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Welding Rods

06-29-2009, 08:26 PM
I can trace some of my earlier problems with stick welding to using the wrong rod for certain jobs. Special rods have been developed for welding each type of metal as well as different thicknesses of rod for each type of weld.

I have seen statements that suggest gobbing on more weld until it doesn't crack or break, but we all have seen welds that "look right" even to a beginner. Whether it is a fillet weld or a butt weld, things such as penetration are more important than a large lump of metal over the seam.

Proper storage of rods affect weld quality as much as technique and amperage used. The attached page is a meant as a starting point for a collection of easily obtainable rods that cover a variety of situations that we are likely to encounter as a beginning welder.

The rods are obtainable from a variety of sources such as Home Depot, Lowe's, and Harbor Freight in store. Quantity and price are given as a starting point. Welding stores of course carry or can get additional types of rod.

If in doubt, you can find more detailed info on ranges of amps to use, technique, and types of metal they are best suited to by going online and looking at AWS Classifications for electrodes.

HerbD 8-)

06-29-2009, 09:25 PM
Good starting point Thanks HerbD!!!

08-02-2009, 12:17 PM
You have to keep you rods dry. Any moisture starts to break down the flux and will make them impossible to weld with. I know you can put rods in a 350 degree oven and dry them if they have slight moisture. Its amazing how much moisture is picked up from the air. I keep my rods in a air tight rod container. They also have a self life when opened and exposed to the air. I know people have used rods that have been stored in a drawer or box for years and have had no problem. If you dont use rods up quickly I would buy smaller packs. They are a little higher by the smaller packs but you can keep a couple of unopened packs longer than one larger pack open to the air.

08-02-2009, 12:22 PM
My dad has a old refrigerator with the refrigerator part disconnected and the light stuck on. It stays warm and dry inside. I am sure real rod ovens are better but it is a pretty cheap alternative and seems to work well.


08-02-2009, 04:16 PM
Yes the refrigerator idea has been around for a long time. I use to have on for just that reasion. I got rid of it because of floor space, and have been storing rods in the open air. No problems after 4 years. I wonder if the storage thing is a sales gimic???

08-02-2009, 05:12 PM
I wonder if you x-rayed the welds or did a metallurgical analysis if other things would show up. I was thinking of getting a mini fridge.

This article talks about low hydrogen rods. I guess if the rods have absorbed water then the hydrogen from the water can get in the weld metal.

Selecting Filler Metals: Low Hydrogen | Lincoln Electric (http://www.lincolnelectric.com/knowledge/articles/content/fillermetals.asp)

I wonder how much it effects things? I have a few welding books I can look into.


08-02-2009, 10:20 PM
I know that If you soak welding rods in water, you can cut with them. Although the cut is very poor.

08-08-2009, 06:03 PM
I did a little research and the moisture in the rod adds hydrogen which can cause under bead cracking and a brittle when welding high carbon steel. For mild steel it doesn't make as much difference.

I was talking to my dad and he said that in the past before he welded something critical he would put a bunch of rods on top of the wood stove. Not exactly a oven but they are getting the crap cooked out of them :)

If the plasma cutter on my welder breaks I will have to try the soaked rod. I wonder how think of a cut you can make.