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What type of elctrode for arc welding?

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Arc welding is inexpensive, easy to use, and I'm still wondering which welding solution I'll invest in.

One of my concern is the electrodes. What are they made of? Can we forge the welding? Will any residue, or the welding itself pollute the piece being forged (if for example we need to weld a chain or other pieces of metal together before forging)?

Ludo

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G'day Ludo, I have arc welded a number of my projects in the past and then heated the welded area to forging temperature and forged that area as normal, with great success. The welds forge in and become almost invisible. I have done this using only General Purpose electrodes on Mild Steel. I am careful with joint preparation and slag removal and thoroughly wire brush the area before forging. It works for me. Regards, Brian.

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I grew up on 6011 so that is what I use for almost everything when stick welding.

For some reason, hard wire MIG seems to forge into "invisibility" better than stick rods - maybe it's the lack of flux or maybe because the puddle ridges are usually smaller. I have MIG welded a joint then forged smooth on more than one occasion and it typically works well.

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For building racks and such, I use 7018. If I am going to forge the weld, I have had good luck with 6013 blending in after I heat and beat it. Sometimes, I tack two pieces together with 1/16" 6013 then flux and forgeweld them together. Of course, I only resort to this after I have tried the "drop-the-tongs weld" at least three times. Sometimes I stick it the first time, sometimes I stick it with Miller.

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6011, 6013 and 7018... what is this, was I going to ask.

Then I've just found out this interesting page:
http://www.clovisusd.k12.ca.us/agcenter/arc_welding.htm

All is explained. The first 2 numbers for example refer to the tensil strength of the rod (ex 7018 has a tensil strenght of 70000lbs/in^2), ...

Thank you for those answers, now I'll need to figure out what is available in Taiwan.

Ludo

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Ludo: A few thoughts:

1) If you only have an AC machine make sure the rods work with that. 6011 is good. It was developed for farm type maintenance... to get through debris and grease. Not easy to get a "pretty" weld, but does good penetration and is reliable in a wide range of humidity and neglect. As with Hollis, it is by far my most used rod.
2) If you aren't going to weld often, you might want to avoid the 7018 rods for awhile. They have to be kept dry and are best used when the box is opened unless you have a rod dehumidifier.
3) 7014 makes a "pretty" weld. Not great penetration, but very easy to strike and arc and lay a bead.

Almost every blacksmith who has a welder (including me) will occasionally use it to stick things together to forge weld in the fire. It isn't necessary, but often makes life easier if you have complicated shapes that don't lay down next to each other very well. If you do that, try to keep the tack weld to the very minimum to hold the pieces in place JUST long enough to do your forge weld.

After you tack them, it helps if you wirebrush the scale and weld flux and spatter off. I usually use an electric wirebrush to be sure. That way the first few hammer blows of your forge-welding will erase the weld entirely. If you keep the arc-weld to the bare minimum, you don't even have to think about blending it in. In other words, you aren't trying to get a head-start on the forge-weld; you are merely using the tack weld to hold the pieces together long enough to do the actual welding in fire.

A torch weld often works even better for this sort of application.

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I am assuming that there is flux on the 6011 rods. Is it just due to the different mode of heating (electricity) that flux is needed when compared to gas welding? Have yet to use flux with the oxy/acetylene (just had the first refill on the 40cf tanks before Christmas)
I used it on the roses that we made and I really liked how easy it was to shape the weld with the flame in order to minimize hammering and grinding.

Anyhoo.. I have never had a chance to stick weld but hopefully some day I will be able to give it a shot. It seems like it takes a real steady hand.

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Yes there is flux on welding rods. It is largely the composition of that flux that gives the rod its characteristics. Here is a brief look at stick welding:

Shielded metal arc welding - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And the longer article on welding:

Arc welding - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The various rod and welder manufacturers, such as Lincoln, Miller, and Hobart with their own information and discussion boards...
Miller - Welding Equipment - MIG/TIG/Stick Welders & Plasma Cutting
Lincoln Electric
Hobart Welders: The Power to Change Your World

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G'Day Ludo,
another tip i's got off of Bill Epps is ta heat whatever youse wanna weld in forge ( clamp it together ) bring upta heat , then weld . After youse ave brought it outta the fire the flux cools faster then the iron & just falls off . Lite wire brush & back inta the fire ta forge way all signs of the weld . This works great in a straight coke forge , not sure ow it'd go in a coal forge . Hope this help's youse bloke

Dale Russell

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If you plan to forge the piece after you have welded it the better rod is a E9018. Discolorization is less. One problem some folks have when forging after arc welding (whether it be stick, tig, or mig) is they don't think it has to be as hot to forge it, there lies the problem, cold forging a weld. treat it as if you had forge welded it. When stick welding CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN the weld before forging. TIG is best but not everyone has access or the knowledge for this process. I use MIG as it is faster (and I don't have to hook up my TIG rig! call me lazy) YMMV

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