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Mark J.
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2,251 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up this Lincoln tombstone welder this past summer. With the shop finally cleaned up, insulated, wiring, and heated I decided to finally give it a try. I bought some welding rod (6011) and did some practice runs on a scrap piece of metal. I haven't used a stick welder in over 25 years. My main welder has always been my Millermatic 110 volt 135. It works great for thin metal but I needed something that would do thicker metal. I started off at 75 amps, bumped it to 90, and then back down to 75. I am far from being a good welder but practice did help me figure out how to get my arc started and how fast I need to move it. I suck at straight lines and hope to improve my technique with more practice and more projects.

Have a laugh and enjoy the pictures!!

Tire Water Automotive tire Wood Road surface
Wood Automotive tire Wall Bumper Metal
Hand tool Wood Gas Tool Metalworking hand tool
Font Wood Gas Publication Signage


Motor vehicle Red Gas Automotive exterior Machine
Motor vehicle Gas Auto part Electrical wiring Audio equipment
 

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Super Moderator
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54,600 Posts
I have an 'old' round top tombstone that my Dad had. Don't have 220V to use it. Doubt my welds would be much better than yours. I've been able to weld 1/2" together with my little 100v mig. Just have to bevel it good and fill that in.
 

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Hangin' with the cool kids
Ontario, Canada
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2,549 Posts
My old arc welder that I picked up for $75 at a garage sale many years ago has served me well. Turns out, it has a tag from a Winchester gun factory. Anyways, your welds will get better with practice. Mine look no hell either, but usually hold pretty good.
 

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10,143 Posts
I've had my Lincoln(we call them "buzz boxes" around here) for 35+ years. It is simple and reliable. My Lincoln dealer told me to use 1/8" 7018AC rod for my work and to grind all joints reall clean first. That advice has worked well for me. The "AC" rods are for alternating current and work better with buzz boxes than regular rod which is for Direct Current. I have several other Lincoln welders but when I can I use the buzz box. Prepare, position, and practice. Good Luck, Rick

BTW Many of those welds look too cold. Up the amperage and move alittle faster. Rod tip movement pattern is important too.
 

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A Little Off Plumb
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8,427 Posts
I have found that welding takes practice and patience to get good at it and if you don't do it on a regular basis it takes a few welds to get the "feel" back. No shame in learning - we all had to (and still have to). I find it is much easier to weld with a DC welder since the voltage and current is constant. Something to remember with using an AC machine is that the voltage is constantly changing and there are actually two points of each AC cycle where the voltage is actually 0 - you probably already know this but I thought I would mention it as, with most things, understanding how the welder functions helps with learning how to use it. As boyscout862 mentioned - the cleaner the metal the easier it is to weld it.
 

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Like boyscout siad - use AC welding rod in 1/8" for 95% of your work. Turn the heat up to 90 to start with. Looks to me like the weld is laying on top and not penetrating. When you stop welding flip the piece over and it should be red hot on the back side. I have one of those welders I bought about 18 years ago. My go to welder - except for lit tin type work. Then use the HF 110 v wire welder. Does a lot of splattering but grind of easy enough.
 

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I have the AC/DC version of that welder, I can use either DC+, DC- or AC polarity, there are MANY welding rods available, and most are polartty sensitive, like a regular 7018 won't work on AC, netiher will a 6010..... 6011 is the same thing for AC..... when welding something thick and heavy you want to start with something like a 6010/6011 as it is a deep penetration rod, then cover with a 7018 which is easier to run, has a bead that "looks" better and is a "medium penetration" rod.

6013 is ok for thinner stuff, it penetrates less. some rods are more susceptible to going bad from moisture from laying around the garage, so buy in smaller quantities unless you have a "welding rod oven".... to keep them dried out. and no, once they have drawn moisture into the flux coating, they usually can't be "dried out" and "saved"..... I have a couple of 50-lb boxes of various weld rod that I probably will never use up......

also consider the thickness of the electrode, most have a wide range of sizes available.... fatter versions of the same rod take more juice.... you wouldn't want to use a 3/16" rod on something that's only 1/8" thick..... LOTS to know almost too much to do it right.... I have forgotten more than not, often have to look things up or call a buddy who is a welding teacher and ask what polarity, which rod and such for a given application. I don't weld much like I used to, and it is very much a "use it or lose it" skill..... but when I do weld, I run my Millermatic 185 more than anything..... but I got my tombstone welder from my Dad for my 18th birthday (I'm 50 now) so that machine is not going anywhere.
 

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Mark J.
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2,251 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow! What a response!

I want to thank everyone for the valuable information and knowledge that you shared with me. I will be using it to improve my limited welding skills!

