Q:

How do you get started with stick welding?

A:

Quick Answer

To begin stick welding, take care of basic welding safety, prepare the joint, and make the appropriate rod selection. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when selecting your rod.

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Full Answer

  1. Take care of welding safety

    Wear and use proper clothes and protective welding equipment. Use a ventilation fan when working in a confined space because welding fumes are toxic. Serious injury and even death is likely in the absence of safety precautions.

  2. Prepare the joint

    Clear the welding area of oil, water, paint and rust because these affect the quality of the weld.

  3. Set the welding machine

    Set the welding machine to the appropriate setting for the rod being used to get a clean weld. Follow the manufacturers’ recommendations to set the machine.

  4. Choose the correct welding electrode

    The numbers on the welding rods determine the strength of the weld. Set the polarity of the rod according to the manufacturers’ recommendations.

  5. Test the settings

    Test the stick welding machine and rod on a piece of scrap metal roughly the same thickness as the metal you are working with. The settings are correct when the rod burns smoothly without sticking. The settings are too high when the rod turns cherry red in color.

  6. Use the correct technique

    Hold the handle with both hands, and brace yourself in a comfortable position. Bounce the rod lightly off the metal, or strike it like a match to get the arc started.

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