Most welding needs, for both individual and commercial use, can be met by using a fewcommon welding rods. Listed below is a question about a welding machine and short descriptions of the characteristics and applications of five welding rods.
What welding machine should I use?
For an "all around general use" welding machine consider this: A machine with AC/DC output works well on most jobs but a DC machine, or a DC setting, for stick welding has more advantages over an AC machine. Use a 220 v, 40-225 amps and up, DC machine or setting because it offers easier starts, less sticking and spatter, stronger and better looking welds, in all positions.
What are the best welding rods to use for general or "all purpose" work on regular or mild steel?
Use 6010 for DC, 6011 for AC or DC. 6013 can also be used for DC or AC but it has less penetration than 6010 and delivers a better appearing weld. Use 6013 on lighter sheet metal and use 7018 low-hydrogen rods, (low-hy), for almost any use. Use 7024 for higher depositions in flat or horizontal positions.
- 6010 welding rods penetrate deeply but have high spatter. They are good for all positions, all types of steel, and almost any conditions and use DC current. (For better penetration on thicker steel over 3/8," bevel the edges and create a gap of about 1/8" wide; use 6010 for tack up and a root pass and weld the remaining passes and the "cap pass" with 7018.) 6010 welding rods need to be stored in a dry location, at room temperature, and in a sealed container.
- 6011 welding rods have all the characteristics of 6010, are used in all positions with AC or DC current, and work well on all types of regular or mild steel.
- 6013 has all the characteristics of 6010 but can be used with AC or DC current; it has less penetration and delivers a better-looking weld. Use 6013 on light sheet metal up to 3/16."
- Use 7018 low-hy, low penetration, on all positions, with AC or DC current. Use the highest amp setting as practical. Use a straightforward "drag" progression with a "short arc." The low moisture make-up of this welding rod reduces chemical reactions in the weld itself and makes for the highest quality x-ray perfect welds. (Note - this electrode must be kept dry. If it's exposed to humid air or gets damp it must be dried in a rod oven before use. See Welding Rods Storage chart.)
- Use 7024 high deposition welding rods for flat and horizontal positions. It's "easy" to use because its thick flux automatically maintains the correct arc length, which allows you to "drag" the rod.
In general, when working with steel plate or higher strength steel or pipe, you will get a better weld appearance by tacking-up and running a root pass with 6010 on DC current or setting, and then using low-hy 7018 rod on the remanding passes.
The days of keeping welding rods in an old refrigerator under a 100-watt light bulb are gone. The welding rods of "today" are really "high tech" and "space aged." They need proper storing and maintenance. Always check with the manufacture recommendations for use. It's easy, it's fast, and it doesn't cost a dime to do this. All welding rod manufactures are on line. Just do a quick search on Yahoo! and follow the suggestions of the manufacturer.
Go to Miller Welds for welding rods.