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How do I git gud at stick welding when I have nobody to tell me what I'm doing right/wrong?
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>>2254991
Watch YouTube videos
If it looks good it probably is good.
Mess with your amps to see what it does to the bead
5 or 10 degrees off vertical is how you should be welding
Vertical position is very very difficult. Turn amps down.
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Practice and watch a lot of videos. Also find a welding text book. Learn what different appearance of the bead means, as far as penitration, splatter, etc. Cut into your practi E welds, to observe how it actually bites. Like any skilled trade, it's hundreds of hours of practice and experimentation. Learning how to set up your machine for given material is half the battle.
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Weld a test piece, then try to break it with a press, vice, hammer, or whatever. If it breaks along the weld, then the weld was the weakest part and you need more practice. If it breaks anywhere else, then the weld is at least as strong as the base material and you're good to go. This test also works with glue joints in wood.
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Prep a ton of coupons and go to town with some laps and corner welds. Buy a couple different sizes and kinds of rods and start with the recommended settings and play around with them until it burns good.

Make sure the metal is pretty clean and you have excellent ground contact.0
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Welding protip: Use E6011 rods so that you always have an excuse for why your welds are so ugly.
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>>2255040
I bought E6011 3/32 rods and I keep burning holes. Are those suitable for thin stuff (2mm) or are they suitable only if you're skilled enough.
Like idk, I see how that rod would work nicely with 4-5mm steel, but with 2... I feel like i bought the wrong thing.
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Love me some 5013
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Soak your welding rod in water the day before you use it. It’s a secret nobody will tell you
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>>2255076
Fuck off man, I know this creates nerve gas.
I had 3 kg of electrodes gone just because i left them in unheated summer house and they got wet as fuck
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3/32 7018 is the best rod over all, stainless rods are best for mixed metals, just keep burning up lawn mower blades until you can live with your bead
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Secret to getting better is to sit at the table, not squat like slav
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>>2254991
Post clear pics on welding forums frequented by professionals for proper critique and update those threads. Threads here are ephemeral.

Practice pad welding on clean scrap (use angle grinder and 60-grit flap disc to clean same) to begin with then move to other joints. Download a welding textbook then read it. Military pubs are decent.

>>2255078
All it does is ruin the flux, but wet cellulosic rods (6011 etc) can be used as very crude cutting rods for thick stock. Don't bother and stick to what your machine will run (if AC that's limited but you can produce excellent welds).

Learn to hold the stinger firmly but gently using both hands for best control. Learn brace positions.
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>>2255040
Nah, 6011 welds can look amazing. Just gotta clean all that nasty flux off to see what they look like underneath... A needle scaler is the best way i have found to clean it off
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>>2255877
Scalers are based and cellulose rods versatile. I like 6011 too as it's tolerant of imperfect prep (necessary in some confined areas).

AC-only machines were the only game in town for decades before cheap DC power sources were available and can produce perfectly sound work with 6011.
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what's a good (but cheap-ish) stick welder to get? i imagine they're cheaper than the mig/tig/everything else combos
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>>2258168
Lincoln Tombstone
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>>2255704
Dont be a flapper fag, use a regular grinding disk.
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>>2258241
Fuck grinder, use wire brush, sand paper and elbow grease.
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>>2258253
Fucking pussy. I just look at the metal sternly and it cleans itself right up. Git gud bud
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>>2258253
Don't you put no grease on my freshly cleaned metal.
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>>2258285
Pffffttttt... grease, rust, paint.... None of it would matter if you were using the godliest of rods, 6011...
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>>2255041
Of all the common types, 6011 is probably the worst type to use for thin gauge. Use anything else you have and it will work at least a little bit better.

