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Welding 101 Help!

welding arc stick

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#1 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2013 - 09:38 PM

I was attempting to fix the exhaust on my truck today since it was leaking and making a racket.  I originally thought I just needed a new piece of pipe to bolt onto the end of a 90 degree elbow I got coming out of my muffler that I put there a few years ago after the tailpipe rotted off of my truck to get the exhaust out from under my truck.  So, I got a new pipe from NAPA to bolt on and finished up that part of the fix, only to find a small rust-out hole on the exhaust hanger just before the muffler.   :wallbanging:   So, I figured this would be as good a time as any to try out my new Arc Welder that I got last Christmas from a friend of my dad's.  It should be good practice and it will be hidden so I don't care what it looks like when it is done, so long as it quiets the truck down.

 

So, I dragged out the welder (it is a Lincoln flux core wire feed arc welder, 110VAC) and my new Eastwood air angle grinder that I bought on eBay. (It seems to work really nice.  I originally bought it to cut the fenders off of my trailer, but it worked well with a grinding wheel to try and clean up the rusted pipe as well.)  So, I tried to clean off as much rust as I could to get a good contact to weld to.  The only problem is, I found out that I can't weld worth a $%&#!!!  Here are the before and after pics of what I'm working on:

 

 

The welder and my cutoff tool:

ExhaustWelding_01.jpg

 

The rest of the exhaust I bolted together earlier:

ExhaustWelding_02.jpg

 

 

The hole by the exhaust hanger before the muffler that I'm trying to weld after I ground it down a bit:

ExhaustWelding_03.jpg

 

ExhaustWelding_04.jpg

 

ExhaustWelding_05.jpg

 

 

After about 15-20 minutes of attempting to weld the hole up, this was the $%&# job I was left with.

There are still holes there and I hate this beginner "booger weld" crap job I did.

What am I doing wrong and why is it welding like garbage?

ExhaustWelding_06.jpg

 

Here is a closer pic, but it is a bit out of focus since the camera didn't know what to focus in on:

ExhaustWelding_07.jpg

 

 

So, I need a little Welding 101 course instruction here on how to weld properly.  I'm eventually going to need to weld new fenders onto my trailer and I'd like them to not look like garbage and actually hold them on well, so I'd like to get the kinks worked out on something like this that I don't care as much about.  Why are my welds looking like something you'd blow out of your nose during cold and flu season and they're not sticking to the metal very well?  It seems like they are just bubbling up on top of the metal pipe rather than melding into the steel as it should be.  Is the wire feed too slow or too fast or something?  Is the temperature not set right (too high or too low)?  There are two switches on the front of the machine and I had them set to "LO" and "1". (The only other options are "HI" and "2", obviously...)  I had the wire feed set to 2 and it seemed to feed much to slowly, so I turned it up to 3-4 and then it seemed to come out way to fast to be used up and I'd end up with long "hangers" of rod hanging off of the pipe that I'd have to cut off.  I'm not sure what I'm messing up and why it looks so horrible, unless it is just too hard to weld to the rusty exhaust pipe and that is part of the problem.  I did notice that it seemed hard to strike an arc at times depending on what part of the pipe I tried to contact the tip of the gun with.  Maybe I didn't do a good enough job grinding down the pipe before I started?

 

Any helpful pointers, pictures, videos, etc. to help me improve my lackluster welding skills would be greatly appreciated.  In case you couldn't tell, this is my first attempt at actually welding, although I have seen others weld before and am amazed at some of the welds I have seen people turn out.  Obviously though, not having a helmet at the time, I don't actually WATCH them welding and turn my back when the sparks are flying.  I value my eyesight too much, lol... 

 

Thanks in advance!


Edited by MailmAn, May 02, 2013 - 09:40 PM.

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#2 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2013 - 09:52 PM

This isn't going to sound good, but here goes,

 

The first problem you have is the metal is almost too far gone to weld, you might be able to flame weld or braze it up. The second problem you have is the welder doesn't have a fine enough adjustment range to dial it in for what you are trying to do. The third problem is that you are trying to learn with flux core wire, Flux core doesn't perform well for beginner welders, if you could use solid core and use it with shieded gas, the weld would look a lot better. The material you are welding needs to be a lot cleaner for MIG welding, no rust or dirt to contaminate the weld.

 

You might want to practice on a flat surface to begin with and when you get the feel for it, try it again. You can do it, just going to take practice and patients.

