Learn How to Weld

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks for making installations of all sizes or making smaller pieces and jewelry.
Toolmaker
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Post by Toolmaker » Fri Jan 04, 2008 1:06 pm

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Post by motskyroonmatick » Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:48 pm

Cool! That BBQ is nearly identical to the one I made for my sister. No plans just put it together. By the way it can be very dangerous to use a cutting torch on a barrel that has had petroleum products in it.
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Post by Not Sure » Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:34 pm

Wow theres some great info here.a lot of times at work if i dont have a MIG handy i use a arc on a very cold setting with 3/32 " E304-L16 (i think) rod .it will weld thin stainless steel preety good and can be ground down and look decent.

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Post by Toolmaker » Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:55 pm

Here are some instructional vids from Expert Village.. I can't believe I forgot to post em b4.

Some redundancy of knowledge but different vid makers.

Arc Welding Tips For Beginning Welders - Jon Olson

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8360 ... helmet.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8361 ... eaning.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8362 ... safety.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8363 ... safety.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8364 ... ipment.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8368 ... elding.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8369 ... ipment.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8370 ... ctrode.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8371 ... perage.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8373 ... length.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8379 ... ke-arc.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8381 ... d-weld.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8383 ... t-cold.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8385 ... h-weld.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8386 ... finish.htm



Learn to Arc Weld: Tips & Techniques for Beginners - Malcolm MacDonald

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8102 ... safety.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8103 ... othing.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8104 ... y-tips.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8105 ... vessel.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8106 ... -smoke.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8107 ... safety.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8108 ... -types.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8109 ... basics.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8110 ... ke-arc.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8111 ... d-weld.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8112 ... travel.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8113 ... -stops.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8114 ... -beads.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8115 ... enance.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8116 ... chines.htm



MIG Welding Techniques: Learn How to MIG Weld - Mike Rogers

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/1104 ... -works.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/1104 ... safety.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/1104 ... welder.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/1104 ... -setup.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/1104 ... oading.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/1105 ... -metal.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/1105 ... -joint.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/1105 ... -joint.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/1105 ... elding.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/1106 ... -joint.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/1106 ... -joint.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/1106 ... -joint.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/1107 ... -holes.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/1107 ... n-stud.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/1107 ... eaning.htm



Techniques for Tig, Mig & Arc Welds - Malcolm MacDonald

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/7631 ... -intro.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/7632 ... -setup.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/7633 ... ration.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/7634_welding-gas.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/7637 ... h-pull.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/7638 ... oltage.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/7639 ... t-weld.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/7640 ... achine.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/7655 ... -types.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/7657_welding-tig.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/7658 ... g-tack.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/7659 ... ad-run.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/7660 ... ection.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/7661 ... -start.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/7662 ... -beads.htm


short but sweet youtube of a puddle
[youtube][/youtube]
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Toolmaker
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Post by Toolmaker » Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:53 pm

Rolling cart for moving your gas tanks about. (metalweb has some great stuff if ya poke about the website)
http://www.metalwebnews.com/howto/cart1/cart.html

Explosive welding? (ya learn somethin new everyday)
http://www.metalwebnews.com/howto/explo ... lding.html

Bicycle trailer (again ibike has plenty of stuff for pedal power peeps)
http://www.ibike.org/economics/trailer.htm

Go Kart (or whatever.. good dwgs here)
http://www.limestonemedia.com/how-to-pl ... -plans.htm

Hundreds of free project plans (another great metal site)
http://metals.about.com/cs/metalworking ... _plans.htm

WIKIVERSITY (try to help where you can)
http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Welding

Heavy duty trailer to haul your couches to BM
http://www.lincolnelectric.com/knowledg ... roject.asp

Gazebo
http://www.lincolnelectric.com/knowledg ... gazebo.asp

Sorry if I already posted any of this stuff in the thread.. when you have as much manufacturing stuff as I have you tend to lose track of stuff.

