In arc welding, an arc is established from the electrode to the workpiece. To do this, a smooth flow of electricity needs to complete the electrical circuit, hence the need for good electrical connections. Not only will good work lead connections, commonly incorrectly called ground connections, affect the welding arc and the quality of the finished weld, having good work lead connections are important to minimize electrical shock hazards. This article will explain some of the ways to achieve a good work lead connection.
A work lead clamp is perhaps the common method to connect the work lead cable to the workpiece. The work lead clamp is bolted to the lug at the end of the work lead cable and has brass or copper jaws to ensure good electrical contact to the workpiece. The work lead clamp may be attached directly to the workpiece or to the fixture holding the workpiece. Remember that the work lead cables or cables should be neatly organized, not strung about haphazardly.