Stick Welding is a bit more difficult to learn than Mig.
...because that stick rod gets shorter as you weld and requires the welder to constantly feed it closer to the weld to keep the arc length short enough.
So the weld is moving the puddle along at a constant rate and at the same time, moving the stick into the puddle to maintain a constant arc length.
That is why beginner stick welders almost always use too long an arc.
In fact that is the main thing beginners do wrong.
Rod angle is important too but does not make as much difference as arc length.
If you have the machine set right, and use a good tight arc, everything else is pretty forgiving.
So how do you know how to set the amperage?
Well as simple rule of thumb if you are using the English measuring system is to convert the diameter of rod to decimals and then use about one amp per thoussands.
So a 1/8 rod is .125" = 125 amps.
but remember...that is only a rule of thumb .
125 amps might be way too hot for some 1/8" rods (like a 6010 for example) but it does give you a starting point for stick welding amperage.
Stick Welding tips and practice...
A joint that gives some very good practice is using 3 pieces of metal to make for a tee joint and 2 lap joints.
this is a standard joint used in Hobart training curriculums and gives some good practice on laps and tee joints.
..but taking the exercise one step further and welding 6 passes on each side of the tee joint gives a lot more practice.
Multi-pass welds like this are common on structural steel welds on bridges and buildings as well as pipe supports on power plants.
Being able to make an even fillet weld that passes inspection, means no undercut ( or acceptable undercut usually under 1/32" or so) , no arc strikes, and a uniform weld with no obvious surface defects.
Another job that comes to mind is the wedge on a log splitter. It often requires a multi pass weld like the one shown in the video.
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