ROAM Camper Build (1 Viewer)

Joined
Dec 19, 2008
Messages
330
Location
Fort Collins, CO
I've had the pleasure of learning to arc weld from a guy who's been doing it for longer than I've been alive. He is currently the shop foreman at the local county's road and bridge department working on the heavy equipment side.

When arc welding, there are some important guidlines to follow.

1st, hotter/higher amps is not always better. The hotter you go, the more the bead will tend to spread out and cause your bead to run all over without good control. Conversely, if you go too cold, the bead will tend to stack up tall and skinny and not adhere/penetrate well. You also tent to stick the rod to the surface a lot. You have to find a happy medium on the heat. Every machine is different and the heat setting that works on one machine may be as much as ten amps different than the heat setting that works on another machine. This is true even on the same make and model of machine, even from trusted companies like Lincoln and Miller. Running at a hotter setting will result in you chasing your bead because it is running out so quickly. Turn the heat down and you can work the bead the way you want it much easier.

2nd, keep your arc between the end of the rod and the bead as small and consistent as possible. Moving the rod too far out will cause splatter to increase and the penetration to go down. Shorter arcs are almost always better to ensure good penetration.

3rd, read the puddle. This is the part that really takes practice. The end of the rod is just like the sights on a gun, it'll shoot where you point it. You want to be pointing the puddle directly into the seam you are trying to weld. Once you are started and the metal is warming up as you go, you will be able to push the puddle into the seam by moving your rod in closer. It IS possible to run a full-penetration weld smack in the middle of a piece of plate. You are litterally pushing the puddle and the arc all the way through the plate and out the other side. You want to be doing the same thing on your seams.

Practice, practice, practice. The best thing to do is take a piece of 6"x6" 3/16" plate and run beads the full width of the plate in straight lines starting at one side and working your way to the other, quenching and chipping between each bead. Overlap the beads by about 1/3 of their width each time and if you're doing it OK, the overall surface should be reasonably flat. Run beads on one face of the plate 90 degrees off from the other side to keep the plate at flat as possible. Once you have both sides fully covered in beads, rotate 90 degrees and do another layer. By the time I was running smooth beads with 6010, 6013 and 7018 using this method, I had a piece of 3/16 plate covered in about an inch of welding material. To this day, I will still start this way on any machine I've never used before to get myself familiar with it's heat settings and how it works with each type of rod.

Most professional arc welders anymore use 6010 and 7018 almost exclusively. It is very rare to even see a blueprint that calls for 6011 or 6013, but there are some times they are needed.

6010 is a splatter rod and does require you to work the bead more but it is significantly more forgiving than 7018 when you're first learning. You can also achieve much deeper penetration at lower heat settings (I usually run 6010 somewhere between 85-95 on 3/16 depending on the machine).

7018 is a drag rod. It should NEVER be welded downhill, only uphill. The nature of the rod makes it virtually impossible to get appropriate penetration from it going downhill. You have to turn the heat down a bit and allow the bead to build up as you push it uphill. For the beginner, the best this you can do is rotate your surface so it is flat rather than trying to run a vertical weld.

6010 can be run downhill but most pro welders will still run it uphill if they can since it produces a cleaner bead and better penetration uphill.

I hope this helps!
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Messages
8,112
Location
Medford, OR
Most professional arc welders anymore use 6010 and 7018 almost exclusively. It is very rare to even see a blueprint that calls for 6011 or 6013, but there are some times they are needed.

Most professional welders have an AC/DC setup. I'd love to have one, but my cheap box is AC only. So if you're AC only, 6010 is out and you're using 6011.


Good explanation of 6010 vs 6011 vs 7018.

6010 and 6011 Electrodes

The "60" in 6010 means 60,000 pounds' tensile strength (the ability to resist being pulled apart) per square inch. The "1" means it can be run in any position—flat, horizontal, vertical, or overhead.

The last number, 0 or 1, is some kind of technical jargon that I have never used in my 25 years as a journeyman or instructor. But for you engineer types, you know it has to do with flux composition, slag type, and power supply.

Both 6010 and 6011 are good electrodes. In my opinion, they are the only rods to tack with. They strike very easily and leave little slag to chip off. They also are very good when you need full penetration. They are a prime choice for welding decking, an application in which you must penetrate through the gauge metal into the joist or beam.

Crank up the machine to warp 10, and you have a portable torch. It doesn't cut that pretty, but it gets the job done in a pinch when you don't have access to an oxyacetylene rig and need to cut something in a hurry. Make sure the area around you is clear, especially below if you are working up high. Cutting with these electrodes produces big-time sparks and large globs of molten metal.
6011 runs on AC and direct current electrode positive (DCEP), while 6010 runs only on DCEP. This gives 6011 an advantage if you have an AC-only machine. I have found, and think most welders will agree, that 6010 runs more smoothly. The slag chips off better than 6011, and this is one reason it is used more often than 6011 in root passes on pipes.

