Explaining Stick Welding

Welding is a skill and a trade. Certified practitioners perform what appears to be a simple task – the unification of two disparate parts. They create functional and durable components or entire items. To be a welder requires understanding and even mastering more than one type of weldment and one technique. While some welders in Minneapolis prefer to work with MIG or TIG welding, others are more adventurous and are capable of performing stick welding.

Describing Stick Welding

In formal terms, Stick welding is shielded metal arc welding or SMAW. SMAW dates to the late 1930s but has continued to evolve ever since. At its basic is the part from which it derives its name – the consumable rod or electrode (stick). These “sticks” fall into one of, three possible categories:

1. Cellulose
2. Rutile
3. Low-hydrogen (basic)

Each obtains their name from the type of coating. The actual core wire in a “stick electrode also varies. It may consist of:

* Carbon steel

* Cast iron

* Stainless steel, i.e., 304L, 308L, 309L, and 316L

* Aluminum – a specialty core wire

No matter what the choice, it will complement the coating as well as the electrode design. This symbiotic relationship is essential because the purpose of such coatings on each electrode is to ensure optimal performance for specific applications. They exert an influence on the speed at which the slag freezes as well as the depth of penetration and the rate of deposition.

Little pre-weldment work is required of this method. It is one reason why many welders in Minneapolis opt for this type. Two other reasons are its easy portability and affordability.

Stick Welding

Welding is an ancient craft. Although SMAW is one of the oldest techniques, it remains popular. Simple and inexpensive. Nevertheless, this form of welding requires Minneapolis welders to develop a certain expertise if the results are to be first-rate.


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