Arc Welding Basics
When you first start to learn stick welding (SMAW), try to relax and enjoy yourself. At first it can be overwhelming to have to think about so many things at one time. That is natural and everyone goes through it one way or another. Before you weld, you should make a mental list of things that eventually will become second nature. Arc welding basics include:
- Are you about to weld in a safe area? Is there any flammable materials near you? People watching you without eye protection?
- Have you got a welding hood? At least a shade #10?
- Glooves? Chipping hammer? Wire brush? Electrodes?
- Do you understand your machine’s layout? Can you find a way to select your polarity?
Now that is a small sample of things I call orchestration. Before I begin any project, I quickly scan images in my mind to make sure everything is in place. Welding is sometimes the last thing on my mind because bad experiences have made me aware of the need for good orchestration.
After looking at some of these images, you will see E6010, E7018 and E7024 have been used. Can you tell which ones? If not, come back later after you have experienced them physically and emotionally and you will have no problem.
When running the bead, try to keep the electrode slightly tilted into the direction you are traveling about 15 degrees. I would at the beginning, keep it strict until you get more comfortable, but never keep the electrode almost parallel to the work because it will not lay down correctly.
Don’t get discouraged just because you cant get the consistency that others get. It only comes by way of much practice. You need to weld everyday if you can and if you cant, you should be daydreaming about it while your brain is working on solving your technique.
Practice, practice and practice again is the only way.