Welding cannot take its proper place as an engineering tool unless means are provided for conveying the information from the designer to the workmen. Welding symbols provide the means of placing complete welding information on drawings. The scheme for symbolic representation of welds on engineering drawings used in this manual is consistent with the “third angle” method of projection. This is the method predominantly used in the United States.The joint is the basis of reference for welding symbols. The reference line of the welding symbol (fig. 3-2) is used to designate the type of weld to be made, its location, dimensions, extent, contour, and other supplementary information. Any welded joint indicated by a symbol will always have an arrow side and an other side. Accordingly, the terms arrow side, other side, and both sides are used herein to locate the weld with respect to the joint.

The tail of the symbol is used for designating the welding and cutting processes as well as the welding specifications, procedures, or the supplementary information to be used in making the weld. If a welder knows the size and type of weld, he has only part of the information necessary for making the weld. The process, identification of filler metal that is to be used, whether or not peening or root chipping is required, and other pertinent data must be related to the welder. The notation to be placed in the tail of the symbol indicating these data is to be establish by each user. If notations are not used, the tail of the symbol may be omitted.