How to arc weld

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How to arc weld

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Project Overview

Arc welders are used to join heavy pieces of metal, such as barbecue plates or steel gates. We’ll show you how to use the arc welder safely. You’ll see how to tack your metal pieces in place and then weld them together. Learn how to remove the slag residue and finish your join. 

Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Secure your metal pieces in place
2 Use tack welds to hold your material in place
3 Weld the metal pieces together
  • Step 1. Secure your metal pieces in place

    Secure the metal you are welding to your work surface. Clamp the earth lead of the arc welder to that piece of metal. Then place a welding electrode into the electrode holder. Turn the arc-welding machine on and adjust depending on the size of the electrodes you are using. 

  • Step 2. Use tack welds to hold your material in place

    Lower your helmet. Make a couple of small tack welds to make sure you get your two pieces of material in the right position.  Arc welding produces a slag residue on top of the weld join. Use the chipping hammer to get that slag off.

  • Step 3. Weld the metal pieces together

    If you are happy with your tack welds, continue welding the two pieces of metal together.  Run a bead of weld down each side of the join. Then use your chipping hammer and a wire brush to remove the slag. The metal and join will be very hot so set them aside to cool when you are finished. When the join is cool, coat it with an undercoat or rust protection to prevent rusting.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Arc welder
  • Chipping hammer
  • Clamp
  • Safety gear - a heavy leather apron, extinguisher, gloves, helmet, long sleeved clothing and closed boots
  • Wire brush

Materials

  • Welding electrodes
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