Stick Welding

Stick Welding

Postby charlessenf » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:03 pm

When I saw that we had someone on the list/in the group well-versed in the make-up and qualities of steel (see the machining topic for lots of good info), I blundered in asking if he might talk about how to decide which type of welding rod to use for 'general purpose' welding tasks. I've been guessing all these years! I have a Lincoln Arc machine and a set of acetylene / oxygen tanks which have served my light-duty needs well-enough over the years since I left the Montgomery Blair HS Metal Shop class forty plus years ago!

I would appreciate hearing from those who know and watching talented folks do the job that I might learn a thing or two.

I recall my buddy T-shirt John had an arc stabilzer attached to his welder and how and why one adds that device would be of interest to me.

I'd love to learn how to weld aluminum - repair my storm windows! And if any of those HFT welders are worth spit.

Charles
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Re: Stick Welding

Postby l0ckcr4ck3r » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:45 pm

I'm not familiar with the term "Stick-Welder" although i'm guessing you mean a basic Arc welder? holding a "stick" of welding rod in 1 electrode? Ok there are people who say they can weld Aluminum with an Arc Welder but I've never seen it done successfully myself, especially not on thin gauge Aluminum. Aluminum conducts heat about 5 times better than steel and has a much lower melting point. This means that the work piece will transfer the heat way from the pool much faster and the surrounding material will heat up much quicker; making it very difficult to form the bead correctly and get a good weld. You usually have to play around with Current and feed settings on a scrap piece to get everything balanced just right or the welder just becomes a Plasma cutter to your workpiece.

The Bottom line with Welding Al is it will oxidize without a gas shield. You should use Pure Argon or Helium, maybe even a Heavy Argon/CO2 mix would work at a pinch but not ideal. This means you are looking at a MIG or TIG welding system. I have always had more luck welding Al with a TIG welder but it takes a little more practice to get proficient with one. You may actually have more luck with your O/F kit on the aluminum depending on how much skill you have with it. have a read of this article...

http://www.tinmantech.com/html/aluminum_welding_article.php

then watch this.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIIp3f7xV8g
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Re: Stick Welding

Postby charlessenf » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:54 pm

"Stick" welding is arc welding using coated metal welding rods held in a clamp attached to one 'side' of the welder output. As distinguished, I supposed, from wire-feed welders. No idea where or when I picked up the term, but suspect it is rather universally used.

The link http://www.tinmantech.com/html/aluminum ... rticle.php led to a page / article on aircraft welding and assumes a knowledge of the subject I do not have. References to aluminum material as "5356, 5183, 5556" leave me in the dust. I want to weld a corner of an aluminum storm window - if possible - and have no idea if it is made of 5136 or a 2020! But doubt it was made of Aircraft-grade Aluminum! :lol:

I hd found a reference that suggested strongly that the metal be heated sufficiently to melt the (welding?) rod and did notice (in the article referenced, above) that the author didn't think much of the " flea-market 3-in-1 pot metal rods, and various Lumi-braze zinc-bearing materials" and I may have some of the stuff and not know it1

He says to "Set the flame neutral, or if the regs creep, slightly feathered (carburizing) so as to avoid an oxidizing flame," but doesn't tell one what a 'neutral' flame is or how to achieve it. It also appears that the author is selling TM products :!: I suspect the folks at this company might suggest (and sell me) something to accomplish my task! However, looking at the replacement lens they offer for my $39 HFT Auto-Adjust welding mask - "TM 2000 Welding Lens for Sodium Orange Flare Reduction - $187.00, I won't be able to afford to shop there - cheaper to replace the storm window!"

"A stainless 'tooth' brush is essential for scrubbing off the invisible oxide film, just prior to welding." I've several of these and this is a good thing to learn since the oxide is invisible!

But advice such as "Choose a torch tip one size larger than would be used on steel, i.e. If choosing a 00 (double ought) tip for .040 steel sheet, then move up to an 0 tip for .040 aluminum sheet," doesn't help one who doesn't know how to choose tip size for steel sheet! Or know which size tips came in that kit from HFT :lol:

The author recommends a flux (and sells it $12.95) but mentions it is great for two specific aircraft aluminum alloys!

Because I'm on 'dial-up,' search the TM site is time consuming and several of the links return '404 Not found' indicating their web guru ain''t much! A bit frustrating.

But, I'll try their sales number and see if they can sell me som aluminum rod and flux to try out.
Tanks for the link.
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Re: Stick Welding

Postby l0ckcr4ck3r » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:31 am

I think thats a wise idea... Trying to use an Arc Welder on aluminum that thin would be very difficult. Let us know how it turns out. There are aluminum Brazing and soldering solutions that may make a strong enough repair job possible and a more easily with you Oxy torch.
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Re: Stick Welding

Postby charlessenf » Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:11 pm

l0ckcr4ck3r wrote:...Trying to use an Arc Welder on aluminum that thin would be very difficult...


You misunderstood my posting. First, I wanted information on which welding rods to use with my stick welder.

The last line or two said I also wanted to learn how to weld aluminum. Re-reading it, I can see how it might have read.

I got out the empty box from the last electrodes (Stick Electrodes - they are called) from HFT and they are number AWS E 6013 1/16" x 12" and they worked all right with the mild steel I was using (Salvaged from a store clothing rack (Chrome-plated!)

I used them at 40 and 60 Amps (as I recall). The label says Application Universal All Positions. At Tractor Supply, there is more detailed information on the packages relating to 'penetration, and 'buildup,' for instance. If they taught us about these things in High School Shop, I've forgotten them long ago.

I would like to become proficient with my Arc Welder and then learn TIG (if I can afford one!)
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Re: Stick Welding

Postby l0ckcr4ck3r » Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:58 pm

Im in the same boat as you... When i can afford a TIG ill get one or a multiProcess machine if i can stretch that far :)

Stick welding is Good for heavy stuff... like 1/4" upwards but is fairly messy and there is a lot of cleaning up to do afterwards to remove scale/slag

MIG is good because its relatively clean although most of the time there is still some removal of sputter to deal with. The down side is you do need at least 2 types of Gas to cover Al, steel and Stainless. You can use flux core without the gas but it generates so many fumes to create its own gas shield, you need good ventilation to use it... I have never bothered with it myself.

TIG IMHO is by far the best all rounder. It takes a bit more practice but you have such fine control that you can weld almost anything. In a lot of applications, you don't even need the filler rod. You still need the specific Gas though. IF you spend the money on one, try and get one with AC function as well for the Aluminum.

I did some research a while ago and the general view is the cheaper Chinese units aren't all that bad for hobby use. I think you can Pick up an Everlast or Longevity unit for sub $1000.
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