Some think overhead welding is too much risk, other’s think it’s too tiring. Is it really? I oppose. Every impossible task is possible, are you just break it down to small manageable and feasible objectives.
As per my crazy theory overhead welding is supposed to be a walk in the park. Just like getting into Harvard.
Overhead welding ain’t just over the welding, it’s rocket science. You gotta know all those theorems, hypothesis and all those equations (tricks) to make this a piece of cake.
How to Improve Overhead Welding SKills
Jokes apart, let’s talk about how to improve your overhead welding skills. Let’s dig into some of the means, methods, tricks and safety measures that veteran welders developed over the decades.
Speed’s the Key
Gravity is your greatest enemy when you’re overhead welding.
You’ll need your beads to cool down before it starts dripping molten metals. There’s obviously a bunch of key factors which will help you to maintain that very optimum speed.
Unlike other times, here it’s the smaller the better.
This is very obvious since the smaller the smaller electrode size, the smaller the beads, the faster it cools, the lesser the odds of it dripping. That’s what you want, right?
Again, the smaller the better.
If you decrease the arc length then, the arc cone will get smaller. What happens if the arc cone gets smaller? It’ll make your beads narrower i.e. smaller. This way you can move on fast with your welding.
But the question remains, how will ya control arc length? Arc length is directly proportional to the voltage, if you decrease the voltage the arc will get smaller and if you increase the voltage the arc will get bigger and bigger.
The main objective in your mind, while you are overhead welding, is that you gotta keep the spatters to a minimum.
And to fulfill that objective you’re to ensure that the weld puddle ain’t too heated. But too less of a heat won’t bind the weld with the workpiece.
So, you’ll have to find out the optimum heat and use that.
But then again, the noobs might ask how is it that they’ll control the heat??!! All that you’re to do to control the heat is to control the current i.e. the amperage. Why? Cause, amperage, and heat are directly proportional.
Wire Feed Speed
If you just increase the wire feed speed then you can easily decrease the puddle size and stop the dripping. But it ain’t ever that simple.
If you keep on increasing the wire feed speed, the spatter is going to keep on coming like cra-a-azy. You’ll have to operate at an optimum speed where the wire feed isn’t creating too much spatter and the speed is great to prevent dripping.
So, you need to keep experiencing with your welder until you find that optimum speed.
Shielding gas is lighter than air so they tend to go up. And so, you’ll have to supply more of it to keep your welding spot covered.
So, you’ll have no other choice than to increase the gas flow rate. It’s so that you can make up for the gas you constantly keep on loosing.
During overhead welding spatter will keep on jamming your nozzle all the time. So, a conventional and mainstream method for dealing with this situation is to use anti-spatter spray.
All this time I’ve been telling you to make your beads smaller. But that has a fatal effect, it’ll cause you’re welding to become weaker.
But how do you deal with that? It’s easy and simple. You’ll just have to keep welding in circular patterns. And that’ll make multiple welding at the same place causing your weld to become stronger.
Another neat little trick to beat weakening of your welding strength is to keep on welding on the same spot. That’s bound to increase your welding strength.
Ear Protection and Other Safety Concern
Apart from the conventional protective gears, gadgets, and garments, you’ll need to find and use something to seal that hole in your ear.
One way the pros do it is by using earplugs.
Some go overboard and think about using one of those noise canceling headphones. But you and I both know he won’t be wearing that over his welding helmet. That’s never possible.
Overhead welding to a lot of people is something they despise. There’s a lot more trouble to handle than the amount of work that you actually get done.
So, I’ve been talking about all these neat little tricks to put up your sleeve for your “How to improve overhead welding skills.” course. This course things like adjusting the arc length, wire feed speed, circular patterns and multiple welding on its syllabus.