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'How-to' Welding Class: Stick Arc Welding—Introduction & Equipment

Welcome to the 'How-to: Welding Class' sessions on stick/SMAW welding! View this introduction HD video, follow the subsequent sessions, and improve your stick welding skills. See the series of HD video welding sessions here at 4WD Mechanix Magazine!

Moses Ludel opens the stick SMAW welding sessions. 

     In this section of the 'How-to: Welding Class', we focus on shielded metal arc welding (SMAW). Commonly known as "stick welding", SMAW is recognized by industry, pipeline contractors and various segments of the automotive industry as an excellent method for fusing and joining metals.

View the HD video introduction to stick welding on this page!

HTP America's Invertig 221 is versatile AC/DC unit that runs stick electrodes and TIG.

     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!

Stick electrode holder for HTP America Invertig 221

     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!

Professional grade ground clamp from HTP America

     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.

Equipment and stick electrodes for SMAW 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.

A quality welding bench

     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.

Safety first fire extinguisher

     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.

Choose the right gloves

     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.

Use quality welding leathers

     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. 

The right welding helmet

     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.

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