To weave weld or to run a stringer, that is the question. Many modern welding schools tend to teach that weaving is evil, and that stringers can only guarantee a good weld. Old timers will run weave passes all day long without a single issue. A stringer bead does present the least amount of possibility of inclusions and flaws in the weld. But a true weave can accomplish the same amount of work with less passes, and speed up overall welding time. So what should you use? When should you use it? Truthfully, this is a difficult answer.
Stringers can be used in almost every welding condition and require relatively little skill. They are a sure way to get a good weld, but in reality, they are unsightly and force a lot more work, making it inefficient. But, when using a position that may be difficult to access or uncomfortable, the stringer, may allow better results. A weave on the other hand presents a much more appealing appearance, and bead contour is easier to control. Poor fitups are easily welded with a weave pattern. They don’t work well in root pass situations, whether using a 6010 or in some cases where it is required a 7018. Too little penetration will take place at the center of the weld, in the middle of the root. It also takes practice, to keep the rod angles correct and the pattern consistent. But there are times when joints don’t match, or when appearance is of upmost importance that will require the skill of a weave.
Typically, once the welder progresses well with the stringer bead concept, and begins to acquire the skill set to weave, most welders will gravitate toward the weave pattern for most o of their welds.