Which type of stick is best for AC-DC welder
I know that a lot of you welders are well experienced and knowlegeable, and I appreciate and thank you in advance for your response and helpful information.
I'm using a Craftsman 230-140 AC DC welder. I'm trying to weld 1/8th" thick steel, flat and verticle, with a 1/8th" 6011 rod. The rod was given to me, and it could be old. I'm having difficulty getting good attachment to both pieces of metal at 130 amps. I have moved up gradually to 150 amps, and it is bonding better at the hotter amps, but I am having some problems with burning through and getting a hole, especially on the verticle. I have tried both AC and DC without seeing a whole lot of difference. DC may be just a smidgeon better, but not much.
I now have the ground electrode plugged into the - hole, DC. Does this bring the electricity from the stick to the material, or from the material to the stick? Would it be better to run it this way or the other way of having the ground electrode plugged into the + hole?
Also, Which welding stick would be best for welding flat and verticle 1/8th" thick - 3/8th" thick steel on DC settings? Would it work better with some sticks on DC, and other sticks on AC?
Thanks again, very much for all of your help.
Last edited by R. Dry; 07-23-2009 at 08:36 AM.
Reason: To Clarify sentence structure.
6011 is the AC version of 6010. This is a pretty aggressive rod and wouldn't be my first choice for a beginning welder. The general rule of thumb for amperage is one amp per thousandths in rod diameter. If you are using 1/8" rod, a current setting of 125 amps is a good starting point.
I would give 7018 a try...use 3/32" on DC reverse. The slag puddle is easy to see and do all your vertical welds UP...not down. Those small transformer welders don't make learning any easier for sure.
When your electrode holder is plugged into the + hole, you are welding in DC, reverse. Straight polarity would be electrode - and ground +. Hope this helps.
That is very helpful information.
Do you know, if I'm welding DC Reverse, does the electricity flow from the electrode to the material, or from the material to the electrode?
I am going to post a link that will describe polarity and the difference it has on the weld and penetration. These folks know much more than I do.
Thanks very much, Stuart. You have been very helpful.
I really appreaciate all of your information and your taking the time to help.
I'm a pretty green welder but if you have a way to dry those rods that may help.
Just my .02 Doug
6011 is a really good AC rod for welding up rusted bushog or tractor parts. It has excellent penetration and generally shrugs off rust. Not real pretty welds, but they will hold like no tomorrow. That's working against you on this thinner material.
For thin stuff like that on AC, try some 6013s. The don't penetrate quite as heavily and it's pretty easy to lay down a nice looking bead with them. You need to at least scratch off the scaly rust with this rod.
Also agree with the 7018 rev polarity on DC. That's a fairly easy rod to control.
You probably need to cut the welder back a little, too. 1/8" rods on 1/8" material is big. I'd be looking for some 3/32 or even 1/16 rods. 1/8" 7018 works great on 1/4" plate or better, so it's overkill on 1/8". On 1/4" plate you could just drag the rod with that kind of setting. You likely can't move fast enough on 1/8", unless you have been welding a long time.
In my opinion 1/8" plate is barely weldable with any stick process for a beginning welder. Especially using suspect equipment like Craftsman. Burn-through is going to be a common problem. It can be done, however. If you use any drag rod (7014, 7018), keep your arc SHORT - tip of the rod dang near in the puddle. Especially on vertical.
I would buy a new box of 7014 and try to move the workpiece so all the welds were in the flat position, and move right along, don't dawdle.
This would be a great time to borrow your buddy's MIG welder. 10 gage (1/8") is a snap with MIG.
Check with you local community college for welding courses, welding can be a very satisfying hobby. However done improperly you life maybe at risk if a process or correct welding rod is not properly used.
6011 is a great rod for beginers that is what i tought many new welders with. 6011 is run dc reverse. i welded alot of 11 ga. steel with it vertical on 11 ga. is run down. i also welded alot of pipe with it too passed the 4g pipe test. if the heat is set right it makes a nice looking weld.
it is made to be run right out of the box no drying oven.
it just takes pratice and more pratice you are not going to get it in one or two tries.
I learned to stick weld with 6011 on an AC only machine, you can do it too. 1/8 is pretty heavy rod for material under 1/4" thick, get thicker material to practice on or find smaller rod, as mentioned above. If you have trouble maintaining an arc, you need more amperage for the rod size. Different rods have different current requirements, for example the 6013 needs more amperage than 6011 under the same conditions. 6011 penetrates well and is tolerant of dirty conditions, but is difficult to make a pretty weld with.
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