difficult to handle, especially if you are working on a
structure that requires a lot of moving around. The best
size cable is one that meets the amperage demand but is
small enough to manipulate with ease.
As a rule, the cable between the machine and the
work should be as short as possible. Use one continuous
length of cable if the distance is less than 35 feet. If you
must use more than one length of cable, join the sections
with insulated lock-type cable connectors. Joints in the
cable should be at least 10 feet away from the operator.
An electrode holder, commonly called a stinger, is
a clamping device for holding the electrode securely in
any position. The welding cable attaches to the holder
through the hollow insulated handle. The design of the
electrode holder permits quick and easy electrode ex-
change. Two general types of electrode holders are in
use: insulated and noninsulated. The noninsulated hold-
ers are not recommended because they are subject to
accidental short circuiting if bumped against the work-
piece during welding. For safety reasons, try to ensure
the use of only insulated stingers on the jobsite.
Electrode holders are made in different sizes, and
manufacturers have their own system of designation.
Each holder is designed for use within a specified range
of electrode diameters and welding current. You require
a larger holder when welding with a machine having a
300-ampere rating than when welding with a 100-am-
pere machine. If the holder is too small, it will overheat.
The use of a good ground clamp is essential to
producing quality welds. Without proper grounding, the
circuit voltage fails to produce enough heat for proper
welding, and there is the possibility of damage to the
welding machine and cables. Three basic methods are
used to ground a welding machine. You can fasten the
ground cable to the workbench with a C-clamp (fig. 7-
4), attach a spring-loaded clamp (fig. 7-5) directly onto
the workpiece, or bolt or tack-weld the end of the ground
cable to the welding bench (fig. 7-6). The third way
creates a permanent common ground.
Strong welds require good preparation and proce-
dure. The surface area of the workpiece must be free of
all foreign material, such as rust, paint, and oil. A steel
brush is an excellent cleaning tool and is an essential
Figure 7-4.C-clamped ground cable.
Figure 7-5.A spring-loaded ground clamp for the ground lead.
Figure 7-6.Bolted and tack-welded ground clamps.
part of the welders equipment. After initial cleaning and
a weld bead has been deposited, the slag cover must be
removed before additional beads are added. The chip-
ping hammer was specifically designed for this task.
The chipping operation is then followed by more brush-
ing, and this cycle is repeated until the slag has been
removed. When the slag is not removed, the result is
porosity in the weld that weakens the weld joint.
Cleaning can also be accomplished by the use of
power tools or chemical agents. If these items are used,
it is essential that all safety precautions are followed.
Arc welding not only produces a brilliant light, but
it also emits ultraviolet and infrared rays that are very