How To Welding questions.

Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
909
I am starting a new thread that @Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith said we can post to the stickies if I can do a good job. In order to keep it clean I am asking that we put all of the questions and discussions here. I am well aware that I don't know everything or really much at all so some items might need to be discussed or researched and hopefully we can do it here so that we can have a clean welding manual. I want to cover anything that you guys find relevant so please ask away. Feel free to toss anything in this thread and if it should go in the master list we will copy and paste it over to there. Please ask and discuss away here. Hopefully this will be helpful. I'm really just trying to pump all of you so that I can learn how to weld;).I am going to try to cover everything from machine selection and function to electrodes to theory and techniques and fitting and anything else that you guys can think of. Hopefully these can stay active for awhile and be useful. I know there are several people who are looking at new machines or are trying new processes and that is fun and exciting stuff. Welding like everything else with knife making is expensive and takes some time to learn and has a lot of outdated info out there. I'm sure a lot if you have good ideas but if you don't know why they work let's post them here and work it out and then we will put it into the other thread. When I taught welding I was surprised that even textbooks had a lot of errors in them and I'm pretty sure we can do a better job here, at least as far as knife making goes. If you have a welder I would love to have a review of it. Please include all of the technical information about it as well as your opinion and if you want to add the price please give a rough date that it was purchased or made. Post the review here and we will transfer them to the other page or if there are enough we will make a review page. I can't wait to hear what you guys want to know.

Please also let me know if you want this in more of a textbook format or if you would like each process broke down from start to finish with some information repeated in other processes.

I would love to have volunteers for information that I do not have personal experience with. If anyone want to do that you can reply to the question thread or call or text me at 360.305.6225. Here are the current list of subjects that I have not had personal experience with. There are probably more and I will add them.

1. Forge welding
2. Welding martensitic steels
3. Welding copper alloys.
4. Welding Titanium
5. Brazing and soldering ( I have some experience)
6. Welding nickel alloys ( I have some experience)
 
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Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
909
@Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith would it be possible to contact you to ask about what I can do to edit this thread? If you are ok with a couple of text or a brief call my number is 360.305.6225 and I am in NY (eastern timezone) .
 

Willie71

Warren J. Krywko
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
12,214
Storm has been a great help to me as I have been learning tig welding. I highly recommend contacting him if you are learning to weld. I did a bit of oxy acetylene welding auto body panels, and fillet brazing bicycle frames years ago, but tig is definitely different.

I have a pretty low feature import welder, (Reboot Mig160 that is a multi process tig, mig, arc machine. I got it on sale for $288.00 on Amazon, now closer to $390.00.) It works well for what it is. It is a lift start tig, so no high frequency start, no pulse, and no AC square wave. I just bought a square wave welder for aluminum work. It was closer to $1200. I do need something that can weld aluminum sheet metal for motorcycle fabrication, so upgrading is needed for me. I figured out how to do reverse polarity aluminum welding on DC, but you are limited to what you can do as penetration is shallow.

Downsides to the Reboot is lack of high frequency start, and no option for foot pedal control. High frequency pulse would be nice for the thin materials Im using. Aluminum welding on mig requires a spool gun, and with the euro connector on the machine, you have to but a gun, and a separate euro connector, and wire it yourself. Then you have to splice the motor control for the wire feed inside the welder to a connector in the gun. This will void the warranty. Storm suggested I try a Teflon liner in the mig gun, which showed up last week, but I haven’t had a chance to instal it yet.

I’ve gone through two bottles of Aragon practising in the past month, so I suggest getting a 4’ or 5’ tall bottle, rather than the 3’ bottle. It’s good for 9h welding time using a gas lens and feuric cup on the torch.
 
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This comes at a great time for me. I have welded a bit in the past, but am looking at a bare bones beginner welder, just to do some small projects and to make sure I enjoy it, and it's useful to me before investing a ton into a better unit. Right now, I'm looking a the Titanium Easy Flux 125 from HF to dip my toe in the pond.

