All things welding

I’m using a 10x Lupe and proper lighting to inspect - but would like to etch it - are field kits ( aka cheap) inspection / etch kits available?

You can use any of these: hydrochloric acid, ammonium persulfate, nitric acid, or iodine, and potassium iodide

1. Sand the cross-section of the weld to a uniform 600-grit finish (I use 220 grit sandpaper), before etching. Mirror polish the surface if possible. The finer the finish, the more details you will see.
2. Apply this chemical with cotton swabs. Allow it to stand for a few seconds to minutes.
3. Once the weld is visible, rinse it with water to stop the reaction.
 

Assuming same settings for both welds?

On the left
If no weaving: you need to increase volts OR move faster.
If you weaved: you spent too much time in the middle.

The right looks good. The gap is because you welded the Left side first and it pulled the plate over creating a gap at the root.

If you need more coupons you could cut the plate off just outside the weld & reuse them. Or you can keep putting welds down until you fill it up. Like this

Screenshot_20240527-211719.png
 
Assuming same settings for both welds?

On the left
If no weaving: you need to increase volts OR move faster.
If you weaved: you spent too much time in the middle.

The right looks good. The gap is because you welded the Left side first and it pulled the plate over creating a gap at the root.

If you need more coupons you could cut the plate off just outside the weld & reuse them. Or you can keep putting welds down until you fill it up. Like this

View attachment 530334

That ain’t goin’ nowhere…
 
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How many of you have heard of spark testing? Essentially this is comparing how ferrous metals spark when you grind on them. I find this helpful to tell the difference between high carbon steel & low carbon steel (mild steel) as well as cast steel & cast iron. This is important because those metals weld differently.

Low carbon steel - long straw colored streaks with a minimal bursts

High carbon steel - short straw colored streaks with lots of bursts

Cast steel - very similar to low carbon steel but more yellow & hardly any bursts.

Cast iron - short red streaks with bursts.

 
Since there is a bunch of welding knowledge watching this thread, a couple of recent trail repairs in Moab triggered a thought.

I carry 6013 and 6011 rod in a few sizes up to 1/8. And I always reach for the 6013. I always thought that was a decent rod for general mild steel repairs and fab work with the stick welder - but my info may be decades old.

IMG_3199.jpeg


So my question is: is my rod choice a good one, or should I be carrying others?’
 
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