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  • Welding question

    Using 200A AC/DC Tig/Stick inverter welder. How to determine when to use AC when to use DC?. Using 6011 5/32 Lincoln welding rod on mild steel, what amps would you expect to use?
    "four to tow, two to go"

  • #2
    Always use DC. AC is for aluminum tig.

    5/32 will be somewhere around 140 amps.


    • #3
      always use DC for welding mild steel?, then why can you buy a AC/DC stick welder?
      "four to tow, two to go"


      • #4
        Because metal is not always plain old mild steel,
        funnily enough


        • #5
          Check the Lincoln Knowledge base

          Kinda of like an infomercial you 'll have to weed through to get some good information but they do have lots of good information.

          As for your welder sounds like you got a good 1. I use a variety of AC/DC and TIG welding depending on the job.

          As for your 6011 on mild steel feel free to use AC or DC 30 - 60 amps depending on the thickness of the steel you are welding


          • #6
            I think the reason you got the "always use DC on steel" advice was under the assumption you were tigging it.

            With stick welding, I generally find that I get a smoother weld with DC with any rod for which it is an option. AC tends to offer deeper penetration, but does not seem to produce the same quality weld otherwise. Its been a couple of decades since my welding classes, so I don't even remember the general cases under which AC is considered desirable.

            All my DC experience has been with welders I don't own. I took several semesters of welding in high school.....almost 25 years ago. I only own an AC buzz box (beside my MIG welder) personally. I would probably use stick more if I had DC as it seems to make for better looking welds. As it is, if I don't need to weld something fairly thick (beyond the abilities of my 170A MIG), I end up using the MIG (which is inherently DC).

            Paul Carpenter
            Mapleton, IL


            • #7
              Originally posted by macona
              Always use DC. AC is for aluminum tig.

              5/32 will be somewhere around 140 amps.
              Amps for a 5/32(8gauge.4mm) rod would up to around 180 depending on the
              thickness metal of the steel.Could even go higher on thick sections.
              AC can be more suitable on small jobs where thin material is utilised,as it
              dosn't get the job as hot as DC. A 1/8 or smaller rod with a lower amp setting
              is easier to use in this situation, a 5/32 at 140 amps will be hard to start in
              many cases.


              • #8
                In general even in stick if you have DC use it. I prefer 7018 for pretty much anything.


                • #9
                  What about reverse DC ? When is it to be used ?
                  John R


                  • #10
                    That can depend on the rod. You can look at the manufacturers specs. 7018 runs reverse polarity. 60 series usually straight. Cant remember for sure. I avoid stick like the plague.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by John R
                      What about reverse DC ? When is it to be used ?
                      John R
                      Reverse polarity for stick, straight polarity for tig, except aluminum.
                      The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                      Bluewater Model Engineering Society at

                      Southwestern Ontario. Canada


                      • #12
                        6011 you can go either way.Use DC for clean new metal use AC for rusty painted crap.The AC will dig in and cut through the rust and dirt better than on DC. AC will also allow better arc control in inside corners.

                        5/32" rod huh?What you welding a battleship?3/32" is more than enough for most things up to 1/4",plus on a 200 amp machine 5/32 will put you towards the short end of the duty cycle.

                        You might also try some 7018 or 7024 low hydrogen rod,better quality cleaner welds,just a suggestion though hope this helps.
                        I just need one more tool,just one!


                        • #13
                          In my limited welding experience I would have to agree with Wierd and Mancona. If you are doing general garage welding and fabricating Try the 7018 on dc stinger positive. This should do you well up thru 1/2 plate. 1/8 rod on my machine runs well at 120-140 and 3/32 at 75-90 amps. Way smoother beads, less spatter and doen't smell nearly as bad as 6011.

                          BTW I have heard but not tried yet that 6010 is the best (this is by a full time 25 year welding friend).


                          • #14
                            Guys...Holy smoke! don't run 5/32 6011 at 30 to 60 amps. If you are a really well schooled old MIGHT be good enough to run it at 180 amps. Run this or 6010 at around 150 amps for 5/32".
                            Yup...6011 is ok for AC or DC. It was actually made more for AC. It handles a little nicer than 6010 but I prefer the extra hard "dig" from 6010 DC.
                            Don't forget..this is a "Whipping Rod"...not a dragging type rod. You have to "whip" it back and forth or use little circles or the "J" hook to run the fast freeze rod. That is how it's meant to be run. I can't believe how many people run this rod the same as a dragging rod. Don't!
                            This rod actually takes a lot of practice to use it right.
                            7014 (NOT all position) is a far better rod for the begineer. 7018 is also a good choice but most begineers have a hard time lighting it up/ You can screw up a 7018 weld a hundred ways til Sunday and you still have a pretty strong weld.
                            BTW...I prefer DC welding to AC anyday. A far smoother arc and a better looking weld.
                            (Come over for coffee...I give free lessons to HSM members!)
                            Oh ya..Darin is right about Ac and arc blow in dead end is better. For DC...keep your rod straight up and helps in corners.
                            Last edited by torker; 01-25-2008, 10:32 PM.
                            I have tools I don't even know I own...


                            • #15
                              Handy welding calculator

                              Tulsa, OK