 

Good Luck.. :thumbs:


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#3 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2013 - 10:06 PM

I don't have it at home (it is in storage now) but I do have a stick welder as well.  Would that work any better for what I am trying to do than the welder I'm trying to use now?  I'd have to dig it out of storage though.  I believe those are flux core rods that that uses as well though.  I do recall that the stick welder has a dial on it to adjust the power of the welder depending on the thickness of the metal you are trying to weld, so maybe that would work better in this situation?  IDK if I need it hotter or colder to weld this type of metal.  For something like that though, don't you need to hold the rod in one hand and feed it into the tip of the welding handle to make the weld?  I don't have a lot of experience with any type of welding and that seemed like a bigger pain in the a$$ to try and do on my back underneath the truck than just using the wire feed arc welder.  I can always try to grind down the crap welds I have now and clean up the pipe a bit more and try again to-morrow (or another day).


Edited by MailmAn, May 02, 2013 - 10:07 PM.


#4 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2013 - 10:16 PM

Maybe with a few 1/16" 6011 rods and as low Amperage as you can weld with, you might be able to weld it up.

 

Good Luck.



#5 Nato77 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2013 - 10:38 PM

If you take the pipe off the back side of the cat you could get it out in the open to work on it better. But I'm thinking the pipe is to far gone. Or what you could do is cut the pipe off 6" - 7" ahead of the muffler to get to the nicer looking pipe and put a new chunk of pipe in (to the front side of the muffler) with the one end having the ID of the OD of the pipe on the truck. Then you would have new metal to weld the hanger to.

 

This reminds me of a guy that came to work at the trailer shop I worked at years ago. He came though the door with his "certified" welding degree and worked at a place that welded tanks together. All that was fine and dandy til one day he was told to weld a couple of cracks on a sub frame under a semi trailer. He cused  and swore because he couldn't get it to weld good. My buddy and I just laughed at he because he had braged his welding up something feirce. My buddy eventually ended up welding it for him to get the job done.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the best way to learn to weld is on an old rusty piece of iron. Pretty much anybody can weld a couple pieces of new iron together, but its an art to weld two rusty hunks of junk together. 


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#6 michael.kitko OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2013 - 10:39 PM

Ok, here goes, agree mostly with Texas Deere.

First, you really need to go and grind the crap out of the area you intend to weld. MIG is not really good at welding rust unless you are using ER70-S6 with an Argon/CO2 mix. It needs to be super clean where you are trying to weld or you will get what they call "porosity". Little holes all through your weld bead. So make sure there is no rust whatsoever.

Secondly, you could try a patch plate. You do look to have better steel forward and art of the area you are welding currently. I think I would fore go the cleaning and weld in either a patch or a new section. Just easier.

Thirdly, yes stick is a bit better and can get through more rust and slop than a MIG with a weld rod like a 6010, but stick welding is also super good at blasting holes through things if your not careful. I personally hate MIG and would probably go for a stick weld and just patch it up. A thin 6010 rod at 1/16" set at 75 amps should about do it. If you do do it with this rod, be mindful of the shower of sparks you will get, this rod is super messy and causes a huge shower.

Fourthly, like Texas Deere said practice a few goes before trying it on the truck.

Anyone, please correct me if I am wrong.

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#7 SearsYellow OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2013 - 10:48 PM

The hi/lo 1/2 switches are power settings. They adjust how hot the weld is going to be. The dial is your wire feed. Hotter the weld the higher the wire feed needs to be. The slower the less. This metal is very hard to weld. You have to basically tack weld the hole shut. The way I do it is tack a spot and while looking thru the helmet wait for the red to go away and tack again. Repeat that until the hole is filled. If you try to weld it its jus going to melt your weld and pipe away.
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#8 michael.kitko OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2013 - 10:50 PM

Oh, number wrong for amperage on the 6010, you might even be able to get it down to 45 amps. It pretty much is determined by your speed of travel and thickness of the metal.

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#9 whst400 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2013 - 11:01 PM

I am far from an expert in welding but I can't help noticin that it looks like you are trying to fill the hole with melted welding wire. In short, that aint gonna work.

 

Find a piece of steel as near to the same thickness as your pipe and cut yourself a patch panel that will overlap the hole by at least an inch. Clean the pipe, then clean it some more. Wrap the patch panel around the pipe so that it covers the hole and takes the shape of the pipe then clamp it in place. Make a few small tack welds to help hold it in place and then fill in the area between your tack welds with bead. Skip a few spaces between tack welds as you work your way around the patch and before you know it you will be done. It wouldn't hurt for you to make a few practice welds on the material you use as a patch to get the feel of your welder. Good luck.


