Welding is a unique trade to say the least. It has its own language, traditions, working environments and skill sets. Whether you are going to be taking a welding certification test or are just a new welder or interested in becoming a welder it is very important to have a full understanding of all of the welding positions.
A Guide to Understanding Welding Positions
“The who, Why and What of Welding Positions”
What Welding Positions Exist
The truth of the matter is that welder’s very rarely get to weld in a flat position (with gravity) except in some manufacturing/production settings. Often times a welder will work in cramped areas where the welds he has to make are in every other position than flat.
A welding position describes two things.
- The type of weld (Fillet or Groove)
- The position of the weld in relation to the welder
For the sake of easily describing a weld their is a standard that has been set over time in order to keep specifications and codes uniform.
Why Welding Positions Exist
The reason that welds are designated by position is because each and every position requires different skills and knowledge. Most people when they are at work do not have to think about gravity and how it affects them. Welders do and the need to learn to work with gravity and understand the effects it has on the weld. If you attended welding school and only learned how to weld in the flat position you would never be able to make it on the job.
Another reason why welding positions exist is for welder certification testing. When you take a certification test you are certified for only that position with the exception of an “all positions” test.
A Complete List of All Welding Positions
Before we jump into all of the different welding positions let’s look at the easy part first, the type of weld.
Type of Weld
Every weld position will be designated by a number and then a letter. The letter that follows the number dictates what type of weld will be made. There are many different types of weld but only two types of welds are common.
- Fillet Welds (F) – This is a weld where two pieces of metal are at an angle in relation to each other, often 90 degrees.
- Groove Welds (G) – This is a weld that is made where two pieces of metal are flush or level in relation to each other.
Any position that is followed by the letter “G” is a groove weld and “F” is a fillet weld.
Plate Welding Positions: Groove and Fillet Welds
There are four welding positions for plate and four positions for pipe. Plate will always be designated with an “F” or “G” and pipe will have no designation since it is always a groove weld.
Flat Welding Position 1G and 1F
The number 1 position is completely flat. This is the easiest welding position since you are welding with gravity.
Horizontal Welding Position 2F and 2G
The number 2 position is horizontal. The weld will have a tendency to sag on the lower side so you must compensate for this.
Vertical Welding Position 3F and 3G
The number 3 position position is vertical. This welding position is generally considered easier than the horizontal position.
Overhead Welding Position 4F and 4G
The number 4 position is overhead. It is important to to keep a very short arc when welding overhead.
Pipe Welding Positions
There are four pipe welding position. If a position has the letter “R” that means the pipe can be rolled while welding.
Flat Pipe Welding Position (Rolled) 1GR
This is the easiest of all the the pipe welding positions since it can be rolled while welding.
Horizontal Pipe Welding Position 2G
The 2G pipe welding position is fixed and can not be moved at all.
Vertical Pipe Welding Position 5G
The 5G pipe welding position is similar to the 1GR position but it can not be rolled or moved
45 Degree Pipe Welding Position 6G
The 6G position is at a 45 degree angle and can not be moved at all.