‘How-to’: Stick Arc Welding Introduction & Equipment
SMAW or stick welding can be an inexpensive way to bring welding and fabrication into your shop or garage. A traditional and dependable welding process, AC-DC stick welding can be a smart and affordable place to start.
Welcome to the ‘How-to: Welding Class’ sessions on stick/SMAW welding! View this introduction HD video. See the series of HD video welding sessions here at 4WD Mechanix Magazine!
In this section of the ‘How-to: Welding Class’, we begin discussing shielded metal arc welding (SMAW). Commonly known as “stick welding”, SMAW has been recognized by industry, pipeline contractors and various segments of the automotive industry as an excellent method for fusing and joining metals.
Stick welding can be affordable, requiring less equipment than many other welding methods. In our series on welding processes, stick welding provides a significant tool for 4WD shops and metal fabricators. Join the “class”, free of charge, and improve your stick/SMAW welding skills!
In the HD video introduction, see details on SMAW equipment. Above is a professional grade electrode holder available for the HTP America Invertig 221 machine. The Invertig 221 TIG and AC/DC stick welder delivers professional results with far less electric current draw!
This HTP America ground clamp offers exceptional features. Strong clamping force, a copper strap between the jaws, this high-grade clamp assures even force and full ground continuity for predictable welding.
SMAW arc welding equipment is not elaborate. Small tools are included in the HD video discussion. Keep electrodes dry, the shielding flux must be chemically pure and free of oxidation.
One of your first “projects” should be the construction of a quality welding bench. This bench will support considerable weight. It offers perimeter shielding to keep hot metal and slag from setting the shop on fire! This is an important element of any welding station.
A fire extinguisher is a must. Make sure the certification is current, whether required or not. This older bottle has actually been professionally cleaned, tested and refilled to meet standards. It has a current, time-stamped certificate attached.
All gloves are not the same! These new SMAW (arc) welding gloves are for stick welding. They offer heavier leather yet will permit reasonable finger movement. Lined with Nomex™, the gloves are protective with their gauntlet cuffs and stout leather.
Regardless of ambient (shop air) temperature, “leathers” make sense. This full coat top has long sleeves and a high collar. Leather protects against hot metal, molten slag and UV skin damage from the arc welding process.
When it comes to helmets, cost and source are not as important as ANSI rating/approval. This relatively inexpensive helmet is ANSI rated and features an automatic darkening system. Adjustable darkening takes place in 1/25,000th of a second, protecting eyes from arc flash and UV rays.