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7014 vs 7018 on the farm

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  • #16
    No dig on a Multimatic 200.

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    • #17
      Here is my current (no pun intended) takeaway on the issue:

      7018 rod may be better rod for some of my applications however,
      it tends to absorb moisture, and the powder in it can oxidize, so even if the rod is baked, it may not perform well.

      7014 rod does not absorb moisture as much, and there is some debate as to how the results compare with 7018, but if the rod is not sealed after opening, it may degrade less than 7018.

      There are of course some hybrid solutions:
      -vac pack rod freshly removed from factory wrapped package,
      -make the repack packages small so that less rod is wasted between use,
      -use resealable o-ring rod holders with desiccant.

      I also learned that the coatings are different, and some rod has coatings like cellulose which tend to absorb moisture.

      So thanks for all the thoughts.

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      • #18
        7014 vs 7018 on the farm

        I had a little trailer modification to do yesterday later on in the afternoon. It was something very similar to the types of things that pop up on us at the end of the day when I was growing up on the farm. I really wanted to use 7018 on it, but my can is brand spanking new and I literally needed two sticks. So I used some 6011 instead. It reminded me that I don't really care much for 6011 (just because it doesn't look as nice as 7018 when I'm done), but dang that stuff really burns in, no question there is fusion and a sound a weld...which is kind of the point of it all. Guess that's why it's called a "farmer rod".

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        • #19
          I understand completely.

          When you consider that with most farm welds it is almost impossible to get all the rust, paint, primer or dirt from around the weld area, the "which rod is better" discussions almost become a mute point. And the different tensile strengths between 6011 and 7018 probably won't make the difference in which holds and which fails either.

          It is kind of interesting to note that at work we are allowed fillet welds through "weldable primer" though most welders remove it. I think because I have welded through far worse as a farmer, I do not have an issue with the stuff.

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          • #20
            7014 vs 7018 on the farm

            Yup. And I have another modification to do to our car hauler today to get ready for drag week. I have to mount another receiver in the back crossmember to pull our little trailer behind the car hauler for the trip there and back. Half of the welds I'm planning on will be out of position on the inside of the channel iron, which is painted and rusted and nasty, but I can't get a grinder up in there. I can, however, get a stick of 6011 up in there to make the welds. The machine I'll be using today will be a lincoln precision TIG 225, which I have never stick welded with. We'll see how it does!

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            • #21
              Any more, I get 7018 and 9018 in the 10lb. round steel cans with the snap on red plastic lid. I open it at the last minute and quickly pull out all the rod I think I'll need, even if only two sticks, and whip that plastic lid back on the can. Just by itself I think that plastic lid seals fairly well, but when I'm done welding I wrap a turn of electrical tape over the edge of the plastic lid and the metal can, stretching the tape a little as I wrap it. I don't think the coating on the rod will draw any significant moisture past that taped lid. When I get home I do have a rod oven going, but if I've only opened the can a few times (and not open for long!), I might just leave it in the truck and not bother putting it in the oven. Most of what little I do anymore (age 69) is crack and breakage repairs on heavy equipment, so though there's a lot of mild steel there is a variety of carbon and alloy and manganese steel that calls for lo-hy rod. Is farm equipment about like that? Anyway, it's not code work, but I guess my rod stays dry enough because I don't have problems later. I should say however that this area never has the highly humid days that some regions get.

              But on the few occasions that I have picked up a quantity of lo-hy rod that someone has left open for a long time, even after going through the recommended re-drying schedule in the rod oven, I would never use that rod for anything but mild steel, as if it were 7014.

              Unlike a lot of other welders, I love 6010/6011. Most of the cracks I have to fix are not straight but meander around, usually have branching cracks, and tend to run into nearly inaccessible places. So it's VERY hard to make a decent V-groove with a neat root gap and lands, and there's rarely access to the backside of the crack. My best chance of hooking into both sides of a crappy joint like this and getting good penetration when there might be some dirt that I could not get out, is with good old 6011. If the steel allows it, 6011 for the root pass, and if the crack was really hard to get prepped, and the root pass is kind of rough and hard to de-slag, maybe the next pass or two will be 6011, until I have a good base for going with the 7018. I don't understand why everybody doesn't like 6011; it's the most forgiving rod I know of.
              Last edited by old jupiter; 09-06-2015, 09:04 AM.

