by Jason Becker
The horizontal stick test is a very common test for most welders getting into structural welding. The fit up is different than the flat, vertical, and overhead in that only one of the plates are beveled for the horizontal test.
The bottom plate is at a 90° angle and the top plate is beveled at 45°. I usually run a 1/4" gap for my root opening, the tighter the gap is, the less passes you will have to put into the plate. For the plates, we are using A36 steel and the coupons are cut at 3/8"x 3" x 6" and the backing strip is 1/4" x 1" x 9". This will give you a run on/run off tab length of about 1-1/2". The run on/run off tabs are probably the most under rated pieces on the whole test. I highly recommend utilizing the tabs to your advantage, as they will help you test your amperage prior to getting into the area that will be tested. In addition, the tabs will help prevent underfill at the beginning and end of the test plate.
The whole test should only take about 5-7 passes with an 1/8" 7018 electrode. I ran this one at about 125Amps and it seemed to run very well. Work angle and travel angle will vary slightly with each pass and they are shown pretty extensively in the video.
In the 2015 edition of the code book, shelf bars are now allowed to be utilized for testing and construction. A shelf bar is nothing more than a small piece of square stock which are placed under the bottom edge of the test plate and runs the fill length of the groove. Their purpose is to help the bottom weld on the cover pass from sagging and creating overlap where the weld and bottom edge of the groove meet. The shelf bar may be left in place during construction for statically loaded structures. For testing, the bar would be removed to conduct a bend test, after the sample has passed visual.
I hope you have found this article and the content of the video educational and informative, thanks for taking the time to visit our site and until next time Make Every Weld Better Than Your Last!