mean you are feeding the rod too
fast for the current/voltage that
your machine is putting out.
• It could be a duty cycle thing.
If you’re getting a good arc for
X amount of seconds and it
goes away without you changing
the way you are welding, it
could be the machine taking a
break. Some smaller machines
have a pretty low duty cycle
and are meant more for welding
tubing and things like that
together where you are going to
have several start/stops to give
the machine some time to cool
• If the rods stick when you start,
you probably just need to practice
some more. If they stick when
you’re down the bead a ways, it’s
a feed rate/current issue.
• There are two ways to strike an
arc. The first is to lower the rod
(almost touching the plate) and
then bring it back up again
when it starts to arc. Then,
move the bead along (this way
is harder but makes a cleaner
looking start). The other is to
move the electrode almost like
its a match you are trying to
light, gently sweeping it to start
• You want to be running around
100 amps or more for 1/8” 6011.
Make sure you are using the right
amperage for the stick you have.
There are lots of charts available
• Some rods don’t like moisture and
need to be kept in an airtight box.
The 6011 rods do not need to be
kept in an oven and, in fact, want
about 10% moisture.
• One teacher starts students
off with 7024 1/8” rods. It is
considered a good rod for
learning because you can run it
really hot — 150+ amps — and it
will almost never stick.
• A practice tip: Using a full stick
when first starting out tends to
cause an issue with the angle that
you begin at. You tend to hold it
higher, making it perpendicular to
the work, so it sticks. Using the
tap method may be best for a
repeatable start, while angling the
stick left or right to expose an
edge instead of the center of the
stick is best.
• Another practice tip: Try using
half length sticks for more control.
• Be sure to tamp before you clamp
to have clean access to the tip.
• Since this is an old welder,
inspect all of the terminals for
tight connections and for rust
(or oxidation of the copper);
the welding cables can develop
rust also. The internal connections
inside of the welder can rust
and even the plug that goes
into the wall can develop rusty
• Clean, clean, clean! Dirty metal
doesn’t weld well.
Also, I heartily endorse these
• The Welder’s HandBook (It’s on
• Download Miller Welds’ handbook
Completed and Upcoming Events
Completed Events for
Oct 14 to Nov 11, 2009
Gulf Coast Robot Sports- 3 was presented by Gulf Coast Robot
Insect Bots in Gilroy, CA on October
Mecha-Mayhem 2009 was pre- sented by The Chicago Robotic
Combat Association in Rosemont,
IL, October 23rd through 25th.
Upcoming Events for
Kilobots XVI will be presented by Saskatoon Combat
Robotics Club in Saskatoon,
Saskatchewan Canada on January
30 SERVO 01.2010