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"Match strike" or tap?

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  • "Match strike" or tap?

    When you strike an arc, which method do you generally use?

    A. "Scratch" the stick as if you were striking a safety match, or

    B. Tap the work, then draw back

    Just curious. I prefer (A) because it seems to stick less often.

    (Just as a subject of conversation, for lack of work on this rainy Saturday...)
    60
    Scratch
    46.67%
    28
    Tap
    53.33%
    32
    Last edited by Krunch; 10-18-2008, 10:36 AM.

  • #2
    Tapping is the best method because it minimizes arc strikes. An arc strike is a mark left on the base metal by trying to strike an arc, or having a stuck electrode. The more you stick weld the easier tapping becomes. But, the match strike is easier.

    The method I use is really neither tapping or match strike. It's hard to explain, but I slowly bring the electrode towards the work piece and let the arc start itself. The idea is to get a small enough gap that the voltage of the welding current can jump the air gap.

    You can also rest the flux portion on the base metal, and then slowly angle the electrode upwards to strike the arc.

    Even the most experienced guys will stick an electrode, that's why they call it stick welding. The key, however, is to learn how to control the electrode and strike the arc in the path of where the weld bead will go, so that any arc strikes get covered up with weld metal.
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    • #3
      I also use the scratch or strike method. Seems like it always sticks when I try to tap it, guess I need more practice. I will try some of the tips Moya suggested and see how that works out.
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      • #4
        I have always been a tapper, seems easier to get the arc started just where I want it. I stick my share of electrodes though.
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        • #5
          tapper too

          I tap too....a habit I picked up with my engine driven to kick it up to weld rpm....

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          • #6
            Originally posted by moya034 View Post
            I slowly bring the electrode towards the work piece and let the arc start itself. The idea is to get a small enough gap that the voltage of the welding current can jump the air gap.

            You can also rest the flux portion on the base metal, and then slowly angle the electrode upwards to strike the arc.
            Interesting, I have to try those methods.

            Thanks for the replies.

            No one else? Is my question that lame?

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            • #7
              I got in the habit of tapping when doing a lot of restrikes with 7018. Sometimes you have to tap HARD to get it to light through that layer of glass (or whatever) it forms on the end of the stick. But I'm just a hack, there's probably much better ways of doing it. Once, I even had an ungrounded file on the ground next to me and ran it across that before restriking; made it easier for sure.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MAC702 View Post
                Sometimes you have to tap HARD to get it to light through that layer of glass (or whatever) it forms on the end of the stick.
                For me, I find that causes the electrode to stick, so If I have to restart a 7018 I take the electrode out of the stinger, tap it hard on the steel to break the glassy end, rub it around a bit to clean the end up, then put it back in the stinger and weld away.
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                • #9
                  I like the scratch and drag back method as is taught in the welding school in a local Virginia shipyard that I worked at for 30 years.

                  Wheelchair

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by moya034 View Post
                    For me, I find that causes the electrode to stick, so If I have to restart a 7018 I take the electrode out of the stinger, tap it hard on the steel to break the glassy end, rub it around a bit to clean the end up, then put it back in the stinger and weld away.
                    With 7018 or 24,I usually just snap the burned back cone off with my fingers and then its kinda a jab or tap type start. With the easy lighting rods like 1109 or 0109, its kind of a scratch start.

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                    • #11
                      I don't even think about it any more, a flick of the wrist and away I weld, usually a tap.
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                      • #12
                        Spoiled rotten with MM210. Not much stick anymore. Ln 22 in field a lot also

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                        • #13
                          My instructor in welding school watched me a few times with both methods and suggested tapping and I've never looked back. Like everyone else, I get less sticking with my preferred method, but still stick a few. I usually weld in my driveway (concrete) and tap a 7018 on the drive before restriking.
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                          • #14
                            I prefer the scratch method, but, as many have said, 7018 gets a nice bit of slag on the end of the electrode and requires a bump or tap to get the slag off. A lot of times, I'll take the electrode out, bump it on a hard object to break the slag free, and then scratch the electrode to start the arc.
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                            So One Man Sharpens Another.

                            Proverbs 27:17

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                            • #15
                              Maybe in the middle somewhere.. closer to a scratch but its very short. If i'm using a fresh rod or just came off a weld, i just go straight down on it again. more scratch if the metal is not real clean.

                              rob
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