My first project will be to beef up my little forge I built out of the soft insulated fire bricks. After I practice a little while, of course.
Then maybe a small welding table. Thoughts?
 

weo

Joined
Sep 21, 2014
Messages
2,589
Storm has been a great help to me as I have been learning tig welding. I highly recommend contacting him if you are learning to weld.
I'll second this.

My new machine is the Amico CTS 160, multi-process unit with Stick/TIG/Plasma cutting abilities, just under 1 month old. $399 from Home Depot. It's my understanding that it's DC only, so no aluminum welding capabilities. The TIG is high frequency, so no need to scratch start. So far I've used the stick and TIG functions and no noticeable problems from my novice perspective. 120V/240v compatible, duty cycle is 60% at 145A. I believe it has the ability to use a foot pedal, but it doesn't come with one.
 

Mecha

Titanium Bladesmith
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
9,584
This comes at a great time for me. I have welded a bit in the past, but am looking at a bare bones beginner welder, just to do some small projects and to make sure I enjoy it, and it's useful to me before investing a ton into a better unit. Right now, I'm looking a the Titanium Easy Flux 125 from HF to dip my toe in the pond.

My first project will be to beef up my little forge I built out of the soft insulated fire bricks. After I practice a little while, of course.
Then maybe a small welding table. Thoughts?

I'd avoid FCAW (flux cored arc welding), and go with a GMAW (gas metal arc welding) if you want to use a wire-feed type welder. GMAW is clean, and easy to see what's happening as you weld. FCAW is dirty and much more difficult to get a good weld. All you'll need extra is a bottle of 75/25 argon + Co2 and a regulator.

If you want to avoid using shielding gas, SMAW (shielded metal arc welding) aka stick welding is the better approach, IMO. Go with thin stick electrodes (3/32") for best results. You can also use stainless steel electrodes to weld mild carbon steel, which is smooth like butter. All you have to do is learn to strike an arc without the electrode sticking to the workpiece, and you'll be golden.

Best quick tutorial on stick welding I've ever seen:


Note the perfect electrode angle of about 10 degrees of drag.
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
909
Just because Mecha reminded me I will put this little tip in for starting a stick weld. Since the electrode is large the arc isn't going to jump across so you have to touch it to the work to start the arc and then pull it back to open the arc. Most people who don't weld every day can struggle with this because when the short circuit is formed the rod will weld itself to the work and it has to be broke free. People often have both hands on the work clamp and pull hard to break it loose but then loose control and break the arc and leave arc strikes on the work. A arc strike that isn't repaired is 100 times more likely to Crack so this is a bad thing and then they have to start over and often the Flux has been damaged and makes it harder or causes a weld defect like porosity and the tip is rounded making even harder the second time. Instead of having both hands on the work clamp try a single hand placed at the top right behind the wire. The second hand is placed on the electrode (I may call it a rod or stick just because that's what it is often called in the field) and controls the placement perfectly. Push forward until you feel the rod stick and then gently pull down and roll it to the side until the Flux will support it and creates a small gap. Then pull the second hand up to the first and use the elbow or forarm for a guide to steady yourself and then continue with your weld.

