Here's some details about "the arc and the puddle":
First let's get the rod going:
1) Start on the grounded piece of material by firmly tapping &
dragging the rod slightly, lifting it up a bit off the metal to
keep it from sticking. (I don't give exact distances & angles
because it's a JUDGEMENT based on you, & the conditions of the
2) This is when you need the machine settings on the upper end of the suggested range so that you can RUN beads & not worry about rods sticking.
3) Get CLOSE enough to really see the arc and the puddle. After a second or 2, you will see what the puddle looks like. (note that the pics below are from the SAME bead. The shape depends on the speed that you're going & how much you're weaving side to side).
4) Here's where the statement "what you see is what you get" comes in. If what you see is a skinny oval, the bead will be skinny & oval.
5) What you want is at least a puddle wider than the rod you're using & a steady pace so that the bead is somewhat uniform.
Look closely at the picture below:
The arc and the puddle shape will vary depending on where you're moving the rod tip. The more steady you are the more the shape will stay the same. These pictures show a little movement but not much.
OKAY, now a quick simple lesson in arc "dynamics".
1) The arc itself has a pressure (as in voltage or electromotive "force"), and THAT'S WHY you need to angle the rod in various ways to direct the molten metal & to help keep the "slag" out of the puddle.
2) When you weld in vertical positions or overhead, you aim the rod arc in an upward direction to help preheat the weld & direct the puddle AND to help overcome gravity that can cause the puddle to drip out.
3) So when you're welding in an overhead position you have the rod nearly vertical to help the puddle stay in place.
3) Again, in a horizontal position you also need to direct the rod (and the arc) upward for the same reasons.
There will be more on rod manipulation & more illustrations to help clarify in the following page:
Want MORE INFO about the arc or the puddle? Get it from my ebook, "The Arc And Beyond"!