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#10 skyrydr2 ONLINE  

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Posted May 03, 2013 - 03:38 AM

OK first off, your heat is too low, you DO NOT NEED TO CLEAN THE #$%& OUT OF IT!! its flux core wire! Its made specifically for this dirty stuff.
Secondly GO SLOW its just a little 110 jobber. Once you get a decent string started you can build off of it.
Chip off the slag and run another bead ontop of the previous.
With flux core wire, (and lincoln makes THE BEST FLUXCORE) you need to weld up hill or vertical for the best results when ever possible, it gives the best penetration.
Thirdly... You cant weld what isnt there!!!! Add a patch and weld to something that can take the arc.

Set it around 5-6 and practice on a new piece of scrap pipe. Go vertical and stitch weld (side to side motion) WATCH THE MOLTEN PUDDLE!! That is what is doing all the work. Also try and keep no more than .5-.625 stick out on your wire, this is how you can control the heat of that puddle somewhat.
Practice first and foremost!!! Your out of practice, out of position, and you don't know your welder yet!! Your at great odds for struggling. Narrow up the odds and with patients you will get it.
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#11 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted May 03, 2013 - 07:19 AM

Well, how many "patients" do you think I need to work on before I get better?  I wonder how many patients a surgeon needs to work on that end up dying before they get it right?  At least hopefully they work on animals or hobo cadavers before trying their hand at live people.  So maybe I'll try welding a few pieces of scrap metal together first as "patients" to get the hang of it, lol...  Maybe with some practice and a little patience, I'll eventually get it!  :smilewink:

 

 

 

Lol...  Sorry, but I'm naturally a wise ass, so don't hate me for cracking jokes, especially after you've all given me such great tips to try!  I really do appreciate it.



#12 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted May 03, 2013 - 07:32 AM

So, partly the problem then is that I can't weld a hole, right?  I need something there to weld to.  Which is kind of the problem since it is a small crack and there's not really room there to add in a piece of metal to fill in the hole.  Like it has been mentioned, I could just cut out the rusty piece of pipe and fit a new piece of 3" pipe in there and weld it in place.  I'd have to really clean up the inlet to the muffler though in order to do that. 

 

Unfortunately, I can't just "unbolt" the exhaust to take it out of the truck to weld it on the ground and then reinstall it.  I had a whole custom exhaust put on the truck back in 2006-2007 (I think?) and basically he cut the exhaust right at the Y-Pipe where it comes together after the headers and welded in a new 3" Catco converter, a piece of 3" pipe with the O2 sensor bungs in them, then the Flowmaster 40 3" muffler you see there (which I'm really surprised at how long it has lasted and is still good!) and then a custom bent 3" tailpipe from the muffler out the back.  That tailpipe piece rotted off a couple of years ago, so I bought the 90 degree bend from NAPA and just slid over a decent piece of the tailpipe onto the end of it to get it out from under the truck.  Well, that reused piece of tailpipe finally rotted out, so hence my repairs yesterday.  But when I was under there, I found the hole in the exhaust hanger weld on the pipe before the muffler.  I have to weld it in place though unless I want to unbolt the Y-pipe from the headers and try to get it all to come out, which is a giant pain in the a$$.  I'd probably end up wrecking the part where it bolts together there at the exhaust donuts and end up having to replace those too.  I'm not trying to create more work and expense for myself.

 

So, basically in order to fix this hole, I'd have to have an Oxy-Acetylene torch with brazing rod in order to try and fill in a hole like that?  If that is the case, I'm better off taking it to a muffler shop and having them do it since I don't have a setup like that.  I will practice some more welding before I try to put fenders on my trailer though for sure!  I'll probably post up a new thread for that once I get it started.


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#13 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted May 03, 2013 - 07:36 AM

I would have went for a patch over the hole. Much easier to weld to thicker metal than that thin rusty stuff. I do not have good luck using the flux core wire. But the patch over the bad area may just be the ticket. If you can, remove the hanger, weld the patch on, then re-attach the hanger.


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#14 John@Reliable OFFLINE  

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Posted May 03, 2013 - 07:40 AM

Bottom line,

don't feel to bad about having problem welding that mess, hard to do for someone even with the right equipment.

 

P.S. like others have said, get some scrap and practice, practice, practice its the only way to learn "how to weld".


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#15 ol' stonebreaker ONLINE  

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Posted May 03, 2013 - 08:04 AM

  W/ little experience you've tackled a very difficult job. Welding old rusty tailpipe can be a tooth grinding experience for an experienced welder. For your sanity and blood pressure's sake I'd take it to the muffler shop. Then you start practicing on new iron to learn on, then work your way to old rusty iron. 

                                                 Mike


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