There are a lot of different welding electrodes and
wires out there. In the field, welding electrodes are usually referred to as "welding
rods" so I will use that term here.
Welding" is also the term of choice in the field for SMAW, the acronym for
Shielded Metal Arc Welding.
Stick welding used to
be done with a bare welding rod. It was very difficult, and could only be used
in the flat position. If you've ever stuck a rod with flux on it, you can only
imagine how many times they stuck bare rods! If the rod gets too close to the
base metal it will decrease the voltage causing the arc to go out.
Click here to view our welding ovens and to learn
about the benefits of proper storage!
the welding rod is where the rod instead of melting like it should, sticks to
the base metal. There is not enough current to melt it, but enough for it to stick.
One way of getting it loose is immediately jerking the rod away from the base
metal. If that doesn't work, you have to unclamp the rod, and then break it off.
EVERYONE sticks welding rods when they're learning,
and even old salts like me stick it every once and a while. I've always thought
it was called stick welding because the electrode looked like a stick, but I read
on Miller's website once that it's called stick welding because so many people
stick it when learning.
If you jerk the "stinger"
(electrode holder) quick enough you can break the rod off of the base metal and
re-strike your arc. But if it stays there too long and gets too hot, it will easily
stick again and should be put down and allowed to cool.
times when it sticks, the jerking away, or breaking loose of the rod will cause
flux to come off of the end. That makes it really hard to strike and arc again
without it sticking. Sticking the rod is SOME KIND of frustrating. I have a punching
bag up in my shop for students to acquire good eye/hand coordination, but it's
also a way for them to go let off some steam when they need to.
quick fix is to long-arc (hold the rod up off of the plate about a quarter inch)
the welding rod and burn the bare metal off until it reaches the flux. . It helps
to turn the machine up to warp 10 (in other words crank that baby up) when burning
it off. If you don't do that, it will almost always stick again to the bare rod
that you're trying to fix.
That's one reason you
really need to keep your welding rods, especially 7018 low-hydrogen rods, in rod
ovens. If you don't, besides getting moisture in the flux, which causes porosity,
or worm holes; the flux can become brittle and flake off.
another article, I'll explain about the most common kinds of welding rods used in
the shop and field, as well as explaining some of the less used ones.
Learn More About Stick Electrodes!