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I have an old Wards 110v arc welder. It says its capable of welding up to 1/4 inch steel. I was fiddling with it the other day trying to weld something but it just kept sticking. Know matter how many times I tried, I could not get a weld started, it just kept sticking to the metal. The metal had just been cleaned with a die grinder and the ground clamp was on the clean part.
 

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If the arc welder is working properly and your settings are close its your technique. Don't stab the stinger at the metal and don't try to hold it just above the metal to start an arc. Drag it across the metal and then raise it ever so slightly after the arc has started.

At first don't even try to weld two pieces of metal together. Just try to start a bead and maintain it across the surface of one piece of metal.

If this doesn't get an arc started try varying your settings and repeat the above.

I'd also try getting some new rods if the ones you have are old as well.
 

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I'd also try getting some new rods if the ones you have are old as well
Old sticks, sticks that have gotten moisture will often cause this problem.
 

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dinger said:
Old sticks, sticks that have gotten moisture will often cause this problem.
Yepp . I'm not a good welder but fresh sticks will make the swipe and ignite a lot better,

You could put ya sticks in the oven to dry,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Geez, that's probably what it is then. These sticks are probably 20 years old or more. I inhereted it.

What about brazing rods? It came with a bunch of brass rods. I assume I can use them though I've never seen anyone braze with an arc welder. I noticed they don't have a flux sheath like steel rods. Do you use the same technique to braze? When do you use brazing over steel?
 

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as far a the rod sticking, its due to the age of the welding rods and moisture in them.
If you want to try the welder out before you go buy new rods take a few of the old ones and put them in the oven. Set the oven on simmer or whatever the coolest setting you have then set the rods in there so they are not touching each other. Leave them in for 3-5 minutes then they should be ready to go after they cool down.
When you buy new rods be sure to get one of the sealed holders for them and only open it to get a rod out then shut it again
 

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If you want any kind of strength don't braze its not as strong as a arc, tig or mig weld. Plus if its just plan brazing rod don't use it in the arc welder there for Oxy/Acetylene welding only, Unless they are a specialty brass rod for Shielded metal arc welding. Brazing does not melt your base metal its like a heavy duty super gule joint where you can join two different metals. It is non-fusion unlike actual welding
 

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StrokedNova said:
If you want any kind of strength don't braze its not as strong as a arc, tig or mig weld. Plus if its just plan brazing rod don't use it in the arc welder there for Oxy/Acetylene welding only, Unless they are a specialty brass rod for Shielded metal arc welding. Brazing does not melt your base metal its like a heavy duty super gule joint where you can join two different metals. It is non-fusion unlike actual welding
seems to me i read somewhere that when properly done, brazing can create a bond Stronger than that of the joined base metal, such as mild steel. anyone else read/seen/heard this also?
 

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As said above, simply strike an arc, don't whack the metal, drag and pull up slightly..
 

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"Although most brazed joints have a relatively high tensile strength they do not possess the full strength properties of other conventional welding techniques."

from Welding skills written by R.T. Miller
Copyright 1994 by American Technical Publishers, Inc.

Brazing would work fine for thinner or less structural welds but if your doing any thing like frames, suspension so on. that is going to be taking you life in your hands. Brazing is not a fusion weld, it does not melt the base metal which is why you can braze two different types metal together. Plus don't use it where there are high temperatures (800 degrees +) the metal weakens and losses its strength.
 

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about 4 years ago in high school i was screwing around with some of the old welding stuff in the back room... there was this weird looking thing that created an arc between two electrodes and the metal to be welded.. we used brazing rods for this... i might be wrong, because its a bit fuzzy in my memory but i think it was called carbon arc welding. and with that setup you could braze with an arc..
 

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Not trying to argue, but I've seen & even done this MANY times.

A properly brazed lap joint or strapped butt joint will always be stronger than the base metal. This is because the braze is in shear. The stress applied is trying to pull it apart the long way, not through it's cross-section.
Some of it depends on the rod you're using, some have low tensile strength, others can have up to 80K PSI tensile. That's 14.3% stronger than a 7018 steel welding rod.

Take two clean strips of sheet steel, 14ga. or smaller, place them with a one inch overlap, & do a good, full braze. That's where it actually flows all the way through the lap & you can see a little on the backside edge. (equivalent to a 100% weld)
Now just use a hydraulic press or whatever you have handly & try to pull the two pieces apart. The steel will break before the lap joint shears every time.

Now clearly this won't work with 1/4" plate, but you wouldn't be brazing anything that heavy anyway.

Anyway, that's just my two cents. Lot's of people underestimate brazing.
 

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Anyone with more info on Carbon arc welding I would be interested I haven't heard a lot about this process.

Sehlah on the thin metal your right it is a strong joint and you can't really test say a brazed joint and a tig weld if the base metal brakes before the weld so yes its more than enough on the thinner work.
 
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