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6013 on Aluminized Steel

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  • 6013 on Aluminized Steel

    Howdy, first post here. I have been using the Miller Site and forum as a resource for quite a while. I'm new here but I'm definitely glad to be here! Obligatory words out of the way...

    I am building a custom exhaust for my project car and I'm planning to do it mostly with stick. I picked up a used Thunderbolt XL earlier this year and I've been practicing quite a bit on scrap tubing but I'm still very much a beginner. I'll just say I built a similar exhaust a year ago and did the whole thing with oxy-acetylene and got decent results but I'm trying to learn stick a little better and not use quite as much heat as the torch!

    Vitals on my project: 16 ga. and 14 ga. aluminized steel tubing (2.25"), 1/16" 6013 (Lincoln FW 37) @ 30-40 Amps; 409SS mufflers and cat, plan to use 309L

    I've spent hours searching and reading everyone's opinions on 6013 and aluminized steel, and they run the gamut. Some hate 6013 and some use it almost exclusively with good results. Some weld aluminized as-is while others grind the coating off at the joint.

    Nevertheless, I'm looking for a little more guidance or opinions, anyways, on how best to do these welds. All the aluminized-to-aluminized are butt welds and the aluminized to 409 are all laps.

    I have been doing all my practice welds without grinding the aluminum off and running the electrodes downhand @ about 33 amps DCEN on my better welds with slight to no weave. I chose 1/16" 6013 because everything I've read said it's the choice for sheet metal due to low penetration. I feel like I've got it pretty much dialed-in and I'm getting pretty good beads (for me) and good penetration and I'm not blowing through the pipe... as long as I have perfect fit up.

    Main concerns are: My slag isn't coming off real nice - is that normal for this situation or is it due to the aluminized (oxides contaminating the weld)? Is there a better 1/16" electrode to be using on this pipe? And last but not least, of course, would you expect significantly better results with the aluminum removed around the joint?

    Thanks for listening!
    -wes

  • #2
    I'd prefer MIG for that, but since you don't have it, and you seem to be comfortable with stick, just go for it. The aluminum coating is so thin it won't make a bit of difference to your weld. For the slag to come off easier you need to run it hotter. I'd keep it where you are successful at it and just use a wire wheel to clean the welds off.

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    • #3
      You might actually find it easier with larger electrode, that is so tiny I would need binoculars to see it at arms length. Bigger wire fills across gaps easier.

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      • #4
        Ok, staying with stick.

        Originally posted by walker View Post
        I'd prefer MIG for that, but since you don't have it, and you seem to be comfortable with stick, just go for it. The aluminum coating is so thin it won't make a bit of difference to your weld. For the slag to come off easier you need to run it hotter. I'd keep it where you are successful at it and just use a wire wheel to clean the welds off.
        I used a wire brush - by hand - after chipping the slag and gave me a pretty good look at what I came out with, pretty clean really. So, yeah, I'll stick with it for now. (seriously, that pun was unintentional)
        I figured running it hotter would help with the slag, but I'm finding I can't run it much hotter or I start to go through, but as you said, no big deal.

        Originally posted by Sberry View Post
        You might actually find it easier with larger electrode, that is so tiny I would need binoculars to see it at arms length. Bigger wire fills across gaps easier.
        I also have tried with 1/8" 6011 which was sort of a disaster. It welded, but it was not pretty and I was burning through till I had to turn the power down to where I couldn't start the arc.

        I could try with some 3/32" - might do that. As long as I'm going electrode shopping, anything other than 6013 I should look at? I don't think the 6011 is the way to go here...

        Thanks, I appreciate it guys. Recognize your names from some of what I've already read.

