Even those pro steel welders who perform daily welding jobs might have difficulties while stick welding 1/8 steel. Sometimes, it becomes confusing as to what type of amperage you need and which stick to use for performing this type of welding.
It doesn’t matter how many gauges of stick you try; you may still have the problems because either the stick will just burn or get too much slag.
Therefore, stay with me till the end as I will discuss all welding 1/8 steel with a stick in this guide.
Let’s get started-
What Is Stick Welding?
Stick welding is one of the most highly used welding processes in all types of arc welding processes. It is also called SMAW(Shielded Metal Arc Welding).
The technique uses or takes the help of an electric current and an anode on the welding poolside for welding various metals together. Stick welding is very versatile and simple to use for most welding procedures.
When it comes to welding steel and iron, repairing and maintaining the industry’s heavy machinery, and combining various metal structures for industrial needs, the stick welding process is the one that most professional welders prefer to use.
Is Stick Welding Good For Thin Steel?
Doing some experience and study shows that you can easily use the stick welding process for welding 3/32 (2.4mm) mild steel. This will give acceptable results and shows that such thin steel can be welded using this stick welding technique.
However, if you are a professional welder having a lot of experience in the welding niche and know how to control heat, you can easily weld the thinnest steel.
It could go down to stick welding 1/16 or 1.6 mm thin metal with good results. You can even weld less, but it all depends on how knowledgeable and expert you are.
How Thick Can A Stick Welder Weld?
A stick welder is a heavier machine, providing exceptional results when it comes to leaving a good layer of welding while joining two metals. A device that works on 225 to 300 amp can easily weld up to 3/8 inches thick welding layer.
Therefore, an excellent running stick welder can solve welding problems even better than any other such as MIG or TIG welding.
Can You Stick Weld ⅛ Steel (⅛ Stainless Steel, ⅛ Mild Steel, ⅛ Galvanized Steel)?
Yes, you can stick weld 1/8 and even the thinnest metal if you use the correct procedure, proper settings, and technique.
This welding will undoubtedly provide satisfactory results if you come up with more knowledge and expertise in the welding process. However, if you are not experienced enough, you shouldn’t try this.
In the case Of 1/8 Stainless Steel
If you have a thin piece of stainless, you can also use the stick welding procedure to weld it. It can be welded through shielded metal Arc Welding, called MIG.
Plus, it can also be welded using the stick welding method. And last but not least, stainless steel can also be welded using tungsten gas welding, which is called TIG welding.
However, each process here will provide a little different result from the other one.
In The Case Of 1/8 Mild Steel
The stick welding process also goes well with mild welding steel, whether it is 1.6mm soft or less.
However, for such technical and delicate welding, you need a lot of welding experience as well as knowledge. Because you cannot perform such welding without this!
In Case Of 1/8 Galvanized Steel
Welding 1/8 galvanized steel through stick welding is a little different procedure. Because here, you first have to de-galvanize steel.
It happens by removing that layer of zinc coating from the metal. Then you can use the stick welding for performing welding on de-galvanized steel.
How Many Amps Does It Take To Weld 1/8 Steel (⅛ Stainless Steel, ⅛ Mild Steel, ⅛ Galvanized Steel)?
A common rule of thumb is when measuring the current, you need to weld a metal like steel with stick welding. Like, for every 0.001 inches of steel, you need a current of 1 ampere.
Therefore, for 1/8 steel, your machine will need up to 125 amps of current, remaining the other factors constant. So, 125 amps would be enough for welding steel like this.
In Case Of The 1/8 Stainless Steel
Stainless steel requires less current or amps than that carbon steel. Therefore, a current of 90 amps would be enough for stick welding 1/8 stainless steel.
In Case Of The 1/8 Mild Steel
Mild steel is very thin, and your stick welder will need less current to weld it. It would be somewhat the same and near 40 to 90 amps to complete the welding process.
In Case Of The 1/8 Galvanized Steel
The current setting matters the most for providing the required current for galvanized steel.
Such as, if you are using a 6010 rod to weld 1/8 inch of galvanized steel, you would require almost 75 to 125 amps.
