Using the right technique and practicing stick welding is the best way to improve stick welding. You know at the beginning stage, there are some problems and imperfections that can be seen.
Hence, knowing the process to identify the problems quickly can be a great benefit if you want to do well in stick welding. Identifying the troubleshooting of SMAW can reduce the chances of unnecessary downtime. It saves time. Here time-saving is very important as wire processing is a time-consuming thing. Moreover, if you do time-saving, then more productive work can be done!
However, this article will discuss stick welding problems and solutions. Hopefully, this will be helpful for you!
Table of Contents
What should you not do when stick welding?
- The first and foremost thing you should avoid is don’t pick any rusty and dirty material for welding. The unclean and rusty surface will lead to a cracking effect and porosity problems.
- Then a strong electrical connection is very important for stick welding to maintain the quality of the arc.
- Don’t sit uncomfortably when you do welding. Your position gives you the best support to manipulate the electrode perfectly.
- Don’t forget to select the amperage according to the electrode size.
What are the problems with stick welding?
Some of the common stick welding problems would be addressed here. Spatter, porosity, lack of penetration and fusion, undercut, and overlapping are the common problems of stick welding. Let’s have a brief of these common issues of stick welding.
Spatter is a very well-known problem of stick welding. It happens when the welding arc length is becoming too long. A long arc leads to a ball at the end of the stick. Spatter occurs when the ball moves away and falls down in the paddle. Mainly, the unclean and dirty surface is the key reason for spattering. A high amperage of the current also can lead to this problem.
Impurities with the weld surface through oil, grease, rust, and moisture can contaminate and lead to the problem of porosity. Porosity can even happen when an excessively long or too short arc is used.
Then, if the welding pool becomes frozen then the problem of porosity happens.
Poor penetration and lack of fusion
Lack of fusion means when you have to fusion between the metal of the weld and the service of the weld. Poor penetration also refers to the situation where the weld bead seems not fully penetrated. Penetration of the entire thickness is important to get high-quality welds.
When the welding joint is not filled properly, then the problem of undercut arises. It gives an eroded result of the welding. If the supply of the current and the travel speed of the welding becomes too fast, then you may face this problem. Then, the use of the wrong angle of an electrode is another reason for the problem of the undercut.
If the molten weld falls down to the surface of the weld and cools down without doing any fusing, then it is called overlapping. Apart from this, there are many reasons for the overlap. Such as wrong angle of the electrode, too much time in the paddle, more welding metal than necessary, slow travel speed, long electrode, etc.
Trouble striking an arc
This is a very common problem in welding. If you are a learner, then one common thing you will see is striking the arc with the workpiece. If you use any moisture-absorbed arc, then this problem can happen. Apart from this, low current supply can be another reason. However, to avoid this problem, choosing the correct electrode would be really effective.
Stick welding troubleshooting
1. Spatter is a common problem of stick welding. If you are facing a problem with the spatter, then you can avoid it by supplying enough current.
2. Then, always try to work on a clean surface. If any dirt and rusty surface remain, then this problem can happen.
3. To maintain the correct stick length, you can even do oven storage along with reconditioning filler metal. This type of filler metal does not soak moisture. So, it’s a plus point.
4. To escape from the problem of porosity, a clean and pure surface is really needed. Then, maintaining a proper and right size arc is another thing that you have to strictly maintain.
5. After that, maintaining a good and accurate current supply is important. You have to ensure good gas coverage also. Without maintaining the mentioned things, you never get the best quality stick welding.
6. Then, to avoid any penetration issues, you have to be careful about the travel speed. If the travel speed increases too fast, then this problem arises. You can avoid it by controlling travel speed, rising up the current voltage, and using a small type of diameter electrode.
7. Moreover, the weaving technique is another basic and important technique for stick welders to avoid the problem of the undercut.
Do you push or pull while stick welding?
For the new welders, it would be hard to practice when you have to pull and when you have to push. How this push and pull matters to create differences, you have to know it.
Mainly, you have to pull the welding stick when you want to keep away from pushing the slug from the welding pool. Slag actually is a reason to weaken the weld. It ruins the integrity and strength of the weld.
If you find any slag, you must have to drag it. Slag is basically a nonmetallic byproduct that is produced during the welding process. Stick welding, flux core welding, then stick shielded metal arc welding produce slag, and hence, you have to remove this slag by pulling, not pushing.
Why does my welding stick keep sticking?
Stick welding is so popular and beginner friendly. Many professionals also do stick welding. Over-practicing and applying fruitful techniques make stick welding stronger and smooth.
However, a common problem arises in stick welding, that welding sticks sometimes keep sticking. If the amperage is so low, then it will keep sticking with the welding. Too low an amperage makes the electrode sticky when you are striking any arc. So, you have to be very careful about the current supply.
Polarity is mainly the direction of the current supply during welding. Mostly, for stick welding, dc+ welding is used. Sometimes, dc- is also used.
Yes, you can start welding from the right side to the left side. But you have to do it very smoothly with consistent speed.
That’s all for today! Hopefully, you are totally informed now about stick welding problems and solutions. And if you follow this troubleshooting guide, you should not face any issues from now.