Choosing Welding Rods And Filler Wire Is Easy

Matching filler metals to the horseshoe and reading AWS codes helps ensure reliable welds

That problem hoof needs a bar shoe, and you would be more than happy to pull out your new MIG welding machine to build one from a steel keg shoe. But you’re just not sure which filler wire you need to do the job right. Is it the Lincoln brand L56 or the Gas Tech GT-6? The ESAB Company’s 86 or maybe the NS-115 from National Standard?

The farrier with the stick welder at the other end of the barn is in the same situation. He’s not sure whether to use the 447A welding rod from Hobart, the Fleetweld 37 from Lincoln or the 6013 made by Murex.

Store shelves filled with a large and confusing assortment of welding rods and filler wire can lead inexperienced welders, including many farriers, to scratch their heads and wonder about their choices.

Beyond Brands

Much of the confusion is due to manufacturers’ brand names and numbers that don’t allow for direct product comparisons. However, the American Welding Society — a non-profit organization founded in 1919 to advance the science and technology of welding — assigns standardized codes that describe the properties of each line of welding rods and filler wire.

Knowing how to read the AWS codes on the packaging lets farriers make direct product comparisons and informed choices of welding rods and wires.


FILLING THE GAP. As it melts, the welding rod provides metal to help fill the space betwen the the shoe and the bar being welded together.welding rod.

For example…

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Ron perszewski

Ron Perszewski

Ron Perszewski is a freelance writer and former associate editor of Ameri­can Farriers Journal.

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