Manual welding is a type of welding using a welding rod clamped into a holder that is used to fuse two pieces of steel. It is most commonly known as stick welding and is often referred to as a buzz box because of the tell-tale buzzing sound the welder makes as it is turned on. The welder uses electricity in either AC, alternating current, or DC, direct current, to melt and fuse the steel.
A welding rod has a flux coating applied to it. This coating melts as the rod is burned into the gap between the two pieces of steel. This flux produces a shielding gas that aids in the bonding of the two steels.
Manual welding employs a variety of flux coatings that are tailored to specific steel types and welding applications. In manual welding, amperage is increased or decreased depending on the thickness of the steel and the intended uses of the welded product. Unlike manual welding, wire welders often use a cylinder of shielding gas that is applied to the weld area by the welding gun. The gas is necessary to protect the fresh weld from contamination from both the atmosphere and any contaminants on the steel itself, such as oil or paint.
Applications of Manual Welding
In applications such as shipbuilding, manual welding techniques would differ from those used in the construction of sky-scrapers. While the practice of joining two pieces of steel together appear to be the same, there are differences in weld speed, the rod and flux used as well as overall style methods. In one application, a welder may use a weaving style of laying down a single welding pass, while another might require the welder to run a succession of beads, overlapping and laying on top of each other to complete the job.