The basic but valuable welding skills learned in stick welding. Part 3
While learning to stick weld, the most common issue that people have is learning to maintain a proper angle, or rather we should say proper angles, because there are multiple angles to be considered when holding an electrode. When stick welding, the reference point when discussing angles is perpendicular to the metal, or a 90 degree angle. For example, in stick welding the electrode should be held at a 10 degree angle to the direction of travel.
That means, if a protractor is used, it would register as an 80 degree angle from the metal, but only a 10 degree angle from the perpendicular plane. Rod angle is also important in the fact that, the rod can also be leaned in one direction or the other out of line with the direction of travel. These angles should be registered as 0. In fact the any deviation from 0 degrees except forward travel angle in welding should be limited or avoided. The problem is that the angle that the work is positioned in may not always allow perfect welding rod angles while welding. This forward travel angle is also called a leading angle, which is also commonly referred to as a “pull” angle. Pulling the rod will always mean the top of the welding rod is leading the bottom of the welding rod in the direction of the weld.
The opposite of pull angle is “push” angle, which in some cases may be necessary, even though it is rarely to be used in stick welding. In other disciplines of welding such as MIG, push and pull angle is a matter of preference and can be varied to suit the situation. In stick, the problem with pushing a rod instead of pulling it, will roll slag in front of the weld and create a problem with premature coalescing of the slag.
In TIG the torch is leaned away from the direction of travel and the filler rod is held at a rough 90 degree angle to the direction of the torch head.