Padding beads is a great way to improve welding skills.
Padding beads is a common skill exercise used by welding schools because its such an efficient way to get a lot of practice while using a small amount of metal.
Its just a way to practice stacking one bead on the previous bead in such a way that leaves a very smooth surface with no lumps or valleys.
I started out by welding beads around the edges with 6013 1/8 (3.2mm) at 105-110 amps on DCEN.
It helps in having a straight bead to start with so that subsequent beads will be as straight as possible.
After welding a border bead with 6013, I switched over to 1/8" (3.2mm) 7018 rods and changed polarity to DCEP electrode positive also known as reverse polarity.
I switched directions every bead. Right to left...left to right.
I even experimented with different ways to hold the stinger.
just for fun, I thought I would grab a piece of metal and pad some beads in the shape of a heart for valentines day.
Stacking beads is one of those skills that is a building block that can pay big dividends later on in your welding career.
whether its a buldup on a worn shaft, hardfacing on bucket teeth of an excavator, or stacking beads on a cover pass of a pipe weld...
padding beads and stacking beads uniformly is a useful and necessary skill for every welder.