Another advantage of these electrodes is the speed at which they burn. This makes them ideal for welding joists and bridging, especially the stiffening angle going from joist to joist for bracing. These two electrodes have enough strength to do the job and are much faster than 7018. They run great downhill passes where not a lot of penetration or structural strength is required.


7018 Electrodes

The 7018 is the backbone of structural welding. This rod runs completely different from the 6010 and 6011 rods—it is much smoother and easier. More of a "drag" rod, the 7018 is also referred to as a low-hydrogen, or "low-high," rod in the field. The flux contains almost no hydrogen, and the rod produces smooth, strong welds that are very ductile.

For this reason, these rods are used extensively in structural welding. I've used them on shopping centers, factories, powerhouses, nuclear weapons assembly plants, high-rise office towers, dams, and bridges. I've also used them on about a billion "neighbor-friend" projects.

The key word for the 7018 is versatility.

A 7018 rod literally should be dragged across the metal when welding. Along with dragging, a welder can weave it back and forth or oscillate it to feather it in on both sides. In vertical welding, some welders will count repetitions on each side of the weld pool, but this is a really bad habit to get into. As my old instructor used to scream into my ear, "Relax your hand and watch the puddle!" As long as you watch the puddle and relax your hand, you should be able to see and feel it tie into the steel. Counting doesn't guarantee a good tie-in; seeing and feeling do.

Shops, field welders, and home hobbyists often do not store 7018 rods properly. Being a low-hydrogen rod, 7018 requires an environment in which no moisture is allowed to get into the flux.

This is achieved by using a rod oven. I have seen all sorts of ovens used. I once saw a refrigerator that was converted into a makeshift oven by placing a high-wattage light bulb inside. This is done all too often and is in no way acceptable—7018 rods should be kept at 250 degrees F. If they are out in the open for less than four hours, they can be rebaked at 700 to 800 degrees F for an hour.

It all depends on the code (for instance, AWS D1.1 92 Steel Structural Welding Code) and what you are welding. I've seen only a few jobs in which the rods were stored correctly, if at all.
 

titanpat57

Bigfoot?!...never heard of him...
SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Messages
2,313
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
Thank you guys so much for taking the time to post....it was a HUGE help! The rods, the heat, man...heavy duty stuff!

I took your advice and took some scrap and practiced. Then I ground out most of the bad stuff and started over. It went a little better, but I can see me and the grinder will spending some more quality time together.

I really appreciate the tips, now it's time to keep the flux flowing!!

Pix tomorrow after the grinding is done.
welding.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Messages
8,112
Location
Medford, OR
I took your advice and took some scrap and practiced. Then I ground out most of the bad stuff and started over. It went a little better, but I can see me and the grinder will spending some more quality time together.

That's the nice thing about metal. Did a bad job? Grind it out and reweld it.

When I did my rear bumper, I spent more time with the grinder than I did with the welder. For a while I was switching back and forth as I was grinding down and filling in spots that had slag in them, didn't penetrate well, didn't look right, etc.

Take your time and get it nice. Weld it up, then run over it with a grinder to level it, then a flap disk to smooth it out. If you don't have pretty welds you can just make it smooth. If you take your time, people won't even realize it's welded together.
 

titanpat57

Bigfoot?!...never heard of him...
SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Messages
2,313
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
Small Update:

Welded the back bumper including a receiver hitch and I used the recovery/lifting hooks from the original rear frame. Also cut the front corners and the front lip off. The front hitch for the most part is done except for some touch up and grinding.

There will be NO close ups of welds.....:rolleyes:

Thanks again guys for the assistance :beer:
rm1.jpg
rm2.jpg
rm3.jpg
 

titanpat57

Bigfoot?!...never heard of him...
SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Messages
2,313
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
S c o r e !

Weekend is off to a BANG!!

Found this little treasure on CL this morning.

300 smackaroos, which I thought was pretty fair. It seems to be in good condition, some rust on the fins from being stored in an unheated garage, but cools just fine
SCORE!.jpg
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2003
Messages
2,195
Location
Hopewell NJ 08525
Weekend is off to a BANG!!

Found this little treasure on CL this morning.

