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New to stick welding

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New to stick welding

Postby Backyardmech » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:13 pm

I'm pretty experienced with mig welding carbon steel and spool gun aluminum, I've just started a new job at a food processing plant as industrial mechanic. They will start training me to stick weld stainless steel, just wondering how different it is to weld in this process? Any info would be great..
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Re: New to stick welding

Postby Mikey 028 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:33 pm

Stick welding stainless for me was different. I am predominantly a stick welder but when i started sticking stainless my first thought was turn the amperage up but you need to do the opposite.95 amps is the hottest i burn 1/8" rods and about 65 amps for 3/32" rods. If you havent stick welded before it will be an experience brother. Hang in there and take your time
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Re: New to stick welding

Postby Aux » Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:52 am

Here's something's I've notice in my learning process:

1) Your rod wants to stick on arc initiation. Meaning when you touch it to the plate to start the arc it's going to want to stick there (stick welding...go figure). Get good at releasing the rod from the electrode holder rather than fighting with it, then pulling it off by hand. Old school transformers will keep pumping juice through it until you have a glowing 1/8th noodle in your rod holder. Can be fun to see once or twice. Not a problem with new inverters.

2) You'll have to get used to compensating for the rod burn off. As your rod burns down your hands will have to move closer and closer to the puddle. This seems like one of the key differences from going from MIG to Stick. My tendency was to space out and stay at the same distance and my arc length would get super long then I would panic and shove it back in (and stick it). So watch that arc and get used to slowly moving your hands forward. Something that seems to work for me is to keep the arc length around the rod diameter or shorter.

3) Between the smoke and slag the puddle is going to be harder to see. Make sure your lenses are clean, you may want to use a different shade so if your not using auto dark have some different shades handy.

4) Messy! Stick welding is messier especially when your learning and you're probably going to be long arcing. You may have to bump up your protective gear slightly.

Hope this helps. The vid below goes over most of the basics.

https://youtu.be/2537L5H7NiY
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Re: New to stick welding

Postby MinnesotaDave » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:26 pm

That's a great video reference :)
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Re: New to stick welding

Postby cj737 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:37 pm

I have never run SS stick rods, but I have run plenty of 7018 and 6010. I like it, personally. I love TIG too, but Stick to me is a great platform for learning. Rod manipulation, reading a puddle, rod angle, etc are all critical aspects of Stick welding. Learning on 7018 has always been the method recommended to me, then learning 6010 afterwards. I don't know about the SS and whether they will teach you 7018 first.

When you get your settings right, it sounds like bacon cooking and you can really feel the base material to help guide you along. Lots of similarities to torch/stick angle with MIG, but arc starts and re-starts will cause you some frustration for a while ;) For re-starts, carry a bastard file in your pocket, drag to rod across it to break the slag, then touch off and go- (if allowed)
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Re: New to stick welding

Postby Aux » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:17 pm

Oh man completely missed that he was learning SS. My post above was for general stick welding. I don't have any exp with stainless.
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Re: New to stick welding

Postby Backyardmech » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:05 am

Thanks for the help people.....sounds like im going to be trained as the main welder...no one else has the hrs of welding expérience as I have on nights..they are giving me a bunch of scrap and go to town...and now they want me to learn TIG too...
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Re: New to stick welding

Postby cj737 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:27 am

I found starting with Stick helped me immensely with TIG. Then, once I became competent with TIG, I actually got a lot better to Stick. Both share many principles, but mostly the skill to read the puddle was the most critical. A big difference between those is that TIG demands the material be CLEAN while Stick will weld thru millscale and other impurities (unless code welding and cleaning is a part of the WPS). And TIG can be performed in any direction, any position, while Stick has restrictions based upon which rod you use.
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Re: New to stick welding

Postby RamboBaby » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:57 pm

Stainless requires a lot less heat than other metals. As long as youre not welding thin stainless then you're not gonna run into too many problems. I've tig welded a lot of stainless bakery equipment and can say for certain that 316 rod is the easiest to work with. I believe that it is the only acceptable choice for food contact surfaces as well. If you need to weld thin walled stainless then aluminum chill blocks on the back side are a good idea unless you wanna sugar it up and ruin the anticorrosive properties of the metal. When it comes right down to it though, you will probably spend more time with tig than with stick since you're in a food processing environment. I never liked the idea of burning stick rods in the bakery during production even when instructed to do so by the head of maintenance. Try to get them to start you on tig as early as possible. And don't worry too much about the tungsten. I can't count how many hours I've spent welding scratch start tig when my tungsten was black and rounded. It's the nature of the beast in that environment and perfect is the enemy of good enough when time matters.
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