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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Mackay North Qld
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    4,330

    Default Lets have your stick welding tip.

    In the absence of a welding course, what about we all help each other.At least until a certain someone gets his act together and gets these darn stick welding notes completed and formatted.

    We are looking for those sorts of stick welding tips and tricks that were never in the textbooks to start with.
    I'll start

    Tack Welding thin metal to thick.


    Strike the arc on the thicker plate, near to the edge of the thin metal. Move across until 1/3 width of the arc is on the thinner section and quickly break the arc.

    Old and shaky
    Support the electrode with the other hand. Support, not hold.The electrode rests on the top index finger of the welding glove. If the heat is a worry cut a crappy old glove up and drag the "sleeve" bit over the fingers of the supporting hand.

    Poor vision- can't see
    Clean the protective screen of your helmet- windex will do.Disassemble the helmet carefully and clean the electronic unit with a dampened cloth -if an auto darkener- and the inner protective screen -carefull don't the electrics wet. If you have reading glasses try them under the helmet- remember they are not grinding glasses.
    Don't be cheap-if a cover lens is too dirty-buy a new one.

    Ok your turn.

    EDIT 5,28 2nd March 2018 < Guys,The tip/s need to be those you have personally used and proved , not ones from an unknown, unproven source,please! >

  2. #2
    BobL is offline Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    Feb 2006
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    Perth
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    Default

    Bend the rod so you don't have to cock your wrist as far to the work.

    I know this wastes rods but some days I get so shakey I need all the help I can get. I cut rods in half which reduces the shakes on the end of the rod by half.

    As well as Grahame's tip on using the other hand for support, when available I find leaning against a bend with a also hip helps reduce the shakes.

    Good lighting so you can see the work when there's no arc helps identify where you should be starting the arc.

    Cleaning back to bare metal along the line to be welded often solves a lot of problems.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Murray Bridge S Aust.
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    66
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    Default

    I've found that in welding a close fitting butt join, as in sheet metal, draw a line with engineers chalk to make it easier to see.
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Near Bendigo, Victoria, AUS
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    66
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    2,573

    Default

    Further to Kryn's comment: you can now get "welders' pencils" in both silver and red - which tolerate welding heat and don't just disappear. They really help me to see the join and features I don't want to weld over.
    I got a box of each a while back from Amazon.com but I see them all over the place on ebay etc now.
    Cheers, Joe
    again completely retired - more time to contemplate projects and spend more shed time....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Burnie/ Adelaide
    Age
    53
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    4,588

    Default

    On Grahame's comment on welding helmet covers (and applies to other PPE too), to get out the mindset of 'I'm not changing that - I changed it only a little while ago', I now write a date on a corner of these things (where it won't be seen) so I don't feel as bad about changing something that is actually getting on in years...


    • To material under 3mm thick with fewer problems, fit up is really important so take the time to cut carefully. While welds can bridge gaps, non-constant gaps add difficulty.
    • Clamping is important to prevent things shifting. Tack first to establish shape then fully weld. Magnetic clamps should be used sparingly and not close to the joint being welded as they 'pull' the arc
    • To weld a T joint on RHS, spend a greater proportion on the top of the T and blip across to the upright just enough to melt and get fusion. Welding is about where the heat can flow.


    Michael

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Mackay North Qld
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    Default

    Filling a hole in thin material

    If you have access from the back, take a length of copper pipe and flatten one end.

    Place under the hole - size of hole determines the diameter of the copper pipe.
    Fill the hole -arc and dab procedure normally works- chip slag away after each dab or two.

    Copper transmits heat really well - ouch! - so make an insulated handle. An alternative is to use a magnet-one with a screw thread hole to secure copper pipe and manipulate flat end to cover and support hole - allows 2 hands free for a better electrode control.

    Grahame

  7. #7
    BobL is offline Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grahame Collins View Post
    Copper transmits heat really well - ouch! - so make an insulated handle. An alternative is to use a magnet-one with a screw thread hole to secure copper pipe and manipulate flat end to cover and support hole - allows 2 hands free for a better electrode control.
    An old soldering iron works well in places it can reach - comes with a built in handle.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Aldinga Beach.
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    Default

    Cut the rod in half. Great if you have the shakes, or strike spot is important.

  9. #9
    BobL is offline Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    Quote Originally Posted by onanonanon View Post
    Cut the rod in half. Great if you have the shakes, or strike spot is important.
    Already mentioned above.

