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Newport News Shipyard welding test

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  • Newport News Shipyard welding test

    Has anyone here taken the Newport News Shipyard test? I'm interested in knowing ahead of time as much as I can about the process.

    I haven't got any real info but I've heard that they test in stick 11018-1/8th, Mig, and fluxcore. G2, 3, & 4 but only G2 on mig. Again, this hasn't been confirmed by a reliable soarce.

    I'm not sure of the mig or FCAW wire size or weather or not the fluxcore is dual or self shielded.

    Be nice to know ahead of time the wire brand & machine brand so that I can look up their running parameters.

    Any other info such as metal thickness, time limit, backing strip type, do they let you grind & how much is too much, .

    If they use 11018 - 1/8th do I need to preheat the coupon before welding?

    I've never run 11018 but as I understand it... it's very similar to 7018... any advice on testing with this rod is appreciated.


  • #2
    way way back in time, i worked for a world wide corp. building offshore oil exploration equipment, we were tested all positions with 7018, that qualified us to run all of the rods used in this shop, we did alot with 8018c3, 11018 and some rod from sweden that was 20" long, all of the 18,s type rod run about the same, you use the same technique as 7018, as far as preheat, you are correct, i do not know how they test on that, every thing that i had welded that would be tested had a weld spec to follow. good luck on your test, ship yard work is a blast


    • #3
      Don't worry too much. you dont just go in and take the test. They have you run fillets and a practice test before they make you take the test. I know they are phasing out 110 rod, you might be taking it with 10718, but it all runs very similar. I've noticed 1/8 107 seems to be a little more runny than 7018, but it's not bad at all. If I remember correctly, tests are taken with 1/2" steel, 6" long, with a backing plate, clamped inplace so it wont warp. You will have a preheat and interpass temp to watch. Flux core tests are dual shield 71-T-1, either 045 or 1/16, cant remember which, you will practice with both. You can grind, they dont really limit ya on how much in welding school, but do it too much in the yard and they'll complain. We use a few different brands of wire, as well as machines. Like I said before, they give you plenty of time to practice, and will generally give you a rough idea on settings, so no need to worry. I think all xray tests are with fluxcore, they will have you run some mig, but I think just the one gets tested. You'll spend some time carbon arcing, and you'll have to weld an open root butt with ceramic backing tape (visual inspection only)


      • #4
        Thanx a lot for the rundowns Kevin & Nick. That helps a lot. That's really cool they let you practice and get your settings right.
        • Do they mind if I wear blue jeans and a carhart jacket in to test? In other words, is that considered "flame resistant" to them?
        • On the pre-heat... is that just with stick... or do we watch heat on all tests? Do they provide you with a "heat stick" pencil or something or should I pick one up before I go in? If so, what heat guage?
        • Any advice for welding on ceramic backing strips would be greatly appreciated.
        • Someone on another forum told me it was "self-shielded" flux core, but he heard that from a friend. I'm rather relieved as I've become pretty good with dual shield but have actually never run self shielded. Do they run similar?
        • Also, do I need to bring my own earplugz or do they have "squishiez" available?
        • Just curious also as to why they're phasing out the 11018 rod... were they having problems with it?

        Thanx a lot
        Last edited by ttocS; 10-31-2011, 07:12 AM.


        • #5
          you are asking too many questions, you are going to stress out, just go in there and do your thing. they wont expect that you know the settings and pre/post heat, no one knows exactly what settings to use until you get busy welding. you must pre heat with wire the same as rod. If i was going for an interview/test, i would bring with me the same gear as i would use if i was working there, leathers, steel tip boots, gloves, ear protection, safety glass.s, grinding shield,chipping hammer ect. if you have a small 4 or 41/2 electric grinder, throw that in your bag of tools. let us know how you did


          • #6
            You wont need a thing. Everything is supplied right down to your shield. You'll have 3 days orientation, then you'll goto the welding school for a little more orientation, and finally start running beads. You will be supplied FR coveralls. Doesnt matter for orientation, but once ya get to welding school, you'll need to have on cotton long sleeves, jeans, and 6" minimum steel toe boots. Like the poster said, just take it easy, nothing to it. They'll pretty much walk ya through everything. The flux core is dual shield, and not sure about the 11018, I guess the engineers decided 107 was good enough. Good Luck, maybe I'll run into ya sometime. and ceramic is a piece of cake, just run a normal bead, but a little bit slower so it fills in the backside. Do it right and it'll look like a bead on the opposite side, kinda like tig'n on top of a copper plate
            Last edited by hockeyguynick; 11-01-2011, 02:43 PM.


            • #7
              Thanks guys... I go in Thursday & Friday for testing... badging and orientation was today & tommorrow. I'll post again after testing.