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              • #22
                7014 vs 7018 on the farm

                I completely agree. I like 6011 for the reason, but I don't like it because (using my best southeast-texanese accent...) it ain't nearly as purdy so them there other rods.

                I used 6 or 7 rods of 6011 yesterday on that modification to get into a tight area. On the face, I used 6011 for a root pass and capped it with the mig. Not my best work, but sometimes it just as perfect of a world as we'd want it to be.

                Here in southeast Texas, it's humid. Dadgum humid in fact. Especially here lately. Like I said before, I'm not welding on any bridges or any sort of code work, but even so, when I open that new can of 7018, it'll go straight to the oven when I'm done.

                What about dropping a handful of that desiccant for drying compressed air down inside the can, then taping it off like that? Anyone ever give that a try?

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                • #23
                  Use CO2/Argon to store 7018s in?

                  Since many of us have a MIG around with the associated CO2/Argon cylinder I wonder if storing unused 7018s in a small air tight container purged with CO2/argon gas from the MIG would work..

                  CO2 is heavy gas compared to ambient atmosphere and putting the MIG gun in the rod container (with wire feed turned off) and pulling the trigger would displace ambient air in the container with CO2/argon, then put the lid on it.
                  Hobby Welder for about 32 years
                  Hobart 190 MIG with SpoolGun
                  Hobart AirForce 700i Plasma Cutter
                  Hornell Speedglas 9000X Helmet
                  295A AC Buzzbox (what I learned on)
                  Miller Bobcat 225, factory propane option, also serves as my emergency power generator
                  Dandeman's Toy Page

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                  • #24
                    This is another interesting thread that is typical to many others on the subject. As with most similar threads it has lots of opinions, some facts, but mostly questions. Ha! I am like many and don't have a real answer and have also done like some: I have a package or two of unopened 7018 because I don't want to open them for one or two rods. Actually, the thought has occurred to me that the packaging couldn't do any more than the Oring sealed containers that can be purchased for storing rods. I mean, a cardboard box sealed with a cellophane wrap... how can that seal out moisture? The sealed cans are a different story.

                    No actual experience on this, but adding desiccant to the storage container "might" possibly help, but I feel that the rod coating will be as effective as the desiccant is in absorbing moisture, so not sure how much help it would be.

                    After reading so many of these threads, I have about decided to boil it down to this: Code work, you must follow ALL guidelines ie throw out any 7018 exposed over XX hours. For everyday stuff, just use it. Do whatever it takes to make it run well for you. Stick it and let it cook off (may or may not work for you), heat it up too specs for the time specified (most don't have the capabilities to do this according to tech literature), use it as you find it, or like some just use another rod ie 7014, 6011... and learn to run it well.

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                    • #25
                      7014 vs 7018 on the farm

                      I don't think allowing the flux coating to absorb the moisture is a viable solution since that's the part of the rod you're trying to keep dry in the first place.

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                      • #26
                        I agree; no inspector is ever checking what I do, but still, when I'm welding "fancier" steels (SE Texan for higher carbon, alloy, etc., ain't it, Ryan?) than mild steel, I want to give my welds every chance, so I don't leave lo-hy rod out to suck up moisture. Even if you don't have a rod oven or a warm rod-storage cabinet, you can still keep the cap on the can almost all the time, electrical-taped at the end of the day.
                        Even if I were only using 7018 for mild steel, I'd still try to keep it dry (this doesn't apply to 6011 or 7014 or other non-lo-hy rod, some of which can work better with a small percentage of moisture in the coating). But maybe I'm being overly-fussy, Grizz; hydrogen embrittlement isn't a factor with mild steel, you're right.


