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Getting the Most Out of Stick Welding

Compared to MIG and TIG work, stick welding projects are a lot more amateur-friendly. Whether you’re working on a giant construction project or  crawling around piping, and welding on your hands and knees, here are three easy-to-remember stick welding tips that will make a huge difference in any project.

Know what kind of rod you’re using. Knowing what rod number you’ll need for a task is half of the battle. Thickness will affect your settings, and what you can and can’t do with a material, but you also need to be aware of your own welding machine’s capabilities. For example, some rods require DC settings, and some machines are only AC compatible. The size of the rod you’re using will also determine how much or little control you have. The larger the electrode, the harder it will be to make intricate movements. Keep this in mind before starting your next project!

How to stick weld pipes. Stick welding on a pipe presents a number of challenges. Unlike uphill or horizontal welding, you are constantly having to adjust your weld, to compensate for a pipe’s curvature.

Depending on where you’re welding, it is sometimes necessary to bend your wrist awkwardly in order to find the correct position. Make sure to keep your welding machine running hot as you work. If you maintain a tight weld arc, you’ll be able to keep the weld puddle moving in the direction of the pipe. Ultimately with pipes, you want to flatten your weld out. While a higher dig setting can achieve this, it’s also important to focus on performing the correct stick welding technique.

Always tack your stick welds. A sure fire way to destroy a good weld, is with a weak tack job. Save yourself a lot of time and energy, by making sure you have enough power to protect your weld joints. If you haven’t done your due diligence before hand, you can blast through joints, and have to start a project all over again. Who wants to deal with that?

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