How to Stick Weld Traveling Vertical Down 101
To start Stick welding vertical down you need the right electrode. The ideal electrodes for this position are electrodes that don’t have a heavy flux coating. The three electrodes that come to mind are:
The reason for using an electrode that is light on the flux coating has to do with how the slag is formed on the weld puddle. For example an E6010 has less than half the flux coating of an E7018 electrode. When you are actually welding in the vertical down position the flux will want to go ahead of the puddle. This is why you want an electrode that is light on the flux in this position! If the flux or slag gets ahead of the puddle three things are likely to happen. First the electrode will stick, the second is slag inclusions, and finally the weld will not penetrate properly. None of these results is good for the weld.
Ideally welding vertical down is something you do on thinner metals. This is not a technique commonly used for heaver weld joints with one exception. That is pipe line welders typically weld vertical down and any other time it is for thinner metals.
Welding vertical down is done by using a mid range amperage setting and the travel speed is fast. Once you start your arc you need to establish a puddle. After that it is either just a straight down motion or a slight side to side weave. Just remember to stay ahead of the puddle to avoid sticking the rod, slag inclusions, and lack of penetration. That is all there is to Stick welding vertical down and it is one of the easier positions to learn how to weld!