Tack welds are a great way to make sure that your welding job is going where you want it to go. With a stick welder, this task can be accomplished with relative ease. In order to tack weld with a stick welder, there are some steps that need to take place first:
Can You Tack Weld with a Stick Welder
First Step: Set your amperage
You need to set your amperage to a low setting. This is because you are only going to be making small tack welds that don’t need the high power of an arc welder.
Second Step: Set up your material for welding
With stick welding, it’s important that both pieces of metal being joined have good contact with each other in order for the weld to be strong. Depending on what you need and which would work best with your project, you can use an electrode holder or a clamping tool.
Third Step: Get in position
Stick welding requires that you get relatively close to your joint so that there is good penetration of both pieces of metal by the filler rod (electrode).
The arc should also reach all sides equally when tack welding. With these things in mind, you want to make sure to set it up properly before starting the process because it will save you time later on if something isn’t correct already.
Fourth Step: Start Tacking!
Now that everything’s ready, turn on the machine and touch downtimes at opposite ends of the joint. Then, move slightly closer and tack down the middle of your project to complete one full round of tacking.
Fifth Step: Weld Your Joints Completely!
Once you’ve made it all around with your first round of tacking, go back over everything again on a second pass this time going slightly slower so that there is good penetration throughout both pieces being joined together.
This will create a solid welded joint without any gaps or weak spots in the metal materials involved.
Then once that’s done, turn up the amperage just a bit but not too much because you do still want low heat input for most welding purposes unless you’re working with very thick metals where higher power levels are needed due to their increased mass.
Sixth Step: Clean Up Your Welding Area!
Now that you’re done with your weld turn off the machine and pick up any slag or debris that may have fallen during welding before it hardens into place. You can then use a broom to get rid of this material for disposal properly.
Finally, make sure everything looks good by having a quick look over your tack welds to see if they are nice and smooth without any gaps in between each one.
If there are places where the metals did not meet together well enough, simply put down another round of tacking until all surfaces are fully joined together on both pieces being worked with.
Here’s additional information on how to tack weld with a stick welder: