Padding beads with 7018 and 6013 electrodes

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Padding beads is a great way to improve welding skills.

Padding beads is a common skill exercise used by welding schools because its such an efficient way to get a lot of practice while using a small amount of metal.

Its just a way to practice stacking one bead on the previous bead in such a way that leaves a very smooth surface with no lumps or valleys.

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I started the Padding with 6013 to put a border bead around the edges

I started out by welding beads around the edges with 6013 1/8 (3.2mm) at 105-110 amps on DCEN.

It helps in having a straight bead to start with so that subsequent beads will be as straight as possible.

After welding a border bead with 6013, I switched over to 1/8" (3.2mm) 7018 rods and changed polarity to DCEP electrode positive also known as reverse polarity.

I switched directions every bead.  Right to left...left to right.

I even experimented with different ways to hold the stinger.

Padding beads on Valentines Day

just for fun, I thought I would grab a piece of metal and pad some beads in the shape of a heart for valentines day.

Stacking beads is one of those skills that is a building block that can pay big dividends later on in your welding career.

whether its a buldup on a worn shaft, hardfacing on bucket teeth of an excavator, or stacking beads on a cover pass of a pipe weld...

padding beads and stacking beads uniformly is a useful and necessary skill for every welder.

Some final thoughts on stick welding with 7018

  • 7018 rods typically weld better if they are hot and fresh out of a rod oven.
  • 7018 is a low hydrogen all position rod. But in order to be low hydrogen, 7018 rods need to either be fresh out of the can...or kept in a rod oven.
  • But if  the job does NOT call for low hydrogen, 7018 left out of a rod oven is just as good as any other rod that does not require a rod oven... like 7014, 6013, 6011.
  • You only need to keep 7018 in rod oven if you need the low hydrogen properties.
  • One amp per one thousandths of electrode diameter is a great starting point for 1/8" (.125") 7018   (125 amps is a great starting point for 1/8" 7018 electrodes)
  • welding overhead with 7018 can be done using the same amperage as flat or horizontal
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