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  • Need advice for improving stick welds

    Well, i've never really done much stick welding but since i have opened the doors to the public and commercial work i've come upon more and more projects that require some stick welding. I can usually get a decent bead, but nothing to write home about.

    I've been using some 6013 on my recent projects because i was told it was a good all around rod by the local welding supply store. The only rod i've bought before is some nickel for cast which i grind the flux off of and use it to TIG with.

    My main problems are a LOT of sticking when the rod is long (once it's half down it starts nicely every time) And a lot of spatter no matter what length of arc i seem to use.

    I'm using my Dynasty 200DX to stick weld with and i haven't messed with the "Dig" as i haven't seena good explanation of what it really does. I also havne't messed with the Low open circuit voltage either as i like where it's at when i'm lift arc TIG'ing, and the manual really doesn't say if the OVC is able to be set independantly for stick and TIG processes.
    My usuall settings are on DC welding at between 90 and 110 amps.

    I've read all of the stuff on the MIller website under Resources/Improving your skills, but there really isn't much there compared to MIG and TIG info they have

    I want to change to a better type of filler rod since i've learned that 6013 is less than ideal for most things (more interweb learning) So can anyone give me info on 2 good sticks (i was thinking 6011 or 10 and some 7018)

    Also, can anyone recomend and or explain settings for "dig" and wether or not the OCV is the same for TIG and stick and a recomended setting for it for certain rods?

    And i have ONE TIG question.. the start polarity, start amps and start time are a few other things i don't completely understand what will be effected if they are changed except for starting amperage. Which i want to bring the starting amps down to get better at the "beer can welds" I've done pretty good but often blow holes in them on startup, so i've been thinking about bringing start amps down to 10 from the default 40 but don't want to have to change it all the time since i haven't memorized how to navigate the hidden menus as of yet.

    Any help is apreciated, and although i just registered today, i've been reading on here for about a week now and love the forum, just wish it was a tad bigger.
    Last edited by turboglenn; 09-24-2008, 03:47 PM.
    Dynasty 200DX
    Hobart Handler 135
    Smith MB55A-510 O/A setup
    Lathe/Mill/Bandsaw
    Hypertherm Powermax 45
    Just about every other hand tool you can imagine

  • #2
    When I was starting out stick welding, I was trying to make my weld beads look good by looking at where I had been. Crazy as it sounds, this means I was doing things to make my slag cover look good! And I would uncover a wormy weld.

    Don't look at at where you've been! Look at where you're going and develop a feel for what the bead is going to look like. You can't see the bead until you chip the slag! One thing that helps appearance is if you don't weave... but sometimes you have to.

    As far as asthetics are concerned, when I'm stick welding, it's a beam, a bulldozer, or something else where it doesn't need to be pretty. It's never going to look like a TIG weld so don't waste your time trying.

    As far as rods go, all I need is 6010 and 7018. If you do it right, 7018 will leave a bead that looks like a MIG weld.

    And the DIG function on your dynasty makes it less likely for the electrodes to stick. It bumps the heat up automatically when it senses the voltage getting low (ie rod about to stick).

    80% of failures are from 20% of causes
    Never compromise your principles today in the name of furthering them in the future.
    "All I ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work." -Sgt. Bilko
    "We are generally better persuaded by reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others." -Pascal
    "Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything." -Pascal

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    • #3
      I know I'm probably gonna get some flack for this but here goes........ Take them 6013's and throw em in the weeds, get yourself some 6011's and run em on AC. Once you can burn them nicely there then switch back to the DC mode. I burn most of my 6011's on AC, Just my personal preference. Dave
      If necessity is the Mother of Invention, I must be the Father of Desperation!

      sigpicJohn Blewett III 10-22-73 to 8-16-07
      Another racing great gone but not to be forgotten.http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...modified&hl=en

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      • #4
        Glen, there is a fair bit of info here in the form of past posts regarding Dig settings. If you do a search you should have some good reading at your fingertips. Think of Dig as a way of fine tuning your arc characteristics. Less Dig will give a softer less forceful arc, more Dig should give a more forceful arc with greater control when working out of position. My Trailblazer 302 had Dig settings but to tell the truth I never found them to make a whole lot of difference. Was it noticeable, yeah, but a help or improvement, not really. I just left the Dig at 75% most of the time and got on with the job because the arc was soft to begin with. I wonder if Miller has refined / improved the Dig control in their engine drives. I had one of the first 302s, so I suspect that some revisions have been done since then.