I will consolidate these tips to the main thread later. Mecha called me today to offer some of his experience and that is awesome. So long as you can explain why you are doing something feel free to add whatever you feel might be helpful. You don't have to be a master just anything helpful. If you have a good idea for something that is going to go into some of the basic stuff you can post it yourself or post it here and I will copy and paste it to the right area and make sure that you get credit. None if us are perfect so don't be shy. All I ask is that you title what your tip is and if it involves different things break it up so we can find the info easier.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2015
Messages
195
Here’s a tip I’ve picked up being in the trade a long time.... welding rod is pricey, especially buying your own for home projects. If you’re using a full welding rod yet only making a short weld, when you get to the end of the weld, stop, move back into the puddle slightly so you don’t get a crater(which can crack) and when you break your arc flick your wrist towards the floor. The molten ball will fall off leaving the end of the rod ready for a nice, easy restart. When you don’t do this you may notice the rod is burned up into the flux which mean your next restart you’ll have to tap tap tap the rod to start the weld. Most beginners end up sticking the rod and end up ruining it. Maybe this will save ya some headache and $$$$!
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
909
Here’s a tip I’ve picked up being in the trade a long time.... welding rod is pricey, especially buying your own for home projects. If you’re using a full welding rod yet only making a short weld, when you get to the end of the weld, stop, move back into the puddle slightly so you don’t get a crater(which can crack) and when you break your arc flick your wrist towards the floor. The molten ball will fall off leaving the end of the rod ready for a nice, easy restart. When you don’t do this you may notice the rod is burned up into the flux which mean your next restart you’ll have to tap tap tap the rod to start the weld. Most beginners end up sticking the rod and end up ruining it. Maybe this will save ya some headache and $$$$!
Just to add to this when the wire is consumed below the surface of the Flux if you use a gloved hand you can pinch the tip and carefully crumble the Flux off flush for good restarts.

There are some high end rods that are designed so that they are nearly impossible to restart. If doing X-ray quality welds restarts are not ideal because they don't start as smooth and will have a bit more porosity formed before the arc can restabilize and give good gas coverage.
 

Willie71

Warren J. Krywko
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
12,214
I got the new welder the other day. I only had a little bit of time on it as my argon bottle was low. I can say that the foot pedal, high frequency start, and programmable ramp up and ramp down make a huge difference, especially with thin material that has high risk of burn through. I would recommend those features as minimum, even if you don’t go AC with square wave. Secondly, a good helmet with clear view is really important. If you can’t see, you can’t weld.


If all you are going to do is tack together billets for forge welding, or handles on billets, mig or even arc is probably all you need. If welding over 3/32” thick, a very basic tig will work fine too. I’m doing very thin material fabrication work, and while I could do it with the lift start basic tig, the added features make it so much easier to control what is happening.
 
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Mecha

Titanium Bladesmith
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
9,584
Welding titanium alloys

It's been said that the three rules of good welding are:
1. Clean
2. Clean
3. Clean

Nowhere is this more important than when welding titanium, which is extremely reactive to most chemicals, gasses or substances when it gets hot, and the hotter it gets, the worse the effects. The result is usually embrittlement. When titanium becomes liquid the chemical embrittlement becomes instant.

Titanium is welded through the TIG/GTAW process, DCEN (Direct current, electrode negative).

In order to produce a perfect titanium weld, both the base metals and filler rods should be impeccably clean. The surfaces to be welded and area that will be a heat-affected zone (HAZ) must have the natural oxide mechanically removed (ground off) or chemically stripped prior to welding. After that, I thoroughly clean the base metal and filler rods with rubbing alcohol. Even a fingerprint may have a negative effect as the oils get sucked into the titanium when it approaches liquid state.

Shielding gas must be a very pure noble gas only, usually argon. Do not use a Co2 mix as is common for welding steel, as the carbon dioxide will immediately embrittle the weld. The area being welded MUST be perfectly shielded from the atmosphere, as oxygen, nitrogen, etc will immediately embrittle the weld if they come in contact with the molten puddle. A purging block MUST be used to completely purge the backside of the weld (or if pipe welding, the pipe must be completely internally purged with argon). TIG torch should have a large cup and gas lens, and ideally a trailing arm purge as well.

Do not let water come into contact with melted titanium. The draw of titanium to bind itself with oxygen is so strong, it will split the water molecules into pure oxygen and hydrogen, causing a combo hydrogen and oxygen explosion. I do not use a water-cooled TIG torch.

