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New to Stick Welding. Need Suggestions

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  • New to Stick Welding. Need Suggestions

    I have an older Econotig I brought back from being scrapped. All it needed were two suppressors and an SCR, and a thorough cleaning. I'm using it to weld Stick (SMAW). I found DC welds nicer than AC, and after trying 7018 and 6011, I find the arc is easier to start and maintain with 6011. I would like to do better with 7018. Is there some secret to starting an arc on 7018?
    ____________________________________________

    I don't need to find myself. I'm always at my lathe.

  • #2
    Start with good quality name
    brand electrodes.
    Lincoln Idealarc 250
    Miller Bobcat 250
    Thermal Arc Hefty 2 feeder
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
    Torchmate CNC table

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    • #3
      As a habit, with any electrode, I scratch the tip on a rough surface before starting the weld. With 7018, I always keep a file around because restarts are nearly impossible and the **** things just wont start unless you file the tip with a quick stroke or two. Just get a file to keep handy and you'll be good to go. This is necessary with any brand of 7018 electrode.

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      • #4
        Thanx, guys. I keep a small hammer and a wooden block. If the spark fails on a 7018, I knock the sheath off to about 1/8". It restarts, but will stick as often, stick HARD, requiring I let it go.

        I'm going to try varying the power (within limits). Econotig gives you that ability.

        Why? 7018 gives such PRETTY welds, when everything goes right.
        ____________________________________________

        I don't need to find myself. I'm always at my lathe.

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't have any problem starting a 7018 with my 250 Idealarc or my 250 bobcat. I Don't use a file or scratch pad. You just need more practice.. Good quality rod helps too. You will have a harder time restarting 7018 is you end up breaking flux off the side of the rod exposing bare wire.
          Lincoln Idealarc 250
          Miller Bobcat 250
          Thermal Arc Hefty 2 feeder
          Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
          Torchmate CNC table

          Comment


          • #6
            6011 will absolutely be easier to start because it's made for welding on AC and has stuff in the flux to help keep the arc going during the alternating part of the AC thingy. Try some 6010 and DC. On your 7018, if you're sticking the rod, you're most likely running too cold. Restarts with 7018, like others have said, are not quite as easy as with a 60xx rod. Take a look at the hot end of a 7018 after you snap out, you'll see the melted flux has formed a nub over the end of the rod. I scratch it on a brick or the concrete floor or just use a gloved hand to break that stuff off. It's not that hard. As soon as you snap out, if you give the rod a little flick of the wrist, you can usually toss that little glob of melted flux off before it solidifies.

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            • #7
              OOOH! Thanx. Yes! I did notice that glob.

              I'm using Lincoln brand rod.

              I'm getting slowly better with 6011. When I can do it with a smooth result, and not lose the arc, I'll go back to 7018.

              I found out something that helps keep the bead where it should be. More light! Have many strong lights shining on the work, then you can see the rest of the work when the arc is working. I rescued some floor lamps from the side of the road, and refurbished them. All four lamps shine on the work, and I can see what I'm doing. One would think the arc would do that, but not so.
              Last edited by buffumjr; 06-01-2018, 02:26 PM.
              ____________________________________________

              I don't need to find myself. I'm always at my lathe.

              Comment


              • #8
                I tried LESS voltage. I got a flatter bead, no digging and grooving, and easier starts with 7018. Actually a lot more fun when thins go right.

                The brand of stick I'm using is Lincoln. That's what they sell in the big box store.

                I'm starting to make things with my stick welder.

                When I feel a little easier with stick, I'll start on (gulp) TIG.
                ____________________________________________

                I don't need to find myself. I'm always at my lathe.

                Comment

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