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        • #5
          You are ok with the size electrode for that job, all position butt welds, you will be better served with 6011, with is a fast freeze electrode where as the 6013 is leaning to the fast fill group, which means, there is a small amount of iron powder in the flux, used to increase the amount of deposited metal, but with this, the fast fill rods are designed for the flat position, the 6011, being a fast freeze, will solidify very quickly making out of position welding a much easier task. Also with a fast freeze rod, the cleaning of the aluminum can be welded as is. I know some one will bark up, i can run 6013 uphill, that is not the point, this poster is just learning, he is having issues with trapped flux, which is common with fast fill rods..... Use 6011 or 6010, it looks a little rougher but will give you better results, then next time around, get a mig.

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          • #6
            Forgot to mention, 6010 and 6011 use a whipping technique

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            • #7
              @ kevin

              Originally posted by kevin View Post
              You are ok with the size electrode for that job, all position butt welds, you will be better served with 6011, with is a fast freeze electrode where as the 6013 is leaning to the fast fill group, which means, there is a small amount of iron powder in the flux, used to increase the amount of deposited metal, but with this, the fast fill rods are designed for the flat position, the 6011, being a fast freeze, will solidify very quickly making out of position welding a much easier task. Also with a fast freeze rod, the cleaning of the aluminum can be welded as is. I know some one will bark up, i can run 6013 uphill, that is not the point, this poster is just learning, he is having issues with trapped flux, which is common with fast fill rods..... Use 6011 or 6010, it looks a little rougher but will give you better results, then next time around, get a mig.
              Right, I've noticed that the 6013 has about 10-15% iron powder... that must be what holds the extra heat making them not fast freezing. I do get quite a bit of filler (probably more than needed) when I use the 6013. I guess I've always wondered why 6010 & 6011 are fast freezing - maybe the absence if iron powder in the flux, and probably the alloy they are too. But why wouldn't 7018 be fast freeze (doesn't have extra iron?)... Anyway.

              I think I can find some smaller 6010/11 rods to try out. After reading the Lincoln catalog again, I can see how they might make sense for my situation. I guess I've shied away from them because I've always been worried that the deep penetration characteristics would blow through my pipe. I'll try them with the weave (saw your other post) and see.
              Thanks again.

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              • #8
                You will not be able to weave this rod here, its whip and for 14 ga and 16 we wouldn't even bother dropping from 1/8 with 6011,, maybe if I was running it all day for some special reason but those tiny rods add to the difficulty. I remember when the economy was in the tank back in the day took a sheet metal test, 20ga galv with 3/32 6011 running DCRP, I don't recall the reason they didn't even change polarity.

                This winter if I get a chance am going to stick my head in the booth and run some for pics of these common joints that are routine questions on the forums. Many are trying to make up for poor technique with small electrodes and low currents, no matter how hard they try its not going to get much better.

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                • #9
                  6013 on Aluminized Steel

                  Lincoln has a 5/64 6013 electrode which worked decent for my exhaust

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                  • #10
                    @ Sberry

                    Originally posted by Sberry View Post
                    You will not be able to weave this rod here, its whip and for 14 ga and 16 we wouldn't even bother dropping from 1/8 with 6011,, maybe if I was running it all day for some special reason but those tiny rods add to the difficulty. I remember when the economy was in the tank back in the day took a sheet metal test, 20ga galv with 3/32 6011 running DCRP, I don't recall the reason they didn't even change polarity.
                    Yep, I meant "whip" not weave, in response to kevin. It was late.

                    Originally posted by Sberry View Post
                    This winter if I get a chance am going to stick my head in the booth and run some for pics of these common joints that are routine questions on the forums. Many are trying to make up for poor technique with small electrodes and low currents, no matter how hard they try its not going to get much better.
                    That's a good idea, the questions do come up alot. By the way, I'm not trying to make up for poor technique with the low amps and diameter - I'm just a beginner, as I stated. I think we all know that low current and smaller electrodes are easier for a beginner to manipulate. You might tell me to learn on a larger rod because I'll learn faster but, I assure you, by choosing to practice on thin gauge pipe it is plenty challenging.
                    Besides that, our machines go down to 20 or 30 amps for a reason, they make 1/16" electrodes for a reason. I'm just sayin'. You don't water your petunias with a fire hose, do you?

