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Old 16-04-2018, 16:18   #16
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Re: DIY solar arch/bimini from mild/carbon steel

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@Fence Man: What type of electrode would you recommend?

6010 or 6011. Either is good for welding through contaminants and in all positions. I like 3/32" rod for what we do, but if you use heavier wall pipe, 1/8" might suit you better. If you get down into thinner wall pipe or conduit, you'll be better off to TIG or MIG it. You might try checking with a fence supply outfit. The posts we use are made for the commercial chain link fence industry, and should be easily had.....and cheap. I'm scheduled to be in Germany for a few days this July. Hopefully you'll be well into a project by then!
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Old 17-04-2018, 08:39   #17
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Re: DIY solar arch/bimini from mild/carbon steel

@Fence Man: Yeah, I wouldn't mind being finished with the project in July... Like stop obsessing with theoretical projects and actually start doing sh*t. Yeah, small steps. If you need any local knowledge 'bout germany just let me know.

@Marius Saunders: Thanks! That's around 400Ä, so dipping must be cheaper than I thought.

At least I found out a buddy of mine actually has an MMA Inverter and is willing to give me that and some pointers. 6010/11 seems to be quite rare in "metric central" or I didn't find the correct conversion chart. Ordered some 6013 instead, at least for learning. I'll look into fence suppliers as well, on first glance I didn't find any selling the mentioned posts. I will look into it some more when I know where I will do the build.
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Old 17-04-2018, 09:04   #18
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Re: DIY solar arch/bimini from mild/carbon steel

Andi, i have sold thousands of tonnes of zinc to about 300 galvanisers over the last 10-15 years , mostly around europe. I dont know where you are located but if you need any help to find one let me know.
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Old 17-04-2018, 18:07   #19
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Re: DIY solar arch/bimini from mild/carbon steel

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@Fence Man: Yeah, I wouldn't mind being finished with the project in July... Like stop obsessing with theoretical projects and actually start doing sh*t. Yeah, small steps. If you need any local knowledge 'bout germany just let me know.

@Marius Saunders: Thanks! That's around 400Ä, so dipping must be cheaper than I thought.

At least I found out a buddy of mine actually has an MMA Inverter and is willing to give me that and some pointers. 6010/11 seems to be quite rare in "metric central" or I didn't find the correct conversion chart. Ordered some 6013 instead, at least for learning. I'll look into fence suppliers as well, on first glance I didn't find any selling the mentioned posts. I will look into it some more when I know where I will do the build.
Keep us posted on your boat finding progress. I have a trip planned to Holland in 6 weeks or so, and I do like sleeping on trains. In the meantime, I'll get with a few of my fence contacts in your neighborhood to see if they might have any insight as to where you might find a bargain. The raw steel and galvanizing after construction would certainly be healthier and easier to fabricate.
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Old 18-04-2018, 02:25   #20
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Re: DIY solar arch/bimini from mild/carbon steel

If you don't want to hot dip (lots of limber holes needed) you could always hot metal spray in zinc or aluminium. I had that done with our pulpit and stern rails and they are still mostly OK after 30 years. Paint sticks to it very well also.

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Old 18-04-2018, 03:16   #21
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Re: DIY solar arch/bimini from mild/carbon steel

If you are going to weld galvanised steel, just remember that toxins from the fumes accumulate in your body to the point where only a small amount of exposure to the stuff will make you ill.

Even if you only weld occasionally, it's best to be aware of the dangers associated with the fumes and avoid breathing them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_fume_fever
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Old 18-04-2018, 05:58   #22
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Re: DIY solar arch/bimini from mild/carbon steel

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Even if you only weld occasionally, it's best to be aware of the dangers associated with the fumes and avoid breathing them.
Good point. Welding on a boat in the water gives plenty of ventilation (also one of the reasons not to use MIG), wearing a suitable respirator is advised.

http://www.sperkoengineering.com/htm...Galvanized.pdf

http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/7...s-selector.pdf
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Old 18-04-2018, 14:57   #23
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Re: DIY solar arch/bimini from mild/carbon steel

I try to stay out of the smoke, and generally run a fan if the wind isn't blowing. I also wear a respirator, since welding galvanized is a daily thing for me. At least once a week, I'll have someone really question why I'd want to stick weld galvanized pipe instead of MIG welding it. They just never seem to understand the wind. lol Here are a couple of pics of my typical welds. I'm certainly not stacking dimes, but I'm a fence builder, not a banker. I like to weld downhill, so that should explain the evidence of a cold start at 12 o'clock. I cut all my fish mouths with a portable bandsaw, and don't pack a grinder along. There is usually a little gap to fill.
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Old 18-04-2018, 21:28   #24
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Re: DIY solar arch/bimini from mild/carbon steel

If welding galvanized steel you must bring it off at least an inch back of the weld and have excellent ventilation. Don't ask me how I know
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Old 18-04-2018, 23:55   #25
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Re: DIY solar arch/bimini from mild/carbon steel

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Germany and without buddies working in the business or some other source which gets bulk rates.
If you are in Germany, why not use some of this stuff? quite smart with the powder coating finish in your choice of colours.

https://www.themetalstore.co.uk/products/tube-clamp

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Old 25-04-2018, 13:49   #26
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Re: DIY solar arch/bimini from mild/carbon steel

@Pete7: Thanks, thats another nice option.

