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Thread: SMAW Practice Makes Perfect...?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    SMAW Practice Makes Perfect...?

    So I've decided to pick up the stick welder again and get some time in under the hood. I used to be able to weld a bit with SMAW (Shielded Metal Arc Welding) but I never really put the time in to get halfway decent at it. I've been taking some advice from the fine folks at weldingweb.com and doing some practice welding.

    The chunk of steel I've been welding on is about 12" long by 5" wide and it was 1/4" thick, well 6mm.

    I padded it from left to right the 12" long beads, fairly poorly I'll add, and today I turned the plate 90 degrees and started padding over top of that mess the short 5" way.




    Burned up a few rods doing this and now I have a steel taco.

    Lots more practice needed, but even if it still looks rough, I can feel that I'm improving, it is getting to be more of a muscle memory thing. I think I've burned through about 1/4 of my 5Kg/11lbs box of 6013 rods.

    Hey, I'm enjoying myself, but I think I might move on to joining a couple of pieces of metal together now....

    The goal here is to eventually take a test and get certified, I think this is a good idea, as I want to add welding to the list of things that I can do for work here, even if it is just welding for myself or customers.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Are you pulling your rod or using the crescent shape?
    Compared to your welding rod diameter, what is the width of your bead? (i.e.:same size, smaller, wider,etc)
    On to controlling distortion and making it work for you rather than against you.
    Are you chipping each pass before running the next one?
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Yorktown, Virginia
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    Practice, practice, practice. Looking good Stu. I'm a big fan of weldingweb. Lots to learn there, but they can be a rough crowd

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Shively View Post
    Are you pulling your rod or using the crescent shape?
    Just pulling it, I'm told the weave thing is not for what I'm doing which is called "Padding" it is a practice drill.

    Compared to your welding rod diameter, what is the width of your bead? (i.e.:same size, smaller, wider,etc)
    A bit wider

    On to controlling distortion and making it work for you rather than against you.
    I'm laying up bead after bead of weld, the metal gets HOT so I dunk it in a bucket of water. I had a 5 gallon bucket that was almost to the boiling point today, that water was HOT! The point of doing this exercise is to get more time on the stick, practice holding a consistent distance from the plate, learning to watch the puddle, restarting a bead halfway, etc, it is NOT to weld anything, just to run bead. I'm sure the plate is taco shaped because I was just pouring heat into one side and then quenching it, not good for welds, but good for practicing.

    Are you chipping each pass before running the next one?
    Yes, but the slag is coming off mostly on it's own, like this...


    Then I run a wire brush over the edge of the bead so I can run a new bead two thirds on top of the last bead.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    S E Washington State
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    3,777
    Good welding does take a lot of practice. I wish I could get beads like that, but I never practice. When I need good welding done I take it to my brother-in-law!
    "We the People ......"

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Location
    DSM, IA
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    Stu, I have a big desire to learn to weld well. My dad gave my brother and I a crash course when we were in high school with a stick welder and I've used one a couple times since. My dad recently picked up a wire fed welder and I hope to play around with it soon.

    BTW, that "taco" looks really cool to me. I'd weld a couple post to the bottom, make a wooden stand for it and put it on a shelf.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


  7. #7
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    Put it on a wood pole and call it art!!
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  8. #8
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    Looking good. Next try welding in from each corner at a diagonal to get a won-ton.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word boo. Robert Brault

  9. #9
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    Stu, the pad weld is actually what blacksmiths and weldors used to do to plow shares and other wear bars in equipment. Using a hard surface welding rod, built up the piece of metal back to the original thickness. Your bead should be equal to one and one half of the welding rod diameter used. The crescent shape is the hardest movement to keep consistent and is the easiest motion to change from. The pad you are welding, what you should end up with is a flat top. Not looking like waves, so doing the crescent shape you can keep the top flat. Why dunk each time? For instance, if your first weld to get penetration you have to set your welder at 175, by not dunking the metal for the second pass you have preheated your metal. Probably won't be a factor until you get to bead 4 or 5, then instead of quenching the coupon, turn your welder down and continue on. Kind of like preheating an oven. Farther you go, you can continue the same amount of penetration with less heat due to the metal being "pre heated".
    This is one of my students in Welding two assignment. They have to weld three complete layers and depending on the thickness of the metal and the diameter of the rods we are using, they have to work towards a specific thickness without grinding. Each layer is 90 degrees from the previous layer. What happens to them, divots in the first layer become huge holes in the end of they don't compensate with their hand speed and anticipation of the problem.

    Are you using an E6013 welding rod? Here in the US, welding rods are stamped near the bare electrode end.
    What does the bottom of the metal look like after a pass (heat line? penetration distortion?)

    Let me know if my questions are bothering you.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Shively View Post
    Stu, the pad weld is actually what blacksmiths and weldors used to do to plow shares and other wear bars in equipment. Using a hard surface welding rod, built up the piece of metal back to the original thickness. Your bead should be equal to one and one half of the welding rod diameter used. The crescent shape is the hardest movement to keep consistent and is the easiest motion to change from. The pad you are welding, what you should end up with is a flat top. Not looking like waves, so doing the crescent shape you can keep the top flat. Why dunk each time? For instance, if your first weld to get penetration you have to set your welder at 175, by not dunking the metal for the second pass you have preheated your metal. Probably won't be a factor until you get to bead 4 or 5, then instead of quenching the coupon, turn your welder down and continue on. Kind of like preheating an oven. Farther you go, you can continue the same amount of penetration with less heat due to the metal being "pre heated".
    This is one of my students in Welding two assignment. They have to weld three complete layers and depending on the thickness of the metal and the diameter of the rods we are using, they have to work towards a specific thickness without grinding. Each layer is 90 degrees from the previous layer. What happens to them, divots in the first layer become huge holes in the end of they don't compensate with their hand speed and anticipation of the problem.

    Are you using an E6013 welding rod? Here in the US, welding rods are stamped near the bare electrode end.
    What does the bottom of the metal look like after a pass (heat line? penetration distortion?)

    Let me know if my questions are bothering you.
    Bothering me?

    You are kidding right?

    THANK YOU for taking the time to explain and teach, I'm writing this stuff down and will try to do as you are instructing
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

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