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Post by Toolmaker » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:34 pm

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Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:58 pm

So after too many instances of needing to weld thicker steel than my little 110 wire-feed is really good for, I started playing with a nice big 220-powered 185-amp stick welder. I've got 6013 anodes... they spark right up when new, but if I stop and then try to resume again, I can't ever strike an arc again. I lightly drag it across the metal... I sneak up to it... I try all sorts of acrobatics... I snipped off the end of the anode... wire-brushed it...

A friend of mine claims he can re-light a 6013 no problem. Another says no one can get those damn things re-lit, that's just how 6013s are.

Exactly what kind of ignorant, incapable, lame-assed moron am I? What's the deal?
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Post by ygmir » Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:30 am

A few questions:
What size rod? What amperage? AC or DC and, does the rod match?
Good ground clamp contact, and connections?

I've not had that trouble, except, difficult starting and re-starting if the rod is old and or wet..........

Try 6011.

I say that, but, usually use 7013 and 7018. I like the idea of the rod metal being somewhat stronger than mild steel.....and, it seems to weld as easily as the 60...rods do.

The other thing about using your small mig, is, you can weld very thick steel, it just takes more passes...........the larger amperage is just faster, not necessarily any better.
Of course, within limits...........

Good luck
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fciron
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Post by fciron » Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:57 am

If I am having trouble restarting a rod I tap it on a none grounded surface, like the concrete floor or the other metal table. This knocks the flux off of the tip and exposes the metal rod. Then it's just like a fresh rod (in theory.)

I am a big fan of 7018 rod as well. That's my default rod.

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Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:40 am

I did wire-brush the ground clamp contacts and knock the excess flux off on the concrete floor.
You know, I didn't pay attention but I think it's a DC welder. I had settled on the 145-amp setting, hot enough to make a good weld but just below where I was melting holes in the metal. The rods might be a little old. The guy who used to do all the welding said he likes 6013 because at our place we never know what we'll have to fix or make and he says that's a good all-purpose choice. I'm not liking it at all! He claims he can get them re-lit.

The thing I needed to fabricate was about 3/8 thick steel, and I just ended up finishing the job with a little 110-volt wire-feed with no gas (but I think it had wire meant for using dry) which was a little splattery but not too bad if I ground everything extra clean and bare first.

I'll give the 6011 or 7013 a try.
I don't know exactly what the numbers indicate. I need to read a bunch of stuff... but right now I have to go to work and make stuff, whether I know what I'm doing or not, 'cuz I'm the general-purpose truck driver/mechanic/electrician/fabricator/polisher/whatever, and I end up doing a lot of stuff without really knowing what the hell, I just have to figure it out as I go!

I'm a mostly self-taught spark maker, probably full of bad habits. Little by little my quality is approaching sort-of-not-horrible.
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Post by ygmir » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:50 am

A DC welder will usually be more forgiving. If it's not a real top model, and, it plugs in, it may well be AC only......And, DC rod can be problematic in and AC welder......not so much vise-versa.
145 amps is pretty high, but, what size, diameter, is the rod? If it's to thick, that might be low......

It's true, the 60xx rods will weld through paint, dirt, whatever......
the first two numbers relate to the tensile strength of the rod, I believe.
the second, it's bead characteristics, as far as sticky, high bead, runny, whatever, for different welding positions.......

I'm with you, in the self taught realm.........I just stumble along, and ask questions of real professionals.......Keep that in mind when taking my advise........

