View Full Version : Pinging "The Torker" for welding question

Your Old Dog
07-17-2008, 01:01 PM
I'm trying to weld a ladder rack for my pickup truck to carry a 14 foot jon boat. It's made from 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 1/8th thick angle iron.

The joints are lap joints and I have been having a problem with about half of them. I'm noticing some of the welds flow beautifully without undercut but looking alot like Skippy peanut butter. Then I get quite a few that have slag inclusions in a pocket in the middle of the weld. It's never on the side of the weld but only in the middle. I'm using the backhand direction technique and can't figure out what is going on. I'm using a a ac/dc lincoln buzzbox running 5/32 e6013 rods at 90 amps. All the joints have been prepped with a grinder prior to welding.

One other offbeat question, does it matter much if I chip slag off right after welding or wait till everything is welded and then chip?

Solve my problem for me and I'll always speak kindly of you. I'll say things like, "hey, that Torker, he's da man!"

John Stevenson
07-17-2008, 01:13 PM
Are you holding your mouth right ?


07-17-2008, 01:29 PM
5/32 is a huge rod for 90 amps. Are you sure you didn't mean 3/32?

If you are using 5/32, thats your problem right there. A big rod being run cold will deposit weld material on either side of the weld but leave a gap right down the middle full of slag. This will occur with an 1/8" rod at 90 amps during startup if your not careful.

I usually run 3/32 at 100 amps AC when welding 1/8 with 6013. Its a bit hot so you have to move fast, 90 is propably right on for 3/32.

Other issues: Torker has mentioned that 6013 tends to be a very slag-inclusive rod. Thats to say that it will spontaneously generate slag inclusions. I've never had that problem, but I've only welded a fraction (and a small fraction) of the total number of miles that Torker has welded ;)

Also, angle iron has a reputation for being really crumby stuff. You could hit a pocket of who knows what that is causing you grief.

I'd first try turning up the heat and if that doesn't work, you could try a different rod. 6011 will blow through anything nasty in the angle iron and leave you a continous bead, however it will have some undercut and you will have to move fast. 6011 really bites in. (6011 needs a high voltage unit to run properly. A little 110 volt box won't work very well)

As far as slag removal - no it doesn't really matter for most cases. The longer you leave it on, the slower the weld bead will cool and the tougher the bead will be. The slag on 6013 is very thick and porous and acts like an insulator, allowing the weld be to cool slowly. This result in a self-annealing weld bead. I love stick welders for this reason. You can often generate much more durable beads faster with a stick welder since you don't usually have to come back to stress relieve the welded area. I buzzed a go-kart frame together using a stick welder and all of the welders I talked to (not really welders, more auto guys or farmers who always pulled out the mig) told me there was no way that the welds were going to hold. Thats was 5 years ago. The frame flexes a full 1" when someone sits on it, and that says nothing of what happens when you hit a bump. It acts a bit like suspension though, it allows everything to move a bit in the corners and gives it good handling characteristics. There are two 2" long weld beads that hold the two halves together and they are constantly being flexed and I always check them for signs of cracking. So far so good. I have no doubt that if I had used a TIG or MIG without going back to anneal the area, they would have cracked.

07-17-2008, 01:42 PM
Prolly the 6013...try 3/32 7018.. you'll like it better. Like I said before...one little wiggle back into the puddle and you can get slag inclusions.
Move on.. to a 70 series rod. 7014, 7024, 7018...just watch for position on 7024... should be flat/horizontal..beautiful welds tho..gotta run...tryin to get money transfered for my ironworker..

07-17-2008, 02:11 PM
Pinging "The Torker" for welding question

LMAO !!!!

07-17-2008, 03:01 PM
Its been decades since any formal welding training and I am no expert, but yes, that is a big rod for that material.

One issue I have had is that welding outdoors in wind can blow away the gas cloud that shields the immediate arc. This is a big deal with GMAW(MIG) but I have also noticed that sometimes I would get a small inclusion in an otherwise good weld when stick welding and a gust of wind would come up.


07-17-2008, 03:13 PM
Thanks Paul - thats a good point! I really don't like MIG welding, and that is one reason why. Seems like a pretty small draft can destroy the gas envelope, especially if the material demands a shielding gas like helium. Even at the increased flow rate, its hard to keep a good gas bubble in place!

