8. SETTING THE AMPERAGE CONTROL
The welder has an infinite current control. It is capable of welding with electrodes up to 3/32"
diameter. There is no golden rule that determines the exact amperage required for every situation. It
is best to practice your welds on scrap metal which matches the metals you intend to work with to
determine correct setting for your job. The electrode type and the thickness of the work piece metal
determine the amount of heat needed in the welding process. Heavier and thicker metals require
more voltage (amperage), whereas lighter and thinner metals require less voltage (amperage).
Consult the welding electrode packaging for recommended welding amperage range.
9. WELDING TECHNIQUES
The best way to teach yourself how to weld is with short periods of practice at regular intervals. All
practice welds should be done on scrap metal that can be discarded. Do not attempt to make any
repairs on valuable equipment until you have satisfied yourself that your practice welds are of good
appearance and free of slag or gas inclusions.
9.1 Holding the electrode
The best way to grip the electrode holder is the way that feels most comfortable to you. Position the
Electrode to the work piece when striking the initial arc it may be necessary to hold the electrode
perpendicular to the work piece. Once the arc is started the angle of the electrode in relation to the
work piece should be between 10 and 30 degrees. This will allow for good penetration, with minimal
9.2 Striking the arc
EXPOSURE TO A WELDING ARC IS EXTREMELY HARMFUL TO THE EYES AND SKIN!
Prolonged exposure to the welding arc can cause blindness and burns. Never strike an arc
or begin welding until you are adequately protected. Wear flame-proof welding gloves, a
heavy long sleeved shirt, trousers without cuffs, high topped shoes, and an ANSI approved
Scratch the work piece with the end of electrode to start arc and then raise it quickly about 1/8 inch
gap between the rod and the work piece, see following picture
It is important that the gap be maintained during the welding process and it should be neither too
wide or too narrow. If too narrow, the rod will stick to the work piece. If too wide, the arc will be
extinguished. It needs much practice to maintain the gap. The beginners may usually get sticker or
arc extinguishing. When the rod is stuck to the work piece, gently rock it back and forth to make
them separate. If not, a short circuit will occur and it will break the welder. A good arc is
accompanied by a crisp, cracking sound. The sound is similar to that made by eggs frying. To lay a
weld bead, only 2 movements are required; downward (as the electrode is consumed) and in the
direction the weld is to be laid, as in following figure: