Most Common Rods

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Artisan

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Guys I have a little Miller stick welder, like new,
that I paid $100 for a decade or so ago from a shop
that was growing and did not need this learner unit
anymore in Brea, CA. I am quite sure that this pictured
unit is what I have, it is 23 miles away at his moment
so I can not give 100% ID but it is REAL close. I
distinctly remember the 4 position selection switch
at the top of which I need to learn about (bonus points
if you can enlighten me about that
!) ;

903642.jpg
The most schooling I had on welding was w/ Mr. Peters in
high school, Mojave County Union Senior HS in Bullhead City, AZ,
circa 1972ish +/- . In metal shop I pulled high grades
but I suffer from CRS anymore....

I do remember rod selection was crucial. If I remember right
there is a common all purpose horizontal rod, was it 6013?,
but there are also common rods for vertical welding with these
small welders.

Can anyone enlighten me on some of these rod selection basics please?
 

Artisan

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Ah HA! Some good info for me to peruse... BUT-SOME-HOWEVER,

I think I need to learn more about the 4 position selector switch
at the top. Ac and Dc etc. I do not know how to interpret the symbols
on that switch..

Here is a much bigger picture showing that unit and the top left
switch which I believe is an AC/DC selector...I do not know how
to use it, any pointers will be much appreciated.

thunderbolt-top-left.jpg
 

goldneagle

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Slidell, LA
Ah HA! Some good info for me to peruse... BUT-SOME-HOWEVER,

I think I need to learn more about the 4 position selector switch
at the top. Ac and Dc etc. I do not know how to interpret the symbols
on that switch..

Here is a much bigger picture showing that unit and the top left
switch which I believe is an AC/DC selector...I do not know how
to use it, any pointers will be much appreciated.

View attachment 613782
With DC welding some applications require positive ground and negative for the rod. Others are the opposite. If you look up the rod numbers it will tell you wich rods need what polarity DC or just AC current.
 

m16ty

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I keep three rods in stock of various sizes. 6011,6013,7018.

if it's fairly clean, 7018 is my go-to rod as it makes a nice bead, easy to use, and has good strength.

6011 is for nasty dirty jobs. It isn't the easiest to weld with but it will handle dirt and rust pretty well.

6013 is what some call a sheet metal rod. It's good for thin stuff. It's super easy to weld with and you can't hardy make it stick. The down side is it doesn't penetrate much on heavier steel. I'll also sometimes use a 6013 just to tack stuff up to hold it in place because it doesn't try to stick ( handy when you're trying to hold something in a bad position and tack something up).
 

m16ty

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Ah HA! Some good info for me to peruse... BUT-SOME-HOWEVER,

I think I need to learn more about the 4 position selector switch
at the top. Ac and Dc etc. I do not know how to interpret the symbols
on that switch..

Here is a much bigger picture showing that unit and the top left
switch which I believe is an AC/DC selector...I do not know how
to use it, any pointers will be much appreciated.

View attachment 613782
Put the selector on DC+ and break the knob off.

All joking aside, 99.9% of all stick welding is done DC+ So that's about all you'll ever use.
 

royalflush55

Member
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Ah HA! Some good info for me to peruse... BUT-SOME-HOWEVER,

I think I need to learn more about the 4 position selector switch
at the top. Ac and Dc etc. I do not know how to interpret the symbols
on that switch..

Here is a much bigger picture showing that unit and the top left
switch which I believe is an AC/DC selector...I do not know how
to use it, any pointers will be much appreciated.

View attachment 613782
#1 High amp AC for thicker metal.
#2 Low amp AC for thinner metal.
#3 DC+ current flows from rod to grounded metal, usually preferred setting for most rod.
#4 DC- current flows from grounded metal back to rod, sometimes tubing that is magnetized welds better on this setting.

DC produces a smoother arc, less splatter, therefore most used when available. DC rated rods will only run on DC.
AC rated rods are more forgiving and can also be used with DC.
 

Artisan

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Munrovia Kailfornia
AWSOME info Thank U !

I just found a great little article explains many things HERE at MillerWelds.com
but it does not talk about rod diameter. Are there any rules of thumb or
tables that dictate what thickness rod you should use?

Lets say I am basically just dealing w/ mild steel.
I might want to weld up .125" thru .375" mostly.
 

98G

Former SSG
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Thinner rod for thinner materials. 3/32" 6010 rod can be used on some pretty thin steel, and can also be used on thicker stuff with multiple passes.

You really shouldn't need more than 1/8" rods for anything up to 3/8" plate. Thinner rods are going to be easier to control and you can use thin rods on thick steel by means of multiple passes.

