5 Tips to Master Horizontal Stick Welding
It can take some time to master the basics of welding. After these fundamentals come various advanced techniques that may be more difficult to execute. There are many different types of welds and positions that a welder can encounter and they need to know the right way to tackle them.
Starting to weld in different positions can seem tough at first, but after a little time and practice, one can master them. One of the first varied positions that a welder may encounter is a horizontal weld. This can be done in a couple ways, but we will be talking about stick welding in this case. Check out the stick welding tips below to learn how to become a master at this technique.
Prepare for Stick Welding
Before even attempting to horizontal stick weld, there needs to be preparation. In fact, this is the most important step to set up for success. Stick welding tends to be quite forgiving when it comes to dirt or rust in comparison to other types of welding, but the area should be ideally cleaned first. A wire brush or grinder can be used to get rid of rust, dirt, and more from the surface that you’re about to weld. Doing this will reduce the chances of difficulties while welding, like cracking, lower fusion, or porosity.
In addition, the area where the work clamp will be should be clean as well to ensure a good connection. It is much better to take the time for these preparation steps so that the weld will be as excellent as possible.
Remember Your CLAMS
CLAMS stands for:
- Current setting
- Length of arc
- Angle of electrode
- Manipulation of electrode
- Speed of travel
These are five of the most important factors for any form of welding. We will break down a few below as to how they can apply to horizontal stick welding and help you master the technique.
Apply the Correct Setting
Depending on the electrode, the welding machine may need to be adjusted for the best results. This often depends on the electrode being used, as it may call for AC, DC positive, or DC negative. Be sure to review the manufacturer recommended operating ranges of the electrode being used to ensure that the machine is adjusted correctly. The welding machine should be adjusted by about 5 to 10 amps at a time until it has reached the correct threshold.
Hold a Short Arc
One of the most important factors in getting a good horizontal stick weld is to hold a short arc. This helps to greatly reduce the heat when welding in a different position. This is one of the most important foundational points, as it is where a lot of beginners tend to mess up. Too long of an arc can result in several issues, including low deposition, undercuts, spatter, and more. The exact right arc can vary depending on the particular electrode and application, but a good general rule is that the arc should not be larger than the diameter of the electrode core.
Angle of Travel
The right angle of travel is critical when it comes to horizontal stick welding. This technique uses what is called a backhand or drag technique. The electrode should be held at a tilt of about 5-25 degrees in the direction that it will be traveling. Then, slowly drag the electrode down the groove to be welded. Do not try to push the electrode, as it can cause slag to get trapped in the weld.
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