help stick welding t joints

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Old 09-14-11, 10:39 AM
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help stick welding t joints

Hi. I was hoping someone could give me some advice on a project. I'm welding some angle iron together for a porch swing frame, and I've run into a problem. When welding one piece to another in a t-joint, the weld pool only goes to one side of the joint, it will not bridge the gap between the pieces. I have tilted the piece so gravity will assist the pool, and beveled the edge! I have tried swinging the electrode back and forth. I have produced some really beautiful welds but after i remove the slag... The weld is only attached to one of the pieces...

I'm using a cheap transformer welder that only offers high and low current (Its says its capable of seventy amps, so I assume that's its "High" setting). I'm using 3/32 6013 electrodes on the same thickness of metal.

Thanks in advance.

edit:
Also, I only use the high setting; thick electrodes stick WAY too much on the lower setting.
 
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Old 09-14-11, 10:55 AM
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A welding machine from Harbor Freight? In my experience the less expensive the welding machine the more difficult it is to do the work. I learned to weld with a Sears machine some forty plus years ago and when I transferred to a Miller industrial machine I couldn't believe how easy it was to make high quality welds. Going back to the Sears machine almost caused me to cry.

One thing it might be is that if the piece that is not receiving the bead is not solidly connected to the other piece (I assume the ground clamp is on the other piece) you may not be making e good enough electrical connection to allow the arc to actually melt the base metal. The only other thing I can offer is that welding is a skill and it takes a lot of practice to be good.
 
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Old 09-14-11, 11:07 AM
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Well, actually the entire thing is welded up, except the very last join. I had it welded completely and stressed it and the joint in question broke. The clamp is placed near the joint, and the weld is actually going towards the other piece. In other words, the clamp is on the base but the weld is going towards the piece to be connected to the base. Sigh.

Also. Its from wally world. Campbell Hausfield. Wish i had the money for a Lincoln or Miller right now...

Am I doing everything else right though? the tilting of the joint and beveling ( I didnt really want to bevel the piece, the metals thin enough as it is)
Thank you for your reply!
 
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Old 09-14-11, 12:10 PM
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The CH machine is probably a bit better than the HF machines, but not a whole lot. I wish that I could afford a good Miller myself.

The weld will go to where the arc is so you need to concentrate the arc on the piece that isn't fusing. Sometimes this is most difficult and it sometimes helps to bend the electrode into some strange shape. Of course the downside to bending the electrode is that you have a shorter weld time until you burn off the bent shape and have to re-bend and start over. Be sure to knock off the slag before restarting the weld.

I once had to weld a pipe in a four-foot high tunnel. The pipe was only about four inches from the tunnel wall and about six inches down from the ceiling. I had to lay in a puddle of water, bend the electrode and use a mirror to see the back side of the pipe. That was a fun job, NOT!
 
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Old 09-14-11, 02:54 PM
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My 1st welder was a 110 buzz box from HF. I bought it close to 30 yrs ago and it still works [but it wasn't a HF brand] It's good for small jobs but about the only time I use it is if I have to go somewhere and weld something..... my 220 Airco welder is what I normally use.

Tilting the metal should give you better access but gravity really doesn't help with the weld - you need the arc to go to both pieces of metal. You might try going side to side some as you draw the bead towards you. The biggest issue I've had with my buzz box is once you get a good bead going and start to make some headway - it blows the breaker

I'm not the welder Furd is but sometimes one dummy can explain to another better than a pro can
 
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Old 09-16-11, 07:44 PM
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Well... Its welded. not pretty. A gorilla weld as one of my friends would say. It still would not jump from one side to the other. Swishing from side to side generally didnt help. The arc would jump from one piece to the other and create a new bead not fused to the other it left... ... I just kept knockin off (and picking out from crevices) the slag and kept welding over the old ones until i finally got a solid weld. Its a big monster but it should hold for the job it is intended to do. Now for the next four... at odd angles...

practice practice practice


also, thank you guys for posting... I'll probably be back.
 
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Old 09-17-11, 06:09 AM
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I can't see where you mention the thickness of the material you are welding.
I have a similar machine for when I am away from my shop and find that 1/16" electrodes work best.
That machine is really only good for material LESS than 1/8" thick.

If you swing the electrode with a bit of a longer arc and pause slightly at the top of the swing, you will begin to penetrate the difficult side.
 
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