I'm learning a bit of stick welding since I keep needing it for certain projects. Total beginner.

The latest thing I decided to make is a table similar to this one: enter image description here

  • The material is 2mm thick 40x40mm square tubing - don't know the exact metal type, should be "regular" steel that was a bit corroded from staying in the steel yard.

  • I tried using 2mm and 1.6mm rutile electrodes.

  • I tried the 1.6mm at 55~ Amps AC and the 2mm at 60-65 Amps AC. With higher or lower Amps, my electrodes started sticking.

  • The angle I'm holding the electrode at is similar to this one: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/qTaQf0iPH-g/maxresdefault.jpg

What is happening that on straight flat sections I can spark and keep a straight line and don't burn a hole in metal. The weld is strong and consistent.

When trying to weld the two pieces together, on the outside and inside angles (see red circle) I keep burning through and bigger and bigger gaps keep opening because of this.

On the inner corners I have not had this issue and I have successfully welded thicker metals with 2mm and 2.5mm electrodes without issues.

EDIT: Edited for clarity that I'm not actually welding without melting metal :)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If " What is happening that on straight flat sections I can spark and keep a straight line and don't melt the metal." is true, then you have not been welding. A weld is the molten joining of the two original metals augmented by a filler rod as necessary. So, not melting the metal means no weld... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 4, 2019 at 19:11

1 Answer 1


Welding always melts steel, you mean you are "burning through", too much penetration. Wire feed welding -MIG is much easier to use than stick . MIG , also identified as flux core with or without gas and solid wire with gas - is the best choice for your job. Stick is difficult to learn by trial and error and more difficult with thin base metal as you have. Stick is not so bad with base metal of 1/2 in. and turn the amperage up high enough to prevent "sticking". Apparently you have the best electrode , 6013, that is the high titania/rutile type. Reverse polarity will give the lowest penetration ; more of the heat goes to melting the electrode and less heat into the work.

  • $\begingroup$ that is indeed what I mean. Do you have any tips on lowering the "burnigh through" effect? I'm trying to learn as much as possible before investing in a new welder, so I'm stuck with stick for the moment. $\endgroup$
    – hilchev
    Aug 5, 2019 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ Reverse polarity ( electrode positive ) , 6013 electrode as small as possible, Lowest amperage you can hold an arc. $\endgroup$ Aug 5, 2019 at 14:49

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