                        Silica gel bags of various sizes come packaged with various things you buy. I save 'em, keep 'em in the rod oven, and usually put one or two in my opened cans of lo-hy at some point.

                        Dandeman, I share your idea about using that bottle of argon as a displacer-of-air in various containers, and have a story about doing that. As you know, regular DOT 3 and 4 brake fluid will draw moisture out of the air, lowering its boiling point, which you really don't want. Somebody gave me a pressure-bleeder, which I cleaned up and mostly filled with fresh brake fluid. This was way more fluid than I'd use on any one brake-job, and it was going to sit there on the shelf in the pressure-bleeder canister for long periods of time, absorbing whatever moisture (probably not much, actually) was in the bleeder. So I ran some argon into the bleeder, hoping to displace the air over the brake fluid. Now get this: argon is supposed to be inert, right?, not combine with anything. But the next time I got the pressure-bleeder down and did a brake-job . . . I saw that the argon-stored brake fluid had turned a wild violet color!!

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                          I don't think allowing the flux coating to absorb the moisture is a viable solution since that's the part of the rod you're trying to keep dry in the first place.
                          Ryan, I really wasn't saying that you shouldn't try to keep LoHy rods as dry as possible, but my feeling is that the flux will probably be as apt to absorb moisture as the desiccant. In other words, both the rod AND the desiccant will absorb moisture at about the same rate if placed together. I don't have any data to back that up, it is just my own assumption. YMMV. Of course if you have to open a box of LoHy and use only part of it, then seal it as good as you can. Tape the lid, Oring sealed container... LoHy rods can only be kept in a heater for a limited amount of time and still be acceptable for "code" work (to my understanding). Once that time limit has expired, the rod cannot be used on the job. I'm sure this results in a good source of rod for the welder when he goes home at night. He can use it as he wants then. Ha! If I felt the need for LoHy on a regular basis, I would get a heater, but now the investment is not worth it to me. Also what I have read is that the "homebrew" refrigerator-lightbulb heaters will not really do it for the LoHy. I'm sure it helps "some," but not sure if the expense of the electricity used is worth the few rods you may save.

                          I just patched a FEL bucket and used 6011. I suppose, LoHy would have been nice to use, but... I didn't want to break open a box and let it get contaminated with moisture. That is the truth. Ha!

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                          • #28
                            7014 vs 7018 on the farm

                            I use very little rod to be completely honest. Although every time I do light up with a rod a remember that I actually really like stick welding.

                            So I picked up a used rod oven, a little bitty 115v one, for $25. Holds 10 lbs of rod or so. I used to put all sorts of rod in it, but I think it's counter productive for some of them. Can't remember which ones now. I think it was some maintenance rod I've had laying around. I'll throw a picture of it up of it. It works well for me because it's small and portable.

                            I remember when I was in the army, my mother used to send me cookies....Don't stop reading yet, I'm about to relate it welding rods...she would pack them on too of a layer of bread...layer of cookies, layer of break, etc. the cookies would suck the moisture out of the bread and stay nice and fresh. I would think that something designed to absorb moisture would do similar, ie, the desiccant packets inside the rod tube. Thoughts?

                            And yes, OJ, you speak fluent southeast texanese I see...ain't never needed none of that there fancy weldin rod!

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                            • #29
                              Does anyone know if Argon is dry? As opposed to moisture laden.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by mcostello View Post
                                Does anyone know if Argon is dry? As opposed to moisture laden.
                                Coming from a high pressure tank and as a by product of fractional distillation, I would expect no moisture. However an open container of Ar exposed to the atmosphere will have a low partial pressure of H2O and will quickly acquire moisture.

                                Just pour a little liquid N2 into your rod container. Ha ha.

                                I could calculate the moisture transfer rate, but I expect it to be pretty quick.

                                Oh, if you do try the LN2 trick don't seal the o-ring on the rod container until the LN2 boils off. You don't want plastic shrapnel from a burst rod container.

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