Q. What’s the best type of welding machine for all-around use?
A. Usually a welder equipped with an AC/DC output (either gas or electric). The advantages of a DC welder over AC are easier starting, less outages, less sticking, less spatter, better looking welds, easier to weld on a vertical/overhead, generally smoother arc.
Q. Are there any advantages of an AC output welding machine?
A. If you’re looking to weld materials that are magnetized by friction AC is a better choice. (These could be steel parts in contact with hay, water or feed that constantly rub) In this type of situation the friction will cause “arc blow” where your filler material will be blow out of the weld. AC alternates between polarities, thus enabling it to weld magnetized parts.
Q. What size of welding machine is appropriate?
A. For the average person a 225 to 300 amp welding machine should be able to handle most jobs. If you’re looking to weld materials over 3/8 inch you can consider making multiple passes to get the job done.
Q. What exactly is “duty cycle?”
A. Duty Cycle is how many minutes out of ten minutes a welding machine can operate. For example: A 20% welding cycle would mean that machine can weld continuously for two minutes before it must cool for eight. The duty cycle is directly impacted by amperage. When welding at lower amperages you can weld for longer, thus increasing your duty cycle.
Q. What kinds of welding rods are best for Hardfacing?
A. Hardfacing rods offer impact and abrasion resistance. The type of rod you’ll need depends on the type of aggregate/soil in your area so take a minute or two to talk to a welding expert in your area!
Q. What kind of rod is best for general steel work?
A. Typical electrodes that perform well for all-purpose welding include: 6010, 6011, 6013, 7018 and 7024. Each has its own specific characteristics but all will perform reasonably well in general welding applications.
Q. Is it necessary to clean a work piece before welding?
A. Stick welding is a lot more tolerant of less than clean situations. However, it is always advisable to do a little cleaning with a wire brush before you start your weld. Brushing or a light grinding will ensure that your weld has optimal surface areas to weld to. Proper cleaning and prep will increase the quality of your weld.
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