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Chris C

Well, I'm a danged FOOL!

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You can use a water bottle with a hole in the cap or a condiment bottle of water to selectively cool parts of the project.  

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Thanks, Glenn.  I'll give that a try. 

22 minutes ago, CrazyGoatLady said:

f it starts getting too hot, I'll grab it with a pair of tongs at the hot end and quench the end I want to hold.

Therein lies the problem, CGL, I don't have that "second" set of tongs to hold onto the hot tongs and pliers heat up too quickly.   :D   I will have a second set of tongs after today, though. ;)

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Good Morning Chris,

Vise-Grips work well, they don't slip. There are many manufactures who try to copy Vise-Grips, few succeed.

When you are not in control of your work piece, YOU are not in control. There is no 'Rule Book', so you don't have to worry about breaking a Rule!! Weld 2 pieces of angle bar onto the end of the tongs you have, you now will have 'V-grip Tongs'. Cut or forge sideways grooves in the angle bar, you can now hold something sideways. Don't think hard, just think. Who created the box that you are trapped thinking in?

Walk slowly and pay attention to what you are seeing and doing. Watch which way the material is moving and change your motions so the material will go where you want it to. Enjoy the Journey, there is no finite destination!!

Neil

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Well, I finally got my tongs to fit 5/8 square stock well enough to work on the new tongs.  Took quite a while, but they work fairly well, for now.  But now I'm out of propane, so Whispering Pines Forge is closed for business........along with the rest of the country. :D  I should have just told my little wife I was buying a set of tongs and forgotten it.  Of course, I'd be living out in the trailer for the near future if I'd done that. :D

Neil, you guys either have heavily callused hands or mighty good gloves because I tried Vise Grips and they got too hot to hold.  I'm using good welders gloves and would think they'd be adequate.  I must be a tenderfoot.  Oh, and if I could weld, that angle-iron tip might have been a good idea.

Now that I'm trying to do things that require hammer control, I have to remind myself I'm the guy who jumped for joy when air-nailers hit the market because I never could seem to drive nails decently with a hammer.  My blows today were typically errant.  It's like the hammer rolls in my hand or something.  When it rebounds,  it's flopping all over the place, unlike what I'm seeing in videos on Youtube.   I'm wondering if I need to re-handle them with more squared handles like I see so many people use.

I might better learn how to do the Bunny Hop before taking on the Tango..............ya think?  :o  I see leaves, bottle openers, letter openers and a whole lot of other things in the near future rather than making tongs. ;)

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Hi Chris, made these tongs for my raku firing and to place the glazed work in the reduction canisters. Maybe an idea to produce a number of suitable tongs by bending and welding that help you to produce the intended wrought iron tongs. Tongs that are suitable for handling delicate ceramic work will certainly also be suitable for your intended purpose. Big hug to the little wife en stay healthy. Cheers, Hans

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I sure wish you'd stop calling yourself stupid or a fool. Nobody who recognizes mistakes, asks for help and tries new things is stupid, that's what smart people do when confronted with problems.

Your rebar handles are breaking off because you're probably "butt" welding them. Don't do that, lay the bar beside the stock and Lap" weld them. If you MUST butt weld the grind the ends to be welded into a blunt wedge about 1/3 of the way through. Do both pieces if possible if not just the rebar will do. Strike the arc at one side of the V and keeping the welding rod pointed at the starting point only move it when the mound of filler threatens to touch the rod and retreat just out of reach of the bead. When you get to the end of the V it's going to want to run off work because everything is now REALLY HOT. If it looks like it's starting to sag, stop. 

General purpose tongs aren't very hard to make and you don't need anything exotic. Viking type tongs are Easy Peasy start with a long piece of stock so you don't need tongs. <SHEESH!:rolleyes:>    The bolster is just a jog sort of like a P trap under your sink just not so deep. A LITTLE jog. Flatten the jog and punch a hole, do it twice and rivet or bolt the halves together. Viola tong blanks! The shorter side of the rivet are the bits, the long half are the reins, shape them to suit. 

Stop over thinking the things. If welding is the problem forget about tongs and burn some rod welding scrap together. Heck just lay a piece of flat stock on the table and run beads on the flat. No worries about penetration all you're doing is practicing your weave pattern and speed. By speed I mean how fast you advance along the weld. It won't be long and you'll start seeing the puddle and learn how to push it with the jet of shielding gasses from the burning flux on the rod. 

Just one learning curve at a time. Eh? Yeah, I know you're suffering cabin fever we all are. Next time you're feeling antsy imagine you're laying in bed with tubes down your throat and you're still having trouble breathing. See if that doesn't help ease the boredom. It's working for us.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty, I'm not trying to make general purpose tongs.............like Viking types.  I'm trying to make bolt jaw tongs.  I've just bitten off too much to chew at my skill level, I think.  I'll get them done. 