One thing is for sure. I need to buy a much better welding helmet. My HF auto shade is not giving me very good optics plus I had a cataract in my left eye that needs to be dealt with. I was told the Lincoln Viking with 4C technology is one of the best you can buy. They're not cheap so I need to save up some money.

One thing I forgot about stick welding is the amount of smoke that's produced! After burning through a couple of rods my shop looked like I had been burning leaves inside. I quickly fixed that by opening up both ends of the shop but that also made it cool down quickly.
 

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Homelite Owner Extraordinaire
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3,174 Posts
I did quite a bit of welding while I was in school, however that was a very, very long time ago. I do have a cheap welder from then, Farm and Fleet, , it seems to work well but my welds are nothing to write home about. Looks like you are doing well and they will get better as you go along. Thanks for the story and sharing.

Roger
 

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I picked my tumbstone out of a dumpster in 1990 or so. They are about indestructible. When I started welding classes they gave me three pieces of steel. I don't remember the thickness, it dosn't matter much just so you don't burn through. One piece was 4" wide the other two were 2" wide. All three were 12" long. I was given a hand full of 1/8 6010 rod, shown how to set a DC machine to weld with it and told to tack the three plates together so that viewed from the end it looked like an x. Now with the x on the bench weld in the v provided by the top of the x. The instructor would come by to see how you are doing. When he approved of the look of your weld there was a vertical pipe to hold with another face of your X presented in a horizontal plane so you are looking at it from the side. Now you start welding horizontal until you make it look as good as it did when welding flat on the bench. When your flat and horizontal match you move the X up the post and start welding the bottom of the X. Suddenly the leather jacket becomes much more important. This is overhead welding. When you get the overhead to look like the flat you are ready to try the challenging part. Stand the X on end and start on the last side vertically. When your vertical looks as good as your flat you have a good start at learning to weld. Now you get to do the same positions with 1/8 7018. About the time you have turned your X into a 4" square bar you are ready to take a welding test to see if you have learned. By now you should have the hand eye coordination to accomplish an x ray quality weld with most welding processes and it is just a matter of developing your technique and learning the relevant metallurgy. I welded professionally for 25 years, when I retired I was certified for welding high pressure steam tube to 6" diameter. And I had met many people who made me look like an novice. If someone says they can do better tell them "Show me". If they shut up you don't have to listen to them. If they show you may be you learn something.Either way you win. Don.
 

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Mark J.
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Great story Don! Thanks for sharing that! It made me laugh and think!
 

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Went back and looked at your weld pictures and have suggestions. If you make a v to weld in it gives you a clear straight line to follow this alone will improve the look of the weld and give you one less thing to think about. Now strike an arc and develop a puddle. When you can see your puddle of molten metal move the rod forward and lengthen the arc distance slightly you should be able to see the puddle solidify. Now move the rod back to a point slightly ahead of the first puddle and develop another about 1/64" ahead of the first puddle, rinse and repeat. Understand that the forward and back oscillation of the rod is what determines the the shape size and spacing of the solidified puddles. Consistent movement is key to a consistent weld. This applies to 6010 or 6011 rod. 7018 rod requires a different technique. If you try this with 6013 rod your weld will look like bird droppings and have about equal adhesive qualities. And remember SMOKE BAD, BREATHING IMPORTANT. Don
 

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Mark J.
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2,251 Posts
I did some more practice tonight on the Lincoln. I turned up the amps to 90 from 75. That really seemed to make a difference on my pool of metal. I also practiced moving the welding rod in and out of the pool. Tell me what you think.

Last night

Wood Automotive tire Wall Bumper Metal


Early runs tonight

Automotive tire Wood Bedrock Soil Concrete


Last 2 runs

Water Liquid Wood Automotive tire Asphalt
Liquid Wood Terrestrial animal Water Soil


This is what happens when the guard keeps the rod from getting to close to the metal. The arc gets longer and makes a mess of the pool.

Brown Liquid Wood Fluid Water
 

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I don't know what guard you are talking about getting in the way. The beads labeled "last 2 runs" look like you are starting to get control of the puddle. What you need to do is to establish a straight line and try to follow it with your bead. After you have a straight bead several inches long you can go back and try to lay another bead using the edge of the first bead as a line for the center of the second bead. Using this method you can step across the plate until you have covered the face of the plate with beads. Following a straight line makes it much easier to maintain consistency of bead width and puddle spacing. I worked with a man who could lay a 6010 bead that looked like a stack of dimes that had been pushed over sideways. And he would do it in any and all positions. My eyes were never that good. Practice is a good thing. Summer is a good time for practice, when keep the doors and windows all open and a fan going. Smoke Bad. Don
 
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