What is the proper welding rod to use?

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by ronn1234, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. ronn1234

    ronn1234 Newbie

    Hello all,

        First off this is my first post on this forum i bow [​IMG]  to the masters haha.  So here is my situation i am in the process of building my new smoker.  First about the smoker it is going to be 66" long and 30" in diameter. The fire box is 26" long and 30" in diameter.  It is built out of 1/4" pipe with 1/4" side plate, it will be a reverse flow with a 1/4" thick plate vee'd so the juices run to the center down to the opposite end of the fire box.  this smoker will be on large wheels and will be a backyard smoker for now with plans in the future of putting it on a trailer.  I am currently cutting out the end caps for the smoker chamber and the fire box and getting ready to cut the doors.  

      My question is given my current purpose (backyard) and potential future use (Trailer-ed pit) I was looking for advice on which welding rods to use.  Right now the plan is to use E6011 to spot weld about every 6-10 inches on the inner joints,  since this would not provide a pretty weld on the outside.  These spot welds will be primary for strength.  On the outer side of the joints my plan is to weld with E6013, for that pretty smooth finished look.

    I am assuming that using E6011 for the backyard pit would be over kill and that using E6013 would be sufficient for the whole build would this assumption be correct?

    I could always weld the rolling frame and weld that to the smoking chamber with E6011 as well?

    Now given that I may be putting this pit on a trailer in the future, should I just do as I posted in my plan above with inner spot welds using E6011 and outer E6013 Or should I weld fully inner with 6011 and outer with E6013 I'm gona use the 6013 on the outer either way because i don't want any joints visible.

    I have a Hobart Stickmate LX 230 amp AC welder so i can pretty much weld it however it needs to be done.

    I would appreciate any and all ideas.

    Thanks, Ron
  2. Hello Ron.  Welcome.  I see this is your first post.  Please take some time and swing over to Roll Call and introduce yourself so that we may give you a proper "Hello".  All info you can provide us with such as smoker type, location and so on will help us answer any questions you may have.  As for your question:  Here is my opinion for what it is worth: PLEASE forgive me if it sounds I am talking down to you, it is not my intention but you gave us your plan but you didn't give us your welding experience.  I was an oilfield pipe welder for almost 20 years back in Tx.  The first answer is that both rods have the same tensile strength, 60,00 lbs when properly stress relieved.  The 11 and 13 have to do with positions the rod can be used in and the coating on the rod.  So the 2nd answer is use what you like assuming you can handle both rods.

    Now on a personal level, I would not use 6013 to tack anything, it's a pain in places you don't need a pain, gotta keep knocking the flux off.  In short, I HATE 6013!!!!!!  For using 6013 the metal must be almost pristine and the weld position must be exact, IMHO.  If you can deal with beating flux off your welds for an hour and dealing with all the pinholes; OR if you know a trick I don't then go for it.  Also MANY folks will tell you that 7018 can not be run downhill.  It CAN.  It won't pass x-ray but the strength will still be there.  And you can run 11018 downhill ( 110,00 tensile strength used for things like welding railroad rails for making cattle guards and such ).  I worked for an old blacksmith/welder for about a year.  I can tell you you CAN run 7018 down hill. Also, IF you can lay down a bead of 6011 that looks like a stack of dimes spread out evenly, that is an IMPRESSIVE display of your welding skills.  You also have the option of using 7018 if you want that smooth weld look on the out side and I think it can look better and be easier to weld.  THEN since you are using AC, you can get a great looking weld with 7024 jet rod; but that one is a B**** to run if you have never used it; it doesn't do uphill or downhill well.  Sorry I rambled on.  Hope this helps.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

  3. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    my choice would be the 7018, 3/32" ... (all around)... get heat just right and the flux will peel off by itself... but that's just me ....
  4. ronn1234

    ronn1234 Newbie

    Thanks for the reply, no worries I am really a hobbyist at welding.  But I am a sponge and I am here to accept and learn as much as I can [​IMG].  I can lay a nice bead "imo" of 6013 and my 6011 skills are ehhhh not so much (but getting allot better) that is my reason for using the 6011 on the inside where it can't be seen [​IMG]  just for the strength/penetration.

    The plan was to run full beads of 6013 on visible welds and tack inside with 6011.  So in your opinion would I be able to do away with the 6011/6013 completely and just use 7018 ac rods? With the 7018 would it be critical for me to keep them in an oven as this is not possible for me.   

    My concern is the fact that I plan to put it on a trailer in the future and I don't want the welds to break if the trailer bounces LOL.    
  5. ronn1234

    ronn1234 Newbie

    So a question then how clean does the metal have to be for 7018 i have a wire wheel and a flapper wheel. Does it have to be super shinny or just knock the top layer of rust off.  The material has recently been sandblasted to bare metal and just has surface rust. 
  6. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    the 7018's have a stronger tinsel strength than the 6011's.. as for a humidor to keep them in... just build a wood box with a door and put a small (40w) light bulb in it... that will keep them nice and dry ... since it's been sandblasted already just clean the surface rust off with the flapper wheel... this is just my opinion .... others will have their own.. which is why we are all here.. to get everybody's opinion and then go with the one you feel most comfortable with ...
  7. ronn1234