I've no propane and can't leave the house to get any.  Even though Vikki and I had already been doing it, our Mayor put out a "Shelter in place" order today.  All non-essential businesses are shut down.  She closed all barber shops, beauty shops, tattoo parlors, etc yesterday.  Oklahoma City has the highest confirmed cases count in the state, and where I live is second highest.  So I don't even want to go out.

I just made a 3/4" Hardy hole post to put on the bottom of a Fullering Jig I'm making.  Cleaned the end off the post.  Drilled a hole in the plate.  Centered it up.  Got an 1/8" 6013 rod and cranked up the amps to 145.  Melted the end of the post and built a puddle all the way to the plate and then round and round and round.  Turned it over and welded into the chamfer I put on the post and welded that side to the plate.  Ground everything down so it would fit the Hardy hole.  Dropped it on a trip to the anvil and the post fell off.  <_<  I started the welding step over after getting everything cleaned up.  Didn't fall off this time.............but I sure wouldn't guarantee it won't.  :lol:

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4 minutes ago, Chris C said:

I've just bitten off too much to chew at my skill level. 

Then work on improving your skill level. Take one small part and work on that until you are comfortable.  Then move on to another small part.  Run practice welds on a flat surface until you can see and control the puddle. Then butt two pieces together. Melt a little metal from the left side, melt a little metal from the right side, mix in the puddle and add enough rod to fill the V.  It is a dance for sure.  Always clean off any flux, grind out any holes,  and wire brush the piece before you continue to run that weld, or run another weld.  Porosity in a weld is not a good thing.

 

 

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Bolt or wolf jaws ARE general use tongs, the kind that allows you to hold things farther from the end or over an obstruction like a bolt head. 

145 amp is WAY too hot for 1/8" rod, it'd be almost uncontrollable. I don't think I've run 1/8" rod over about 70 amps since jr. high school. Have any 5/32" try that at 90 amps. It'll take a steadier hand to maintain the arc but it'll run 6013 well. 

Here's something else to keep you busy while locked in. Put a really sharp point on a new pencil, hold it in a pair of pliers and do some sketching with your eyes all squinty or the room dark. Once you have that down put the pencil in the stinger and do some more drawing. The idea isn't to do nice drawings it's to learn to hold a steady distance without breaking the fragile point. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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A starting place for welding rod amp settings is the diameter of the rod in decimals. That is to take 1/8 inch rod and divide the 1 by 8 and get 0.125 or 125 amps.  3/32 would be 0.090 or 90 amps etc. Then adjust as needed for a hotter or cooler arc.

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Didn't know that equation, Glenn, thanks.

No 5/32" rod, Frosty.  Spent my rod money on a decent helmet last week, so it'll be a while before I can run out and buy practice rod.  Besides as I mentioned, I can't leave the property.

 

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Chris, to lighten things a bit....

I'll try to make this short story long...

I was learning how to weld; been doing it for a year or so, as a hobby.  I needed to bend a 1/4" x 2" piece of bar stock for a project.  Didn't have an O/A torch to heat it with, so I decided to make a quick brake drum forge on a flat steel plate, just to heat things to bend them.  No coal.  I contacted a blacksmith organization that would sell me a bag of coal even though I wasn't a member.  The guy asked me to come to their next meeting (at a great, classical type smithy) just to see what smithing was all about.  I went to a meeting and "my cork was pulled under!".  I fell in love with blacksmithing and I now use welding to supplement some projects, smithing being my main thing.

So, you are blacksmithing now and need to weld some things.  Carve out some spare time when you can get out of the house and work on your welding;. just the opposite of what I did.  But.....keep smithing your main thing!!  And have fun above all else.

P. S. Don't feel alone.  My son is in the Atlanta area and the mayor of Atlanta just imposed a lock-down of that large city.

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boy, my memory must be worse than I thought. I read Glenn's rule of thumb advice and my first reaction was NO WAY! But I've made the mistake of posting before doing a little basic reading enough times I looked it up. The convert rod dia. to a decimal is close enough to adjust. 

So I proactively withdraw my unmade and oh so wrong response. 1/8" 6013 Amp range was 80-145. BOY I dodged that one. WHEW! Online charts and my old manuals upstairs agreed. Hmmmm, maybe it isn't my eyes making it hard to run a decent bead. 

If you're blowing holes turn it down a LITTLE at a time, 10 amps is a large adjustment. 

