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SMAW rookie w/ a ?

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  • SMAW rookie w/ a ?

    I just started learning the tried and true SMAW process but am having a devil of a time striking an arc and maintaining. I have tried the scratch method, tap method. I cant seem to keep from sticking the rod. Once I do namage to get the arc started and stable I can run a decent enough bead. I was running a 1/8 6011 on 3/16 plate. I tried 60-75 amps and nothing seemed to help. I asked a guy I work with that used to stick weld and he suggested that if the rod is sticking then it may be running too cold.

    Ay tips or suggestions would be great.

    After mig welding for the past 3 or so years this is driving me crazy.


  • #2
    Far and away the first question is: what machine are you using.
    Trailblazer 302 * Millermatic 212 * Syncrowave 180SD * X-Treme 12VS Feeder * Spoolmate 3035
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52 Plasma * Lincoln 175 MIG

    Victor Superrange II * Victor Journeyman

    Hobart HH 125EZ


    • #3
      Well, for one thing you are too cold to start with. A 1/8" 6011 and 3/16" plate??? I'd be starting around 90 amps and adjusting from there.

      Go Spurs Go!!!!!!


      • #4
        it takes practice to it took me months before i could strike an are regularly but even the best of welders stick some rods now and then


        • #5
          Yes, turn it up, dont be scared, it wont bite.


          • #6
            today went much better. upped the amps to 90 and still stuck some but had much better performance. towards the end of my session today I was striking the arc and making a bunch of little circles next to each other on a plate. I guess practice makes ........ better.

            Thanks guys......


            • #7
              Hey yammahoppy,
              Zrexxer's response is the most important. You will get much more helpful information by enlightening the members here by describing you machine, AC, DC, or AC/DC and the amperage available with your welder. An AC machine will burn rod a little differently than a DC. You will get a much smoother, easier controlled arc with DC. Whatever the case, practice will cure the problems and learning a particular technique you like and do the best will have you humming in short time. Myself, I like the soft "match strike" technique and many times just getting the rod really close will initiate an arc. Try each method till you are proficient.... one will be your choice. If you are constantly sticking, try to gently nick the flux with a pair of needlenose to get a bare end on the rod to get started. It helps when you are first learning.

              Next, get some 6013 in 3/32" & 5/64" and get the "feel" of the arc starting, the technique of rod feed into the puddle and the control of your speed. It is a much easier rod to learn with and the smaller rod will allow you to get consistent. You can set up some scrap cutoffs(1/8" is fine) to do some butt welds to examine your penetration. You will get much nicer welds with clean, bare metal, so sand or grind it if necessary. It takes time and patience. Once you get mad or frustrated, just simply STOP!!!! Take a break, get a cold one, have a smoke, or fondle the woman till you can reassemble your thought patterns again. Once you get the hang of it, you will like SMAW. BTW, even after 45 years, I do manage to stick a rod on occasion. Sheet oppens, man.

     tell us what you are working with..... Denny
              Complete weld/mach./fab shop
              Mobile unit

              "A man's word is his honor...without honor, there is nothing."

              "Words are like bullets.... once they leave your muzzle, you cannot get them back."

              "I have no hesitation to kill nor reservation to die for the American Flag & the US Constitution."


              • #8
                Also, fresh rod versus old rods that have hung around gathering moisture a long time will make a huge difference.


                • #9
                  The machine i have been using at he school where i work is a Lincoln AC 225 machine.


                  I am taking classes at the local community college in hopes of changing professions from my current to the welding field. I have done some hobby mig in the past but am starting at square one with he classes to get the technical stuff down. So far the class has been pretty good.


                  • #10
                    I'd look at 110-125 amps AC to alleviate the sticking. Once you're comfortable with the starts turn it down if necessary. If you're like me, your second problem will be moving too fast and depositing a lot of chicken droppings with poor penetration. If you burn through a couple of times while learning no big deal. I normally work on 1/4 to 1/2 inch and use about 125 DC.
                    Stickmate LX AC/DC
                    Big cheap (Chinese) Anvil
                    Hand cranked coal forge
                    Freon bottle propane forge
                    HH 210 and bottle of C25


                    • #11
                      AC amps will be higher than DC. Usually around 10-15% higher.

                      Go Spurs Go!!!!!!