How to determine what to do when the weld goes bad!!

Someone asked me how I know what to do when the weld takes a turn for the worst? Really after years of experience and teaching you learn to train your eyes and mind of what problem areas of a weld look like.

That is the benefit of this course. I can relay to you the benefits you can receive from my years of painful mistakes and errors I have learned not only from my own mistakes but the mistakes of those around me.

One of the videos recently published from the crud trap series showed my weld gap opening up and the metal running the risk of falling in on the bevel creating what is technically called excess penetration.

Excess penetration is caused from pushing too much metal to the interior surfaces on the inside of the pipe. This is usually caused from staying too long in one spot while welding. The combination of too large a gap and high heat can also attribute to excess penetration.

It is almost a guarantee that young welders at some point will face this common problem. 

The way around this is to try your best to evenly match the pipe bevels and the interior surfaces of the pipe.

An even gap all the way around the pipe makes life a lot easier. 

The problem I faced in the video you saw on the crud trap series was a hand beveled pipe surface.

The hand beveling is almost always inferior to the factory or machine bevel. When two factory bevels are matched the gap is consistently matched and makes the weld path more uniform. 

Because of this the heat range won’t need to be adjusted as with an uneven hand bevel. 

What happened to me on the crud trap is that the gap was inconsistent leading to my keyhole opening up to much and the high heat became my enemy. The keyhole opened up and the edge of the pipe was burning up before I could deposit metal. 

When this happens if you don’t stop immediately and make some type of adjustment more than likely you will do a few of these things if not possibly all of them.

1. Burn the pipe bevel up and open up the gap

2. Leave excess metal in the weld path because you stay in the big gap too long trying to fill the crater

3. Lose the keyhole you had to the canyon that is created.

4. Draw back the rod while still welding because the heat is too much to handle now and by doing that you      may not penetrate the weld and leave undercut on the interior of the pipe surfaces.

Either way it goes the thing to do is stop welding. You can change the heat slightly bringing the amps down usually 5 to 10 amps depending upon your skill and the problem. Maybe more, maybe less.

Stop welding and let the pipe cool off. Don’t push the rod into the bevel as much and begin to butter it around skipping over the bevel more causing less penetration.

The only way to be certain about what you do on the inside of the pipe is to make slight adjustments, weld a little, then look inside the pipe with a flashlight to see what you are doing. Hopefully if the pipe is not completely closed you may be able to look through the bevel to see the interior weld. You may also be able to see the interior weld with a mirror and light from the outside if the pipe piece is not to long or closed up.

When the gap opens up grind as little as possible. The last thing you want to do is take away more of the bevel now. If the pipe is glowing red where you can see it after pulling out of the keyhole and the keyhole appears to grow then let it cool and turn down the heat.

I hope this all makes sense. If it doesn’t you know I will try to clarify it or come at it from a different angle.

Leave a comment and let’s talk further. Until then. Stay behind The Welders Lens.


About thewelderslens

I have been welding for over a quarter of a century(25 years). I am 43 years old and have a successful business, a beautiful family. I pastor a church as well. My hope in all this is to bring what I have learned to the forefront so others can get a huge head start. I have lived through it for you. Be thankful. Later. View all posts by thewelderslens

4 responses to “How to determine what to do when the weld goes bad!!

  • Noel

    I’m very thankful for sharing your talent and experience…I’ve also subscribed to your videos in YouTube…NOEL0526…I’m a beginner and it’s very helpful to me especially the videos…I’m planning to make a career out of this abroad that’s why I’m really studying hard to achieve it…I have already saved a lot of articles ralated to welding especially SMAW…I hope you keep on doing your best to serve others like me…

  • A.Reneau

    Thanks again, i ran into that same problem today in class, once again welders lens saved the day.

  • thewelderslens

    I am glad that I could help all of you who are interested in what I am doing with my business. This course is a huge advantage to those who can perceive its real value. Thank you for your comments and kindness

  • Smoking Joe

    Key holes suck and I do not like when they form because I must have penetration.

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