How To Weld Aluminum With A Stick Welder – Step-by-Step
Time needed: 1 hour
There is no question that stick welding is not the best way to weld aluminum. However, it may be your only option.
Perform the following steps to weld aluminum with a stick welder:
- Gather and Prep Materials
First, gather your usual stick welding gear.
You will need a suitable electrode for welding aluminum, such as 4043 rods. You will want to scratch the end of the rod on a hard surface to expose the end. Otherwise, the start of the weld will be more difficult than it needs to be.
Take a wire brush and clean the oxide layer off the workpiece before starting.
Light a carburizing flame and apply it to the workpiece.
The goal is to obtain a thin layer of soot over the workpiece.
Once achieved, switch back to a neutral flame.
- Heat To 400° F
Now, heat the workpiece. If you skip this step you will get a much messier weld, so it is important.
Keep the flame at a good distance and heat until it reaches 400° F. At this point, the soot will disappear.
Once you get the workpiece up to the correct temperature, you will need to work quickly. Aluminum cools very quickly compared to steel, so be ready to go.
You are now ready to weld.
You need a short arc, a straight position, and you must move quickly. Weaving is not as important as speed here as the 4043 rods are very prone to spattering.
Once you have performed the weld, back off and take a look. It will be messier than you are probably used to when welding steel.
- Quench and Clean
Aluminum is quite soft so it would be a bad idea to just chip the flux off straight after welding.
Instead, quench it and carefully clean up the weld.
If you want to see this whole process in action, check out this video: https://youtu.be/_g-IWPYNIeI
We hope this guide has helped you to learn how to weld aluminum with a stick welder. While not a perfect solution, you can stick weld aluminum in a pinch if you need to.
If you have any questions or comments about this guide or stick welding in general, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.