AC vs. DC Stick Part 2
My first experience with DC came under the watchful eyes of a seasoned welder who came up to repair some heavy equipment for our family run grading business. He was good friends with the family so he let me watch and help on the repair. A few minutes stick time under his guidance was the reward. At first it felt awkward.
Using his helmet and gloves, things just didn’t fit, but I could see through his dirty lens that the arc looked a good bit different. I could actually make out the arc! It wasn’t harsh sounding either. It was smooth and I could see a somewhat wobbly arc melt the metal right off the tip of the electrode. It was in stark contrast with the AC, more violent arc I had experienced before.
With AC, all I could see was a bright spot where the arc was skipping back and forth between positive and negative electrode. Suffice it to say, that the Lincoln SA unit I was welding with was purring smoothly and made it the best “first” contact with DC that I could have possibly had. Arc starting was clean and crisp and the metal just flowed effortlessly together.
After this experience, of course, I had to go back to the buzz box welding which never felt quite as good (once I adjusted to the borrowed safety gear). Of course just a few years later, I would be welding with DC almost exclusively. I’ve shared all of this to lead up to answer the question: Why DC? Those reading between the lines may be satisfied already but stay tuned for part 3.