But, I've had pretty good success with welds not breaking......
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:54 am

It's a really old welder, and plugs into a 220 outlet. Maybe it is AC... I'll check when I get to work today. Maybe I'll even measure a rod, I don't know the diameter, it looks a little under a quarter-inch though.
See I just learnt me something, I didn't know there were different AC and DC rods.
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Post by ygmir » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:57 am

it should say the diameter on the box. if not, measure the metal part only. I'd think 1/8 to 1/4.....1/4 is pretty darn big.
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:14 am

Oh ok. The 1/4 inch I quoted included the flux coating.
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Post by Toolmaker » Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:59 am

Capt GD: Have ya tried a small pencil like grind on the tip? Also try striking the rod sort of like a match. This usually works for me when I need to stick weld. You may have to experiment a little with your grind on the rod, vary the angle and tip flat width. When you find something that works good try to make a note of it on your rod container. I usually keep a rod prepped available for examination with the fresh rods as a reminder. As mentioned different rods arc differently and will need slightly different prep grinds to get that perfect spark.


PS there is some stuff on Expert village on this very subject on this very page. Seriously.. watch the videos below.

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8115 ... enance.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8370 ... ctrode.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8379 ... ke-arc.htm

PSS Other stick (SMAW) sources here..

http://www.millerwelds.com/pdf/guidelines_smaw.pdf

http://www.millerwelds.com/education/te ... tick_tips/

http://www.millerwelds.com/education/ca ... age_calcul ator.php
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:21 am

Thanks for that link, I'm watching every episode and filling my head full of mush with information!
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Post by Tiahaar » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:30 pm

Horah for good old stick welding. Glad you're getting into that Capt! Great tips from Toolmaker and ygmir and fciron to which I'll add my observations from burning through dozens of pounds of rods back on the ranch:

for rusty crap I use 6011 1/8" rod at 120+ amps (AC most likely 'cause that's what the old lincoln is, or if available DC electrode neg for extra penetration or electrode pos for extra cleaning); a nasty hard to clean slag but gets it done when nothing else will work, you can run it up, down sideways or overhead and though it is a tough rod to get to like once you do you'll swear by it and I do

for even nastier stuff or cutting use 6010 and blast the hell out of the amperage : )

for clean nice steel 7018 is really nice but really needs DC to run good

6013 is my 'fill' rod...it has very low penetration but spreads a nice bead that the flux cleans off easily

there are some other nice exotic rods but I never had much call for them after the welding courses.

my 2 cents worth ; )
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Post by ygmir » Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:14 pm

I've always struggled to see and or know the difference between pos and neg electrode welds.........
can you explain it at all?

thanks.
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Post by Tiahaar » Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:00 am

Yeah, just think of the welding current as a stream of negative-charged energy flowing out of whatever is plugged into the "-" side of the DC welder.

If the electrode rod is plugged into "-" (and the 'ground' clamp is therefore "+"), its termed 'electrode negative' or 'DC straight' welding, and the current from the rod tends to dig a bit deeper and transfer more heat to the metal being welded.

If the rod is plugged into "+" its called 'electrode positive' or 'DC reverse' welding and the current goes from the metal up to the rod, tending to help lift scale off the metal for a cleaner weld and running the bead a bit cooler...but the rod gets hot, don't use too many amps or the flux on the rod burns and doesn't work as good.

I really like DC reverse with 6011 for common scrap mild steel work, and 6011 is a fast-freeze rod so with some care you can fill wide gaps and holes with it (6013 likes to be runny). But...my current welder is only AC...sigh. Most rods will run ok on AC just not as smooth, and sometimes DC can be onery and have the arc dance around when getting into corners anyway.
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Post by ygmir » Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:48 am

that helps, thanks.
interestingly, my Miller Bobcat has AC and DC + and - switching on the control.

the electrode hookups are "work" and "electrode", so, I wonder which is which.....I've been using it as "work" is the ground clamp, and, "electrode" is the stick.....but, now, wonder about the pos and neg thing.
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Post by Tiahaar » Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:25 am

Cool, you're doing it right! Nice welder. Yeah the - or + settings is what the welder will set the electrode stick polarity to be and the work or ground clamp will be switched internally to be the opposite at the same time.

Some machines just have plugs to swap the polarity and change amperage.

