How to Do Downhill Pipe Welding


The ability to weld a pipe can be valuable in a variety of situations, and industries, such as working on oil pipelines, ship building, power plant maintenance, and building frames for race cars. The most challenging thing about pipe welding is repositioning your electrode as you work your way around the curvature of the pipe to ensure proper penetration, and a quality bead. Welding pipe also makes you more qualified in other welding positions because of the difficulty of manipulating your electrode through the pipe's angles.

Things You'll Need

  • Welding Machine
  • Welding Helmet
  • Electrodes
  • Welding Gloves
  • Work Gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • Chipping Hammer
  • Wire Brush
  • Bench Grinder
  • Pipe Cutting Torch
  • Put on all required personal protective equipment before starting any grinding, cutting or welding so that you can protect your eyes and skin from sparks, cuts or burns.

  • Prepare the ends of the pipe you will be welding by using your pipe cutting torch to cut the desired angle on the ends of the pipe. Once you have achieved the desired angle of the pipe bevel, you must use your bench grinder to grind down the rough edges on the ends of the pipe so when you put them together to weld you have an even gap.

  • Align the pipes, and level each side of the pipe before tack welding them together. Once you tack weld them together clean the slag away with the chipping hammer and the wire brush.

  • Begin welding at the top of the pipe and weld down to the bottom on each side of the pipe. Clean away any slag with your chipping hammer and wire brush and repeat the process as many times as required for the thickness of the pipe. This process is most effective on pipes with thin walls because welding down carries less heat than welding up, but keep your passes even on each side of the pipe because the heat can still draw the pipe to one side or the other, changing your alignment.

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