                    Originally posted by bills53
                    Lincoln has a 5/64 6013 electrode which worked decent for my exhaust
                    Cool. Yeah, that's just 1/64" bigger than the Lincoln 6013 I have been using. Is your exhaust aluminized? Were you doing mostly butt welds or lap joints?

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                    • #11
                      6013 on Aluminized Steel

                      No it wasnt aluminized but mainly butt welds. I didnt try the 1/16 rod though

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                      • #12
                        $.02

                        Originally posted by Wes C View Post


                        By the way, I'm not trying to make up for poor technique with the low amps and diameter - I'm just a beginner, as I stated. I think we all know that low current and smaller electrodes are easier for a beginner to manipulate. You might tell me to learn on a larger rod because I'll learn faster but, I assure you, by choosing to practice on thin gauge pipe it is plenty challenging.
                        Besides that, our machines go down to 20 or 30 amps for a reason, they make 1/16" electrodes for a reason.
                        I don't think sberry meant to offend with the "poor technique" comment. beginner=poor technique. Once you have the technique mastered (some of us never do)your not a beginner any more. You may not be an expert yet but your not a beginner any more. As for the ease of use of smaller electrodes being easier to learn, I beg to differ. Those tiny electrodes have a whole range of difficulties that seem to disappear around 1/8"(the opinions of others may differ). The up side is if you learn to weld with those little guys the bigger stuff will be a breeze.
                        The 20 or 30 amp settings on stick welders imho is to satisfy some interior decorator's need for balance. haha.
                        Just curious, if your going to all the trouble to make a custom exhaust system for your project car why not go all stainless?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Its so challenging that it will be difficult to learn. As you stated you were a beginner, this is why poor technique is likely the culprit, over the years have seen this more than once. My Dad used to have the thing set 30A too low to try to make up for this, its just something there is no way to adjust around, once you get it there will be an ah ha moment or 2, its something so much easier mastered with some competent instruction, may never be grasped with trial and error no how much practice one does. Out of the countless welders I have ran in to only a number I might be able to count on fingers that have become real proficient thru the self learning route,,, hence the welding schools are still in biz, some young guys with little real experience have become the best thru schools or had excellent mentors. Have seen guys with 30 yrs under their belts still don't have it right.

                          I rarely stray far from the settings the electrode runs well at even when going to thin metals, maybe reach over and deduct 5 a on a 1/8 6011 but thats about it, you can change the penetration characteristics by manipulation and iisn'tnt sticking,,, preventing good starts, too low and a guy gets a booger or by the time he gets going burns a hole in it.

                          As for them making these rods, yes there is a reason. There may be legitimate places for them with professionals but mainly are made because someone will buy them. The drywall stud guy uses 1/8, I got a few around but they gather dust while they age, ran a couple from a box and its the last time I use them.

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                          • #14
                            This is not meant to be insulting but the fact you are a beginner and having trouble suggests poor technique, no other reason it shouldnt work especially on that thickness of material, actually 14 and 16 isnt all that light.

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                            • #15
                              @ Sberry I hear ya!

                              Originally posted by Sberry View Post
                              This is not meant to be insulting but the fact you are a beginner and having trouble suggests poor technique, no other reason it shouldnt work especially on that thickness of material, actually 14 and 16 isnt all that light.
                              I know you're not trying to insult. Things look pretty complex on the beginner's side of the fence!
                              From a sheet metal perspective, yeah 16 ga isn't really light. As I get better with my fit-up, I find that I can getter better results in the higher current range (for the 1/16" I've been using) say around 40-45 amps. I would imagine that, as my technique improves (mainly keeping my angle and gap working on small diameter - for me - 2.25" pipe, I'll have an easier time manipulating a larger rod.

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