by Jason Becker
So for the longest time, I have heard about these ridiculous sized welding rods that are the size of baseball bats. It's always been on my bucket list to give one of these things a go.We were planning on visiting our good friends at WeldTube on our way back from the Good of the Land Fest in Temple Texas and they asked if we wanted to shoot a video using one of these rods.
Our answer was a very enthusiastic "YES". I couldn't believe it, after many years of hearing about this mythical electrode, i was finally going to be able to run one.
Now, if you're probably wondering what on earth would you do with a 3/4" welding rod; I was wondering the same thing. These rods are typically used in foundries where they make steel. The molds and slag pots either wear or crack due to the extreme heat and use of molten metal. The electrode is mounted in a fixture and the operator can control the direction and travel speed single handedly.
Unfortunately, the equipment that was needed could not be rented so we had to work with what we had. Mike with the WeldTube crew, fashioned an electrode holder from a 1,000 amp workpiece clamp and threaded some all thread on the back which was wrapped with insulating tape. The electrode holder weighed about 40 pounds with the electrode weighing in at about 18 pounds. Obviously, this isn't how it is typically ran, but as welders, we wanted to at least give it a shot.
We aligned two pieces of 1" plate side by side to form a but weld. Myself, Mike and Rosendo took turns running the rod, and operating the machine. Since we were dealing 1,000 amps, one of us would turn on the machine at the point of arc initiation, and then shut the machine down if the rod stuck, or we completed a weld. This was a safety measure to ensure there would be no accidental arc strikes and that the operator would not get injured.
Underneath the hood was intense, the arc wasn't as bright as you would think, we all used a number 10 shade welding lens because the arc was blocked out by the diameter of the electrode, all you could really see was the puddle, the heat however was ridiculous and intense. I couldn't imagine running this rod on a daily basis.
All in all it was a great time hanging with the WeldTube crew and trying out a different process and putting a check in one of the boxes on my bucket list. I hope you all enjoyed the video and would like to thank you for stopping by the website and reading the blog. Until next time Make Every Weld Better Than Your Last!