Stick Welding Technique to Freshen Up Your Welding Skill

Marcus Colson Last updated on October 19, 2023
Reading Time: 3 Minute

Stick welding can still be challenging even for those who have spent years controlling it.

Being the most popular welding method on the planet does not lower the difficulty level it brings.

Consistency is the main key. Also, some tips on stick welding technique can help. 

At first glance, stick welding may look like a harmless welding method.

It is only a filler rod placed on the electrode holder.

Then it gets melted from the arc and works as a welding electrode to join the metal piece.

Different conditions and environments may have their own challenges requiring welding technique improvements.  

Main Preparations before Getting Start with Stick Welding

Main Preparations before Getting Start with Stick Welding

It is quite a simple preparation for stick welding.

It does not require some big machine, making it quite popular among hobbyists. Stick welding tips for beginners begins with preparation. 

Three main pieces of equipment are required: a welding cable which comes with an electrode holder, a power supply, and does not forget the ground cable.  

Although the electrode has special coating materials that create protection gas, welders still require goggles and masks as protection against dust, lights, and debris.

For the power supply, one with better mobility can help welders to move freely along the metal piece.  

Cleanliness of the surface is highly important in stick welding.

It is fine to take some time to brush, grind, or wash the surface to ensure it is free of dirt, grit, and rust before getting started.

Welding on these contaminants has the risk of cracking, which obviously will require a redo. 

It is also important to pay attention to posture. Once welders start, they will stay in the same position for a long duration.

Hence, ensuring you are in a comfortable position can minimize the risk of getting health issues.

Welders have a higher risk of suffering from tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Read Also: Stick Welding Aluminum: 5 Reason Why is it Challenging

Introduction to CLAMS Techniques

Introduction to CLAMS Techniques

The most commonly known basic stick welding techniques are popular as CLAMS. It consists of the following:     

  1. Current Setting

Each stick electrode has its machine set up. Welders must follow the serial code on the packaging, which controls amperage, welding position, and visual inspection.  

Setting the amperage too low causes the stick electrode to stick quickly, while setting it too high makes it too fluid and builds a puddle.

Flux abilities can get compromised, too, if it is exposed to excessive heat. 

  1. Length of Arc

The basic rule for arc length is not to exceed the diameter of the electrode core. Welders must carefully position themselves to have a clear view of the electrode.

It helps to see the electrode and control the puddle, and welders can have better control over the electrode. 

  1. Angle of Travel

Position the stick electrode using the backhand welding technique. Hold it at a straight line of 90 degrees, then tilt the top to create a 5 to 15 degrees angle.

Specifically, vertical stick welding tips require the use of the forehand technique to tilt the stick electrode top 15 degrees away from the direction of the movement. 

  1. Manipulation of Electrode

It is a personal preference since each welder has their own way of manipulating stick electrodes.

We can only find which technique brings the best result by practicing and observing other welders. 

  1. Speed of Travel

Lastly, this final technique involves how fast the welder moves their stick electrode. Moving too quickly decreases the penetration and causes underfill.

Meanwhile, moving too slowly causes convex beads to form with little penetration.

Following the directions from the techniques above, welders can quickly discover the cause of any issue.

Sometimes, the basic stick welding technique makes the best solution for the challenge in this welding technique.

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Marcus Colson
Marcus Colson

Welding is more than a hobby for me - it's a passion. The art of fusing metal together to create something new and functional never gets old. From intricate sculptures to sturdy structures, I love the endless possibilities that welding offers.

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