Stick welding is a beneficial process for fabrication and repair of metal components. However, this method is one of the complicated procedures in the industry. Therefore, if you are a beginner, you might find it challenging to create durable and clean welds. Ultimately, you will need experience in stick welding to perform the procedure with efficiency. However, you should also make some adjustments in your weld handling methods and avoid the common mistakes. Here are practical guidelines to help you improve your welding technique.
Prepare Your Surface before Welding
Stick welding is a forgiving process; it will create acceptable welds even when the metal is rusty or dirty. However, the quality of the results will not be exceptional or long-lasting. Therefore, you should not start the welding work without preparing your surface by cleaning. If the metal is dirty, the weld will be porous and more susceptible to cracking. Also, there will be inclusions in the welded area, and the fusion of the workpieces will be insufficient. You should use a wire brush or grinder to scrub the surfaces of the materials. This preparation should remove the grime, dirt and oils for the best results.
Choose the Right Current Setting
You should choose the right current setting depending on your selected electrode for your application. This aspect will determine the appearance and integrity of the weld. There are usually three current settings in stick welding: AC, DC positive and DC negative. DC positive will provide more penetration than AC when the electrode is set at specific amperage. The negative alternative is more suited for welding thin metal sheets. The final decision should depend on the chosen electrode. Typically, the manufacturers provide information on the most appropriate setting and amperage for ideal results.
Consider Your Welding Angle
Finally, you should think about your welding angle. The right angle of travel can improve the quality and visual appeal of the welded area. In general, you should use a drag technique when welding on a flat, horizontal setup. Place the electrode in a perpendicular orientation and tilt slightly before dragging the electrode along the joint. If the surface you are welding is vertical, you should use the push method. Place the electrode perpendicularly in relation to the surface and push, tilting the rod slightly from the direction of travel.
Finally, you should choose the right welding equipment for your workshop. Suitable machines will help you be more comfortable handling the welding tasks and achieve better results.