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Carbon arc gouging

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Carbon arc gouging

Postby Farmwelding » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:32 pm

So I am stuck waiting for the college to talk to my high school to figure out about changing classes which is over complicated. In the mean time I am hammering out thermal cutting. Plasma,OFC, and carbon arc gouging. I am pretty solid on my abilities with PAC and OFC but I have never done carbon arc gouging. I read the materials they had and would like a little advice going in. Any advice from you guys. Safety, techniques, etc.
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Re: Carbon arc gouging

Postby Poland308 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:55 pm

It's like a cross between a oxy/acy cutting torch and stick welding. The spatter flies everywhere and really likes to go down your shirt collar or up your sleeve.
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Re: Carbon arc gouging

Postby Coldman » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:10 pm

Carbon arc gouging is a really cool process when set up and used right.
A lot of sparks generated and noisy too so PPE is a must. Long pants & sleeves in cotton, gloves, boots, ear protection, cap, full face shield. Maybe even a leather apron.
Alot of sparks generated in line of travel that get thrown far by the compressed air, you need to make sure the area in front of you for at least 20ft is clear of people and flammables. Make sure you gouge away from you so you don't cook the wedding vegetables.
Technique - put a chalk line down and practice gouging in a straight line. The temptation is to gouge too deep in a single pass, this results in a wavy uneven surface that will require grinding to dress. Resist this and use gentle multiple shallow cuts to achieve the desired depth of gouge. Dry run first so you are sure you can move your arm the full length of gouge travel while keeping constant angle and arc length. You will end up with a consistent gouge in terms of width and depth ready for welding.
Have fun.
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Re: Carbon arc gouging

Postby cj737 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:24 pm

Ear protection, ear protection, and some more ear protection. Foam plugs beneath ear cans if you wish to still hear in your 40's.

And of course, head-to-toe protection as was mentioned.
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Re: Carbon arc gouging

Postby noddybrian » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:18 am

Done a bit myself - apart from the safety aspect I think most people that struggle to get started either don't have sufficient air volume available or too large a carbon for the power source - maybe someone here can find a link for recommended parameters for the OP - I tend to make do with what I have available ! I generally use a 400 > 500 amp power source with 5/16" carbons & 45CFM compressor - I believe Lanse / Pete have done a video showing it quite well running off his Trailblazer.
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Re: Carbon arc gouging

Postby Farmwelding » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:14 am

noddybrian wrote:Done a bit myself - apart from the safety aspect I think most people that struggle to get started either don't have sufficient air volume available or too large a carbon for the power source - maybe someone here can find a link for recommended parameters for the OP - I tend to make do with what I have available ! I generally use a 400 > 500 amp power source with 5/16" carbons & 45CFM compressor - I believe Lanse / Pete have done a video showing it quite well running off his Trailblazer.

I have a chart of reccomend settings they have gave us in the information/reading.
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Re: Carbon arc gouging

Postby weldin mike 27 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:39 am

Apparently, you swipe the metal, don't try and use it in the same manner as a welder. That will lead to carbon inclusions.
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Re: Carbon arc gouging

Postby noddybrian » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:15 pm

As long as you always push & never drag it should be OK - I like a fairly shallow angle and use small stabbing motions - actually push the carbon into the metal then back off just slightly - allow the air to send stuff flying - repeat till carbon needs moving in holder or there is a strange pork cooking smell & / or your overalls seem to getting hotter !
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Re: Carbon arc gouging

Postby thatoneguy » Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:37 pm

Honestly in my opinion, and keep in mind I really dont have too much experience with it, I feel like carbon arc is a dieing technology. With O/A and even plasma cutters with their own air supply being so prevalent these days, I just see it as not an efficient process at all.
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Re: Carbon arc gouging

Postby noddybrian » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:48 pm

In a shop I agree - it's very wasteful in energy required - dirty / noisy / fire hazard / needs a lot of safety space if working with others - a modern plasma is a much better choice - even O/A with suitable nozzle is better - there are times though when it has a place ( so a skill worth having ) - I worked coastal piling a bit when younger & we used it quite a bit then - outside running a diesel compressor & large engine drive that were always on site it made sense - most epic job I only assisted on was to get a decent size jackup barge to stand on only 3 out of 4 legs 1 at a time in turn on the shore & use carbon arc to remove the welds holding the leg pads on as the water was too shallow for access with them on & apart from a little beach / silt they were bed so not needed - they sit in a shallow machined register & the weld only holds them on - both leg & pad needed as little collateral as possible as they would be re-fitting when the barge finished - gouging was the best way & getting a plasma there powering it & using standing in shallow sea water was not viable - plus they were in they're infancy then - not that powerful & never saw one gouge - we could get the compressor & engine drive on a pile trailer & back it up in the sea next to it with the D8 - I have to say I was fairly young then & it's a bit unnerving being under a good few hundred tons of steel balanced on 3legs ! but back then safety was not a big concern - only getting production.
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