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  1. #1
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    Default Stick welding issues

    Hi guys, I'm a backyard operator trying to master stick welding RHS , looking for a nice consistent quality looking weld using my Bossweld 180amp welder on rhs tube 2-3mm , straight single run beads looks fine , but as soon as i join two pieces same material together and run the same bead it eventually blows holes usually at the end or ends up looking terrible with worm holes and porosity ??? I'm running the welder at 135 + amps for a smooth finish using 3.2mm 6013 Stonebridge rods. I've noticed running any lower than 110 amps the welds are full of worm holes and porosity ? This issue is doing my head in. btw i can get satisfactory results using my mig gas welder on same material but i prefer stick. Pics below.

    what are your thoughts on fixing the problem ? i'm sorta leaning towards getting a new welder , also thinking of changing rods to 6010, 6011 ,7010 ,7018 , 7024 and see which rod works better than 6013.

    Cheers
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  2. #2
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    Default

    Hi Iron triangle,
    Welcome to the MetalWork Forums.

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    Welcome

    Grahame

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default

    Hi there,


    I'm not a qualified welder, just a backyard hack.

    3.2mm rods are too big for that RHS. Try using 2.5mm rods. Then you should be able to turn the current down to maybe 85 amps. This will be more forgiving.

    Also I find that when joining two pieces of RHS, placing 2-3 spot tacks prior to welding a seam will help absorb the heat and less likely to burn a hole when welding a bead.

    Simon

    Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
    Girl, I don't wanna know about your mild-mannered alter ego or anything like that." I mean, you tell me you're, uh, super-mega-ultra-lightning babe? That's all right with me. I'm good. I'm good.

  4. #4
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    Looks to me like the first photo weld was done with a MIG.
    Gold, the colour of choice for the discerning person.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron triangle View Post
    which rod works better than 6013.
    If you buy electrodes,buy 6012. Buy them in 2.6mm diameter.

    Make sure to run them on electrode negative.

    Dispensing with the welder terms what is happening you have too much ( 3.2mm) electrode trying to fill a much smaller area than the fillet.

    Add to this the 6013s has a thin flux which does not allow the metal cooling from molten to solid as quickly. Weld bead will cool down fast when it is supported by the thicker 6012 flux, so less liable to burn a hole.

    You are tying to butt weld an open edge-the cut edge to the rolled edge. With 130 amps the thin edge will burn away before it can pick up the rolled edge side.


    When the arc is dropping molten metal in the joint the thin cut edge cannot dissipate heat quickly enough and wants to burn away.

    With a 3.2mm diameter electrode you are stuck with high amps but can't go quick enough to avoid burn through /partial burn through.

    Time to cheat a bit. Build up the rolled edge -the non cut side with short runs- and dip to cool the metal after each run. Flush off the metal with a disc to form a nice square edge which will butt up nicely to the other edge-the cut edge. tack corners and use the 6012 at very short arc.

    If both tubes are to be welded at cut edges make sure they are cut square and tack each corner with no gaps.

    Incline the area to be welded ( maybe 20 degrees) and run quickly downhill from tack to tack. Let cool and flip over and weld opposite side. Other two faces -exactly the same method.

    Grahame

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by .RC. View Post
    Looks to me like the first photo weld was done with a MIG.
    Yes correct , i was just showing a pic of my mig gas welder, it works fine.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2006
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    Mallacoota,VIC,Australia
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    Default

    I looked up Stone Bridge Electrodes and they are made in China. I have used two different brands of Chinese rods about 30 years ago, one brand worked well and the other brand well your second picture is a reminder of them - they just wouldn't weld properly. Also you say your using 3.2mm rods at 135 amps, as far as I know 130 amps is the maximum amps for a 3.2mm general purpose rod so for starters you have the electrode maxed out in term of amps. As others have said get some 2.5 or 2.6mm electrodes and try and get a better brand such as Gemini, Lincoln, Wia, Cigweld and have another try. I would be starting at about 70 amps and adjusting as necessary.
    All The Best steran50 Stewart

    The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at once.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Thanks for all the tips guys much appreciated , i pickup some brand name 2.6mm rods today and had more success but not all the time , i'd get 3 sides looking ok but the last side had same probs. A couple of things i noticed , the beads looked better when the rod is angled at 70 degrees rather than 30, and doing a second and 3rd pass at more amps helped fixed the first and 2nd pass. I'm gonna have to say that my cheap welder is the problem and cannot do what i want it too because it simply cannot be that hard to run a smooth weld joint on 2.5mm rhs. I'm gonna go welding store and ask if i can test drive a few machines and see what happens.
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  9. #9
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    It looks like you just need bit more practice.

    I reckon you will learn a lot more by persisting in trying to improve your technique rather than jumping to immediately blaming the welder.

    FWIW no amount of Youtube, or information on these forums, is going to beat a hour or so's tutorial with an experienced welder.
    Finished beads are limited in providing feedback the welder needs to watch you welding and correct your technique.

    My boiler maker BIL with 40+ years of welding experience showed me how to run decent beads with my $99 bunnings welder in about an hour. Then after a couple of months of practice he loaned me his $999 welder and the improvement was marginal at best.

    Welding has similarities to making espresso, it's "mano, machina, materiale" - operator, machinery and materials - ie machinery is just one of 3 critical aspects

  10. #10
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    Stick welding and MIG welding are nothing alike. If you are fair at stick welding then it is easy to migrate to MIG. If you are fair at MIG welding, your stick welds will be really crappy.

    I would be under average for stick welding skills, but managed this with cheap $7/5kg rods and a sub $100 ebay inverter welder that I can not kill despite trying with 4mm rods .
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    Gold, the colour of choice for the discerning person.

  11. #11
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    Am I missing something here, you have a MIG welder and you produce what look like quality welds, you are not Au fait with stick welding so your welds are rubbish, and you blame the machine
    Why not just use the MIG

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by China View Post
    Am I missing something here, you have a MIG welder and you produce what look like quality welds, you are not Au fait with stick welding so your welds are rubbish, and you blame the machine
    Why not just use the MIG
    Yes i think the machine is the problem and the rods, it cant be me ... I prefer stick over mig

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