Stick Welding ~ absolute beginner

Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
3
Hello all.

My 2021 project is to build a Viking Recumbent Trike. I MIG Welded many things over 20 years but no longer have the MIG (Clarke 185). I've also Soldered and brazed. However, this project is reliant on "low cost"! I have an angle-grinder and amost every tool that I should need apart from a welder.

Until recently I was living on a Yacht on a Marina (Millbrook, Cornwall, UK). The pontoons were frequently being added to or repaired. One day I met up with the welder who was adding a 6 rung steel ladder from one pontoon up to a higher level. I could not beleive the small size of the Welding Set he was using. This was the first iI had heard of and seen an INVERTER Stick Welder. So small and so light in weight (No Transformer). That was a few years ago but I still have details of the make/model in my notebook . . . . . . SO, I'm going for a Hyundai MMNA 160 Inverter Welder which costs £115 (approx US$156). SO(2), a new learning curve. Have tons of steel scrap to practice on! I will be welding mainly 1/16" steel tubing and other sheet steel from 3mm to 6mm thick. I wonder what size MS Steel coated sticks and the current required for the thin stuff?

Steve
Nr Liskeard, Cornwall, UK
 
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Joined
May 31, 2013
Messages
2,942
Location
South Benfleet, Essex, England, UK
Hello & Welcome :)
All of the bikes & trikes in Brad's Plans were built with little more than his trusty buzz-box stick-welder and an angle-grinder, so you are in great company.
Most of us mere-mortals are on MIG/TIG and personally I think Stick is only for "Gods & Geniuses with perfect hand to eye co-ordination and not for a klutz like me. ;)
Enjoy the hobby, it is addictive.
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2016
Messages
258
Location
Lanc's, England
Hi Steve.

In my experience a 2mm 6013 electrode is the most suitably size and type for bike welding, I have tried 1.6mm but found the electrode hard to use , to soft, tend to bend when you stricke up, proberly becuse of my inexperience. But be aware all 2mm rods are not equal there is alot of affordable chinese rods on the market and some are not that easy to
use, even among the european makes there is a big differens.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
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Thank you DannyC and Pegasus for your help. I was in the same predicament 20+ years ago when I ended up buying the 185A MIG and it was close on £400 then! But that was for building a Yacht with over a ton of steel! It did many other jobs until it's failure. True that for the tandem trike where the structure is mainly 1/16" ms, I don't need a 185A one . . . and my budget is low. I'm looking for a lower cost, lower max current unit but so far without success, hence looking at Inverter Stick Welders at little more than £100.

Perhaps I will borrow or hire a stick welder and have a play with 2mm OWS sticks and see how I get on.

Steve
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
682
Location
Netherlands
I use also 2mm after I started with 1,6mm. They are to hard to work with.
The 2mm need a higher temp, but as you do short welds, it will be OK.
Practice first and use a part to rub over first. Then it will start easier on the part you want to weld.

Just try it and don't give up. Even as the weld looks terrible l, you can clean it up.

Goodluck.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
3
Thank you Emiel . . . . 2mm Sticks would probably work well with the thinner gauge of metal and probably with the fabricated steering and transmission components. I'm going to see a freind shorltly when Colvid lockdown permits. He is a pro welder for a large luxury motor yacht company fabricating/welding in most metals but mostly stainless steel. He will probably tell me to use MIG or TIG! Haaa

Steve
 
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