How to Weld Aluminum With a Stick Welder – Detailed Guide [2021]

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How to weld aluminum with a stick welder

The joining process of two metal elements through melting is known as welding.

It is not an easy job. It is pretty much challenging.

However, when it is the matter of welding any light thing, for example, Al welding, then you will face more challenge.

For ensuring a strong bond, you need more accuracy.

Before giving your Aluminum to stick weld, first, take some knowledge about the stick welding. Do not confuse it with migwelding. Read our article on mig welding vs stick welding.

Stick welding: SMAW is known as stick welding. It is a standard and widely used process. With electrode and electric power, it can join various materials.

The core contains solid rod metal. Metal powders and mineral compounds enclose it.

The initial task of the electrode is covering the arc and protecting the hot item from the environment.

The shield helps to save from the composition of the chemical. The structure of covering depends on electrode category.

The using facilities of stick welding

o It is a versatile process.
o It can be operated in any place.
o Perfect for both outdoor and indoor performance.
o No requirement of gas, water hose.
o It is a handy object. It is not too much responsive to air.
o Maximum our daily use metal can be weld through it.

For welding Aluminum, stick welding is a good option. Though stick welding has some limitation, which described later in the article for aluminum, it is doubtlessly perfect.

Required materials for stick welding:


o An electrode (tungsten) and inert gas.
o The inert gas for shielding the welding area.
o TIG is expensive but gives the best accuracy.
o It is most suitable for welding Aluminum.

Filler Rod :

o The filler rod is required for bonding the two materials together.
o Unclean filler rod must be avoided.
o Otherwise, it will hamper the welding.
o Make a weak weld.
o Its size should be the same size as the electrode.

Argon gas:

o The role of Argon gas for shielding process.
o In good pure argon has 3 % He.
o It makes the arc stable.

Protective cloth:

o Use the shirt with long sleeve.
o The fabric should be thicker.
o Protect UV radiation.
o Cuffed pants can catch fire.
o So make sure that there are no cuffs on your pants.
o Use CVC (cheap value cotton or 100% cotton) shirts

Take protective or safety tools :

o For saving use heavy helmet
o A couple of gloves
o Gas musk etc.

Those will help you to protect from burning, light, radiation, and others unwanted situation. After managing all welding items, your next work is given a good set up of the working place.Try to use the best stick welding gloves.

Aluminum cleaning:

o If Aluminum is coated with oxide, it should be removed.
o Because it will be the reason for the high temperature.
o By grinding or by brushing it can be cleaned.
o Use water to clean. Let it dry.
o Rub it with wool

Filler rod cleaning:

o The dirty rod can pollute welding.
o Use a cleaning pad.
o Clean it properly.
o Make it dirt free.

Pick the best welding rods for better performance.

Tight workpiece:

o The unfitted joint can be costly.
o Before starting, fit the clamp properly.

Preheating: Preheating can give you benefit. It makes the aluminum to a smooth weld.

When the room temperature is hot, welding becomes easy. A propane torch can help to make heat. Target temperature should be 300 F to 400 F.

Working Atmosphere: the location of work have to Ventilated, safe easy assessable.

Now let’s discuss the motion of welding:

Brazing torch with the hand:

o Pull the tip at the correct angle.
o Pulling it far can cause difficult welding.
o 90-degree angle filler:
o Keep it at 90-degree angle for torching tip.
o Push the torch instead of dragging

Torch moving:

o Try to move it correctly.
o Keep practicing to be an expert.

Amp settinTargetarget to do for .001 inch 1amp.

Button pressing:

o The simple process, there is a button to utilize it for pressing on the torch.
o It helps to electric arc forming.

Using foot pedal:

o If there is no button, use the food pedal for creating the arc.
o Check amp if it is not starting.

Stick welding Aluminum polarity :

Usually, it is DC polarity.

Aluminum Stick electrode:

Many brands are offering Al electrode.

The most common and available electrodes:

• Hobart Al stick electrode,
• Shark Electrode,
• Zena electrode

Limitation and problem of stick welding:

• The process is relatively complicated.
• It is a slow process.
• Hard to apply on the thinner object.

Stick welding is a difficult but exciting process. So for welding Aluminum through stick welder needs accuracy and patient. It required expert labor. If you are new, practice to learn it. Prepare yourself to deal with it.

The above instruction and technique will help both expert and beginner for welding Al with a stick welder.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What do you mean by heliarc?

Heliarc is also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW). Again it is more popular Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding. This welding was perfected in 1941 by Russell Meredith. This welding process uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld.

What is GTAW and SMAW?

Ans: SMAW is flux coating of the electrode disintegrates during welding and also produces shielding gas. There is no separate shielding gas that is applied separately. On the other hand, GMAW is usually shielding gas that is supplied from a gas cylinder. Again, inert shielding gas is supplied from the gas cylinder.

What is an inert gas as used in metal inert gas MIG welding?

Ans: MIG welding is an electric arc form between a consumable wire electrode and the workpiece. This process uses gas mixtures or inert gases as the shielding gas. Helium and argon are typically used for the MIG welding of non-ferrous metals like aluminum.

What polarity do you need to stick weld aluminum?

Ans: When arc welding aluminum with the SMAW process, a heavy extruded or dipped flux coated electrode is used with DC Reverse Polarity. These electrodes are covered similarly to conventional steel electrodes.