Arc welding for fabricators (8/24)

On 8/24 at 1:00pm I will be doing a welding class known as “arc”, “stick”, and to some SMAW. We will be learning how to identify and use the controls and how to connect the machine to the work. then we will learn how to “strike” an arc and form a bead. All this for just $5!! OH, but wait, there is more. We will learn to “Read” a welding rod and understand what the information means to you. Lets not forget voltage and polarity, fascinating subjects. Then we will try a few different rods and compare the results.

This is my first class and I have to admit I am going to be winging a lot of it but I think you will enjoy it and learn a few things and I am pretty sure that you will leave the event being capable of making a sound and even good looking weld.

Class is limited to 4, don’t forget your PPE’s


I’m glad you are teaching this. Arc welding is great when you are welding outside as it doesn’t require shield gas, no tanks. But it does require dry rods. They tend to absorb water from the air. Some info on that

What do we have to preheat metal or store the rods?


Only some rod types need to be “dry” and the rods Larry was talking about teaching were the ones that shouldn’t need it (6010/6011, 6013, 6014, 7014 etc).

The major rod type that does need to be keep dry or in an oven is 7018.

Strangely enough some do not, I doubt seriously anyone at the space will be working with steel heavy enough to require pre heat but perhaps the same equipment used to pre heat Aluminum for TIG welding?? We do not have a rod oven, we would need one if anyone did any “Code” welding". Feel free to bring these deficiencies to the attention of the metal shop committee and I am sure it will receive the attention it deserves.


Yup this is true as long as you keep them in a sealed container. If they do get wet, even the 60xx, the welds will not be pretty or strong.

I’m still wanting to get my AWS certification, btw.

Well, there are not much stick welding going on at the space, so, I expect that there really isn’t a big need. But if your class takes off :smiley:

Ive never had any issues with 7018 having issues. Granted I’m not a metallurgist looking for Hydrogen embrittlement. I dont keep my rod in an oven, just a regular rod storage can. Same goes for my 5P+(6010)

Here is a snipbit from Miller welds
Cellulosic stick electrodes (i.e., those of the EXX10 and EXX11 classifications, such as E6010) present a unique set of challenges related to hydrogen. Cellulosic stick electrodes are common in pipeline applications and should never be stored in an electrode oven. They should be stored at room temperature, protected from the environment. The moisture that is present in cellulosic electrodes creates specific arc characteristics. During welding, the cellulose breaks down in the arc, and is a source of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in the weld pool. Manufacturers understand this breakdown, and formulate the electrodes to provide a specific weld metal chemistry in consideration of the chemical reactions that occur in the molten weld pool. Drying out the cellulosic electrode coating shifts the composition and can lead to weld metal cracking. Bottom line: while hydrogen is generally undesirable, a cellulosic stick electrode should never be dried to remove the moisture manufactured into the electrode. If a cellulosic stick electrode used in pipeline applications becomes wet it should be discarded, and should not be reconditioned by drying it in a rod oven. Likewise, if a cellulosic stick electrode becomes overly dry, either from inadvertent drying in an electrode oven, or from exposure to hot, dry weather, it should also be discarded.


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I found this… three basic types of electrode sticks


Electrode type Main constituent Shielding gas created
Rutile Titania (TiO2) Mainly CO2
Basic Calcium compounds Mainly CO2
Cellulosic Cellulose Hydrogen + CO2


The difference between the E6012 and E6013 electrodes is that the E6012 covering contains sodium, while the covering of E6013 contains potassium. They can both run under direct current (DC+) but only the latter is suitable for running under alternative current (AC). Working with a constant current is recommended to counterbalance the unsteadiness of the welder’s hand.



Similarly to rutile electrodes, the differences between E6010 and E6011 cellulosic electrodes are the electrical parameters used during welding and their type of covering. The covering of E6010 contains sodium; E6011 contains potassium. They can both run under direct current (DC+) but only the latter is suitable for running under alternative current (AC). The MMA process can be used in DCEN, DCEP or AC but again a constant current is recommended to counterbalance the unsteadiness of the welder’s hand.

Cellulosic electrodes are more difficult to use and consequently require a skilled welder. Their big advantage is the increased speed they enable through the stove pipe technique or vertical down welding – but not weld quality. They are suitable in cases such as when large quantities of pipe must be welded or a lot of vertical down welding is required, not for one-off jobs. The speed of travel can be as high as 300mm/min.


I also found this study by AWS on Cellulosic Electrode Storage

Here …

If you are working on an AWS certification you probably don’t need to take this class, just get bored, surely you have been blessed to use the arc welding machine.

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@TBJK do you have any real P5’s and maybe ever some 7024’s?? I just wanted to show an assortment and it seems the only way I can get these is 50# at a time and it just does not warrant this kind of expenditure for a class, But if you happened to have 5 or 6 of each someone was not too attached to I would accept them gratefully.

I have P5, but no 7024. I think I still have sample packs of 7018 Excalibur rod from Airgas

I’m just excited we are getting arc welding at the space!
I took it in college a long while back, so I didn’t know if I needed to be checked out on it or not.
Do we need to take the hot process class first to use the machines? In other words, is this a required class to use the arc welders?

I guess I should check to see if there are any rods at the space at all @malcolmputer, @TBJK is there a procedure for purchasing rods for a class? is this something the space usually supplies?

I will add the rod I have is 5P+ 10lbs of 1/8. I also have 10 lbs of Radnor, full disclosure I have not tried this rod. It’s brand new. We have had problems in the past with the Radnor rod becoming “dead” halfway through. When asked about this the Air gas guy did not seem to know what I was talking about. The “dead” rods I was seeing was about 7-8 years ago.

I will talk to my supplier to see if I can get some procured or donated… @ioport51 do you want some of it sooner(than the class) so you can brush up on your skills?

We’ve still got around 14 lbs or so of 5P (6010) and maybe 2 lbs of 6013. We kept some 7018 (maybe a couple pounds) but it’s not too dry by now.

All that we have is in the teacher’s cabinet.

Sorry, I wish I was in town for this. When will the next arc class or wire welding class be?

I went to the space and looked at what was there. I’m good with what we have.
There are still two spaces open.

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Just an FYI: we got boxes and boxes of 7018, some 7010, and a few assorted others as a donation yesterday. Let me know if you need anything beyond what you have.

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Are they still sealed??
We may want to think about some kind of rod box , maybe someone has a non working dorm fridge we could put an100 watt bulb in?? I am good with what I have but that is interesting news.