Lesson Plan Industry Sector
Manufacturing & Product Development

Lesson Plan Originally Created By: Tom Lamar

Welding Rod Identification

Part of Unit: SMAW -Shielded Metal Arc Welding

Lesson Plan Overview / Details

This is my introductory lesson to electrodes. We identify different types of electrodes, introduce vocabulary terms, identify different diameters of electrodes, tensil strength and learn introductory machine settings based upon the electrode being used.

Lesson Time

30 Minutes
30 Minutes

Objectives and Goals

Students will be able to identify arc welding electrodes based upon the identifying the codes on the electrodes.

Activities in this Lesson

  • At the start of class each student is given a set of electrodes. I give them electrodes that they will be using most often in class. They are given one of each of the following: 6010, 6011, 6013.  We then discuss how welding rod should be handled because at least one student will be tapping their desk with the rod.  We discuss the coating on the rod in terms of what it does, (protects the molten metal from oxygen) when it is burned during the welding process. We discuss how bending or banging the rods ruins the coating and the rod won't work correctly, and the welds will fail.  We discuss storage of the rods, and the effects of moisture, and how to restore the rods through heating in an oven to remove any absorbed moisture.  I have the students get the 6013 welding rod and ask if anyone can tell me what the numbers on the rod stand for?  If anyone knows (they haven't yet) I point out that everyone needs to understand the meaning of the numbers and that we are going to talk about them. (see lecture)

  • I bring out a number of different electrodes that students were not given in their initial set. I pont out that there are many types of electrodes and that we will be learning about and using many different electrodes. I then talk about the different names for an electrode. I show them an electrode that has the letter E before the number and discuss that it simply stands for electrode. I show them another electrode with the same number, but minus the E. We discuss that these electrodes are labeled differently but are the same because the number is the same.  I use the word electrode over and over getting them use to the term. I also introduce electrodes with different diameters, but the same number and tell them these are the same composition, but the larger diameter electrode would need to have a higher amperage setting on the machine. ( I bring this up again when we get out to the machines to set them up for welding.  I have a handout I give students which idedntifies each letter and number on the electrode.(see attachment: Electrode Facts Sheet)  We go over the sheet and different electrodes. We discuss tensil strength and what  it means. Using the fact sheet I have students tell me the tensil strength of the welding rod they are holding,  We now discuss the welding positions and how they determine the best welding position for a rod based on the number on the rod.

    We now talk about the diameter of the electrodes and how you can tell the diameter by looking at the electrode. I let them think I have a lazer eye and then confess that there two ways I use to identify the diameter of an electrode. My number one way is to read the box. I emphasize this. I also tell them they can measure the metal rod, not the coating with a set of calipers. I now give them a handout showing general amperage settings for welders  based upon the electrode number and diameter. I also post all handouts in this lesson on the wall by the welders.

    I now introduce the term polarity. I focus on a handout I give them showing the different polarity setting for each rod. ( Electrode Polarity Sheets I and II below) We talk about the three settings that are on the machines we use. We discuss AC. DC positive, and DC negative.  We discuss this again at the welders when we do an initial set up. We discuss welding position again at this point as it is on this handout.

    Resources and Materials

    • Electrode Facts Sheet [ Download ] Lecture handout
    • Electrode Diameter Sheet [ Download ] Lecture handout
    • Electrode Polarity Sheet I [ Download ] Lecture handout
    • Electrode Polarity Sheet II [ Download ] Lecture handout
  • I review the lesson going over the general lecture points, and answering any questions. I let the students know that the next class will be learning to set up machines using today's lecture information and handouts.  This concludes the lecture and we move to the shop as time permits for the next lesson.

    The next lesson is to transition the students into the shop to learn how to set up their welder based upon the welding rod they are using. I have them use the handouts from the previous lesson. I also have a copy of each posted on the wall by the welders. We review the handouts, and I answer their questions as they do an initial set up.


Assessment Types:
Teacher-Made Test,

I give a ten question test on electrodes that is worth 20 points in my grading system. It can be worth whatever you need.

The other assessment I use for this lesson is having students go into the shop and adjust a machines settings for the welding rod I give them. This is not scored, but is used to transition the students onto the machines.