              Hope I do run into you Nick... Looking forward to it.


              • #8
                I would give my left nut, and mayby the right one too, to be in your shoes. working for your self, like i do has its moments, but, to work in a place like that is such a good opportunity, the vast of knowledge there is never ending, plus, its alot of fun to learn all aspects of your trade,,. all the best of luck to you. kevin


                • #9
                  Weld test passed

                  Hey guyz,

                  I passed my testing. I'm working on 2nd shift now... but hoping to switch to 1st or 3rd soon. Hope to meet you down the line Nick.

                  There is a lot of unique things to learn here... good advice Kevin, on appreciating that side of thingz.

                  This is all the information I wish I was given before I took the test… since I fabricated my own test plates and did a good 3 days of practicing in a weld shop before going in. So here it is and hopefully might help someone else. This was also late 2011 so things may change.

                  1st thingz first... I was offered $5 per hour more by another staffing agency for the same job... but after I already started with my agency. So I'm stuck with them now... and have to suck up the idea that I could be making 10 to 15 grand more per year had I shopped around.

                  Welding Shield - they won’t let you use your own. They don’t allow auto dark helmets and their lens is a 10 shade (but you can get a different shade.) It’s a “small lens” hood and attaches to the hardhat that was given to me. Keep the screws tight… mine fell apart twice while testing.

                  You also don’t bring “any” tools. You use their stuff… though we had to have our own welding gloves... my staffing agency set me up with safety glasses, earmuffs, welding hood, hardhat and fire retardant coveralls... though you can bring your own leather jacket. Among other thingz the shipyard provided me with an air grinder, needle gun & needle nose wire clipperz. I did bring in a sharpened piece of tungsten and a pen light… to dig out any very small slag pockets. I found this very helpful several times. The difference between a pocket "holding slag" and a pocket that "used to hold slag" could be the difference between busting out on the visualz.

                  No contact lenses… & glasses must be geared up as safety glasses otherwize you’ll have to wear goggles… all the time. Cheater lenses are okay as well, but only on the “fixed” lens area… not the flip up.

                  They don’t care too much about how “high or wide” you are on your cap… as long as it’s not extreme. An interesting thing is that they want you to fill it up to level or just under the top before putting the cap on… and even will ask you to do more passes before capping it off, if you’re too low. That’s unique to other tests that want you to keep the cap really low… and so you wouldn’t quite fill up the gap all the way before capping… in other tests, with other people.

                  Weaving can only be 4 times the width of the metal in the rod… ¾” or so with the wire.

                  There was a 3 hour time limit on each test… which gives you plenty of time to touch up each weld with a grinder if needed. They don’t have any limits on how much you can grind. We didn’t do any carbon arcing or ceramic backing strips… they said they used too… but not now... not our structuarl welding test anyway.

                  There are 7 tests. 3 stick xrays… 3 dual shield flux core bend tests… and a 2G mig will also be bend tested. You can re-test only one... if you bust a test.

                  As I understand it… 80% bust out on the visual… which has no second chances…. But that includes a lot of people who the staffing agencies run through there that really don’t know how to weld that well. Fitters and "chippers" must also pass a verticle fillet weld test as well as "air carbon arcing". None of them in my group knew that and none made it. Interestingly, out of 10 in our group (4 welders)... me and another guy are the only ones who made it. So there'z the 80% in real life. Mostly due to people not being provided with the information I'm offering here. You don't have to be a virtuoso... you just have to have decent looking welds and they're cool with it. If you're not sure... practice. Most welding shops in this economy will take $100 bucks or 2 to let you burn for a bit on their stuff.

                  You can work with your practice plate as much as you want to get your heat set right… but if you’re 20 or 30 min. in at the start and still not laying good beads, you might fail testing before getting your first test plate.

                  All backing strips are 3/8” steel. All test plates are all ready tacked together on a backing strip and ready to go. Testing is done “in the following order.”

