Thursday, September 16, 2021

Stick Welding

Let's go over everything that you need to know when starting out with Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), also known as stick welding. This video cover welders, safety gear and equipment, welding electrodes, striking an arc, tacking and proper welding technique.
VIDEO HERE  (24:08 minutes)

Unlike other processes like TIG and MIG, stick welding doesn't require gas, which is one reason it is popular among farmers and hobbyists. We get requests all the time for entry level / "how to get started" videos. Many of those recent requests have centered around stick welding and different common electrodes.
VIDEO HERE  (23:46 minutes)


About 20 years ago I decided I wanted to learn how to weld, so I bought a MIG and a stick welder and enlisted the help of a friend that was a welder.
It didn't take long to pick up the basics of stick welding, not nearly as long as I figured. I bought a couple sheets of steel and acquired a shitload of angle iron and went to work. My first real project was to build my own welding table and I've got to admit, it was pretty damned nice.

After I married Lisa, I just didn't have anything that needed welding so I went a couple years without burning a single rod, so when we moved out here, I sold all the equipment, a move I now regret. I mean, I may not need a welder much, but when you need a welder, you really need a fucking welder.


  1. if you have 220/240 volts this is a good welder (AC only) I have one and it is about 50 years old. works great. I'm sure in the states you could easily find one for $100

  2. Agreed.
    Got a small Lincoln MIG, also was able to sneak past the wife (!) a small Miller plasma cutter. Both home/hobbyist level, but that's all me.
    Went to local vocational school on my past company's dime for stick and TIG classes.
    Stick is fun (if you want to do plows or battleships) but TIG f'n rocks.
    Looking at a HF TIG unit but it's over a kilo-buck. Quality on their top end stuff isn't too bad.

  3. Never, ever, sell a tool. Ever.

  4. Yup, a good basic welder from Horror Freight is about 150 bucks and they work just fine for most light jobs. There are cheaper and some have pretty good ratings.

    I have the whole pantheon and self taught by practice. Stick, MIG (gas and gasless), TIG and even a plasma cutter. Built a trailer and on occasion do some repairs for family, but mostly the stuff just occupies space.

    Do we need a chip in fund for Joel?

  5. MIG welding doesn't need gas if you use flux core wire...Get a Hobart 140. 110 volts and can do anything you want....About 500 bucks new

  6. I taught my teenage son how to weld in about 3 minutes. I told him to put his hand on mine and I laid a bead then he held the welder and I moved his hand then turned him loose. Yes I know there is a LOT more to it but he began welding right away.

  7. I picked up a 90 amp Hazard Fraught FCWW and a Lincoln AC225 "tombstone" for the little projects I do. I can't really weld for shit, so all of mine are pretty much "gorilla welds". I did find that 6013 is easier for me to run though, thanks to that same channel. Good skill to have for when the SHTF.

  8. I've got a 10-90 duty cycle as a welder. 10% welding 90% grinding.

  9. For stick only. Saw this on a major YouTube channel (forget which one) and they really liked it. Bought it and I really like it. Search Amazon for DEKOPRO 110/220V MMA Welder Solid state machine so really small and light-weight. $130.

  10. I learned how to stick weld decades ago, and it's always stuck with me. I learned brazing first, and then taught myself gas welding. One of the places I worked at had a stick welder, and my boss told me to have at it, and feel free to use anytime. Got pretty good doing thin-wall exhaust tubing, something most of my buddies told me you couldn't stick weld.

    If you use the right size rod, and the right current, you can do it easy-peasy with some practice.

    Made quite a few $$ in the pocket doing header installs and other welding for my buddies.

    I've tried MIG and TIG, and TIG I'm pretty good at, probably from gas and stick welding experience. I can MIG weld, too, but they're not "YouTube Pretty" welds.

  11. like drjim, my first welds were exhaust pipe. Tombstone welder 1/8" 6011 with the heat turned way down

  12. Same same. There are times I'd give my right arm for my welder. I aint burned a rod in many a year. I miss my cutting torch too.

  13. I’ve done stick and mig. Did bumper guards back in the 70’s. Crank the heat and speed up and listen for the sizzle as you lay the bead.

    Grand dad brazed everything. Oxeygen, aceytaline and flux on the rod. He welded a bunch of stuff that way.

  14. Still weld MiG, TiG, Arc and O/A regularly. Been a couple years since I was forge welding.

    Pro Tip:
    To make your overhead welding look good, do the top and sides shitty.

  15. A grinder and paint make me the welder I ain’t

  16. Build one.

  17. Used a buzz box stick welder for 30 years or so (homestead use), but just picked up a HF gasless mig unit for $150
    on sale. Nice to be able to weld thinner material.

  18. I sometimes get carried away with projects.
    2003, I converted a 1997 Ford CF8000 commercial truck to my concept of an ExpeditionVehicle.
    Nearly two decades full-time live-aboard.

  19. Uncle Sam taught me how to oxy-acetylene, stick, and MIG weld, as well as cut heavy stuff with a torch. TIG and plasma arc were for the non-plebes. MIG kicks butt for high volume relatively light stuff, both with gas and shielded core wire. Nothing beats the versatility of a good stick welding rig for a job shop or field welding projects. TIG can weld aluminum foil (saw an instructor do it for a bet), and MIG can crank out hundreds of feet of welds an hour, but a small trailer stick welder can fix a truck with a broken frame member in the back forty...heck you can even crank the current up and use it to cut with in an emergency if you don't mind wasting some rod.

  20. If you want a stick welder, I've got the previous generation of this welder, and it does the job...and it's incredibly light, to boot!

    The new version even has an arc force adjustment on it, though I don't know how effective it actually is, which is a nice touch. Damn thing came out three months after I bought mine!


    Note: I'm not a pro, but I checked video and forum reviews of this welder by pros before buying it, and they said it worked beautifully. So far my experience has borne that out.

  21. I've been welding pretty much all my life when ghe salesman brought the latest Forney welder to the farm when I was six.
    Even at that age, it was amazing.
    I'm 67 now, and have been welding professionally for the last 33 years.
    It's been nearly twenty years since using a stick.
    The first time I saw a Linde Migmaster 225, basically the first of the smaller, more easily adjusted mig welders, I saw potential in the process, and started my own business doing truck, trailer, and misc welding repair.


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