to structural engineers, and undergo much practice and training to safely carry out their art. People can die or be severely injured if weldments fail. At a minimum, you should buy a good book on welding from a reputable publisher. I have read many very poor books on welding and can recommend only two sources though doubtless there are others; Hobart and Lincoln. Both run large schools and teach industry standards which are constantly being revised and reviewed by welding engineers. (I actually have friends in the welding feild who hold doctorates).

    I personally have no use for 6013, it is a new metal fab rod, designed for high speed low penetration welding of sheetmetal. It has essentially been made obsolete by MIG welding. If you don' t have a mig welder, it may be an appropriate rod, however it does nothing 6011 will not do a little slower and is subject to slag inclusions, when applied incorrectly.

    7014 is similar to 7018 and can be replaced entirely by 7018, with the exception that 7014 can and will run downhill successfully. I see no need to inventory any rods other than 6011, 7018 , stainless steel and a very special and expensive repair rod I use for certain tasks. I commonly stock rods in 3/32 and 1/8 diameters.
    Ocasionally I will find a use for 5/32, but usually when I need to put down that much deposit, I am rigging up a MIG or FLUXCORE first.

    The very best thing you can do if you really want to weld is to take a class at your local comunity college or vocational high school, though self teaching is possible.

    Feel free to PM me with specific questions if you wish, as you get started. Your machine needs a dedicated 50 amp 220 volt circuit breaker. Your cord size will need to be determined by the length. Any competent licensed electrician can tell you what the CODE requires. Good luck, be safe, and don't use less than a shade 10 lens for arc welding or a shade 5 lens for oxy-fuel work, including cutting.
    ScotO, Eatonpcat and Jags like this.
  11. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I'm holding out for my Millermatic 252. Will butter 1/2" together single pass but is almost as nimble as the Millermatic 140 on the light stuff. (Like mowerdecks, which I get a LOT of welding jobs for.) Load it up with flux-core and I can't see myself needing a stick machine.
  12. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    But, but, but Dune...6013 can sure make some purdy welds.;)
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  13. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I put an extra long cord on my ac225. The original cord is very light gauge, like 12 guage or less. Welders follow some very funny rules in the electrical codes that allow you to greatly undersize the wire, even on the circuit wire buried in the wall. I think my cord is 20 feet long and #10 "cord", it was a remnant from teh roll at HD. It is very easy to hookup the new longer cord inside the tombstone.

    I just recently reattached the heavy steel slug to the pipe in my T-post pounder using the AC225 and some old 7018 rod with 135 amps for super penetration. Works fine. Right through the powder coating. Not sure the common wirefeed could do that.

    Oh and the funny thing about the welder is that arc welding is done at about 26 volts. The 200 amp setting only needs 5200 watts, add 20% for inefficiency and you're still under 7000 watts. 7000 watts is still under 30 amps of 240 volt current. You don't need no stinking 50 amps but that is what the manual asks for.
  14. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Great stuff. Alot of good reading to do.

    This is all JAGS fault if you didn't post those CL ads on the other thread I posted about the splitter I wouldn't have started this one:p.
    Only kidding JAGS, like I said I've always wanted one and even ran a 50 amp 220 line to the garage/boiler room just in case!

    being a residential house framer for the past 28 years, I've erected a lot of steel and have done a lot of torch cutting( when johnny steel guy cant read a tape) but never had to weld, thats where I would call in the pro's.

    I think with a little practice and who knows I might even humble myself and take a few classes, I can get good enough to do general repairs or fab some stuff that won't need to be x-rayed.:oops:

    Maybe I'll make an out feed table for that nice splitter I just bought.

    keep the info coming.
  15. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    If I didn't have wirefeeders Jags, I would definitely stock 6013. Wonderful rod for sheet metal fabrication. For non welders, plate is 1/4 or thicker, every thing thinner is sheetmetal.
  16. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Dune

    Thanks for the info. I read your post a couple times. Thanks for the PM offer, I'll keep that in mind.

    That's some signature. Very impressive. I would love to see pics of all that stuff. A "wood fired Co-gen" is that a generator run on wood gas? I've been reading up on that, those things are pretty cool. That might be the next obsession to satisfy.
  17. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Don't worry JAGS I'll be picking your brain too.
  18. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Trust me - it won't take long.:p (Dune is the real PRO here)
  19. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Most everything I do is on 1/4". I use a lot of 6013's because you can drag them and I don't need crazy penetration for 1/4".

    7018s need to be kept in a heated oven for any benefit. Since I normally really pull out the welder on rare occasion for fixes etc- they just don't make sense for me.
  20. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, and I take full responsibility for leading you down this path.:p
  21. bfunk13

    bfunk13 Minister of Fire

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    What Dune said!
    For me 7018 would be a good rod to practice with till you get comfortable striking and starting the arc. If your rod sticks and wont let go, your heat is too low.
    6010 or 11 is a different animal and good for root and hot passes, penetrating and where beauty is not needed. I was a pipe welder for years and standard practice is 6010 first (root) and second (hot pass)
    then your (cover pass) is done with 7018. Biggest thing about learning to weld is practice. Get some scrap and burn away. Post some pictures and we can help you with heat, speed and position.
    Dune likes this.
  22. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    +1, PRACTICE

    Weld it with 6010/11, wire brush/grind/file to clean it & cap that with 7018.
    Practice & watch the puddle, (The puddle is the molten metal just behind the arc) ;)
    Move slower with thick steel & faster with thiner steel.
    Weld on level when you can.
    Welding will pull the metal, tack weld a few spots on both sides, square up or straighten, then go back & weld it solid.
    Watch the puddle. ;)

    Don't pick up or touch "any metal" in the welding area without gloves on :)
    Dune likes this.
  23. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I have stick and MIG welders, and I love them dearly. But I was certified in TIG welding a while back (aluminum and stainless) and let me tell you there is no substitution for the welds you can do with a TIG machine. I will break down someday (when the boss ain't looking) and buy a square-wave TIG machine. ::-)
    Fifelaker and bfunk13 like this.
  24. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    A person with a TIG that knows what they are doing is a force to be reckoned with.
    bfunk13 and ScotO like this.
  25. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Got two squarewave TIG's at work. The Miller Synchrowave is cake to operate but the monster Hobart (dunno the specific model) , I might use 50% of it's capabilties. Do a little aluminum from time to time, lots of stainless/inconel alloys (pulse width controls are awesome here), and really wish I didn't have to but some copper on occasion as well. That's where I really start to use the power that machine has. Believe me, I pick up the MIG gun whenever I can get away with it unless I'm playing with aluminum.
    ScotO likes this.

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