The basic but valuable welding skills learned in stick welding. Part 4
Regardless of the welding discipline the subject of more controversy and opinion is the subject of manipulation, whether it is the torch or filler manipulation. For stick welding purposes, it is referred to as electrode manipulation. Electrode manipulation is also called weaving. Weaving is movement of the welding rod in a particular pattern. There are numerous possible weave patterns that can be used including figure eights, zig-zag, J patterns, crescents , circles, cursive e’s, whipping, V patterns and more. Pattern selection depends upon individual preference and applications. Weaving takes practice and can be used in MIG and TIG welding. But it is not always recommended or allowed in some circumstances.
Most of the anti-weave rhetoric that exists is based off the fact that weaving the electrode does require more training and practice than another type of welding, which is often referred to as running “stringers”. Stringer beads in contrast to weld bead that is weaved is easier to teach and is the first technique (and only in some cases) that many welding students learn. Stringers are easy to teach and require much less training and practice.
Stringers are simply running the electrode in a straight line without any other type of manipulation. There are many welders who only know how to weld stringers. While there is nothing wrong with this type of welding and can be performed in nearly every type of weld position and situation, the stringer is not aesthetically pleasing and can become monotonous for the beginner when skills are progressed to the point that they are ready for something