How to ARC weld stainless steel

Written by justin obrien
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How to ARC weld stainless steel
Arc welder at work. (

Welding is an important component of any metalwork job; the skill of welding can be highly valuable to learn because of the high cost to have repair and welding done. The cost of welding work ranges from £16-$50 an hour. Imaging doing it yourself to save money and learn a valuable trade. Welding stainless steel is becoming a highly sought-after skill with the growing use of stainless steel in products; stainless steel welding projects range from welding a cracked sink to welding a leak on a grain bin.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • SMAW welder
  • Welding helmet
  • Leather gloves
  • Pliers
  • Welding hammer/pick
  • Wire brush
  • Safety clothing

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  1. 1

    Purchase or rent a SMAW, Shielded Metal Arc Welding or Stick Electrode welder at your hardware store or equipment rental company.

  2. 2

    Plug your welder into a 220V outlet and then plug in your ground cord and welder electrode holder cord into the welder.

  3. 3

    Welding stainless steel requires a special electrode. Purchase an AWS E308 stick electrode to weld stainless steel.

  4. 4

    Clean the surface to be welded with a wire brush.

  5. 5

    Clamp the grounding clamp cord from the welder onto the piece of steel to be welded.

  6. 6

    Place an electrode into the welder electrode holder, position the electrode near where the weld will start and pull your helmet over your face.

  7. 7

    Tap the electrode on the steel until it strikes an arc and begin to weave the electrode stick from side to side and always keep the arc a half a centimetre or less away from the piece of steel you are welding.

  8. 8

    Allow the weld to cool for a minute, then use the welding hammer to chip off the slag from the top of the weld.

Tips and warnings

  • If you ever run out of electrode and need to weld more, remember to chip off the slag coating before continuing to weld.
  • Safety First! Wear proper welding protective eye wear and work in a well ventilated area to prevent fumes and gas build-up.

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