Example - 6 inch schedule 40 pipe can be welded nicely in 3 passes. First pass is 1/8" 6010 @ 92amps, then 2 additional passes with 3/32" 7018 @ 92 amps.
 

m16ty

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I use 1/8 rods for just about everything. I may go down to 3/32 on some thin steel but I'll usually mig or tig anything thinner than 1/8" steel if I'm at the shop.

Mig has kind of spoiled me and I don't stick as much as I used to. About the only time I use stick anymore is out in the field or nasty metal.
 
Last edited:

swbradley1

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I have some welding to do in the next week or two.

The brackets attached to my 6 foot finish mower deck have shattered the deck where they are welded to at some point. Gimp and I put it up last night and after cleanup you could see shatter cracks in a circle about 4 inches in diameter surrounding the deck on the bottom where the brackets are welded to the top.

I originally wanted to weld three pieces, one to each side of the bracket and one on the front of the deck that would be welded to the bracket and the two new pieces and then run weld a piece under the deck cross ways to spread out the load. that idea lasted until I started grinding the old welds. A. Couldn't get the grinder into one of the spots and B. I would have to butt weld all the tracks before mounting all the new stuff.

Gimpy talked me into letting him cut the bracket off completely and welding the piece onto the bracket, putting a 35 inch by 12 inch plate across the bottom of the deck and drilling bolt holes through it and the old deck and the new angle iron pieces on the top on the sides of the bracket.

How much we weld depends on how this fab job looks after we get it back together.

I have my Dad's old Fourney A/C welder.

My plan is to use 6011 for any and all of the not so clean (dirty and rusty) stuff) deck and new plating. The 1/4in angle to the 3/8in bracket will most likely get a pass with 6011 and maybe a 7018 or MG500 weave pattern on top.


Pics of the deck and one of the welds on my newly fabbed LED light bar on the tractor itself. I thought I was using a 1/8in 6011 rod but after looking at all my rods I have no idea what I used for it. I know you can see I was running 140A on the welder for it which worked well but seems a little hot for that small of a rod and weld material.

20160514_123505.jpg20160518_182834.jpg

20160518_182851.jpg20160518_182828.jpg
 

Artisan

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Boy that weld on the Angle iron looks professional!

RE cleaning up and grinding in tight places; I use a small handheld
blaster. It works amazingly well. I have a Media Blast and Abrasives
"VIPER" glass bead blasting cabinet and occasionally I change the glass
beads. I save it all and use it in my handheld.

CLICK HERE to see the exact blaster I have. Just load w/ your choice
of media, hook up air, adjust flow-feed rate and
hit those internal miter's corners and watch the magic.

They have attachments to do spot blasting w/o the mess too.

This tool is a "Gotta Haveit" tool in my book. It is FAST and
does an amazing job for the DIYer.
 

swbradley1

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Well, Gimpy and I got the mower to the point where I could weld it up.

I grabbed a small 6011 to run a bead on scrap to get started and did not like the way it looked so I opened up the dry tube with the MG500 rods in it.

Holy cow! At 130 or 140A the bead looked like a TIG bead. I proceeded to weld the heck out of everything with the 500s and never looked back. Granted some of the welds looked better than others and most of the "not so good" welds were with my left hand. My right hand is more experienced. :)

I'll get a pic at some point.
 

LanceRobson

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That welder appears to be a Thunderbolt XL 225/150 AC/DC unit. Nice tool and about all many folks will ever need. As you already found millerwelds.com you can download the correct manual for it (you'll need the serial number). Get the spec sheet for it too. Strangely enough that can make getting started easier because it has better pics than the manual.

Then cruise over to linclolnelectric.com and spend the eight bucks for the Welder's Pocket Guide. I still have my first edition copy but recently bought the most up to date edition (30th, 31st or some such).

While you are there you can spend few dollars on welding calculators for whatever type of welding you expect to do. They are really handy, especially for finding a starting point on a new application or if (like me) you don't weld often enough to remember every setting for every rod, diameter and position. Order the C2-410 pocket stick welding guide (it's free) or you can download it. And, download or order the safety guide and read it (I think the print copy is free, too).

And then go to weldingtipsandtricks.com (**** good advice there....) and subscribe to the weekly video. When you have time, start watching the archived videos of the type of welding, equipment etc you're interested in.

I keep 7018, 6010, 6011, 6013 in a couple of diameters and a small assortment of gouging, cutting, stainless, cast iron/steel and other specialty rods on hand on our farm. 7018 has to be fresh from an unopened package or kept heated in a rod oven for any critical work. Don't believe any story that you can keep it forever in some magic container with pixie dust. For code jobs it is often issued out of a fresh package or a rod oven multiple times a shift. You can however dry it one time in a hot oven-see the manufacturer for directions-and get good results. Not great or particularly neat but good.


Lance
 
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