Stick Welding Tips: Becoming A Stick Welding Expert

January 12, 2015
stick welding

We’re all about welding at All Metals Fabrication so we have some tips on stick welding for you and we love sharing some of the tricks of our trade! Whether you’re on your way to becoming a stick welding expert, or if you’re interested in stick welding as a hobby but don’t know much about the topic, here are some things you should know:

Remember CLAMS. How exactly do shellfish and welding go together? Really it’s just an acronym, but an easy one to remember. Let’s break it down: Current setting, Length of arc, Angle of electrode, Manipulation of the electrode and Speed of travel. By keeping these things in mind, a stick weld will go much smoother, and you’ll perform the process of preparation in the correct order.

Finding the best “all purpose” machine. If you’re trying to work on your stick welding skills, you’ll want a welding machine with an AC/DC output. DC welding has a number of advantages, such as better looking welds, easier overhead welding, and an all around smoother arc. That doesn’t mean an AC output is bad though. If you’re working with magnetized metal, AC allows you to switch back and forth between polarities, a setting that can come in very handy.

Think about the size of your welder.  If you’re working on projects around the house, or in your own personal shop, you’ll probably want a welder that is somewhere between 225 and 300 amps. Generally, stick welding projects require no more than 200 amps, which means you should be good to go in this range. If you need a thicker weld, and are worried about your amp output, just make multiple passes. This will have you feeling like a stick welding expert!

Preparation is key. At the end of the day, the better the preparation, the better the weld. If you aren’t very experienced, you’ll see a big benefit by cleaning your materials before getting started. Fortunately, stick welding can be done with dirty surfaces, but if you’re an amateur you can really mess up a project by not taking the extra time to get things ready.

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