As you move along the weld, trailing behind you'll see the titanium getting rainbow colored as the purging gas coverage lapses. This is just normal oxide forming on hot titanium and is fine, but should be stripped/removed before making a second pass, if necessary. If melted, this oxide will enter the titanium and cause embrittlement.

It takes very little oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, etc. to embrittle titanium alloys. The weld itself should be perfectly silver on both sides, indicating that it had perfect shielding gas coverage (other than rainbow colors forming on the hot titanium in the atmosphere after being welded). Always maintain perfect gas shielding.

The embrittlement effect is cumulative, but sudden when a critical point is reached. A teeny bit won't cause much of an effect, but just a teeny bit more that reaches the critical point causes a drastic negative effect. Mechanically test all welds if possible, and do conduct a series of practice welds that you may mechanically test first to ensure you're doing it right. I rudely bend the welded titanium to about 90 degrees both directions if dimensions allow it, while listening for any sound emanating from the weldment. Like with most welds, a properly conducted titanium weld is usually even stronger than the base metal.

Titanium is so strong, that even a contaminated weld can look clean and seem very sturdy, but nevertheless it is brittle and will eventually fail unless it is an ornamental weld not expected to do any sort of work or handle cycles of force.

Do not weld a pure or alpha titanium alloy to a beta titanium alloy, or even an alpha-beta alloy (again, unless it's ornamental). Hydrogen and other elements will migrate toward the alpha ti from the beta or alpha-beta ti even long after welding and at room temperature, getting trapped at the weld and building up in density until a critical point is reached and a crack forms, eventually causing weld failure.

Like with all welding, controlling warp is important, as titanium will warp toward or into the welded area. Try to forsee the warp and set things up to accommodate, and use clever tacking techniques.

Because of its poor thermal conductivity, titanium puddles readily and easily at low amperage - the opposite of copper alloys. Do not let the tungsten touch the puddle or filler rod. If it happens, re-point the tungsten immediately.

Finally, welding titanium is a slow process. Do not try to rush it in any way. Be methodical, thorough, and adhere to the three rules of good welding, and your titanium welds will be eternal.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
909
Welding titanium alloys

It's been said that the three rules of good welding are:
1. Clean
2. Clean
3. Clean

Nowhere is this more important than when welding titanium, which is extremely reactive to most chemicals, gasses or substances when it gets hot, and the hotter it gets, the worse the effects. The result is usually embrittlement. When titanium becomes liquid the chemical embrittlement becomes instant.

Titanium is welded through the TIG/GTAW process, DCEN (Direct current, electrode negative).

In order to produce a perfect titanium weld, both the base metals and filler rods should be impeccably clean. The surfaces to be welded and area that will be a heat-affected zone (HAZ) must have the natural oxide mechanically removed (ground off) or chemically stripped prior to welding. After that, I thoroughly clean the base metal and filler rods with rubbing alcohol. Even a fingerprint may have a negative effect as the oils get sucked into the titanium when it approaches liquid state.

Shielding gas must be a very pure noble gas only, usually argon. Do not use a Co2 mix as is common for welding steel, as the carbon dioxide will immediately embrittle the weld. The area being welded MUST be perfectly shielded from the atmosphere, as oxygen, nitrogen, etc will immediately embrittle the weld if they come in contact with the molten puddle. A purging block MUST be used to completely purge the backside of the weld (or if pipe welding, the pipe must be completely internally purged with argon). TIG torch should have a large cup and gas lens, and ideally a trailing arm purge as well.

Do not let water come into contact with melted titanium. The draw of titanium to bind itself with oxygen is so strong, it will split the water molecules into pure oxygen and hydrogen, causing a combo hydrogen and oxygen explosion. I do not use a water-cooled TIG torch.

As you move along the weld, trailing behind you'll see the titanium getting rainbow colored as the purging gas coverage lapses. This is just normal oxide forming on hot titanium and is fine, but should be stripped/removed before making a second pass, if necessary. If melted, this oxide will enter the titanium and cause embrittlement.

