Jump to content
I Forge Iron

What should I concentrate on first when laying down a bead?


Recommended Posts

I took a continuing Ed course at the local community college about 20 years ago but haven’t stick welded much since.  After years of wanting it, I finally got 220 installed in my garage and fired up my old Lincoln AC/DC 225/125 and tried welding a couple of projects.  While they stuck together, the welds were pretty ugly and I had fits trying to get the arc started without sticking like crazy.  I have had my eye on an Everlast stick/TIG machine for years and finally ordered one off Amazon ($414 shipped for a 160STH).  I decided to start doing some practicing on a coupon, trying to lay a straight bead.  All I have at home is some old ESAB 6011 rod (and some hard facing rod) so, I was practicing with the 6011.  Naturally, my beads look terrible, but I am not sure what I should concentrate on first to make them better.  Should it be arc length, rod angle, travel speed, or do I have to concentrate on all that at once to master it?

Thanks,

Rob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you do much stick welding back in the day? If so you just need to brush the rust off, your reflexes will come back. Get some scrap and practice running beads. Once you can make a decent looking bead that's wetted on both sides start welding scraps together. 

Did they teach the old basic saw, "Make a puddle then fill the puddle" The "puddle is your penetration and can be formed by weaving the arc, "flagging" when I went to school. The plasma column formed by the arc and vaporized filler and shielded by the flux will have thrust you can use to push the molten puddle around a bit. The filler rod will follow the plasma column and where the arc backs up against the fill is where the bead forms.

Wetting is a smooth transition between bead and base metal. I don't recall the rules of thumb for bead width and height determined by depth or base stock thickness. Go for something close to 1.5 x as wide as the parent stock is thick. Eg, 1/4" thick stock gets a 3/8" wide x 1/8" high bead. If I have that wrong please correct it, that's from 50 yro memory as archived by my dented brain. 

Beads also vary by metal type. 

Sticking your rod to the work is one of the joys of learning to weld. Just practice and get the feel back before you start building things and don't worry about how the beads look nearly as much as getting the penetration and fill right. Some rods make beads so pretty they should hang in the Louvre but are cold lapped and worthless for hold. Other rods make lumpy bumpy beads but are sound in almost any circumstances. 

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, while I’m not a total novice, it wouldn’t be at all accurate to say I am rusty.  The classes amounted to about 100 hours of instruction and practice, but I can’t say I really got the hang of it and we weren’t pursuing certifications or anything like that.  It was more of a survey course where they exposed us to different processes (OA, brazing, stick, MIG and TIG).  I wouldn’t be able to weld anything structural.  The beads I have been making are no good but I am not sure if it’s travel speed, amperage, arc length or, more likely, all 3.  That’s why I want to know if there is an order in which you should master these and how to tell when you have.  Do I need to use a different rod for practicing e.g. 7018?  I always regarded that as something you used once you had mastered welding.  That said, five pounds of Lincoln rod are about $15 at Home Depot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I learned to weld fairly late and as a result encountered some of the same issues. The best help I did myself was standing over the shoulder of an experienced welder. I watched him, then he in kind watched my technique.  In less than an hour my welding improved more than it had in the prior 3 weeks. For the price of a few steaks and beers I improved my welding ten fold. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

E6011 is fine for general welding, depending on the diameter of the rod and thickness of the stock, will determine the amperage. When I get "rusty" I concentrate on maintaining a stable arc (distance to the work) then on the travel speed. There are several welding books as a PDF that I like. This one from the AWS is good. I think Lincoln Electric and Miller have one too.

https://pubs.aws.org/Download_PDFS/WHB-1.9PV.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mr. IDFCW,

Thank you for informing us about this really good looking welding text. (I have not read it yet).

I have downloaded it. It should prove to be a very good companion to my other book.

SLAG.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately that link only has the table of contents and a little of the first chapter.  That said, I have been watching a number of videos from weld.com, Tulsa Welding School, et al. but part of the problem is that they are all such good welders that if they are showing poor technique, they can isolate it down to one variable, whereas I am likely screwing up several things at once, hence my question about which to master first and how to tell when you have.  Getting coached by a good welder would be good, but the only one I know lives in another city.  FTR, I am running 6011 at 90 amps with a 10% hot start (99 amps for the 1st few secs) on 1/8” plate (maybe 3/16).  I was getting thin beads (about 1/4”) which didn’t appear to be too high nor noticeably V-shaped.  The weld didn’t look too dragged out, but certainly wasn’t a stack of dimes.  I was grinding them off today and didn’t notice pockets of slag or porosity.  I hardly have a trained eye though and might not be seeing all my mistakes.

I mostly do this to make tools for blacksmithing, so I can do it well enough to get it to work, but it would be nice to be able to mean to make the welds I make.  If I lay bead after bead, it’s hard to see how I will improve if I don’t know what’s causing my issues.

 

Thanks, 

Rob

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do have training materials, some from Lincoln, but none of them answer the question I asked.  They show examples of "travel speed too high/too low", "amperage too high/too low", etc. but as I said, since they are good welders, they can easily modify their technique to show off what happens when only one of the variables is wrong.  If I were interested in doing this for money, a school would obviously be a worthwhile investment, but since I am not, I am seeking something more informal.  I looked into retaking the same class I took about a year ago and found the prices had quintupled, plus with COVID, it's currently on hold.

