Steel fab & different welder Q's?

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.lawnsite.com/buttons/jump.php?i' started by Bunton Guy, Apr 29, 2002.

  1. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,762

    I have rented in the past a portable welder that had a 9hp honda engine on it and I know nothing about welding...I was trying to learn. For what I know it used those annoying sticks. The troubles I had was the sticks kept sticking to the steel I was welding. What are my other choices for welders ? I have seen those types that use those manual fed flux or whatever that thin wire is. Which is better for welding steel ? My future projects are to make a trimmer rack, blower rack, water tank rack, hedge trimmer rack. Beside finding a welder that is easy to use and proper for the job finding the steel is a big deal to. Where would you guys go to get the steel for these types of small projects. Also another beginner problem I had was the weld lines werent to nice. They were spotty and the steel was able to break loose with a hit of a hammer...not very strong welds. What to do ? These darn welding sticks I had to use didnt seam to want to lay a nice long bead.
     
  2. Bill c

    Bill c LawnSite Member
    Posts: 114

    I would suggest that you grab a few books on welding and learn some of the basics like electrodes,equipment,heat settings,and most importantly safety.If you really want to fab stuff yourself you need to have an array of safety equipment such as welding helment,safety glasses,gloves,ear plugs etc.

    As far as what welder to choose every type has its advantages, such as the arc which you rented is a great all purpose welder capable of producing quality welds and basic electrodes are cheap.Another popular style is the mig which has a spool of wire that is feed in to the weld pool instead of sticks.

    If I was you I would take a class or have sombody who can weld teach you the basics such as striking the arc,electode angles,and weld placement.Then it is just a matter of practice,practice,practice.
     
  3. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    Indoor or outdoor work area? That will help determine if a stick machine or MIG (wire-feed) is the best choice: for outdoor work the stick machine is the better choice IMO.

    Portable machines like the one you rented can do a nice job, without knowing more about the electrodes you were using I'm "guessing" here but some ideas come to mind to explain the problems:

    Heat set too "cold". In another thread the rule of thumb for setting the amperage (heat) for stick welding was mentioned: it should be approximately equal to the size of the rod in decimals. Meaning a 1/8" rod is .125", so set the machine at around 125 amps to start. 3/32" rod, try about 90 amps. IMO machines the size you were using are too small to really do a good job with 5/32" rod. I have a feeling the machine was a little on the cold side, which will make it harder to strike and carry an arc and also result in the weld breaking easily that you mention.

    Not getting an equal amount of weld on either side of the joint. If most of the weld bead is only on one of the two pieces being joined, the weld will be weak.

    Dirt/rust/paint etc on the pieces being welded. I don't know what condition the metal you were working with was in so it may not be a factor in this case, but it can be on repair welds. Any sort of contaminant on the surface can cause problems in the finished weld - such as lack of fusion

    Having the welding machine set to the wrong polarity if using DC (Direct Current) Most stick welding is done using "reverse polarity", that is the + side goes to the welding electrode and the - side to the ground clamp.

    Trying to carry too "long" or "short" an arc. There's no real hard-and-fast rule here, but once you get the arc going try keeping the end of the stick about one rod diameter away from the work. Too close and the rod may "stick", too far away and it will be hard to control the weld puddle (lots of "spatter") and the arc will eventually go out if you get t-o-o far away. Keep in mind also that some types of rod such as 7014 and 7024 work best using a "drag" technique - touch the tip of the electrode to the work and drag it along.
     
  4. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,762

    Wow 75 those are some great tips I will have to try that. I think the surface wasent as clean as it shound have been. formerly painted black back in ummm lets say 1957.
     

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