Filler Metal, How Much to Fill When Welding. Part 1

Filler Metal, how much is too much?

The issue that a lot of welders face is how much to fill when welding,  the worst sin of any welder is succumbing to the temptation to put down too much filler metal in a single pass  while this may not be an issue for seasoned welders, it is for the majority of enthusiasts who find welding a bit of a challenge. As a novice myself at one time, I remember the difficulty I had in trying to begin to understand how much metal I should put down in a single pass. Fortunately I had several people around to guide me during this phase.  As typical, after going through the race through stage where all you lay down metal-wise is a skinny string of chicken droppings,  I would lay down as much metal as I could at one time in order to resist the temptation to move too quickly.  Well, if you’ve welded before, you know what was happening. Things were getting too hot, the metal was piling up and the beads were as wide as the Mississippi river due to my trying to weave the metal all over the place.  Point is, it wasn’t working.  I was getting cold lap on the toes (sides of the weld in line with the direction of travel) and plenty of trapped slag.  Sure the weld looked better than the chicken poop I had started with, but in reality it was not much better in quality.   Something was wrong and it was a point of frustration with me until I got someone to literally hold my welding hand to guide me so I could actually see what I was supposed to be doing while I was welding. In reality, not everyone has that type of intimate luxury at their disposal.  But everyone does have the ability these days to read and view things on the internet.  While not everything is reliable or accurate, it’s pretty easy to weed out things that are wrong since there are so many sources that can be cross checked.


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