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How to Stick Weld Steel

You can learn the basics of how to stick weld steel by watching the videos on this page...

But having the confidence that something you weld won't break takes practice.

There are over 40 "how to stick weld" videos at that will help you learn how to stick weld steel quicker than you can on your own and with less metal.

You can even take a free trial at  and learn all you can for a whole week for free.

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how to stick weld steel with 6013

If you know someone who either currently welds for a living or has a background in welding, you would do yourself a favor to get them to give you a 1 hour lesson on how to stick weld steel.

If that is not an option, then taking a short class at a nearby college might be money well spent.

If neither of these options work for you, then getting a stick welding machine, some rods and scrap metal and learning at home is also possible.

Especially if you can watch videos showing you how.

Here is a quick overview of how to stick weld steel

Stick welding, also known as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), is a tried and true welding technique used for welding steel. Here are the steps to stick weld steel:

  1. Prepare the metal: make sure the steel you are welding is fairly clean, Stick welding can definitely burn thru some rust and mill scale but you will get much better results if the metal is free of rust, paint, or other contaminants. Use a grinder to clean the metal.
  2. Set up the equipment: You will need a stick welding machine( preferably one that is AC and DC), stick welding electrodes, welding helmet, gloves, and safety glasses. Choose the stick rod electrode and set your welding machine on the right polarity for the stick rod you are using.  Most stick rods burn smoother on DCEP but if you only have an AC machine, you will need to pick a rod that works on AC current because some rods don't work well on AC. If you only have an AC stick welder, then 6013, 6011, and 7014 are good choices.
  3. Secure the work: Secure the steel in the desired position using clamps or a vise. Hook up the ground clamp on an area that is clean and free from mill scale, rust, or paint.
  4. Strike the arc: striking the arc is similar to striking a match. Practice striking an arc in a controlled method so that you can avoid arc strikes outside the weld area. ( a good quality autodark welding hood really helps with striking the arc) 
  5. Weld the steel: Move the electrode in steady motion while maintaining a consistent arc length and angle. Travel at a speed so that the weld puddle is approximately 3 times the diameter of the electrode. Move the electrode along the steel surface while depositing the weld metal and pay attention to the fact that the stick rod is always getting shorter so you need to move your hand in such a way to maintain a consistent arc length.
  6. Finish the weld my quickly removing the rod from the puddle: Once the weld is complete, turn off the welding machine and allow the weld to cool. Use a wire brush or grinder to remove any slag from the weld.

Stick welding can take some practice to master, but with patience and perseverance, you can learn how to stick weld steel effectively. Remember to always prioritize safety when welding and wear appropriate protective equipment.

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