Little update: Did my first try on stick welding. Good news: I managed to do some decent flat butt joints with 2mm plate. Bad news: Didn't manage decent pipe butt joints (3/4" / 26.9mm pipe, 2mm wall). It didn't fall apart by yanking on it but cutting & inspection showed bad penetration. And I burned a gazillion of holes. But here and there were little bits of weld which were decent. So I need more practice.

And I learned that there's different types of 6013 over here, I started with a thick rutile type (RR) for the next run I'll try to get some rutil/cellulose (supposed to be able to do vertical down) and some rutil/basic types (supposed to be good for low amps). And probably some 7018 bc they are supposed to be moisture resistant (good thing on a boat :-). So not much to show for yet but I'm enjoying myself.

Pure cellulose (6011) seems to be uncommon over here.

And on the weekend I'll look at a couple of boats to maybe put the arch on...
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Old 25-04-2018, 15:37   #27
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DIY solar arch/bimini from mild/carbon steel

For welding steel pipe, aircraft fuselages for more than 100 yrs have been filled with hot linseed oil and then drained. The oil is excellent in finding pin holes in your weld too.
My Solar panels mount is made from bolted together 2024 aluminum extrusions, cut with a miter saw.
The 2024 is not the best aluminum for salt water, I think series 5000 is, however the solar panels themselves are not made from 5000. I think they may be 2024?
My mounts are over three yrs old and show very little corrosion, they will last I think maybe 20 yrs or more?Click image for larger version

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Old 25-04-2018, 16:22   #28
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Re: DIY solar arch/bimini from mild/carbon steel

Quote:
Originally Posted by _andi_ View Post
@Pete7: Thanks, thats another nice option.

Little update: Did my first try on stick welding. Good news: I managed to do some decent flat butt joints with 2mm plate. Bad news: Didn't manage decent pipe butt joints (3/4" / 26.9mm pipe, 2mm wall). It didn't fall apart by yanking on it but cutting & inspection showed bad penetration. And I burned a gazillion of holes. But here and there were little bits of weld which were decent. So I need more practice.

And I learned that there's different types of 6013 over here, I started with a thick rutile type (RR) for the next run I'll try to get some rutil/cellulose (supposed to be able to do vertical down) and some rutil/basic types (supposed to be good for low amps). And probably some 7018 bc they are supposed to be moisture resistant (good thing on a boat :-). So not much to show for yet but I'm enjoying myself.

Pure cellulose (6011) seems to be uncommon over here.

And on the weekend I'll look at a couple of boats to maybe put the arch on...
You'll be wasting your time with 7018's. If you want to go vertical down, use a 6012.
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Old 26-04-2018, 08:06   #29
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Re: DIY solar arch/bimini from mild/carbon steel

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You'll be wasting your time with 7018's. If you want to go vertical down, use a 6012.


Yes, low hydrogen electrodes must be run vertically up.
However they are much, much stronger than mild steel.
Much better weld, plus the first two numbers of a rod indicate the strength in tens of thousands, so a 60 rod is 60KPSI and a 70 is of course 70KPSI. 7018 does require a real DC machine and more skill to run.

Back in my oilfield days 6010 rod was the go to rod for mild steel, not 6011, which was considered to be a blacksmiths rod, and often referred to as 1109 by people who didnít know any better.
The 6011 rod is from memory an AC rod that can be run with a cheap buzz box welder, where 6010 required DC and a quality machine.
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Old 26-04-2018, 13:27   #30
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Re: DIY solar arch/bimini from mild/carbon steel

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Yes, low hydrogen electrodes must be run vertically up.
However they are much, much stronger than mild steel.
Much better weld, plus the first two numbers of a rod indicate the strength in tens of thousands, so a 60 rod is 60KPSI and a 70 is of course 70KPSI. 7018 does require a real DC machine and more skill to run.

Back in my oilfield days 6010 rod was the go to rod for mild steel, not 6011, which was considered to be a blacksmiths rod, and often referred to as 1109 by people who didnít know any better.
The 6011 rod is from memory an AC rod that can be run with a cheap buzz box welder, where 6010 required DC and a quality machine.
Here's s low hydrogen fact not many know. Once a low hydrogen rod is out of it's sealed container, it will no longer be "low hydrogen" after about 20 minutes. It needs to be kept in an oven to prevent the flux coating from absorbing moisture. The temperature doesn't need to be too high, but if the moisture has already been absorbed, then they need to be baked for a time at higher temperatures to drive the moisture out.

Not that the low hydrogen aspect matters if welding mild steel, though. Savvy farmers use stainless steel welding rods, preferably 312 grade, to weld high carbon steels and even cast iron where cracking of the parent material is a concern.

With cellulose, 6011 are a dog to weld with on AC at the best of times. This is more a reflection on AC welding then the rod itself. 6011 and 6010 both run ok on DC. A fun cellulose electrode fact is that if you soak them in water for a while, they can be used as a poor man's thermal cutting lance.
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