What Size Welding Rod Is Best For 1/8 Steel (⅛ Stainless Steel, ⅛ Mild Steel, ⅛ Galvanized Steel)?
To weld 1/8 carbon steel, a 6011 stick rod would be better. However, the following rods can be used in welding stainless steel, mild steel, and galvanized steel.
|Type Of Steel
|Size Of Welding Rods
|1/8 Stainless Steel
|1/8 Mild Steel
|1/8 Galvanized Steel
|6010, 7018(for thicker welding)
How Do You Stick Weld ⅛ Steel (Step By Step Describe The Process)
In this section, I will describe the step-by-step approach that leads you to weld the 1/8 carbon steel using a stick welder machine.
You can perform this procedure for the rest metals like stainless steel, mild steel, and galvanized steel.
Let’s get started.
Equipment Needed To Perform Welding
- Any Rod Holder Or Simply Called Electrode
- An Earth Lamp
- Any SMAW welder or an ensuring continuous power supply.
- Required Stick Welding Rods or Electrodes
Step-1: Preparing The Metal That Needed To Be Weld
If you need to join two pieces of 1/8 steel together, you must prepare them in your desired position. You might need to grind some sides to make some sharp edges to join them.
- Use Clam To Hold Metal Pieces If Needed
If you need to place both pieces together in order to weld them, take the help of a clamp. Hold the piece that needed to be welded with the second one with a clamp. Keep it right there firmly.
- Selecting The Right Rode And Current Reading
In case you are welding simple carbon steel of 1/8, use the E6011 rod. With this, your amperage must be up to 125 amperes for effective and efficient welding. Fix the rod into the rod holder.
Step-2: Turn On The Welding Machine And Start Welding
Once you have done the above settings, you must turn on your arc welder or stick welding machine.
Ensure to set the ratting of current that must be efficient in providing a solid layer of welding. It must be enough for welding your thin or thick metal.
After that, keep in mind to hold the welding electrode or rod holder in your dominant hand and place the position of the rod towards the point that you want to weld.
It must be held a little higher than the metal so that you can clearly see if the steel is being welded or not. Now, take a deep breath and start welding.
Step-3: Finishing Up
Once the welding is done, turn off your stick welding machine. Use a clean piece of cloth to clean the welded surface.
But be sure that the welded material has been cold till that moment. Now, you can use any paint or coating to protect it from corrosion.
- In Case Of Stick Welding ⅛ Stainless Steel
When it comes to welding the 1/8 stainless steel using a stick welder, everything remains the same. Just you need to change the amperage setting and use the right rod.
For stainless steel, I would use rods like 6010,6011 and an amperage setting of almost 90 amperes. You can go higher if this doesn’t provide you with significant results.
- In Case Of ⅛ Mild Steel
Mild steel is usually a little complicated weld. It will require you a lot of welding experience, care, and safety of yourself as well as the steel.
Choose the right rod and set the right amperage for completing this process of mild steel stick welding by keeping everything the same as described above. You can use a 6013 rod and an amperage setting of 40 to 90 amps to do this job.
- In Case Of ⅛ Galvanized Steel
It is a little more typical form of welding than other welding processes. For galvanized steel, you must use a grinder to remove the zinc and lead coating.
This will ensure less fume fever and your exposure to an unhealthy environment. However, keeping the above things the same, use the E6010, E-7018, and 7016 rods depending on the type of weld.
Plus, keep the amperage setting at a level that would be sufficient for providing enough power to weld two pieces of steel together.
- Ensure that you have worn the safety welding gloves. Have a leather jacket to protect yourself.
- You must be wearing fireproof shoes.
- Remember to wear a Helmet made with solid material.
- Use any respirator or fan to ensure smooth ventilation during welding.
- Ensure to keep a fire extinguisher for any emergency needs.
Stick welding 1/8 steel is not as complicated as you think it is. You just need a good knowledge of selecting the same rod and the number of amperes to perform this process using a stick welding machine.
Therefore, if you are an expert welder, you will end up welding this type of steel easily. However, for a newbie, or most DIYs, I would recommend not to do this on your own. Hire an expert and ensure that he performs the job for you.