Okay this is 4G SMAW on 3/8" plate. I'm running about 118 on my root pass and 124 on my hot pass. The problem I'm having is that the slag is rock solid inside the groove and it takes a solid 10 minutes of smashing a chipping hammer into it to get the slag out. I'm using Excalibur 7018s.

The beads themselves are great. Good consistency, no to minimal undercut, and good fusion. The cover pass doesn't have this problem, the slag just falls off. The welds passed the bend test with no problems.

Anyone have any idea why it is doing this or how to fix it? I've already passed the test but I'd like to know why it's acting like this inside the groove and how I could fix it for future reference.