Introduction: Setting Up the SMAW Equipment at TechShop Menlo Park

About: My background: -over 10 years of welding experience and an AS degree in welding technology. I am also a welding instructor at TechShop Menlo Park. I am proficient in TIG, MIG, SMAW and oxy-acetylene. -seve…

This instructable is for students who have taken and passed the STICK WELDING SBU at TechShop Menlo Park.  I will discuss the proper set-up of the SMAW equipment and filler rod selection.

Haven't taken the stick welding SBU??  Sign up for it on the interwebs,

Step 1: Plug in the Machine

This is the most dangerous part of setting up the stick welding machine.  First of all, make sure that the power switch on the front of the machine is set to OFF.  Then, make sure the safety switch on the wall is set to OFF.  Now it is safe to plug in the machine.  After all leads are plugged in, flip the safety switch to the ON position.

Step 2: Turn on and Grounding the Machine

Before you turn the machine on, you are going to want to put your ground clamp in position.  You can ground to the table that you will be welding on, or you can ground directly to your piece.

After your ground clamp is in place, you can turn the machine on.  Be careful when you turn the machine on, the electrode holder (torch) is now HOT HOT HOT!!!

Step 3: Filler Rod Selection, Amperage Selection

We currently have two kinds of electrodes in stock at TechShop Menlo park, 6011(fast freeze) and 6013(fast fill).  If you need deep penetration with a thin yet tough layer of slag, go with the 6011.  If you prefer a better weld appearance and thick easily removed slag, use the 6013 electrode.  If you are welding out of position, use the 6013 for vertical down welding and 6011 for vertical up welding.

If you are new to stick welding I recommend you start practicing with the 6013 electrode on thick steel.

You will also need to select the proper electrode diameter.  This chart will help you:

Once you have chosen your electrode kind and size, you will need to set the amperage on the machine.  The chart (the link above) will tell you the proper amperage range for each kind of electrode.  Set the machine accordingly.