But in general, no stick welder is suitable for metal that thin no matter what size or type you're using. The only way to do it is to essentially repeatedly tack the joint, because there's no way you're going to put down a bead on it. If you're welding a thick piece of metal to a thin piece of metal, you can make it work by concentrating your heat on the thick piece. If it's thin on thin though, there's no good way to do it, other than stop fucking around with a stick welder and get a mig welder.
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>>2259205
Can you use mig flux core wire with stick inverter?
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>>2259209
The thought has crossed my mind before, but I had always assumed that wouldn't work. Well, I just tested it it out to see what would happen, and confirmed that no, it does not work at all. This was with my DC multiprocess welder at 25 amps, which is as low as the stick setting will go. The first problem comes with striking an arc. A mig wire is not rigid and flops around all over the place, and makes it difficult to maintain an arc even with a very short piece of wire. The next problem is that even if you do manage to strike an arc, the entire length of wire melts almost immediately (and also makes a funny noise). That's because unlike a stick, mig wire isn't designed to carry current along its entire length. They're only designed to carry current right at the tip where they come out of the mig gun, where they immediately melt. So in summary, no, it does not work at all.
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>>2259217
Interesting.
I guess this is the reason why they don't make electrodes thinner than 1/16.
So there is no cheap way to weld thin stuff other than using some stolen copper bus bar as heatsink, because argon bottle is expensive (and thus $50 aliexpress tig torch won't do), mig welder is expensive.
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>>2259171
My God...
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>>2259171
going for that stack of pancakes look i see
>jesus christ all that cold lap
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Too many people get obsessed with settings. 7018, DC+ Electrode. Read the weld puddle. You can burn 1/8 inch 7018 rods at 85 Amps or 150 amps. Distance of the arch and angle are what matter. Clean the surface till it shines. Weld in the flat position. Use fresh rods. 20 hours of practice and 500 hours of practice will net the same results.
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Take your time and don't rush. Rod angle is also very important you should try putting a fillet weld down the inside corner of a angle iron. Work on getting nice even leg welds. Also it's hard to get Quality welds on a cheap machine.
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>>2259567
>Too many people get obsessed with settings.
Blame whoever came up with displays...
Hm, is the reason why people recommend old transformer welder where you can adjust current only in like 15A increments?
Idk, I'm kinda good at soldering electronics (at least better than at welding) and I recommend people getting 220V (or well, 115V, mains in other words) iron, 30-40W, because in my opinion you're gonna learn nothing from modern soldering station.
Also, I wonder, will this make it easy to start arcs? Why learning to strike and electrode when electricity can do it for you?
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Stick welding has its place. I have maybe 5 hours on a welding table and countless hours in the field. It is usually either freezing, super hot or raining. Cant say I have ever stick welded an actual project in comfortable conditions. Always some kind of obnoxious noise, no light or full sun. Usually standing in thick & deep mud struggling to get a decent ground.
Most of the clowns you see teaching stick on Youtube havent left the shop. They always have crisp jackets and get to weld in a great position. Never seen three dudes struggling to shift a support screaming hurry the fuck up in any of these lessons on youtube.
Spend 5 hours learning the basics. Hang that shit up and learn TIG if you want something actually worth learning imo
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>>2259661
Why don't thirdworlders make vids about stick welding? They are pro at it... as they can't afford anything else
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>>2254991
watch this. this guy's name is Steve Beile
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UP8hh0yQibM

also Weld.com is fine I just hated that grumpy cuck
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>>2259824
This video is how I learned. Get yourself ten pounds of 1/8” 7018 rod and go to town on some clean steel plate. DC electrode +, ground of course -. Run some stringers at 80 to 90 amps then try to replicate the bead and the pool at 130-140 amps. Get the thickest plate you can. Cut the electrodes in half so you dont struggle with the length. Youre going to need to file the tip of the rod when you stop because of the glass formation. Always wear proper eye protection under your mask.
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>>2259816
There are tons of stick welding videos out there with some dude striking an arch in sandals and a polo shirt. You also see a lot of those multiple tack welds to look like an actual weld stringer videos too.
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>>2259837
How do i find them?
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>>2259369
Ahh I see the faggot internet weld inspectors showed up. Yeah that was a large weave pass over the top of multiple stringers to cap it all off... Fact of the matter is that it is ridiculously strong compared to what it needs to be for the application at hand.
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>>2259824
>imagine hating bob the faggot slayer of kansas
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>>2259824
weld.com is gay now
before it was instructors teaching you how to weld, not it has become random Instagram welder randoms doing stuff from teaching to random thing things. It's more about how you can weld art etc than how to weld.
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>>2254991
Can you mount a tripod and put a dark lens from a helmet in front of your phone / camera, and record yourself welding?

I did that learning TIG. They weren't beautiful crisp videos, but they did work well enough for me to see what I was doing.
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>>2258180
cool, ac only or ac/dc?
they seem cheapish but as with all good deals on machines (mills/lathes etc.) it seems the consensus from boomers online who bought all the cheap ones and are reselling them at 2x cost is that they are cheap, "can be found at $100"
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>>2258168
Lincoln, Miller Thunderbolt, old transformer Hobarts, and Dayton (huge electrical manufacturer) transformer machines are rugged, often outlive original owners and have been rightly popular for decades. Miller and Hobart have infinite adjustment while Lincolns are tapped but that matters little IRL.

Even older tapped AC machines (no tap switch, lots of sockets which is actually superior electrically but switches became fashionable and were cheaper to produce) work fine when in good condition.

If you have a way to move it some old single phase industrial transformer machines have terrific arc quality (Dialarc, Idealarc, Miller 330 AB/P and larger but those are the size of a small fridge, love my 340 AB/P though). Best to weld a wheeled dolly for the big ones. They will run (not maxed out of course) off a 50A breaker if needed.

>>2258241
>Dont be a flapper fag, use a regular grinding disk.

Piss on that. Good flap discs are far more versatile than rocks and the really good ones (Cubitron, Walter etc) kick much ass. I notice you didn't say WHY not to use flap discs because you're just trolling, but why troll? Bonus for noobs is flap discs rarely shatter thanks to their fiber-reinforced design.

>>2259909
Probably so but turning up the amp setting is free.
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>>2259909
Relax dude it was just a bit of ribbing.
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>>2255041
Only 1/16 rods work on shit that thin, and skill and technique are critical.
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>>2260379
Nah, you can even 1 mm with 3/32 if you're easy on tri- i mean with angles current and shit.
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>>2255041
For sheet metal you did. Oxy-acetylene does thinner stock than MIG (and you can gas weld using ER70 MIG wire for filler) which is why jewelers use it.

Noobs fear acetylene for some weird reason but it's portable, affordable, and highly versatile for welding, soldering, brazing, heating, torch bending, annealing, tempering and more. Puddle control is easy.

I found brazing more useful than welding on sheet steel and one bonus is you can remove and replace parts more easily. I brazed (for shock resistance) steel rule cutting dies for synthetic fabric (big cookie cutters basically) and those took serious abuse.
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>>2261384
You find it weird that noobs are put off by gas cylinders which can quite easily self combust?
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>>2261419
They don't "self combust" you nitwit. It's possible to ignite a leak which is why you shut off the fucking valves, vent lines etc like millions upon millions of users have done beginning in the late 1800s. Same noobs routinely use LP torches and weedburners...

Noobs are just intimidated by what they IMAGINE not actual reality.

Noobs routinely use gas stoves and cooking is much more likely to cause burns than welding. They use much more dangerous space heaters without a second thought. They are terrified of line voltage but don't care that when they're stick welding they're manually creating what's basically a controlled short circuit.
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>>2261424
>Noobs routinely use gas stoves and cooking is much more likely to cause burns than welding.
But they can juggle propane/mapp cylinders and store them upside down and not worry about it. They won't slowly start heating up for an hour and then spontaneously explode without any actual leak like acetylene can.
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>>2261384
>Noobs fear acetylene for some weird reason
I don't fear acetylene. For me it is just propane torch, but stronger.
Problem is that oxy cylinder and acetylene cylinders are way more expensive than stick welder.
>I found brazing more useful than welding on sheet steel
Hmmm... Do they make stick brazing electrodes lol?
>>2261419
Eh, I'm pretty sure they aren't that bad. Just like propane. Idk about oxygen, maybe it is not a good idea to store it close, dunno.
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>>2261472
>But they can juggle propane/mapp cylinders and store them upside down and not worry about it. They won't slowly start heating up for an hour and then spontaneously explode without any actual leak like acetylene can.

What in the actual fuck are you talking about?
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>>2259970
Both.
I got mine for $300 basically new from a boomer.
They're good forever, you can get them as a noob and just add other machines on top once you advance. Still good for working out in the yard.
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>But they can juggle propane/mapp cylinders and store them upside down and not worry about it. They won't slowly start heating up for an hour and then spontaneously explode without any actual leak like acetylene can.

Accients are rare but don't store any cylinders LP included indoors unless they're inert shielding gases anyway. I don't. Reading is fundamental. The blowout plugs on acetylene cylinders exist for good reason and their venting is not an "explosion" though spontaneous ignition from handling-induced overpressure can happen.

MC etc cylinders have been in use well over a century with few issues. (The letter designations of acetylene cylinders originated with mobile acetylene lamps on vehicles etc.) HVAC peeps rarely blow themselves up and normally by leaving a leaking cylinder in a vehicle (stupid with any fuel gas and the reason disposable LP cylinders are not intended for transport). MC cylinders were the standard homeowner and plumber torch supply before disposable LP cylinders were invented as they're far more convenient than a petrol or kerosene blowtorch.

Noobs don't know anything about torch safety either so unless they studied it first they didn't really reject acetylene for safety reasons. The general idea in noobland is that whatever the hardware store sells is what to use and hardware stores don't handle acetylene, local welding suppliers do. That's why the trades use it all the time but others are ignorant, like car owners paying big bucks for nitrogen tire fills when they could have their own small cylinder and regulator like the HVAC guys do or auto mechanics (who should really know better) only using vacuum pumps to (often badly) leak check AC systems for leaks before filling.
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>>2261533
^This as it's useful and easy to grow the collection opportunistically over time.

Some reviews:
My first machine was a Lincoln AC-225/DC-215 I still use for portable work, as a loaner and because they've very nice arcs though they're low OCV.
Second is a MigMaster 250 for the glorious arc (I use it for sheet metal including MIG brazing which more sheetmetalfags should try, but ya need argon for that).
Third is a Miller EconoTIG 180 which is basically obsolete today as it doesn't go low enough for the finest work nor high enough for thicc aluminum. It's heavy for what it does too but the price was right and it had near zero hours.
Third is an ESAB svi450 MIG/DC TIG/stick which works great but I scored cheap and is less well supported than Miller and Lincoln which have by far the best support in the US. I fix my own so not an issue.
TA 95S I traded a cutting torch for (out of boredom since I've got piles) is a meh mobile stick machine OK for fence repair but also obsolete thanks to much better offshore machines. Too small and low OCV makes it mostly good for ultralight hobby DC TIG.
Miller 340 AB/P monster stick/TIG is a fine classic beast which will outlive me but weighs about 1300lbs and is fridge-sized. Scored for 250 because owner thought it was 3PH only. (I downloaded da book from the Miller site and knew better). Would buy those all fucking day. Actually ran off a 50A breaker for several years. 330s are much more common and also overkill for most work.
Lincoln 100 FCAW wire welder bought cheap used because why not. On loan to bro but will do the cheap gas conversion on return so I'll want to use it. They're cheap and reliable and in countless auto body shops.
Hobart 400A AC industrial beast I bought for the leads and kept for the arc and amps and because moving it to sell would be more work than leaving it where it is. Great high OCV AC arc from when that was all there was.
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>>2261482
>Hmmm... Do they make stick brazing electrodes lol?

