View Full Version : AZ's welding techniques?

Ashdod Slim
12-19-2008, 08:24 AM
OK, What's the secret to Brad's ability to stick (arc, smaw, whatever) weld that thin tubing? During the community college class I took last summer I got passable at butt welding bike tubing with the fancy MIG equipment that the school owns, but didn't spend more than a day trying to duplicate my progress with the stick equipment. The conclusion I came to was that it's just really difficult. Now that I'm home with the only welder I own (a stick welder) I don't try to weld bike tubing unless I'm forced to. However I was forced to lately when my bottom bracket broke and I couldn't ride otherwise. To my surprise it wasn't that difficult! I grabbed some 7014 rod and made it happen. Now I'm perplexed. Did I improve more than I thought I did? Was I using the wrong rod in class?
So I'd like to know some of brad's insider tips. Rod choices? settings? other tricks that a beginning/ intermediate rather than total beginner might be interested in? questions you wish people would ask you? etc.
Thanks, big guy!

12-19-2008, 06:03 PM
Those 7014's sure made things easier for me.

12-19-2008, 07:13 PM
Now that I'm home with the only welder I own (a stick welder) I don't try to weld bike tubing unless I'm forced to. -Doug

You weren't forced into it. It found you. I have used the 7014 rods before with success. I'm useing the 6013 now and they seem to be working for me. Also I had to peer through BIFOCALS :rolleyes4:. It was always a crap shoot if what I was looking for was really there. A welder friend showed me some magnifiers made for his helmet. He said he couldn't weld thin SS without them. I have not tried them but I use my glasses that I use for my computer. A great view now, focal point seems better. Maybe reading glasses would be better, shorter focal point. I'll do whatever it takes to weld.

Good luck.


Radical Brad
12-19-2008, 09:54 PM
Here are ALL of my welding tricks...

1) I only use 3/32 6013 for all all welding. I own no other rods, and have never tried any other rod.

2) I only use the AC setting, and weld hot enough so that I cannot make more than 1/2 inc bead at a time. Great penetration this way.

3) I would never consider weld filler or leaving a weld that is not nice enough to paint directly. If I am not happy with my work, I grind and try again. Even on bikes I do not plan to keep. Practice makes it!

That's it, really. Even my helmet is just a $19.95 job with a scratched up number 12 lens that I have had for 20 years.

Hope my "secrets" are not too dissapointing.