need advice for welder

Old 04-27-05, 03:24 PM
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need advice for welder

I would like to buy a cheap stick welder. I would also like to weld 1/2, 3/4 square tubing for a lot of the things I want to do. Since 1/2 and 3/4 tubing is pretty thin, will I have a hard time welding with a stick? Can It be done? I have done a little stick welding many years ago, but not on anything less than 1/4". Any suggestions on how to do this? besides buying a wire welder.
Old 04-27-05, 05:34 PM
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!/2" & 3/4" sq tube can be welded with stick but will be mighty frustrating. I suggest getting a MIG w/ gas or weld with oxy/acet. If you get a MIG, spend a little extra and get one with variable voltage control as opposed to 4 or 5 settings. This way you can dial in the voltage to exactly what you need for thin metal.
Hope this helps,
Old 04-27-05, 06:25 PM
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Welding thin material with stick electrodes does take some special techniques. Warpage and distortion will be a problem, so make short stitch welds to connect. Starting and stopping are likely to burn through at the edges, so use run-on or run-off tabs or tack there first. Select an electrode such as 6013 in the 3/32 size and run it in the lower part of the amperage range. Move as quickly as possible to avoid heat accumulation. If possible, weld in other areas while the most recently welded cools. 6013 typically has modest penetration.
In choosing your stock, go for the 11 guage tubing rather than the 14 or 16 guage material, especially in the smaller sizes.

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