Stick Welding Techniques that really work

Stick welding techniques make all the difference between a good looking stick weld or an ugly gorilla weld. Techniques include lots of things...not just the way you move the rod.

One way to remember most of the important things that go into making a good stick weld is the acronym...


Thats right....CLAMS

C stands for Current also known as amperage.

If you are set too cold or hot, its hard to make a good stick weld.

today, the machine was set to 140 amps using Lincoln Electric Excalibur 7018 electrodes

L stands for Length of Arc

I usually try to keep a tight arc no matter what. Its what works for me.

But in order to keep a tight arc length, you need to have the amperage high enough so that the rod wont stick. Also, the arc force or dig setting on machines can help to prevent sticking the rod. Setting the arc force/dig setting high lets the machine actually bump up the amperage when it senses the arc getting too sight.

A stands for Angle of electrode

The way you put the electrode in the electrode holder makes a difference in how you can maintain a good electrode angle...especially on round parts. This is probably one of the most important arc welding techniques anyone can give.

M stands for Manipulation of electrode

7018 electrodes do not usually require much manipulation. Often times, just dragging the rod works just fine... But sometimes I make small motions just to slow down the travel and to play the light around so I can see where I am going better.

S stands for speed of travel

Travel speed is one of the most basic things for making a decent stick weld. Its part of all stick welding techniques. How slow or fast you travel affects heat input, bead appearance, and even weld defects like undercut.

Multipass Stick weld tips

I had a leftover piece of scrap from a previous video on tig welding high strength steel. It had 2 tig beads on it already, so I thought it would be interesting to stack lots more stick beads on it.

Setting the Dynasty 200dx to 140 amps on DCEP, and using Lincoln Excalibur 7018 1/8" electrodes, I stacked a total of 9 beads on top of the tig welds.

There are a few key talking points in the video.

  • How you put the electrode in the holder makes a lot of difference in maintaining a good rod angle.
  • set the amperage hot enough so that holding a tight arc length is possible without sticking the rod
  • Make all the arc strikes in areas that will be welded over. I usually start the arc ahead of where I want to start the bead so that I can weld back over any arc strikes.
  • Beads should be stacked half way on top of the previous bead. But sometimes you lose your way so its good to manipulate the electrode a bit so the the light plays around shadows and allows you to see edges of welds and other things that keep you on track 
  • the last bead of a multipass weld requires a different rod angle than the rest to avoid undercut.

see more stick welding videos

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