It takes very little oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, etc. to embrittle titanium alloys. The weld itself should be perfectly silver on both sides, indicating that it had perfect shielding gas coverage (other than rainbow colors forming on the hot titanium in the atmosphere after being welded). Always maintain perfect gas shielding.

The embrittlement effect is cumulative. A teeny bit won't cause much of an effect, but just a teeny bit more that reaches the critical point causes a drastic negative effect. Mechanically test all welds if possible, and do conduct a series of practice welds that you may mechanically test first to ensure you're doing it right. I rudely bend the welded titanium to about 90 degrees both directions if dimensions allow it, while listening for any sound emanating from the weldment. Like with most welds, a properly conducted titanium weld is usually even stronger than the base metal.

Titanium is so strong, that even a contaminated weld can look clean and seem very sturdy, but nevertheless it is brittle and will eventually fail unless it is an ornamental weld not expected to do any sort of work or handle cycles of force.

Do not weld a pure or alpha titanium alloy to a beta titanium alloy, or even an alpha-beta alloy (again, unless it's ornamental). Hydrogen and other elements will migrate toward the alpha ti from the beta or alpha-beta ti even long after welding and at room temperature, getting trapped at the weld and building up in density until a critical point is reached and a crack forms, eventually causing weld failure.

Like with all welding, controlling warp is important, as titanium will warp toward or into the welded area. Try to forsee the warp and set things up to accommodate, and use clever tacking techniques.

Because of its poor thermal conductivity, titanium puddles readily and easily at low amperage - the opposite of copper alloys. Do not let the tungsten touch the puddle or filler rod. If it happens, re-point the tungsten immediately.

Finally, welding titanium is a slow process. Do not try to rush it in any way. Be methodical, thorough, and adhere to the three rules of good welding, and your titanium welds will be eternal.
Nice write up. Ti is one material that I haven't come across in my trade and I appreciate some real experience with it. You bring up a good point about cleaning whenever welding alloy. I did some testing with Hastalloy when I was teaching and I think much of its reported difficulty is do to under cleaning. Many alloys do not develop easily visible oxides. These oxides need to be removed by hard sanding and not just a simple wipe down. The oxides cause a muddy skin on the puddle and make it very difficult to move the puddle and thus weld it with it. Aluminum tends to have a very poris oxide cover. If it has been contaminated at all a good cleaning with acetone or alcohol is needed to remove any oils. If it has heavy oxides then they need to be removed. Using abrasive isn't the best choice since it tends to drive them in. Using a router or saw is best. If there is no way to get into a area like with a weld repair if you are tig welding you have a option still. You can puddle the area and gently add some rod until the contaminate comes to the surface. Then you can take a sharp chisel and cut off the top and then re prep the weld. At times I have tig washed a whole weld, cleaned it then put it a good weld. A tool that is common in Aluminum shops is a saw blade on a grinder. They are super dangerous so I kinda hate to say much about them. If they are ever used Using them on a air grinder or a Metabo because the Metabo has a clutch and they both stop if they hit something rather than run away from you.