                  Stick is first… all with 3/8” plate. 30 degree bevels. Between passes you must let the plate cool to pass a temp stick swipe. They have generic boxes that power your stinger that are about 1’ wide by 1 ½’ tall. They move in 5 amp increments.
                  1. 4G overhead
                  • 10718, 1/8” root
                  • 11018, 5/32” filler passes
                  • 10718, 1/8” cap
                  1. 3G – Verticle
                  • 10718, 1/8” all passes
                  1. 2G – Horizontal
                  • 10718, 1/8” root
                  • 11018, 5/32” filler passes
                  • 10718, 1/8” cap
                  • I’ve never welded with the 100 series before this test… but have plenty of experience with the 7018. Perhaps if the I ran them back to back I’d notice a difference in how they weld… but for this test… I didn’t even notice.
                  Flux Core - dual shield – All with ¾” plate roughly 10 or 15 degree bevel or so… with a ¾" gap between plates. You’re expected to do 2 root passes… one on each side. All done with 1/16 wire 71T-1-HYN Lincoln Electric. 75/25 gas set to 45.. Must wear respirator.
                  • I found it nice that they will set your machine while you weld and even give you advice. Working with .045 mostly I usually make my wire crackle and then back it off till it doesn’t… but they explained that crackle was okay with 1/16 wire… and it did run nice solid metal.
                  • No temp stick
                  1. 4G overhed
                  2. 3G vert
                  3. 2G horizontal
                  1. MIG – Horizontal on ¾” plate with same gap as FCAW… only the top plate is not beveled (ie… 90 degree square angle) and the bottom side has a much deeper angle on its bevel than the FCAW had.
                  • .045 wire mil-1005-1 is used with 95/5 gas set to 45.
                  I took the time to write this out because I wish someone would've done it for me... Good luck.
                  Last edited by ttocS; 11-13-2011, 06:27 AM.


                  • #10
                    Great job on passing the test and writing out how it went. Thanks...Bob
                    Bob Wright


                    • #11
                      Great Job

                      Great Job getting into Newport News. Now let me suggest this to you. The Norfolk naval Shipyard in Portsmouth is dying for welders right now. I jumped ship (get it) and went over there from Newport News. The benefits are great, federally employed, travel to Japan and hawaii and other places. Almost a guaranteed 30 year career. You need a clean background and fairly good credit to get in because you need clearance. Just a suggestion and once again, congrats on the job.


                      • #12
                        Thanx for the tip bro... NNSY is just 10 minutes from where I live. Newport News SY is 30 min... so not bad either. I'm certainly open to optionz... especially since I'm still on 2nd shift for the moment... and even more especially.... since I found out that I could be making $5 per hour more had I gone through a different staffing company. It's a pretty cool work environment here... & I'm on a crew with some good guyz... but I'm open to change.

                        How much shipyard experience is necessary to get in over there? Including my week in the test shop / orientation school... I've almost got 2 weeks of shipyard experience.

                        What's their pay scale like? I'm a structural welder in stick, mig, & flux core. I'm pretty good with super glue as well... I'm an Ironworker & fabricator too. In fact I helped erect those 2 new tall "U" shaped apartment buildings that are to the right... just as you come in the main gate of NNSY. Well... that was 9 years ago... so maybe they're not exactly "new."

                        Last but not least... please tell me about their welding test.


                        • #13
                          Fantastic Job you did, keep us old geezers up to date...Best Wishes...Paul
                          More Spark Today Pleasesigpic


                          • #14
                            Matt, they check your credit to get a security clearance? ...hmm could explain why I havent gotten a call from em yet, lol. How long you have to wait before hearing from them? I've had an app in there since the end of july and the website says its still processing. I even emailed em to make sure I had submitted all necessary docs. I figured I'd get right in having a full set of structural and pipe quals both, along with 2 yrs exp. at N.N.
                            Oh, and Scott, where at in the yard are ya?
                            Last edited by hockeyguynick; 11-17-2011, 02:36 PM.


                            • #15
                              It takes a while for them to process anything. It took more than 6 months before I heard anything. You don't really need a lot of shipyard experience because everything is strict that you have to test for it before you do it. The starting pay is WG10 which is $21.06. After 6 months it goes up about 70 cents and a year after that some more and so on. Benefits start the day you start working. 4 hours of annual leave and 4 hours of sick leave every pay check. Pay is every 2 weeks. First you will receive a letter saying you are scheduled for an interview and weld test. These are done on Saturdays. You will go in on the scheduled day with a bunch of other people and take a 3/8 test 3 positions with 10718. They will also be interviewing people at the same time. Then after a few weeks, you will receive a letter saying you have been tentatively hired and receive a THICK envelope of paperwork to fill out. It seems like a pain but its worth it. You need to list every job you have had for the last 10 years and names and phone numbers for the ones in the last 3 years. Any arrests need to be listed as well as any credit issues. As long as you are working to pay off collectors than they are fine with it. It takes a while but I am glad to be here. I was an Ironworker in Boston for years and worked for a contractor in Newport News for 2 years and am finally somewhere stable. Once you are hired, then you start taking the weld tests and getting quals. 10718, 9N10 (copper nickel), Flux Core, Pulse Arc 0.045 and 0.035 and aluminum mig. Then you go out into the shops and work (not hard) and eventually you go back into welding class for the pipe quals. They need Nuclear welders big time and thats what I am in now. **** loads of classes but it pays the bills.