In every semester, I promise myself that I will be productive during the break. Every time I end up wasting my whole break on doing unnecessary stuff. Last summer I kind of dragged myself into welding as I have always been a little fascinated about it.
Since then, I have mostly worked with a MIG welder and TIG welder. Some days ago, I thought of working with a different one so that I would get to follow a different method of welding.
Lately, I have been doing stick welding a lot, and I am going to tell you everything about stick welding and ways to improve your technique out of my experience.
What is Stick Welding?
Stick welding is one type of arc welding that uses welding rods. This process of welding is also known as shielded metal arc welding or manual arc welding. The method that is used in this kind of welding is very basic.
Nevertheless, when it comes to performing the whole procedure, it becomes a bit difficult for those who do not weld on a regular basis.
On this account, those who work with stick welders and want to improve their skills should go through the steps that will be mentioned after a bit.
Check out our Top Picks of Stick Welders
Preparing the Material
For cleaning the material that you are going to use, use a grinder or a wire brush to clean the area that is going to be welded. If you skip this step, you might wind up without getting a good result as untidy conditions can lead to lack of inclusions and porosity as well.
In addition, make sure you have a solid electrical connection to maintain the quality of the arc. Later on, position yourself in such a way that you can have a clear view of the weld puddle.
Bring all the clams points as in current setting, length of the arc, the angle of the electrode, manipulation of the electrode and speed of travel together.
Since each type of current will provide you with a different sort of arc, you should go for a type which forms the type of arc that you are looking for. The amperage setting chiefly depends on the type and diameter of the electrode that you select.
Hence, go for amperage based on the welding position and thickness of the material.
Recently, most of the new welding machines got a label that refers to amperage settings for different types of electrodes and thickness of materials. If your amperage is low, three things can happen:
- Your electrode will get tacky while striking an arc.
- Your arc will sputter.
- For maintaining the accurate arc length, it will keep going out.
Before working with your machine, make sure that it is properly set. There are various types of stick weld which are used for different types of settings. The electrode that you are operating actuates either you use DC Positive, DC Negative or Alternating Current.
Arc length is the space in between the work-piece and the electrode. In stick welding, the arc length determines the welding voltage. For that, it is a constant current welding method. While working with a stick welder, you should try to keep a constant arc length.
It is better to keep the arc length equal to the diameter of the electrode. If the length of the arc is too much, it will produce undercuts, porosity, spatter and low deposition rates. Besides, try not to hold the electrode too close since it diminishes the welding voltage.
Every welder manipulates the electrode in a particular way. Thus, what style you will apply to it depends on your choice. You can either go for a regular line or an irregular one.
If you are hoping to get a broad bead on a thick material, you need to manipulate the electrode from side to side. It should be in such a way that it forms an extended sequence of coincidental circles.
Likewise, always try to concentrate on the side portions of the joint while doing a vertical weld. Keep it in your mind that if the weld looks uneven, that is because you moved too quickly when you were doing the weld.
Even after following all the mentioned rules, if you still end up with an ineffective weld, check your travel speed. Travel speed regulates how much metal is deposited on the work-piece along with amperage. If you get to see that, your welds are thin; then the travel speed is too fast.
On the other hand, if you notice that the welds are flat and wide, the traveling speed is too slow in that case.
Before welding to pieces of metal, it is important to make subsequent small welds. This helps to hold the work-pieces together with each other while you are welding. Furthermore, while working on your welds, puddle control is a very basic task that you need to do.
Accordingly, you get some of the powers from a heat source to do your welding. The heat, later on, melts the edges of the filler rod and the work-piece that turns into one molten puddle. Then you move the puddle along the hem.
Multi-Tasking Stick Welders:
A welder that has an AC/DC output works best for all types of uses. Moreover, DC welding provides with more conveniences than that of AC welding in terms of operating a stick welder. That includes less spatter, easier vertical up welding, easier start, easier to have the skills and smoother arc. Check out more about the difference between AC and DC welding
Besides, a DC welding with electrode negative welds thinners metals better, and electrode positive one provides with 10 percent more penetration than AC does.
Lastly, to go for stick welding; you do not necessarily need to make everything clean, but it never hurts to have a clean condition before start working. To do so, clean different parts with a wire brush. With moderate welding skills, if you can prepare well, you can get a satisfactory weld.
At times, even with great welding skills, you do not come with a good weld just because you did not prepare well.