07-17-2008, 03:27 PM
YOD.. I chip slag as I go...very important when using dualshield wire. you can have a mile of porosity and not know it if you don't chip as you go..
And...you DID mean 3/32 rod??? I'd run 5/32 at 125amps or more..
3/32 should be around 75ish, 1/8" @ 90 to 95Amp
That could be part of your problem..

Your Old Dog
07-17-2008, 04:38 PM
Thanks guys. You were right, it was 3/32 and not 5 but what the hells a few 32's amoungst friends huh? :D

I'll pick up some 70 series stuff as The Torker reccomends and see where that gets me. Most of my welding is on 1/8 to 1/4" stuff. Anything heavier than that and I seek out a real weldor! I did notice that I had to weld very slowly to get enough deposite. I don't know if that's a tip off to the problem or not. I should have mentioned I was running DC Negative.

Sir John, I'm convinced I held my mouth just right. I started out with my tongue hanging out the right side and when the left side of my tongue got sun burned I switched it over to the other side of my mouth for a more balanced look and pain sensation.

The worst that can happen if the welds break is the boat will drop down on top of the ATV. If they both roll off the bed the travel trailer should catch them!

thanks again.

07-17-2008, 06:41 PM
For general purpose rod you'll probably get along better with AC. DC Reverse Polarity makes the electrode positive and gives excellent penetration but slower deposit rates. DC Straight, or electrode negative, usually gives less penetration but a much faster deposistion. AC is a compromise between the two. ;)

Taking a long time to deposit enough weld usually indicates that your setting is too cold. If you are getting good penetration, despite the added time, then there isn't anything too serious to worry about. If your getting bad penetration then crank up the heat. (obviously :D)

07-17-2008, 07:00 PM
Yabut.. if you are using 6013 incorrectly you will find that the puddle doesn't "go where you want it to". You REALLY have to manipulate the puddle sometimes with 6013.
This is to be used as a whipping type rod...not as a dragging rod.
To be honest.. I've been on hundreds of jobs and we only use 6013 for downhand work on light guage sheet.
AC welding??? I'd rather poke a stick in my eye....honest...DC+ rules!

07-17-2008, 07:46 PM
AC welding??? I'd rather poke a stick in my eye....honest...DC+ rules!

:D It works beautifully with 6013. Run 6013 on DC and it ends ugly (for me anyway). On the other hand, try 6011 or one of the high dep rods on AC and its ugly. I guess they all have their place.

My little welder in the garage only does AC and it works great for what I ask it to do, but now that you mention it, I can't remember ever going to AC on the lincoln buzz-box at work. It's always on DC+. I've only used DC- for welding aluminum and cast iron.

07-17-2008, 08:01 PM
Actually 7024 runs as smooth as glass on DC-.
Run 6013 on AC.... out on a job with DC only machines?? Doesn't happen.
For a fast freeze rod I prefer 6010 anyway. I've used a lot of it so you use what you get used to.

07-18-2008, 11:00 AM

I hate to disagree with THE TORKER, but AFAIK, 6013 is best suited to AC work. I think it would be worth your while to switch over to AC for the 6013 rod.

I do, however strongly agree with Russ re the switch to 7018 for DC work. 7018 is a challenge to run with AC buzzbox class machines - hard to start and run and almost mpossible to restart, but all the issues go away with DC power. Run with the appropriate polarity (DC reverse), you can almost use 7018 as a drag rod for flat welding.

My $.02 FWIW

07-18-2008, 11:20 AM
7018 is a challenge to run with AC buzzbox class machines - hard to start and run and almost mpossible to restart, but all the issues go away with DC power.

Which is why they make 7018AC rods. They are described as being for low-voltage welders...I presume to make the arc easier to start. My question is "what is low volatage?" How low is low? I bought some and used it with pretty good success because I am stuck with having only a mig unit and a Lincoln 225A AC unit. 6013 works fine too, but I really like the way the slag pops off the 7018 welds. Its interesting because when you are done, you look at the weld and it looks blobby....then you pop the slag off to find that you did do a good job....its just the slag that is uneven.