300 smackaroos, which I thought was pretty fair. It seems to be in good condition, some rust on the fins from being stored in an unheated garage, but cools just fine

Nice Pat
You can take those things apart almost completely without having to worry about the freon since the cooling unit comes out in one piece .
I got my 60 qt unit as a scratch and dent ( then made worse with shipping )and took it all apart knocked the dents out since the one end was beat in with the compressor .

do a quick tear down and toss some sandpaper and paint at it and it will be good as new
 

titanpat57

Bigfoot?!...never heard of him...
SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Messages
2,313
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
Nice Pat
You can take those things apart almost completely without having to worry about the freon since the cooling unit comes out in one piece .
I got my 60 qt unit as a scratch and dent ( then made worse with shipping )and took it all apart knocked the dents out since the one end was beat in with the compressor .

do a quick tear down and toss some sandpaper and paint at it and it will be good as new

LOL..I'll get right on that ...right after I get done welding, and grinding, and welding, and grinding, and welding, and grinding...

A little progress today, The two jacks for the rear bumper and one tail light/ support for the rear done. I really don't want to weld anything on the deck untill I flip it for the axle...getting closer by the day...lol:p
jack1.jpg
tail1.jpg
jack2.jpg
 

titanpat57

Bigfoot?!...never heard of him...
SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Messages
2,313
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
Small Update

Got the jacks fitted front and rear..

Now that's a rear bumper with a "tude"...whole mess weighs about 150 #

Front jack is welded on too. The handle will get cut off and fitted with a "speed" attachment coming through the frontwall of the nose box.

All jacks are "dropfoot".


:beer:
fjack1.jpg
rbump.jpg
fjack.jpg
 
Last edited:

titanpat57

Bigfoot?!...never heard of him...
SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Messages
2,313
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
I'm hoping to come in about 1300-1400 lbs dry...and 1800 lbs wet. Trying to stay below 2000.

Here's a shot with the nose box floor framing started. The batteries (2-Trojan T-105's 6v...450 amp hrs.) will be located under it
frontframe.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 22, 2002
Messages
4,523
Location
Durango, Colorado
subscribing. I have a M101a that I have been considering as a starting platform for a camper trailer. Weight is my main concern as I'd like to keep my trail weight under 1500lbs. I'm very interested in seeing where you end up in the end.
 

titanpat57

Bigfoot?!...never heard of him...
SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Messages
2,313
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
wow have I been gone a long time, you're building a whole new trailer??

Yea Mr. P...funny you'd bring that up...;) Did you ever finish that trailer of yours?

subscribing. I have a M101a that I have been considering as a starting platform for a camper trailer. Weight is my main concern as I'd like to keep my trail weight under 1500lbs. I'm very interested in seeing where you end up in the end.

That's a lot of trailer...you have the older version with no brakes? These military platforms offer lots of options, because they are designed from the git' go for heavy use. Once I get the axle swap done I'm going to drag it down the scales just for yuks....I'd like to know what my starting point is.

Hope y'all enjoy the build as it progresses.

Pat
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2002
Messages
4,523
Location
Durango, Colorado
That's a lot of trailer...you have the older version with no brakes? These military platforms offer lots of options, because they are designed from the git' go for heavy use. Once I get the axle swap done I'm going to drag it down the scales just for yuks....I'd like to know what my starting point is.


Pat

Mine has the hand brakes and the standard cargo box on it. I'm thinking I pull the box off and see how heavy the frame is. I can't give up the box as that's how I haul firewood every year. (I don't own a pick up) So if I can unbolt the box and build a bolt on camper I will have a dual purpose trailer. And only one registration per year to pay. :) As CO added another $28 to each plate last year I don't need to add a 7th plate to my mini fleet with yet another trailer.
 
Last edited:

titanpat57

Bigfoot?!...never heard of him...
SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Messages
2,313
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
Small update...


Rear bumper grind and prime...butt ugly welds..but I'll wear em' with honor, right in the back, for the whole world to see!!

More steel on the front monkey bars(i.e.hitch)...that ought hold her'...lol
rbump1.jpg
mnkbars.jpg
tg10.jpg
 
Last edited:

Phulcrum

Supporting Vendor
Joined
Jul 11, 2007
Messages
880
Location
SOCal
i actually do have some progress to post..i'll get pics this weekend at beach camp.
 

titanpat57

Bigfoot?!...never heard of him...
SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Messages
2,313
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
Small update

Well.....

Flipped that baby over today and the operative word is...H E A V Y

Holy friggin ker-s*** is that heavy...we had four of us get up and balnce it, but man, when it came down we had to get the hell out from under it!!! :whoops:

It drove the front jack about 3" in the dirt..I'm guessin' my welds held ;)

Disconnected the shocks, cut the spring perches off, and cut the axle in half. Half of the old axle weighs as much as the new(same dia.)...:eek:

Started wirebrushing and ran out of daylight, but all in all a pretty productive weekend.

Powerwash the bottom and paint this week...new axle, attach rear bumper, and install spare tire lift in the front, and Trail Edition rims by this weekend..woohoo:D

Then I get into something I know a bit more about...WOODWORK!!
tg11.jpg
ax4.jpg
tg12.jpg
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom