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Stick welding internal corners

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I'm practicing welding in advance of attaching a bracket for a power steering box and seem to be getting reasonably good at butt joint and the outside corner welds, but I'm still finding internal corners difficult. The weld seems to form a bead one side or the other, rather than sit down into the bottom of the gulley. Increasing the voltage seemed to help a little, but I'm not getting consistent results. It's further compounded when I try to weld a vertical run, and is going to be worse still when I try to weld underneath a horizontal surface (attaching brackets to the underside of the chassis will be the job I'm most worried about). Any suggestions, please? Do you chase the vertical joint up or down, and is the side bead issue due to stick angle or inappropriate voltage?

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6013 rods have a tendency to do that, they have a lot of slag and you need to use more of an angle to on the rod to force it behind the puddle ..... 7018 rods are MUCH nicer and have better penetration to.

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Barry is an expert on this stuff .From memory I think that its critical to keep 7018 low hyd rods totally dry? I keep all my rods at work next to the boiler and put the earth clamp as close as poss to the work piece, to use it to strike up first to get the rod end hot before beginning to weld.

Keep practising.

Barry

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I'm no expert... Jody is :)

You are right 6013 rods aren't really bothered by damp, they get classed as farmer/general purpose rods (not insulting farmers here), 7018 rods are as you say sensitive to damp and should be kept dry, but are a nicer rod to work with and have a number of superior properties.

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I have just checked the rods. They're 6013, and at least 20 years old, though they look like new. I'll look at getting the 7018s.

I'm getting better, but still have the problem in internal corners on vertical joints. Hopefully the 7018s will cure that. The internal corners on horizontal joints are getting better, though.

I tried to add a photo, but it was too big. I can get a nice even weld with the regular ripples on flat sheet, horizontal or vertical, and now in the horizontal corners.

Thanks for all the advice. I'll ask my friend if he has a mobile kit - he has been doing some faultless aluminium TIG welding, so this should be a doddle for him if he can bring his kit over. This is all a bit to critical for my level, I think.

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You need to move the arc around to get balanced penetration into both sides and the amperage needs to be correct. You should weave a small amount to properly get both sides. It is very important to watch and control the arc when doing any welding.

Vertical welds MUST be done upwards. You need the exact correct amperage setting and move up with a little weave at just the right speed. There is very little tolerance for doing it wrong before it is carp.

Practice, practice, practice. Try different things. It goes much quicker if someone that knows what they are doing watches...

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Heating up the rod for a few seconds on another scrap area first helps a lit, like Barry and the video links suggested - burn off the first 1/4" and it arcs much more consistently.

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Rod size makes a difference , more so for internal corner/fillet weld and vertical . With the correct settings and rod vertical

down is considered acceptable on 5mm and thinner material .

Smaller rods mean lower A & V and more chance to control the weld pool

some pic's would be good

cheers

Steveb

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I use my left hand to guide the rod about 6 - 8" back from the tip, keeps it steadier - wearing gloves obviously! Does catch up with you, but usually by the time I start to feel th heat coming through the rods only 8" long anyway.

Sure you wouldn't be better hiring a MIG set for the day?

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I would be tempted to build up that internal gusset with weld first before taking it to the chassis. making it a nice internal radius to weld too. Because stick kind of needs more planning than mig. so it's okay to cheat as long as it leads to a better structure.

I normally made a penetrating weld upward and then cover-weld down to make it look nice. Don't drop the big splatter at the end in you boot :)

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Paul Hogarth, owner of Patriot, has kindly lent me a couple of very old books, formerly his father's, on arc welding (he's also going to give me a load of scrap steel to continue practicing when I collect the bracket parts tomorrow). Some good stuff in there. It gets awfully complex dealing with different grades of steel, iron and other metals, but the stuff for what I need was very informative. I'll try to get some 7018 rods tomorrow to see if they make life easier.

The books said to use a straight run on the verticals and a swirling pattern on inverted welding, though I think the latter was for butt rather than lap or corner welds. One of the books went on to say for inverted corner or lap welds use a thinner rod and maximum amps, keeping arc length short, to get maximum penetration with minimum metal deposition and thus minimum sag.

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I'd watch some of Jody's videos on youtube, there is a lot to be said for seeing it in action.

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Some photos of welds I did with the 6013s, a five-pass lateral on a vertical surface (about the same as I get with vertical lines on the vertical surface), and a 2mm plate welded to a section of 2mm thickness 2" box with three passes to build up weld depth.

The welds I tried last were along the bottom face of the box, which was getting better. It's all about angle, arc length and stick speed. I'm getting the hang of it gradually, though getting into the Vee of a corner is still tricky - I have stocked up on scrap today so I can do some more corners.

I bought some new 7018s this evening, so I'll see how they go tomorrow.

post-4758-0-65359100-1422473430_thumb.jpg

post-4758-0-55258800-1422473670_thumb.jpg

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OK guys, seems like I've been had! I can't get the 7018s to arc for more than a second or so - they just stick to the steel. I got 3.25mm rods, and my welder is rated for 4mm and 140A, so it ought to cope, but even at maximum, I won't arc smoothly like the 6013s (also 3.25mm, running best at around 100A).

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Crappy rod maybe. That size rod should run around 90 to 100 Amps. Or perhaps you need to learn better how to start an arc. Tap quickly or scrape and pull back to a long arc. Once it settles down then adjust arc length to the correct amount.

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I can get the old rods started easily, except a bad one today, but the brand new ones (I tried three) just won't start. It's much like having too low a current and a cold rod.

I tried the first pair of gussets on the chassis today after a few good practice welds, and it didn't go well. I had to spend a lot of time grinding them off, so I'm now short of two parts of the bracket. The grinder died just as I started that, but I was able to repair it (broken internal wire to the motor), racing against the incoming snow. The snow won - I had to do the grinding with a heavy snow grain storm! All in all, I'm not best pleased.

I have bitten the bullet - I have a steel fabricator who is a member of the same LR club as me coming over on Sunday morning to mig it up for me (paid job). Hiring a mig set would cost a similar amount and I have no idea of how to use that either, so £60 for an hour or two's help seems the sensible course.

I might continue trying to learn to weld - it's occasionally helpful to any LR owner, but this bracket is too critical for my lack of skill. :( Thanks for all the advice, guys.

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Keep practicing Nick , it'll click soon enough , the satisfaction of sticking bits of

metal together cannot be underestimated , but I agree it's £60 well spent , while he's there see if he

has time to show you a bit of stick welding

cheers

Steveb

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I was enjoying the practice with the old rods, but the new ones were too frustrating. Like you said, a nice smart and clean weld is very satisfying. More useful than golf, with about the same hit/miss rate for me...

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Is it possible the diodes have gone kaput in the welder?

(1/2 wave rectification instead of full wave rectification or something else of a similar magnitude to be a PIA and appear erratic )?

No one else you can beg borrow or steal another welder off in the area just for a comparative demo in the presence of someone else?

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7018 are available as an AC or a DC rod DC rod on an AC machine will apparently be a bugger to start (I've only used on DC machines), also if they are damp they can be a problem to start.

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.... Presumed it was a dc machine.... Did I miss something?

I'm no welding expert but I thought that dc was beneficial to welding in the sense that it gives you the automatic benefit of being able to change the penetration by simply flipping the polarity (remember I know naught)... But will learn anything

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