Stick Welding With E7024 Welding Rod: Fast as a Jet Plane?

Welding rod E7024, a fast moving rod.

One of the issues people have with stick welding is the relative slowness of the process when compared to MIG welding.  Both are used for fabrication, but a lot of people new to welding shy away from trying their hand at stick because of a perception that it is slow.  Although stick welding is much faster than TIG welding, in general it still doesn’t match up to the forward travel speeds attainable with MIG welding…or at least many people seem to think this way.  But there are a few rods out there that can really put down the metal at speeds near MIG travel speeds that don’t get as much press.   E7024 is one of those welding rods.  Officially called a “Jet” rod by one welding company as a brand, it is also commonly referred to as a “Jet” rod or a speed rod as it is a fill rod.   The 7024 is very fast moving rod with a fairly heavy flux coating.  Its high iron powder content in the flux increases the deposition rate when compared to rods like 6010 or 6011.  Its travel  speed is fast.  It is so quick that in most circumstances it is used only in the flat position.  It can be used in the horizontal position but usually on grooved joints as the metal stays molten much longer as the rod moves so quickly the metal doesn’t have time to cool under the heavy flux coating.  While this may seem to be a severe limitation, it doesn’t really limit the use of the rod as much as one might think as fabrication chores that the 7024 is typically used in allows repositioning of the weldment or subpart  so that the welding can be done down hand (flat).  The rod deposition rate makes welding fairly easy as long as amps are adjusted correctly.   Nothing more than a tight drag motion is needed with a little more advanced rod angle than normally used for other rods to keep the flux pushed back.  It’s extremely easy to clean up as the flux releases easily, usually peeling up right after the pass starts to cool. If it doesn’t a slight  flick of the slag hammer will clear it.   The finish of the weld is smooth with fine ripples, looking as if a machine had welded it, in many cases exceeding the finish of a well done MIG weld.   While it may not be as practical as MIG welding, when on the job site, or out in the open, the 7024 will usually outperform MIG after a little practice.   This “Jet” rod is definitely a rod that should be kept around the shop.  Don’t expect to find the 7024 easily in small diameters.  Usually it is going to be stocked in 1/8” or larger rods.  5/32” is not uncommon.   So be prepared to have at least 160 amps available for best results with 7024.

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