1/16" welding rods are a best kept secret

On Mon Apr 28 18:22:39 2008, the following results were submitted from the "Stick welding questions" on weldingtipsandtricks.com:

HI THERE...I GOT A CLARKE 131E A/C WELDER WHICH GOES UP TO 100 AMP...I AM HAVING TROUBLE KEEPING THE ARC ...ANY IDEA'S..I HAVE USED LARGER A/C-D/C WELDERS AND I HAVE NO PROBLEM W/ D/C, I AM QUITE GOOD WITH D/C....SO YA GOT ANY HINTS FOR ME? THANKS

Answer....

I Found this review on the www.northerntool.com website: "I bought this welder to do small repairs on my trailer. Burns 1/16 welding rods very easily, however 1/8 electrode i couldn't keep an arc. This is a very good welder for learning and starting out. Would definitely recommend this."

These 120 volt buzz boxes are very dependent on where you plug them in. The instructions recommend plugging in to a 20 amp circuit. The problem is that most residential receptacles these days are 15 amp circuits.

In addition to this, if you are using any extension cord at all, that's a problem too.

I would definitely recommend going down a size in electrode. And I really like 6011 rods. They are just plain better all around rods than 6013 rods. For sheet metal, 1/16 welding rods are the ticket and if you cant keep rods lit, maybe the 1/16 welding rods are the fix. I had the same problem once with an inverter welder I bought from eBay. It worked great on a 20 amp industrial circuit and would burn a 1/8 7018 on 120 amps all day long.. and then my brother in laws mother in law need a handrail welded on her front porch. I thought, no problem but all I had was 1/8" 6010 rods. They ran fine on the 20 amp circuit. On Ma-in-laws front porch with an extension cord, I had trouble just keeping it lit and had to long arc it just to get a puddle going. leave 1/16 welding rods and visit stick welding page