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Obviously he knows a 6010 rod would be much more useful on an open root and when using 7018 a backing plate is normally used. I am currently taking my a level in bc and we are doing open roots single V bevel 4 inch pipe in 2g 5g and 6g all 9018 yes all 9018 ROOT to CAP 9018 and this is what me must use to pass test. I have been working on this for awhile and ive found running a 3/32 - 1/8 land and a 1/8 gap works best (open up that 3/32 gap) using 3/32 9018 electrodes.. you want electrode a little smaller than gap due to high amount of flux on 18 series rods switching to electrode negative will also help. for 5g shed 80 4" pipe i run about 70 amps DCEN with my arc force set high enough so it wont stick , roughly 60-65 and keep very tight arc if it keyholes it will not work out well for you, i also slighty rotate my hand back and forth to help burn flux away evenly. For overhead sections i use about a 30% drag to throw metal up there, vert your gunna want to be straight if not pushing up a bit and flat depending on fit up at shrinkage ect i drag about 10 %my test last week was a flat and overhead open root on 3/8s plate like yours with 12 coupons total and i managed to pass all bends and nick breaks
I've done this pipe test a few times and only seen it actually used in plants that have banned 6010 rods (and similar). The best I can tell you is play with your land and Gap and find what works for you. I found even 3/32 land and Gap worked for me. No pushing the rod and no dragging just straight 90 degrees. A lower heat setting and fit up is key! This is what I found for the 6g pipe test. Honestly your just gonna have to play with it. Watch what works for other guys and try it yourself. If it works keep it if not try something else. And I don't keyhole personally. Good luck