Stick Welding: The Basics
Welders perform a myriad of tasks. When joining two or more materials together, they also have options on what type of welding technique they can choose. While TIG and MIG are popular, only truly experienced welders are capable of doing stick welding. Welders in Cleveland who can simply pick up a stinger and proceed to weld with skill, ease, and expert technique are truly in a welding class of their own.
What Is Stick Welding?
This is the common name for this type of welding. Formally, it is shielded metal arc welding (SMAW). Originating in 1938, this type of welding continues to evolve, improving with advances and discoveries in technology. Simple and inexpensive, it nevertheless requires expertise to produce high-quality work.
SMAW uses an electrode or consumable rod – hence the name, “stick.” The materials most commonly stick welded, are stainless and mild steel. Cast iron is another candidate, along with aluminum, but requires further steps that increase the need for a highly experienced and skilled welder. In Cleveland, the most common place to find basic stick welders is on construction sites. Many fabrication shops also hire the more experienced ones.
Advantages of Stick Welding
Each welding type has its purpose. It also offers specific benefits. Experienced and skilled stick welders argue that their welding method offers the following advantages:
- Portability: The material is minimal requiring the carrying of only leads
- Affordability: This is among the least expensive types
- Environment: Welders can weld both inside and outside using this method. It will not affect the weld pool
- Preparation: Little pre-welding prep is necessary except in certain types of weld and materials. This does not mean, however, no preparation is requisite to achieve a good weld
It is valid that the results may lack a certain polish or neatness. Nevertheless, stick welding does deliver welds that endure.