They make or you can make cheap arc torches which can be used for brazing (and which are insanely bright, add reflector and you'd have a searchlight).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYnsCXVsJsw

I have not used one but you can braze with them (see comments below). Arcs are amply hot enough. Carbon arc gouger electrodes would do nicely for low amp carbon arc torches and are easy to find via welding suppliers. (Do not confuse the arc torch itself with an arc gouger.)

https://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/general-archive/carbon-arc-torch-86894/

Since you're on a budget it could serve you well. They were commonly home shop made during the last century and you can use your welder to do it.

This guy DIYed an interesting one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVssXLxUX-c
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>>2261522

I assume he's referring to the fact that acetylene can decompose in certain circumstances. The problem is that this is, obviously, an exothermic reaction. If even a small amount of it happens in the tank, the heat and increased pressure will cause additional decomposition, which causes more heat and pressure...you can see where this is going. Decomposition can be initiated if the cylinder gets too hot or if it suffers an extreme shock.

The thing is, we're talking like >400°C kind of hot, and "dropped off the side of a 3-storey building onto concrete" kind of shock. Even if it did, the burst disc(s) on the tank should just blow everything out of it before anything _really_ interesting happens.

Not that things couldn't get interesting with a potentially unsecured high-pressure tank venting a load of extremely volatile gas and acetone as a chaser, of course.


Anyway, vaguely related, looking to sell my OA torch rig since I've replaced it with an oxygen concentrator and propane. Less concerned about safety, more about convenience and cost. The high initial cost of an oxycon doesn't count in my case, since I got one for $40 that just needed a compressor rebuild kit.
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>>2254991
Keep doing it until it looks better.
That's basically what we did at welding school
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>>2261587
Hm, can you solder copper pipes with it? Or will you just burn a hole in it lol.
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>>2261590
Good price on the concentrator score! Unless it's a Homefill style with pump it's limited to very light use but will certainly run glassblowing torches and "aircraft" size torches like a Victor J-series. What size torch do you use with yours?

Offing your rig if you never gas weld will be no loss if you don't gas weld, but LP of course isn't for (most) welding. Dandy for brazing and hard soldering though. I use either gas as convenient.

Keep an eye out for an Invacare Homefill style concentrator boost pump to complement your system or if you want higher volume for as long as cylinders last or want a mobile option (I fill medical cylinders using a whip for mobile cutting but do it from my oxygen cylinders). The Homefill cylinders have integral regulators which are not rebuildable so when I was given two junk cylinder/reg combos I pulled the fill fitting to check it out. It would be easy (and some hobbyists have) to screw it into a common 1/4 NPT braided whip (Western make them and dominate the fitting world in Burgerland) with a CGA-540 male fitting on the cylinder end to use a Homefill pump for larger cylinder filling using a concentrator.
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>>2261595
I would expect it to ruin copper pipe as the arc is so hot but if I had one I'd try it on scrap (I try anything on scrap).

I agree with you and would expect it to blow through but maybe dialed way down it might work. If you get one try it and post results!
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>>2261626
I will get graphite electrodes when welding supply store would re-stock 6013 rods, so I don't go twice there as it is located in really inconvenient place.
That would be tricky though, as I don't have that torch thing, nor I plan to make it, so I'd need 3 hands to try this lol. But from what I remember playing with trolleybus brushes, they make a nice stable arc even at low current, so it might be possible.

Practicality or this is still under question, because 1/2 and 3/4 can be soldered with tiny butane torch, and bigger stuff with a bit less compact map/propane...
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>>2261631
You might drill two holes in some scrap wood at intersecting angles then clip your stinger and ground clamp to the electrodes for a quick test.



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