And them there's the old shock-hazard piece of rubish I dealt with at one place with the wires hanging out the broken front, cables bolted together and tape wrapped....eeek....but it did still weld!
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Post by ygmir » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:38 pm

ok, thanks.
so, in DC straight, the ground clamp in neg, and, the stick is pos? Just to make sure I understand.........
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Post by mdmf007 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:16 pm

Lots of people have favorite rods here, but you do know that the reason there are different rods is to be compatible with the different alloys?

Base A being welded to B needs rod #X

the wrong rod will lead to a joint that may look sound but could shatter with a good thud from a hammer.

Heres some charts:
http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/te ... tick_tips/

and

http://welding.w4zt.com/stick.html

Tips I learned rom years of burning myself, and fixing everything made of metal.

1. Clean the joint as best as you can

2. Dont weld through paint - take the time to prep.

3. 20 minutes of grinding a poor joint to fit better will save 2 hours of welding to fill in the same gap, be stronger, and look better.

4. A good looking joint is a strong joint

5. Wear goggles, even if your only tacking something together - you only have 2 eyes, and flash burn will wake you up at 2 in the AM making you go to the hospital in much pain.

6. In humid environments cooking your rods for an hour or so will make a world of difference in the end product - try it it works.

7. Use the right rod, and use the special alloy rods if your fixing a frame on a Kenworth truck or your buddy will call you on a sunday pissed when it breaks in half.

8. After you master welding Steel - You start all over again learning to do aluminum.

9. Buy the bigger machine to weld.

10. Only invest in TIG equipment if you have steady hands and dont cramp up easily, or only anticipate TIGing small things - otherwise stick to MIG (wirefeed)

11. Flux core wire doesnt make as nice a bead as gas - but Flux core is cheaper in the long run

12. Get a spool gun for Aluminum wire - Aluminum does not feed very well through a 20' lead.

13. Miller (a good and respected brand) sells 2 of their same machines at Homedepot and Lowes with the Home Depot and Lowes brand colors respectively for about 25 percent less.

14. 500 degree metal, looks the same as room temperature metal.

15. Clean the slag off of a joint before trying to do another pass.

16. Bevel joints so you get full penetration and use as many passes as you need to get sufficient buildup.

17. Watch Youtube welding tip videos for little lessons.

18. Practice makes perfect, and errors grind out.

Later -

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Post by Tiahaar » Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:42 pm

good stuff mdmf007! bet your welds are first class 8)
ygmir wrote:ok, thanks.
so, in DC straight, the ground clamp in neg, and, the stick is pos? Just to make sure I understand.........
nah, its stick negative for DC straight, think of a straight stream of -----negative----- going from the ______rod______ to the work (pos ground clamp) and no there is no DC gay setting *badaboom*

like in this pic from welding lesson2 which shows a tig torch but just pretend its a stick electrode:
Image
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Post by ygmir » Sat Nov 08, 2008 7:55 am

ok, thanks.
what screws me up is my welder says "work" and "Electrode" instead of plus and minus, or, pos and neg.

So,
in D.C. 'standard', the ground (work) is positive, and stick (electrode) is negative.

Part of making sure I've got it right, is, I have several military trucks that operate on 24V, and, I'd like to know, in emergency, which way to hook the leads to the starter for boost starting.........I know it can be done with a large welder, but, don't want to reverse the polarity........I bet that'd be bad...........
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:52 am

Image
Image
I took a few pictures so you guys know what I'm working with.
I guess my next step is to acquire a selection of anodes and see what works for me.
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Post by ygmir » Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:23 am

that is helpful.
yes, it looks to be AC only, so, AC rods are in order.
Also, note the "duty cycle" rating.
It looks to be 100% duty cycle up to 70 amps.
from there, the percent welding time to cooling time, in a 10 minute interval, drops from 100 to 20 percent, as the amperage increases up to max.
20% meaning in 10 mins. of welding, 2 mins are actual welding time, 8 for cooling......this can be fudged some, depending on ambient temp and overall duration of welding time, but, is a good rule of thumb........
at least, that's my understanding..........

