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  • matching electrode diameter to metal thickness

    Are there rules of thumb for matching electrode diameter and base metal thickness?

    For example, what range of thicknesses would a 3/16" e6010 be expected to handle, and what would be a typical current to use for thin vs. thick metal?

    (Suggestions for other rod types and diameters would also be appreciated.)

    Thanks for helping a newbie.

  • #2
    Try downloading the Lincoln SMAW booklet

    The suggested plate thickness is far less than what most of us use. The rod size to plate suggestions are often for maximum speed and efficiency. Much of the plate thickness depends on joint prep, such as a V or u groove.
    3/32" 6010 is good for 14g up to about 3/16", 1/8" 6010 good for 1/8" up to about 1/4". 5/32" 6010 good for 1/4" up to 1/2". My suggestions are for small projects, not maximum speed.
    As for your question about 3/16" rod, I don't know, but it requires more amps than many small DC machines put out. I'm just guessing, but maybe around 200-225 amps and would do well on half inch plate.
    Last edited by deafman; 02-27-2010, 07:52 PM.

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    • #3
      Electrode Differences

      Originally posted by alanrockwood View Post
      Are there rules of thumb for matching electrode diameter and base metal thickness?

      For example, what range of thicknesses would a 3/16" e6010 be expected to handle, and what would be a typical current to use for thin vs. thick metal?

      (Suggestions for other rod types and diameters would also be appreciated.)

      Thanks for helping a newbie.
      A 3/16" 6010 operates from 140-210 amps, and can be used for single passes up to 3/8" material. These rods, however, are generally used for fill and cap passes on cross country pipe, when a 5/32" is used for the root and hot pass. You need a VERY good DC drooper transformer machine or an inverter or an engine drive to run these effectively.

      Deafman covered most of the parameters, but keep in mind, there are a lot of variables. The Stick Electrode Guide is an excellent idea.

      For the most part, 3/32" & 1/8" 6011's/13's and 7018's would probably suit your needs. A big mistake many newbies make is trying to use too much rod, rather than understanding the characteristics and purpose of the different elecrodes, and what will suffice.

      Miller's Student Pack is a valuable resource, as it covers the different processes, electricity in welding, various metals, and techniques. Lincoln has an excellent Proceedure Handbook of Arc Welding, and retails for about $40.

      Being able to recognize weld defects is the key in any process, and learning how to correct them.

      What type of machine do you have, and what kind of projects do you have in mind?

      Dave
      "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

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      • #4
        Electrode Size

        alanrockwood,

        You can also go to the "Resources" section on this site, then to "Improving Your Skills", and then to, "TIG Welding", which you will find a "TIG Calculator" that will assist you in making an electrode size selection for a weld.

        Steve

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SBray View Post
          alanrockwood,

          You can also go to the "Resources" section on this site, then to "Improving Your Skills", and then to, "TIG Welding", which you will find a "TIG Calculator" that will assist you in making an electrode size selection for a weld.

          Steve
          Steve: He was asking about "stick" (welding rods) electrodes. He can, however, go to the same resources tab, click on SMAW, and find stick amperages.
          "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

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          • #6
            Lincoln's Procedure Handbook was $25. the last time I looked !

            It's the best book I've ever seen on Welding !

            Go Canada Go !
            13 Golds and Counting !

            ........... Norm
            Last edited by nfinch86; 02-28-2010, 12:30 PM.
            www.normsmobilewelding.blogspot.com

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            • #7
              [QUOTE=alanrockwood;227297]

              For example, what range of thicknesses would a 3/16" e6010 be expected to handle, and what would be a typical current to use for thin vs. thick metal?

              QUOTE]

              To use your specific example, 3/16" 6010, 7010, 8010's are used on .250w pipe and that's 1/4" of course. And it's used on pipe with wall thickness over
              1" as well.
              There's no set in stone rules if that's what you're looking for. The biggest rod you can control under the circumstances is how we go about it.

              JTMcC.
              Some days you eat the bear. And some days the bear eats you.

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              • #8
                I recently acquired a used Miller Thunderbolt 230/150 amp AC/DC welder, and I would like to learn how to use it. (I have done a little bit of welding with Flux core and oxy-acetylene technologies, but have only run a couple of beads previously with SMAW.)

                I was interested in e6010 because I have DC capability, and I understand that if you have DC capability then e6010 is similar to but slightly better in most respects than e6011. I also understand that it is a good electrode for ship building, and I am looking into the possibility to build a steel boat.

                I don't have any 3/16" rod. I found a good deal on some 3/16" e6010 that I was considering buying, but now I think that it would not be a good idea to buy it.

                Thanks for all the comments, and if there are any more comments I would like to hear them.

                Alan

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                • #9
                  T-Bolt

                  Originally posted by alanrockwood View Post
                  I recently acquired a used Miller Thunderbolt 230/150 amp AC/DC welder, and I would like to learn how to use it. (I have done a little bit of welding with Flux core and oxy-acetylene technologies, but have only run a couple of beads previously with SMAW.)

                  I was interested in e6010 because I have DC capability, and I understand that if you have DC capability then e6010 is similar to but slightly better in most respects than e6011. I also understand that it is a good electrode for ship building, and I am looking into the possibility to build a steel boat.

                  I don't have any 3/16" rod. I found a good deal on some 3/16" e6010 that I was considering buying, but now I think that it would not be a good idea to buy it.

                  Thanks for all the comments, and if there are any more comments I would like to hear them.

                  Alan
                  Alan: I've never used a Thunderbolt, so I couldn't tell you how well 6010's will run. The big difference between E-XX10's and E-XX11's is the type of flux.

                  E-XX10's have a Cellulose-Sodium flux. The gas shield contains Carbon Dioxide and Hydrogen, (which are reducing agents) and these gases produce the "digging arc" providing deep penetration.

                  E-XX11's have a Cellulose-Potassium flux. The addition of Potassium provides ionization of the arc, making it suitable for AC current. They do, however, operate on DC (+ or -) just fine.

                  The arc action, penetration, mechanical properties, and weld results are very similar. Rod chemistries are about the same, as each contains relatively close deposit compositions of Carbon, Manganese, Silicon, Sulphur and Phosphorus.

                  If you know someone proficient in "stick" welding, it would be a great help. Not only could they give you proper instruction, they can also tell how well the Thunderbolt runs E-XX10's.

                  Keep an eye on your duty cycles, this is considered a "light industrial" machine.

                  Dave
                  Last edited by davedarragh; 03-01-2010, 08:28 AM.
                  "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

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                  • #10
                    Electrode Selection

                    Originally posted by davedarragh View Post
                    Steve: He was asking about "stick" (welding rods) electrodes. He can, however, go to the same resources tab, click on SMAW, and find stick amperages.
                    Shows what happens when I don't pay close attention!

                    Thanks for showing him the correct place to go for the info.

                    Steve

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                    • #11
                      3/16" electrode is going to be too big for the Thunderbolt to run effectively. 1/8" is good.
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