Practicing Stainless steel welds with a stick welder - Part 2
Stainless will warp and distort when welding more than standard varieties of mild steel. This is due to how Stainless conducts heat.
So it may be necessary to practice back welding techniques to help manage this problem. Stainless is really an expensive metal to learn to weld. Both stainless plate and filler rods are quite high in price. For that reason, if you are learning to weld stainless, or trying to refresh your skills in stainless stick welding, it’s a good idea to practice welding stainless to mild steel. Most stainless welding rods don’t take to this very well. However, the ER309/309L are great choices and are usually less expensive than other brands of rods.
These are commonly used in the industry where corrosive environments exist, particularly in high pressure or steam pipe/valve environments. They are often used to join stainless sheet to mild steel, such as in a table or in a manufacturing plant. It is also perfect for welding many different dissimilar steels, or even for welding mild steel to mild steel.
This is because of the relatively high content of carbon in the stainless. Although it isn’t a perfectly rust resistant stainless, it does offer the opportunity to learn how to weld stainless when stainless stock isn’t available. It’s great for practicing on V grooved plate, or lap joints. Stainless flows smoothly so the resulting bead, if properly managed will be as handsome in appearance as any TIG weld. So if you are considering a TIG welder for welding stainless, don’t rule out using stick before you try it.