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Tips for Starting and Stopping When Arc Welding

When you’re welding it is expected that you will run out of an electrode before you complete the weld.  It is important for welders to know how to start the weld again at the spot where they had to stop without forming excessive amounts of strike marks.  Strike marks are also known as welding defects and can cause the weld area to form cracks.

If your electrode runs out you should stop welding immediately, and change the electrode so that you will be ready to continue welding.  After you have reloaded the electrode and are ready to start welding again you will need to strike the arc.  To successfully start the weld again you will need to strike the arc at a point beyond the point where you stopped.  It is important that when you strike the arc it is going in the same direction that you will be welding so that it can be melted and covered by the new weld bead you will be creating.

Once you have the arc ready to go you will then want to weld back up to the end of the bead where you stopped.  Once you have reached the stop point you will now start welding at the point where you stopped and then reverse the direction of your weld and begin moving the bead forward until you cover your strike mark.  At this point you should ensure that your welds are going in the same direction as the original weld.

When you reach the point where your strike mark is you will want to melt this area by applying the bead to the strike mark.  This will melt the original strike mark and prevent cracks from forming after the weld is completed.  Once the strike mark has been melted properly you should continue with the welding bead until you reach the end of the piece being welded.  Once you reach the end of the metal you should then backtrack approximately 1/4 inch in order to fill in the crater that was left at the end of the metal you are welding.  The process of backtracking will help prevent cracks from forming at the end of the weld area and make the weld stronger.

Welding requires specialized knowledge on how to properly stop and start when welding.  To achieve the best result possible you should practice stopping and starting on pieces of scrap metal.  This will help you get the feel of starting, stopping and striking the arc.

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