good luck
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Post by mdmf007 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:40 pm

ygmir wrote:that is helpful.
yes, it looks to be AC only, so, AC rods are in order.
Also, note the "duty cycle" rating.
It looks to be 100% duty cycle up to 70 amps.
from there, the percent welding time to cooling time, in a 10 minute interval, drops from 100 to 20 percent, as the amperage increases up to max.
20% meaning in 10 mins. of welding, 2 mins are actual welding time, 8 for cooling......this can be fudged some, depending on ambient temp and overall duration of welding time, but, is a good rule of thumb........
at least, that's my understanding..........

good luck
you nailed it, theres usually a thermal safety that will cut out output if the machine gets too hot. it will reset when cooler.

as far as charging or augmenting the power to start an engine you have a 50& chance of getting it right the first time. If wrong, you'll need new batteries.

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Post by ygmir » Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:43 pm

mdmf007 wrote:
ygmir wrote:that is helpful.
yes, it looks to be AC only, so, AC rods are in order.
Also, note the "duty cycle" rating.
It looks to be 100% duty cycle up to 70 amps.
from there, the percent welding time to cooling time, in a 10 minute interval, drops from 100 to 20 percent, as the amperage increases up to max.
20% meaning in 10 mins. of welding, 2 mins are actual welding time, 8 for cooling......this can be fudged some, depending on ambient temp and overall duration of welding time, but, is a good rule of thumb........
at least, that's my understanding..........

good luck
you nailed it, theres usually a thermal safety that will cut out output if the machine gets too hot. it will reset when cooler.

as far as charging or augmenting the power to start an engine you have a 50& chance of getting it right the first time. If wrong, you'll need new batteries.
I feel so much better now, thanks.......
YGMIR

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fciron
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Post by fciron » Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:29 am

Since that is an AC welder and batteries require DC current I would not try to charge any batteries with it. Seriously, you have a 0% chance of getting it right with this welder.

AC - alternating current - is easily provided of of household current where the welder is just a large transformer which drops the voltage and raises the amperage proportionately. To get DC (direct current) requires a little more circuitry. So welders with a DC option are a little more expensive.

The terminal labeled 'work' is where the ground clamp goes (the cable leads to the piece you are working on, the work.) The terminal labeled 'electrode' is the on where your rod holding clamp (the electrode holder) attaches. (There are no 'anodes' in this welding process. An anode refers to the negatively charged end of something; its counterpart is the positively charged cathode. Neither term is used much in welding.)

Since you have an AC machine the polarity is changing sixty times a second and there is no positive and no negative. It's just like household wiring, there is a live (electrode side) and a neutral (ground clamp). The welding current can only 'ground' back to the welder, so there's no need for a safety ground like that on most household stuff.

My recommendations - don't go nuts on the assortment of rods, the process of learning to strike an arc and run a bead does not vary that much and the difference between the rods in going to be lost on the beginner. In the beginning simply striking an arc and running a consistent bead will be a challenge with any rod and changing every ten minutes will just confuse the issue. A good rod for practice is 7024, a rod that will practically run a horizontal bead unsupervised. It was a big help for me when I first started. It helped me learn how to strike an arc, control the weld puddle, and overcome my fear of electric sparks and weld splatter. However any rod that you buy a couple of pounds of will do.

Once you learn to run a horizontal bead then you can start working in three dimensions (but not with 7024) and testing other rods. Keep in mind that you may want a lower temp for vertical welds. A higher temp (amperage) makes it easier to start the arc, it prevents the rod from sticking, but it can cause the molten metal to run out of a vertical weld if you don't move fast enough.

Clean metal and a good fit have been mentioned before but I don't think it can be overemphasized how much easier they will make the work.

Oh, yeah, Have Fun and Safety Third!

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