While I don't expect anyone here to be able to say, "here's what you're doing wrong" without watching me do it, I was hoping someone could advise "first practice your arc length" if that's a thing.  It sounds like IronDragon is indeed advising that's the first thing to master.  It also sounds like I might need to use 7018 to exaggerate any issues.  Is that fair to say?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With a 1/8 rod ya wanna be a dime wide and a nickle high  with your bead thats the slang we use also no porosity or slag intrusions you should turn off the hotstart with 6011 cause its a penetrator rod(rustrod etc)and on thin stock can cause blow thru other than that practice ,practice and practice.Once ya get pretty running beads and buttering them together nice in the flat do the same in the vert,horizontal  then overhead.And learn heat controll if you get alot splatter next to your beads it means your to hot and it looks terrible to cold and you'll stick alot...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, rdennett said:

 All I have at home is some old ESAB 6011 rod (and some hard facing rod) 

  I might have missed it if somebody mentioned it, but I would start with some fresh electrodes.  The flux absorbs moisture and that has caused me lots of problems.  I buy new for any important project.  I built a plywood box for my rods and put a 100w light bulb fixture in there to drive off moisture.  Just a thought...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Nodebt said:

  I might have missed it if somebody mentioned it, but I would start with some fresh electrodes.  The flux absorbs moisture and that has caused me lots of problems.  I buy new for any important project.  I built a plywood box for my rods and put a 100w light bulb fixture in there to drive off moisture.  Just a thought...

6011 does not go in a rod oven 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  Sorry.  Does a lightbulb in a wood box make it a rod oven?  I probably should have said "prevent" moisture.  I always stored all of them that way.  Just trying to be helpful and evidently learning in the process.  :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took a page from the college where I took the class I mentioned.  7018 was kept in a rod oven, but 6011 was just kept in bins.  I just got some fresh 7018 today, but I will have to dress my coupons.  They are pretty rusty.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From the internet:

You want your welding rod ovens to be between 250-350F for optimal performance. Different rods sometimes need different temperatures — for example, Lo-Hy 7018 rods should be baked at around 250 for best results.  An oven that’s too hot will remove the flux coating, and an oven that’s not hot enough won’t adequately dry the rods.

All of the electrodes listed below should be stored dry at room temp when in unopened cartons.

Electrode Classification
Recommended Storage open Boxes
Holding Oven
Reconditioning
E-XX10
Dry @ room temp
Not Recommended
Not done
E-XX11
Dry @ room temp
Not Recommended
Not done
E-XX12
Dry @ room temp
Not Recommended
Not done
E-XX13
Dry @ room temp
Not Recommended
Not done
E-XX14
150 - 200 F
150 - 200 F
250 - 300 F 1 hr.
E-XX20
150 - 200 F
150 - 200 F
250 - 300 F 1 hr.
E-XX24
150 - 200 F
150 - 200 F
250 - 300 F 1 hr.
E-XX27
150 - 200 F
150 - 200 F
250 - 300 F 1 hr.
E-60 or 7015
250 - 450 F
150 - 200 F
500 - 600 F 1 hr.
E-60 or 7016
250 - 450 F
150 - 200 F
500 - 600 F 1 hr.
E-7018
250 - 450 F
150 - 200 F
500 - 600 F 1 hr.
E-7028
250 - 450 F
150 - 200 F
500 - 600 F 1 hr.
E-80 or 9015
250 - 450 F
200 - 250 F
600 - 700 F 1 hr.
E-80 or 9016
250 - 450 F
200 - 250 F
600 - 700 F 1 hr.
E-80 or 9018
250 - 450 F
200 - 250 F
600 - 700 F 1 hr.
E-90 12015
250 - 450 F
200 - 250 F
650 - 750 F 1 hr.
E-90 12016
250 - 450 F
200 - 250 F
650 - 750 F 1 hr.
E-90 12018
250 - 450 F
200 - 250 F
650 - 750 F 1 hr.
E -XXX-15 or 16
250 - 450 F
150 - 200 F
450 F 1 hr.
Stainless
250 - 450 F
150 - 200 F
450 F 1 hr.
When being reconditioned, electrodes should not be baked for more than 4 hours and should be kept at temp for at least 30 minutes. Baking more than 3 times is not recommended.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you don't have a warm box or rod oven for 7018 and say your garage is damp and you notice your 7018 is sticken or it takes more heat to get them burning good put them in your oven for 30 min  on 400 they usually come right back to life and sounding like crispy bacon in the pan again.Nodebt i wasn't tryin to jump on ya cat...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  Oh, I know that bubba.  I'm a firm believer in learning everyday.  It's just sometimes I get mired in my own way of doing things. I don't like to lead others astray.  Live and learn! :)  That IS a nice chart!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have two pieces of advice for you,one that you have already cast aside as not applical to your situation and violated the other.  None the less I'll attempt to persuade you.  Don't add the issues related to 7018 (I should say"precieved issues"because the issues you will experience are only in your head).  Use those old 6011 to practice,at this stage they aren't effecting your bead one bit and if you still have or find more old one's after you become profecient,they might effect your bead by 0.03%:rolleyes:.    Futhermore,only an expert can tell by looking at a bead ran with 7018 whether it was wet or new.  It's more difficult to hold an arc with 7018 compared to 6011 so wait til all your other issues have been worked out before running them.  You say you don't know any welders in Austin,well there are hundreds and it's time to get aquainted with one.  He will be happy to help you at his normal hourly rate and that will be money well spent.   Look at it like this.   How long would it require teaching someone to drive via the net compared to in the seat beside them?  You might think about tack welding something that you need togeather then have the pro look over your shoulder while you weld it up. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jam it in there and progress very slowly for the first 5 seconds of your bead. It helps to also preheat the workpiece. I would focus most on travel speed because i find that is a problem for most new welders.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is not how welding works.  Your suggestion results in 5 seconds of a bad weld that will not pass inspection.

Following established welding techniques is the way to go.  They test, certify welders, and x-ray welds for a reason.  And it is not just one certification, but a different certification for each type of welding.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dont be so full of yourself, You started by joining a new forum and 2 of your first 3 posts are complaining that we dont do things your way, even after the bad start you havent stopped complaining

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...