I agree that in general, if you can use DC with the electrode you have chosen for its other necessary characteristics, you will probably get a smoother weld. Position welding is something that sometimes determines what is really best and over-rides your other choices. The generality I have stuck with is that AC offers better penetration when needed, but otherwise is not the first choice. For guys like Fasttrack and myself who don't have a choice, you do the best with what you have.

Regarding the notion of "whipping" rod, 23 or so years ago when I was first taking classes, all rods were "whipping" rods. If you were stick welding you walked the electrode from side to side. Whipping is a lousy term since it implies a quick motion. I think the extensive use of MIG processes and an emphasis on speed is what has changed the thinking. The "whipping" process is what helps to let you control the shape of the puddle and therefore the bead...its one more variable you can use.

These are just my observations....I am no professional.


07-18-2008, 12:26 PM
Cam...you got me.. i'm so used to thinking in terms of Dc only.. I never use AC except for alu.
Paul...again.. I'm so used to running 6010.. I run it pretty hot. you HAVE to whip it when you run it. run a root into a pipe and you'll see.
Whipping.. a general term. Some use the "whip"...in and out motion...some use the J hook...some use lil circles... some side to side.. whatever works. The point.. a fast freeze rod has to be used like this.
Note.. Not all rods are whipping rods. Some proceedures strictly forbid any side to side "walking' with 7018. Same as the other 70 series rods.. they are primarily a "dragging rod". Of course.. as you get better.. you learn to manipulate the puddle to do what YOU want..

07-18-2008, 12:53 PM
Comparing 7018 to 7018 AC, there is an improvement in starting and welding. Comparing 7018AC to 7018 run on DC reverse the improvement in starting, running and restarting is, IMHO 10 fold. Easier starting, smoother running, easier to hold and maintain an arc, better weld at slightly lower current settings. At least on the Miller 225 I had vs the Century 250 AC/DC I have now.....:rolleyes:

07-18-2008, 01:54 PM
Here's a good read. This guy doesn't like 6013 either..

07-18-2008, 03:26 PM
Russ-- totally unrelated but I tried to send you a PM soliciting some advice about a welder I am going to look at later today. You are out of space. If you can and are willing, send me an email address. Mine is available if you log in.


07-18-2008, 04:11 PM
Comparing 7018 to 7018 AC, there is an improvement in starting and welding. Comparing 7018AC to 7018 run on DC reverse the improvement in starting, running and restarting is, IMHO 10 fold. Easier starting, smoother running, easier to hold and maintain an arc, better weld at slightly lower current settings. At least on the Miller 225 I had vs the Century 250 AC/DC I have now.....:rolleyes:
Tut tut... Beware of single phase AC machines. They do not run as well as their AC 3/ph counterparts.
One reason I dislike AC welding. I get "offers" all the time from people... for me to teach them how to weld on their home AC buzzboxes.
Lots of these crappy low end machines... LEXOR, the God of Welding couldn't weld with these POS welders.
Another nice rod for the beginner...7014. Same 70,000 psi but not a low/Hy rod. One thing.. it's a very high dep rod and takes some getting used to.
Again... for the casual weldor.. they usually avoid uphand and overhead so why not just use 7024? I still use it a lot. It looks like wirefeed welding after you are done...really nice!

07-18-2008, 04:16 PM
Yep I find 7014 very tough to use. It flows so fast that its hard to control the puddle. I'm used to 6011 and 6013 though.

I got 5lbs of 7014 for free several years ago and I've still probably got 3lbs. left. It is nice for building up damaged shafts or pits in plates. Thats about the only place I have any success with it.

07-18-2008, 05:53 PM
The angle iron in your ladder rack I'd say would be mild steel and should be easily welded with a 1/8th or 3/32nd Electrode.Provided you are on a good power supply, 6013s or 7014s, should be ideal.Have always found 7014s easy to use
I would not consider using a 7018 on this type of work they are more for heavier higher stressed joints and higher grade steels, they are also harder to use even on a good DC welder.

07-18-2008, 10:11 PM
(OK...that's it)... we are going to start a REAL homeshop welding thread!
Good chance it'll be called "Home Shop Welding 101"