Figure 5-8.Forehand welding.
the direction of welding. The best method to use depends
upon the type of joint, joint position, and the need for
heat control on the parts to be welded.
Forehand welding (fig. 5-8) is often called PUD-
DLE or RIPPLE WELDING. In this method of welding,
the rod is kept ahead of the flame in the direction in
which the weld is being made. You point the flame in
the direction of travel and hold the tip at an angle of
about 45 degrees to the working surfaces. This flame
position preheats the edges you are welding just ahead
of the molten puddle. Move the rod in the same direction
as the tip, and by moving the torch tip and the welding
rod back and forth in opposite, semicircular paths, you
can distribute the heat evenly. As the flame passes the
welding rod, it melts a short length of the rod and adds
it to the puddle. The motion of the torch distributes the
molten metal evenly to both edges of the joint and to the
The forehand method is used in all positions for
welding sheet and light plate up to 1/8 of an inch thick.
This method is ideal because it permits better control of
a small puddle and results in a smoother weld. The
forehand technique is not recommended for welding
heavy plate due to its lack of base metal penetration.
In backhand welding (fig. 5-9), the torch tip pre-
cedes the rod in the direction of welding and the flame
points back at the molten puddle and completed weld.
The welding tip should make an angle of about 60
degrees with the plates or joint being welded. The end
of the welding rod is placed between the torch tip and
the molten puddle.
Figure 5-9.Backhand welding.
Less motion is used in the backhand method than in
the forehand method. If you use a straight welding rod,
you should rotate it so the end rolls from side to side and
melts off evenly. You might have to bend the rod when
working in confined spaces. If you do, it becomes diffi-
cult to roll a bent rod, and to compensate, you have to
move the rod and torch back and forth at a rather rapid
rate. When making a large weld, you should move the
rod so it makes complete circles in the molten puddle.
The torch is moved back and forth across the weld while
it is advanced slowly and uniformly in the direction of
The backhand method is best for welding material
more than 1/8 of an inch thick. You can use a narrower
vee at the joint than is possible in forehand welding. An
included angle of 60 degrees is a sufficient angle of
bevel to get a good joint. The backhand method requires
less welding rod or puddling as the forehand method.
By using the backhand technique on heavier mate-
rial, you can increase your welding speed, better your
control of the larger puddle, and have more complete
fusion at the weld root. If you use a slightly reducing
flame with the backhand technique, a smaller amount of
base metal is melted while welding the joint. When you
are welding steel with a backhand technique and a
slightly reducing flame, the absorption of carbon by a
thin surface layer of metal reduces the melting point of
the steel. This speeds up the welding operation, This
technique is also used in surfacing with chromium-co-
MULTILAYER WELDING is used in order to
avoid carrying too large a puddle of molten metal when
welding thick plate and pipe. Large puddles are difficult
to control. Concentrate on getting a good weld at the
bottom of the vee in the first passe Then, in the next