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Arc Start/Control Trouble

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  • Arc Start/Control Trouble

    I have an OLD (25 years old) Craftsman AC 230A/V welder, I mean so old there were bug nests in the slide for voltage control old. I am having trouble with 6011 and 7018 rods I purchased for practicing and doing some small work with. My main problem is that the 7018 don't seem to want to arc, they spark, burn the metal, stick to the metal, and that's about it. And the 6011 when they are FRESH, they act as a contact rod. I also have to turn the AMPS up MUCH higher then your supposed to run just to get the 6011 to work. The 6011's also do the same as the 7018. I have had to redo the electrode cable (it plugs in, and the actual wire is loose in the plug held in w/ electrial tape). And the ground cable has cracks in it about every 3" for the entire length (having it replaced). Please help, it was a free welder for me to learn on and I want to build a smoker w/ quality "pretty" welds, not having it go out on me every 5 seconds and just make burn circles on the steel. I'm having to turn the amps up much higher to actually get a decent arc, then I'm burning through the steel (1/8" wall tubing). Do I need to go to 7014 and 6013 rods??

  • #2
    I don't know about your 6011 issue, but as far as 7018s, "buzzbox" transformer welders generally don't have a very high open circuit voltage which causes strike problems with regular 7018. To solve this issue, the filler metals manufacturers make an electrode called "7018AC" (Yes, I know, regular 7018s are AC too, that's just what these are called. I didn't name them.) The 7018AC is designed for low OCV power supplies and should help with some of the problems you're having. You can even find Lincoln 7018AC at Home Cheapo.
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    • #3
      Older ac buzzbox

      I've got an ancient Miller M150 buzz box with the plug ins for both the ground and the stinger. Get some emery cloth and clean up any plug-in connection so they are shiny bright and clean. Check out a radio or electronic supply store or Home Cheapo and buy some tv contact solution cleaner in a spray bomb and get some dielectric grease out of the electric supply aisle. Use the cleaner to clean up the contacts on that slider and if possible get some dielectric grease on it. It will slide easier and will help keep the contacts clean. What you're experiencing is not all that uncommon with an AC unit, and it is exascerbated by the oxidation that occurs over time on copper terminals. Also get a new cable for that ground connection with the cuts and cracks in it. Also get the oxidation off the ground clamp itself. Just cleaning this part up on my old Miller made quite a difference in how it performs. Striking an arc with AC takes a little more than doing one with DC. DC is much easier and the sticking is greatly reduced. That said, you can still weld up what you need to do with your AC unit. Just takes a little patience and getting used to. Good luck and let us know how it works out for ya.
      Jim Don


      • #4
        Yeah,well,you need to clean the machine up and blow it out. Replace cables,etc. that might solve half your problem there,and than try it,use an ac rod [6011-6013] forget those 7018's,and don't worry about turning it up,,hotter it is the easier it is to get arc started[now,that doesn't mean the hotter the better] it just means if you can't get it started you can't weld. Plus the smaller the rod the easier to control,get 3/32". thingy


        • #5
          How about 6013?
          What do I know I am just an electronics technician.


          • #6
            Arc Control/Trouble

            Thank you for all of your responses. The welder is SO OLD the stinger connections are actually BRASS, not copper, they were all green and I took a VERY fine piece of sand paper and cleaned them off until they were nice and bright and shiny. The actual stinger cable is not clamped onto anything the way it is designed, you have to bare the wire, fold it back on its self, shove it in the plug and "clamp" it down, but the only way to truely get a good connection is to use electrical tape to hold it in there. I actually do have the 7018AC electrodes, and they are not arcing at all, if they do arc, it is a very small arc, and then it goes out.
            I did blow it out for appx 30 minutes, taking the cover off, there is a lot of surface rust on the whole unit, so it may be more then 25 yrs old.. if it's surface rust on the whole unit, and is not worth the hassle/cost, should I just go invest in a new one?


            • #7
              Anything can be fixed,[well],,but yeah,maybe you should,hard to learn on something like that,,thingy


              • #8
                it certainly would be nice to have DC in a welder, if you are thinking of getting a new one. i went from AC to DC, what a difference!
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                • #9
                  Whenever my AC buzz acts up, i spray air on the trans and core and it works like new. 7018AC rod will make a HUGE difference also!


                  • #10
                    On a welder like this old sears ( I have one also) what size wire should you use on the electrode and groumd leads. The local hardware store has #4 and #2. What length can you use??

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