        The OCV setting is less crucial to weld performance than you may have gotten he impression of. Generally speaking, keeping a low OCV is better from a safety standpoint than that of weld performance. However, if you're stick welding, a higher OCV will help with the starts, especially if you need your starts to be inclusion free. On my 300DX, I'll turn the OCV up when doing a fair bit of stick, but leave it at the low setting for tig work. Also, you'll find different rods will be easier or harder to 'stick' to the workpiece. Low hydrogen rods will often feel more prone to sticking and require greater control than a rod like 6010 which will light up easy. Keep working at it and you'll get to where you want to be.
        hre

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        • #5
          All the tips are much apreciated! I did do some searching on here over the last week or so using the terms "200dx and stick welding" seperately and together. MOst of the posts i found just had mentions of stick welding as a process that could be used on some one's project and 200dx just turned up a lot of TIG info and changes made in the production runs of the unit. I usually will search first before asking since i've modded and admin'ed a few boards over the years.

          Thanks again for all the help, and keep any suggestions you may have coming.
          Dynasty 200DX
          Hobart Handler 135
          Smith MB55A-510 O/A setup
          Lathe/Mill/Bandsaw
          Hypertherm Powermax 45
          Just about every other hand tool you can imagine

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          • #6
            lo-hy 3/32 maybe 70-90 amps dcplus and move slow enough with rod 90 degrees into puddle. you will see a little flux boiling right on front side of your bead. but not in front of rod as your traveling. keep 3/32 distance and you will see arc moving around a little. practice just a bit and the slag will peel right behind your weld as it cools.

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            • #7
              Turbo, 6013 or 7018??????Most folks think that 7018 is the Cats yeow for penetration, but 6013 and 7018 are both considerd low penetration rods, for the 7018 to preform as classified, you need to keep rods at 250 to 300 degrees, 6013 needs 100 or so, anyway, uphill and overhead is easier with 7018 because of the heavier slag which acts like a dam, both give about the same bead look, strength, well???? look at the specs, not much difference really....and if you do not keep 7018 at 250/300, you will have H2O in the lime coating which will lead to problems like Hydrogen embrittlement and possible porisity. Want more penetration with 6013, use DCRP, need less for thin stuff or more buildup, DCSP, that is also good for dealing with bad fitup. 6013 is a very forgiving rod, it is what they use for underwater welding, so, give them all a try and don't forget the 6011 or 6010, they are great for funky material, rust,paint and bad fit up, but do not expect them to be pretty, as Dabar says: learn to make it look good with 6011 and every thing will be easy, well maybe, hope this helps, Paul
              More Spark Today Pleasesigpic

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              • #8
                i always liked making a first pass with 6011 then cap it with 7018, especially for nasty material or crappy fitup

                thoose are the only two rods ill run the 6011 has nice penetration but dosnt look pretty, the 7018 dosnt have the greatest penetration but can make a nice lookin bead
                DYNASTY 200DX
                SPECTRUM 625
                MM 251
                BWE

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                • #9
                  Jake, that is the combo we always used for open groove welds, I believe that is AWS D1:1 code for open groove, anyway, it was 6010 not 6011, but close enough, but I hate 5P, you know the Red Rod from Cleveland, 5P+ is ok though, I like Hobart Pipemaster 6010 a whole lot too. 7014 is a great rod, but I have lots of trouble running vertical with it. Paul
                  More Spark Today Pleasesigpic

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                  • #10
                    Dabar, I have to disagree with you about throwing the 6013s in the weeds. I'd use them for hooks to hang stuff in the shop. Just bend some hooks on each end and they will work great.

                    Turboglenn, For welding, 6011 is probably the easiest rod for me to control. It's deep penetrating and fast freezing with light flux so you can tell what's happening. It's not going to leave the prettiest bead though. I started out on 6011 in the 70s with a buzzbox and still use it on structural pipe and stuff like that. 6010 is similar and a little deeper penetration and requires DC. 7018 is a really nice rod once you get the hang of it, but it's harder to learn on IMHO and also does much better on DC. Also, you need to run 7018 hotter than 6010/6011. As a general rule of thumb, I run the amps on 7018 about where I would run one size larger 6011.
                    Jim

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