Deb just headed out for the store, scrips are in and they won't bring them to the car so she's geared up fr a sprint in and out. We can have anything else brought to the will call door and they'll load it so we don't have to get close. Maybe not alcohol but definitely not meds. Yeah, that's logic let's for you, make the people needing medication stand in line in a busy store. 

Crazy days. 

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Frosty,

This is the chart I go by.  Got it off the Internet when I first got my welder.  I was using 1/8" rod.  Trying to weld a 3/4" post to a 1/4" plate.  Figured 145 amps was a pretty good choice.

 

AC electrode chart.jpg

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Different welders have their own personalities and prefer slightly different settings.  I have charts as to each rods polarity and settings posted on the welder, then covered with clear tape.  Still use the division trick to get close and adjust as needed for each job.  Finally started writing the information and taping it to each box of rods also.

 

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Well I've not been welding long, but I've never had that happen.

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Or your welding thick stuff and have to gang two or more engine driven welders together to get enough electric to run the welding electrode.

Some electrodes are measured in FEET long.

 

 

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Glenn's suggestion of the decimal equivalent of the rod diameter is a guide most folks go by as an average.  Thick metal might require a little preheat and higher amperage, whereas thin metal would require less amperage, hence the wide ranges of recommended amps.  Multiple passes might be required for thick metal as well, but I don't think you are going to have that situation.  For stick, a tight arc and/or drag for some rods gives best results, just don't bury the rod in the metal.

I use 7014 or 7018 rods a lot, 125-130 amps for 1/8", around 95 for 3/32" (those are for my welder...each machine is different, don't rely on the dial settings).  For 6011 or 6010, less amperage for each rod size since they dig a little deeper.  6013 is a low penetration rod and requires less amperage than the formula as well.

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5 hours ago, Chris C said:

This is the chart I go by.  Got it off the Internet when I first got my welder.  I was using 1/8" rod.  Trying to weld a 3/4" post to a 1/4" plate.  Figured 145 amps was a pretty good choice.

That chart is a bit deceiving. What size is "over 1/8" ? 12" is over 1/8 :).

To try to weld 3/4" to 1/4" plate with 145 amps is possible, if the weld is just to stick them together with not much structural requirement. otherwise you would go with 250 / 300 AMP full blast and 5/32 rod.

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Marc1, if I read that chart right, "over 1/8" would be between 1/8" and 1/4", at which point the chart suggests stepping up to a 5/32" rod and 105-250 amps.

Since this is an AC only machine,  I'll stick with AC rods.  arkie, I've already wasted my money on a 5 lb box of 7018.  Was under the impression I was buying an AC rod.  It makes pretty "horse puckies" welds.  My rods are as old as the machine, (some 25 years old) so as soon as our "shelter-in-place" order is lifted, I'll get some fresh 60XX rod from the DIY store.

I've no propane and no way to get any, so will be practicing on welding today.  I'll use the thinnest 6013 rod I have, which is 3/32.  Hate wasting it just running beads onto a plate.  Wish there was some project I needed (like I did my hammer and ton rack) that I could work on and actually accomplish something, but bare beads it is.

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Chris, for AC welding, use 6011 rods, which were originally designed to use with AC.  6010 rods are for DC welding.  You can use either rod when on DC, BTW.  The most common usage for 6010 is pipe welding root passes.

When you get new rods, buy specifically 7018AC to use with your welder.  I had to get some more 7018 in a lurch one day, ran down to Home Depot who was open late and the only 7018's they had were 7018AC...my box is a DC welder....DUH.  Had to wait until the LWS was open.  7018 is primarily used for structural applications and higher carbon steels to combat hydrogen embrittlement, and restarts can be frustrating since you have to break off the "fingernail" that forms, making restarts sometimes difficult.  I like 7014 for nearly everything because it runs smooth, no restart problems, and is a "drag" rod making arc length control a no-brainer.  See if you can find some 7014AC.

Spending the day running beads, with 6013 or any rod, is about the best thing you could be doing.  Repeated running of stringers builds experience, muscle memory, and confidence.  I still run stringer pads from time to time for practice.  My stringers tend to run amuck sometimes, but mainly because I can't see where I'm going!  Running flat stringers is hard for some folks (me) because you don't have a clear reference to use.  Once I get one or two down, then it's easier to see.  Also while running stringers, change your amperage a bit for each few to see the effects and you will find the "sweet spot" for that rod and your machine.  If your plate gets too hot, it will affect the welds, making them a bit deeper since the steel has been  preheated, so to speak.  Let it cool down, and play some more!

Two of the best instructional videos out there are:

Jody over on weldingtipsandtricks.com forum (click on top for "Videos") and an older video, excellent, on youtube, below.

 

 

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