Mecha also brings up a good point about shield gas. I have been busy and haven't gotten very far with my articles so I haven't gotten to shield gasses. Steel does not arc well and it's hard to get a stable arc off of it. Whenever you use DC positive the arc has to flow from the material to your electrode so that is going to be a problem. Iron oxides do arc well so when welding Steel you with DC+ you will see O2 in the gas mix. This could be a CO2 addition as some if the 02 will come out in the plasma stream. CO2 and and Nitrogen are simply cheaper additions than inert gasses. They are used only for metals that are not going to be affected by reacting with the gasses. Even Stainless steel does not work well with contact with them most of the time unless being used for specific purposes. A typical Stainless mix for MIG welding is going to be something like 98% Argon and 2%O2. Any other gasses are added for specific reasons. When TIG welding other than Aluminum you are using DC negative. The are is coming off of the tungsten so there is no need for any O2 addition. Argon is the normal gas to use for tig welding. Originally they used Helium thus the term Heli-arc can be heard from old timers. But are inert gasses that do not react with the weld puddle. Helium is now expensive and should only be used if there is a need. The reason is that it does not cool the puddle as much as Argon so it will weld hotter if your welder does not have enough power. The other reason is that it is lighter and can give protection above the weld or when welding overhead. There is rarely a need for this and a lot of times it just adds a little voodoo for confidence. It can also affect color on a Aluminum weld and is used by some boat manufacturers for brand continuity. Other additions like hydrogen are used for special purposes only. Generally hydrogen is undesirable. It causes porosity in Aluminum and it acts like a alloy in steel and becomes trapped when the metal contacts after being heated and will cause brittle zones on the weld toes and thats the worst place to have them. It is not as much of a problem with austinitic Stainless and may be used for cleaning.

Thanks Mecha for adding to the thread. If any others have good advice it is welcome. I will try to add to the article as soon as possible. Since some are buying new welders I want to detail what the advanced features on new TIG welders do and how to use them or if they are worth spending money on. I feel like they are very helpful if one knows how to use them to make up for any skill gaps.
 

Mecha

Titanium Bladesmith
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
9,584
Nice write up. Ti is one material that I haven't come across in my trade and I appreciate some real experience with it. You bring up a good point about cleaning whenever welding alloy. I did some testing with Hastalloy when I was teaching and I think much of its reported difficulty is do to under cleaning. Many alloys do not develop easily visible oxides. These oxides need to be removed by hard sanding and not just a simple wipe down. The oxides cause a muddy skin on the puddle and make it very difficult to move the puddle and thus weld it with it. Aluminum tends to have a very poris oxide cover. If it has been contaminated at all a good cleaning with acetone or alcohol is needed to remove any oils. If it has heavy oxides then they need to be removed. Using abrasive isn't the best choice since it tends to drive them in. Using a router or saw is best. If there is no way to get into a area like with a weld repair if you are tig welding you have a option still. You can puddle the area and gently add some rod until the contaminate comes to the surface. Then you can take a sharp chisel and cut off the top and then re prep the weld. At times I have tig washed a whole weld, cleaned it then put it a good weld. A tool that is common in Aluminum shops is a saw blade on a grinder. They are super dangerous so I kinda hate to say much about them. If they are ever used Using them on a air grinder or a Metabo because the Metabo has a clutch and they both stop if they hit something rather than run away from you.

Mecha also brings up a good point about shield gas. I have been busy and haven't gotten very far with my articles so I haven't gotten to shield gasses. Steel does not arc well and it's hard to get a stable arc off of it. Whenever you use DC positive the arc has to flow from the material to your electrode so that is going to be a problem. Iron oxides do arc well so when welding Steel you with DC+ you will see O2 in the gas mix. This could be a CO2 addition as some if the 02 will come out in the plasma stream. CO2 and and Nitrogen are simply cheaper additions than inert gasses. They are used only for metals that are not going to be affected by reacting with the gasses. Even Stainless steel does not work well with contact with them most of the time unless being used for specific purposes. A typical Stainless mix for MIG welding is going to be something like 98% Argon and 2%O2. Any other gasses are added for specific reasons. When TIG welding other than Aluminum you are using DC negative. The are is coming off of the tungsten so there is no need for any O2 addition. Argon is the normal gas to use for tig welding. Originally they used Helium thus the term Heli-arc can be heard from old timers. But are inert gasses that do not react with the weld puddle. Helium is now expensive and should only be used if there is a need. The reason is that it does not cool the puddle as much as Argon so it will weld hotter if your welder does not have enough power. The other reason is that it is lighter and can give protection above the weld or when welding overhead. There is rarely a need for this and a lot of times it just adds a little voodoo for confidence. It can also affect color on a Aluminum weld and is used by some boat manufacturers for brand continuity. Other additions like hydrogen are used for special purposes only. Generally hydrogen is undesirable. It causes porosity in Aluminum and it acts like a alloy in steel and becomes trapped when the metal contacts after being heated and will cause brittle zones on the weld toes and thats the worst place to have them. It is not as much of a problem with austinitic Stainless and may be used for cleaning.