    ronn1234 Newbie

    So what amps would you try to run a 7018 3/32 rod at?
  8. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    tell ya the truth.. I really don't even look at the numbers... I just play with the heat until I feel it's right... let me also say.. i am just a rookie welder as well ...
  9. Hello Ron.  IMHO tack with 6011 and use inside, then weld with 7018 outside.  7018 has the same problems as 6013 when used for tacking, gotta knock the slag off and then get it to strike for a tack.  Don't try to fill gaps with 7018 unless you are confident using it.  Fill any gaps with 6011 and then use 7018 if you want a "smooth" outer weld.  Heating the rods is no problem as you can use you oven but not necessary as you are not doing x-ray quality welds. The area will need to be a cleaner surface if using 6013 than if using 7018 IMHO.  HEY!! IF  you can make 6013 work for for you you then by all means us it.  I personally think it's a waste of time but that is my personal opinion.  Now for your concerns:  the trailer mount;  The 6011/13 will be fine for the trailer build IF your welding skills are up to it.  AGAIN!  I mean NO disrespect but ( PLEASE forgive me ) IF the welding skills aren't there then the choice of rod doesn't make much difference.  Just as an example: I was an oilfield pipe welder, I built a christmas tree stand 1 year.  Now everything I welded had to pass an x-ray and had a 20,000 psi working pressure ( I maintained a 98 percent sucess rate ).  I welded the stand and also had a bottom to hold water.  I rushed through it and when I filled it with water the bottom leaked!!  NO PROBLEM!!  SEAL IT WITH BUBBLE GUM!!  WELDER MY FOOT!!!!  It took a long time to live that one down.  Good luck

  10. Hello Ron.  I just saw your temp question.  MAN!  That one is tuff.  I would use 1/8th but I totally understand why 3/32" was recommended.  Goes back to experience.  Flat? Downhill? Uphill? Experience?

    Get some scrap steel and "play" with it.  I would give you temps hotter than a novice might give you.  My advice is "play" with it BEFORE you start on the smoker.  Use the 6011 for tacking IMHO and ANY interior welding.  Just saying.

  11. ronn1234

    ronn1234 Newbie

    Roger that thanks for all the good info, just to clarify i would not ever attempt to weld a trailer EVER!!! LOL. What I am trying to say is that eventually the smoker will be mounted on a manufactured trailer :).  I think i'm going to try the 7018 AC rods that sounds like a better fit. I appreciate your advice I am merely a novice backyard welder lol that is probably giving me to much credit.  I just want to make it solid enough that it is not going to fall apart on me while smoking dinner and will stand the test of time.    
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    JET RODs!!!!!!! Fill that crack up in a hurry!
  13. maple sticks

    maple sticks Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Ronn1234, 6011 is used more for cleaning and tacking steel. It can and is used for welding sheet steel. It generally splatters a lot and has a rougher weld finish. When using it you pull your arc ahead of your weld puddle (just a little) to pre melt and clean the steel then back into the weld puddle. Your arc is moving forward and backwards as you weld along. If done right it will give you a rippled weld. When using 7018 whip your arc from side to side just a little staying on the front edge of your weld puddle as though your pulling it along. In both cases your weld puddle is molten steel and will run in any direction gravity can pull it. That is why you never weld down. Your molten steel puddle will run down hill and get ahead of your arc into cold steel causing a cold weld. 7018 is even worse running down hill as the heavy flux also runs and gets into the arc causing impurities in the weld such as flux. When tacking with 6011 run the welder hotter than when trying to run a bead as the steel needs heat to melt and your not applying it long enough to get the job done.

    As to setting the welding machine I could have two welders of the same manufacturer and half to set them at different settings. It could be determined by the amount of welding lead you have. Best is to read the box the rods come in and try the settings.   Practice Practice Practice

    Good luck
  14. Go with one rod, like the 7018 and get used to it is your best bet.

    I just got in the habit of always tapping the rod on the concrete to chip off the flux at the tip, kind of do it automatically now, and yes, it will burn downhill just fine, play with your amp...
  15. Use the arc force to hold your puddle in place.
  16. maple sticks

    maple sticks Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Ronn1234, Take a look at these sites. These explain about everything a beginning welder need to know except how to weld down.


  17. ronn1234

    ronn1234 Newbie

    Thanks so much for all the replies they are all very helpful MapleSticks thanks for the very detailed information and the links.  I follow exactly what you are talking about with the 6011 i have been practicing on 1/4" steel plate scrap and have went through a 5 lb box.  I don't make a perfect row of dimes but they are decent.  I am using 3/32 E6011 and my beads are averaging about 6 inches long and just a little wider than a pencil.  I have found that i like to make the bead a little wider about 1/4" so it is not such a tall bead i am not really sure what the optimum bead width is for E6011. but man it is a PITA to grind down lol.

    Would any of you happen to know what the best bead width would be to shoot for with a 3/32 rod?  
  18. 6013 will be fine for you especially if all you have is a buzz box welder. They are low penetration rods and a small enough diameter can even weld sheet metal. For something like a backyard smoker which will not have high structural stresses 6013 will work just fine. If you are building a trailer under it though you should use some 7018 on the trailer portion. That's my humble professional opinion.

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