    Another safety tip is to wear lace up boots or wear spats that go over the boot. Years ago I did some welding wearing plastic gym shoes - a large hot glob landed on top of the shoe and melted its way through to burn a hole into the nail of my left big toe - that sure had me hopping around my shed. I also did a similar thing with concentrated nitric acid on the other toe but unliked the welding incident it did not burn its way through the nail.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Mackay North Qld
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    Avoiding a cold start

    So you don't get the cold lumpy start ,strike on a waste metal strike plate - run for a few moments- and quickly break the arc and jump across to your start location while end of the stick is still red hot. Do It quick! do not dawdle.

    The techique also "gunbarrels" the flux cone on the electrode thus making for Oxide/inclusion/ slag hole free bead starts. It could be regarded as the poor mans high frequency start.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Murray Bridge S Aust.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grahame Collins View Post
    Filling a hole in thin material

    If you have access from the back, take a length of copper pipe and flatten one end.

    Place under the hole - size of hole determines the diameter of the copper pipe.
    Fill the hole -arc and dab procedure normally works- chip slag away after each dab or two.

    Copper transmits heat really well - ouch! - so make an insulated handle. An alternative is to use a magnet-one with a screw thread hole to secure copper pipe and manipulate flat end to cover and support hole - allows 2 hands free for a better electrode control.

    Grahame
    I found that aluminium works well also.
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    moonbi nsw Aus
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    64
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    285

    Default

    When welding 1mm RHS I tend to do a series of tack welds across the joint, then go over them doing a continuous weld incorporating the metal that's laid down. As said above when welding a "T" joint I put more heat on the radiused part then weave across to the thinner part.
    Just do it!

    Kind regards Rod

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ballina, NSW
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    861

    Default

    Use the (arc) force Luke.
    Experiment with rod angle - more drag angle will help to push slag away from the weld area (particularly handy for those KB-26's and 6013's in general).
    Pay careful attention to rod angle when welding out of position. Use a push angle when welding up hill.
    Experiment with rod angle and arc force settings so you know how these variables affect the weld.
    cheers
    Mick

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Geelong, Australia
    Posts
    82

    Default

    I'm definitely not a welder, but have been melting things together or burning holes in them (and myself ) for quite a long time...

    Be wary of UV burns. Doing a couple of hours welding squatting down with shorts on will give you "sunburn" in places that were never meant to see the sun...potentially even worse if you're a boxer shorts bloke
    Place your mask outside facing up when you take it off, and put a welding glove over the lens if you're doing any grinding etc. Makes a huge difference to how much dust and junk gets on the lens.
    The grey split leather welding aprons are dirt cheap. You can wear one as an apron, or use it as a protective cover for something nearby that you don't want spatter or grinding sparks on.
    If you're kneeling down welding you can wrap it under your knees to protect from spatter that drops off and rolls along the floor (and then normally stops rolling when it burns into your knee!!).

    Still on PPE, I've found having a welding jacket really useful. I've just got a treated cotton one with leather arms as I mainly wanted the arm and general UV protection rather than a full leather one. I also wanted a fire retardant layer as I often wear polar fleece jumpers in the shed in winter and polar fleece + welding == bad things.
    Before I got the jacket, I used to put overalls on for protection when welding but often it was just too much hassle (particularly for smaller jobs in summer) so I'd just weld in whatever I was wearing and cop the sparks/UV.
    The jacket is so quick and easy that 99% of my welding is done with it on now.

    IMO when welding gal its worthwhile taking the time to grind the gal off the weld area before you weld it.

    If you've got a DC welder there's a difference between electrode positive (DCEP) and electrode negative (DCEN).
    DCEN gives you less penetration and can be helpful if you're struggling with burn through on thinner material.

    Having a few rods in your cupboard that will handle welding dissimilar steels etc is really handy. I've still got some left from the dozen or so Eutectrode 680 rods I was given by a welder friend about 30 years ago so you don't need many.
    I've used them for repairing old tools such as a large pair of vicegrips that cracked through the jaw, fabricating custom spanners from standard ones and even welding drive flanges to 4wd axles that had stripped out the splines. My chipping hammer is made from a 2 bits of an old HQ holden sway bar (ie spring steel) welded into a T using the 680 rods when I was first given them. I then forged then ends to shape, hardened and tempered them and its been knocking around (pun intended) ever since.

    Steve

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Wodonga Vic
    Age
    33
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    318

    Default

    This isn't a welding tip but is somewhat related,

    a pack of carbon gouging rods will turn a stick welder into a powerful arc heating torch, put one gouging rod in the hand piece and one in the ground clamp and anything that comes between the two (e.g. a rusty, frozen nut) will quickly become red hot and soon come free.

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