Thanks Mecha for adding to the thread. If any others have good advice it is welcome. I will try to add to the article as soon as possible. Since some are buying new welders I want to detail what the advanced features on new TIG welders do and how to use them or if they are worth spending money on. I feel like they are very helpful if one knows how to use them to make up for any skill gaps.


Concerning shielding gas, one of the reasons for adding Co2 to argon is that, like with helium, it makes the weld hotter and penetrate deeper, because it allows higher voltage to flow through the plasma column. It also helps stabilize the arc. Helium is the noble gas that has this effect, while Co2 can only be used in welding that does not require pure noble gas coverage, typically steel.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_gas
 
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Messages
909
Concerning shielding gas, one of the reasons for adding Co2 to argon is that, like with helium, it makes the weld hotter and penetrate deeper, because it allows higher voltage to flow through the plasma column. It also helps stabilize the arc. Helium is the noble gas that has this effect, while Co2 can only be used in welding that does not require pure noble gas coverage, typically steel.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_gas
CO2 is just a cheap way to add O2 to the mix. The O2 will burn some of the material and raise the heat by just plain burning. This is done in some SMAW electrodes by adding iron powder to the Flux. The burning iron does stabilize the arc but it is not enough to to allow spray transfer when MIG welding.
 
Joined
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Messages
332
I have a question for you Storm.
I have access to a mig at work, but have never liked using it, so I burn rods the old school way. My dad taught me the basics and I used to weld on a daily basis when I worked in a sawmill. I can match rods and heat to a task fairly well with mild steel. Almost always using a 7018

I find welding with 7018s to be easy and welds are solid. The rebar stays on my billet until I cut it off, but when I use 6010s, after a couple heats in the forge, the billet falls off the rebar.

are 7018s that much better for this? Or is there something I don’t know about using 6010s?
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
909
I have a question for you Storm.
I have access to a mig at work, but have never liked using it, so I burn rods the old school way. My dad taught me the basics and I used to weld on a daily basis when I worked in a sawmill. I can match rods and heat to a task fairly well with mild steel. Almost always using a 7018

I find welding with 7018s to be easy and welds are solid. The rebar stays on my billet until I cut it off, but when I use 6010s, after a couple heats in the forge, the billet falls off the rebar.

are 7018s that much better for this? Or is there something I don’t know about using 6010s?
I'm sorry I don't have a good answer for you. I have messed around with forging a couple of times and had a similar problem. My guess is that it comes from welding the high carbon steel cold. Without a preheat the work piece is a huge heat sink and gives a ultra fast quench that is going to be full of micro cracks. Try heating it around 400-600 degrees and then try it. One of the things that 7018 gives you is that slag blanket that slows that quench speed a bit giving a lot tougher weld. That said on mild steel the weld test for both involves bending the coupon 180 on a guide or a mandril. Let me know if the pre heat solves your problem. Welding high carbon steel is just not easy one way or another.
 
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Willie71

Warren J. Krywko
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
12,214
I have used 6013 rod to weld billets to rebar with moderate success.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
332
looks like I should stick with 7018 and heat things up before welding. This should give me a more solid weld. I don’t except much shop time this summer, work and life are going to be busy this year.
 

weo

Joined
Sep 21, 2014
Messages
2,589
I'm want to TIG welding some 0.020" (or thinner) sheet steel to make cookie cutter like forms. Any suggestions on amperage to start with?
 
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