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Discussion Starter #1
So I just picked up a miller tbolt 225. from the advice of others, i picked up a pack of 3/32 7018 rod. I've got a lot to learn and I'm teaching myself. Everytime I try to start an arc with the scratch technique, it either welds itself to the metal or my arc length is too long and it goes out. Now just by chance I had a 1/8 6011 rod that I tried after burning through about 3 7018 rods. Any tips on how I can get the arc to stay lit? I wish I had an experienced welder to show me the ropes but I don't. I know I'll need alot of practice, but I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I'm holding the rod about 30 degrees in the direction of travel, using the scratch technique, on some scrap steel. What kind of amperage should I be using? The welder sheet says for 3/32 7018 anywhere from 50-100. Thanks, I'm going to head back into the garage in an hour or so for some more practice. Don't even bother asking for pictures yet. I'm not even getting much spatter let alone bead. When I get something that looks like a bad bead, I'll take a picture:D
 

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Well, I suspect that if you dont have much time behind a helmet its just your technique thats getting you. Stick welding is definately a skill that takes "seat time" to get the results you desire. Then about the time you think you have it you will get into overheads and ups....but thats for later.

Start with the heat low so that it will stick when you drag the rod across the work. Ease the heat up until you get the desire feel. Drag the rod then as it strikes work the tip in and out, watch the arc, just watch how it reacts.
Soon you will be layin beads.Practice makes good, dont fret it , you cant be good at this overnight. good luck
 

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A general rule of thumb I use for amperage is taking the decimal equivalent of the size rod you are using and use that for the amperage. It’s not perfect but it's in the ball park. So for your case with 3/32 or 0.093 rod set the amps for around 93 amps +-. With 7018 if you are having problems with the rods sticking then try higher amps or the rods are "wet". 7018 and all other 70xx rods are low hydrogen rods, lo/hy rods are hydroscopic meaning they are very susceptible to moisture absorption. All low hydrogen rods need to be stored in a dry environment or oven. When they get "wet" they tend to stick as well.
 

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70XX Rods aren't all low Hydrogen. All 8 rods are.
70 is Tensile Strength.
1 Is all Positions
8 Is low hyrogen
(If I remeber Correctly, I could be wrong)
 

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I find that 7018 strikes easier the first time than 6011, but re-striking is harder than with 6011. 7018 doesn't seem to burn quite as hot as 6011 for the same amperage. don't be afraid to crank up the power as this will make it much less likely to stick, then see if you can manage the extra heat without burning through.

if you've stuck the rod and then break it back off from the workpiece, you're most likely leaving some bare rod sticking out from the coating, and that will likely stick the next time you try to strike no matter how well you "scratch" it. rods are cheap, so don't be afraid to throw away the ones that get fubared from sticking.
 

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Is your Miller AC only or AC/DC?

Are you using 7018 AC filler, even a small DC box will benefit from running a 7018 AC filler as the potassium in the flux helps you strike and maintain an arc.

For 3/32" 7018 running flat I would start at around 90-100 amps.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I believe its only AC. The box doesn't say anything about only AC Filler. It's just a Lincoln Electric box of 7018 rod. It says they suggest drying the rod before using it. Is this really necessary? I have the rod stored in my bedroom because my garage can get quite moist. Thanks!
 

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A) Practice with 6011, its cheaper, and easier to strike and re-strike. It's not near as touchy about water or damage.
B) It's important to keep 7018 dry. And when re-striking, break off the litte piece of flux on the end of the rod, it'll light way easier.
C) Try some bigger rod, I find it's easier to practic/learn with. Maybe 1/8"?
D) It DOES take practice to get the feel for just lighting the stick.
E) I'm sure everyone will have a different idea here, BUT I hate Lincoln filler's. They seem to be harder to light. I suggest Hobart or Mckay rod. I dunno why, maybe its my imagination, I just seem to like it better.
 

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Make sure your rods are not DC. They are alot harder to start and run a bead on an AC welder.
Are you pushing or pulling the weld?
 

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Check out your local Vo-Tech, Community College, or Adult Ed for an evening welding course. I took one of these courses a number of years ago, and I'll probably take it again this coming spring/summer. A good course will introduce you to oxy/acet, stick, MIG, and TIG. The guy that taught my class had been a maintenance welder at Ford for thirty some years...And he was an artist with all types.

Stick welding (like most other types) is a combination of equipment and skill. With the emphasis more towards skill. Especially if you're using one of the more common AC 'buzz boxes'. If you ever get the opportunity to use a DC welder you'll know what I'm talking about.
 

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If you are just starting out, you might try a box of 7024 "drag" rods. It is a high deposition AC/DC rod with a thick flux coat. You just "drag" the tip of the rod across the metal and the coating will prevent it from sticking and maintain the arc. Once you get the hang of it, 6011 and 7018AC are all you will need for 99% of the stuff you are likely to encounter.

Another thing that might help for flat position welding is to insert the rod at a 45 degree angle in the stinger so the rod tip is closer to your hand. You might find this position more confortable, which will give you better control.
 

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...It sounds like your 7018 is DC only rod...

...The most common electrodes you will see:
6010 (DC only), 6011, 6013, 7014, 7024, 7018 (DC only)...

...Most common "specialty" rods you will see:
7018AC (for use with AC only machines)...

The only 7108 filler produced that is DC ONLY is 7018M produced with no potassium in the flux to meet military specifications and your local welding store is not going to carry it.

Otherwise all 7018 filler without the "M" Designator manufactured to meet the requirements of AWS A5.1 have potassium in the flux and has to be able to run on AC to be 7018 filler.

The 7018"AC" filler offered by many manufacturers has additional levels of potassium in the flux to aid arc stabilization. This is tailored to the problems like low OCV, a single phase AC waveform and single phase half wave rectification to DC presented by small, single phase transformer power sources whether they be AC or DC.
 

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70XX Rods aren't all low Hydrogen. All 8 rods are.
70 is Tensile Strength.
1 Is all Positions
8 Is low hyrogen
(If I remeber Correctly, I could be wrong)
Yes you are correct the 70 is the tensile strength. I was speaking in generalities about the 70xx series rods compared to other series rods. I was trying to keep it simple due to the person asking for the info is a novice. The more technical details are going to be lost at this point in a beginning welders career due to the scope of knowledge they have at the time. (Plese no offense meant to anybody)
 

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6013 is the rod of choice for practicing. It will almost never stick and although it doesnt ahve the penetration of other rods it will give you the best looking bead.
 
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