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The choice of electrode, the intensity setting and the connections on the set differ depending on the work to be done. These preparation steps are important and should not be sloppy.

Solder with the MMA process

Read the electrode labels

Choose an electrode of the same metal as that of the parts to be welded

Type of metal

Arc welding is a autogenous welding. This means that it can hold metal parts of the same kind: steel with steel, stainless steel with stainless steel... So always choose a electrode composed of the same metal as the parts you are going to weld. There are some for all metals.

Choose the diameter of the electrode according to the thickness of the parts to be welded

Diameter of the electrode

The diameter of the electrode depends on the thickness of the pieces that you want to assemble. If you use an electrode that is too thin, you will run out of filler metal to ensure the strength of your weld. With an electrode too thick, on the contrary, you risk making pies, you will spend too much metal without achieving a stronger weld.

Connect the electrode to the positive or negative pole of the welding machine

Electrical connection

The electrodes are designed to be connected to the soldering station on the positive or negative pole: this depends on brands which indicate very clearly on the packaging. Take this into account and connect the electrode holder accordingly. The mass clamp (A) will be connected to the remaining pole (B).

Adjust the power of the welding machine

Electric power

The diameter of the electrode and the thickness of the workpieces tell you how much power (in amp A) you need to adjust your workstation (C). If you are a novice welder, do not reduce the intensity... If you take insurance, do not increase it. In both cases, the operation will be counterproductive, and the work will be all the more laborious.

Prepare the welding machine

Place the electrode in the electrode holder

  • Install the electrode in the electrode holder.

Connect the electrode holder to the correct pole

  • Connect the electrode holder to the pole specified on the electrode label.
  • Connect the ground clamp to the free pole.

Adjust the electrical power of the welding machine

  • Adjust the electrical power according to the thickness of the metal parts to be welded.

Prime the bow

Scrape the end of the electrode on the workpiece

  • Scrape the end of the electrode on the workpiece for a distance of 1 to 2 cm.

Move the electrode away when the arc starts

  • When the arc starts, move the tip of the electrode 5 mm from the weld point.

Approach the electrode keeping a gap

  • Bring the bow slightly closer, trying to keep a gap of 2 to 3 mm.

How to arc weld with a coated electrode

Prepare the workpiece with a grinder

  • Prepare the parts to be welded: the joints must be perfectly clean, degreased and deoxidized.
  • Use a grinder or sandpaper.

Hang the mass clamp

  • Hang the ground clamp in a location that is smooth enough to allow current to flow, and that will not interfere with welding.

Prime the bow

  • Prime the bow.
  • Make the score by depositing a drop of filler metal at regular intervals. This keeps the assembled parts edge to edge.

Remove the slag from the welder's hammer

  • Use the welder's hammer to remove the slag.
  • Remove this thick dark layer as you go.

Finish welding with a wire brush

  • Finish with a wire brush. The weld bead appears brighter.
  • Iron over the solder to recharge or extend.

Make a regular weld bead

  • Resume the weld from the beginning.
  • To make a regular bead, move the electrode continuously and hold it 2 to 3 mm from the pieces.

Welding cord made with an electrode

  • An electrode makes it possible to produce a weld bead of approximately one third of the length of the electrode.
  • Change the electrode as needed.

Remove the slag

  • Before continuing, remove the slag with the welder's hammer and then with a wire brush.
  • Never heat the slag once solidified.

Resume welding a centimeter higher

  • Connect a new electrode.
  • Resume the weld a centimeter higher to ensure the continuity and strength of the cord.


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