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Rules of Thumb for Success in Drawn Arc Stud Welding

March 16, 2015

There are many questions as to how to properly set up a drawn arc stud weld machine. Where do I start? What is the proper set up? There are several rules of thumb that can help a welder get to the right set up values.

There are two areas to set up, and each area has two important parameters:

  1. The Gun (stud welding tool)
    • Lift
    • Plunge
  2. The Power Supply
    • Time
    • Current

Now we will look at each parameter, starting with the gun. For the welding gun, we have general acceptable parameters based on the type of welding being done. For general industrial purposes, the following parameters provide good starting values:

Industrial Settings

Lift: 3/32in (.093in/2.5mm) | Plunge 1/8in (.125in/3mm)

For construction uses, such as buildings and bridges, the values change a bit:

Construction Settings

Bare Beam:  Lift 1/8in (.125in/3mm)   |   Plunge 1/4in (.25in/6mm)

Through Deck:  Lift 1/8in (.125in/3mm)   |   Plunge 3/8in (.37in/9.5mm)

The second parameter involves the power supply. The following rules of thumb are helpful:

Amperage: Use 100 amps of current for every 1/16in of diameter

- For example: ¾ stud = 12/16 so 12 x 100 = 1200 amps

Time: Use the decimal equivalent of the stud diameter (in inches) as the time.

- For example: ¾ stud = .750 inches -- Use .750 seconds as the time

For steel with higher carbon content, such as A36, use 10% greater settings for both time and current.


While these rules of thumb will get you close to the proper settings, it is ultimately up to the operator (aka, you!) to tweak the parameters to the ideal settings for your project.

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