Structural stick welding fun

25Mar10

So for the last near four weeks I have been working on structural stick welding in the 2, 3, 4, and 6G positions with plate in 3/8 and 1 inch thick plates with 45 degree total bevel.  The 3/8 plates were easier to do though since this is advanced stick welding I did overhead for the first time because I never finished the basic stick book and I have to say that my overhead came out really good.  The longest parts of the process with the one inch thick plates was having to cut prep stack and tack together 2 3/8 plates with a 1/4 inch plate on each side and a 1/4 inch backing strip, doing this would take about an hour to two depending on how well the band saw actually cut the plates.  One of the problems that I have had to deal with on the 1 inch plate has been arc blow which I never experienced before on any other type of welding but I was able to cure the problem only after going through it for one plate and a week and half by moving the ground clamp to the work piece.  What lead to the problems with arc blow was the addition of a new welding jig to the table made of 8 inch, 6 inch, and 4 inch pipe replacing an older and less stable and heavily damaged jig and for some reason the pipe seems to be playing havoc with the current flow through the table.

Another problem I had to deal with was really thick slag which was so thick that I had to use a pick to get it out of some spots and had to beat the heck out of the beads overall to get it clean.  Ultimately the thick slag was corrected by cutting down the heat from 120 to 110 but only after taking it all the way up to 150 which is what the parameters called for in the hobart book.  At this point I’m working on my vertical up doing the Z weave and I’m really happy with it as vertical has been my arch nemesis with the only weave I have been able to do being the ladder or open box weave.  Getting the arc blow and the Z weave down and a correct work angle I have been able to avoid having to grind out any more beads to clean out slag which let me tell you if you have to do it four times on a piece you’ll get it figured out real fast so learn from your mistakes.

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