Stick welding for a beginner - Part3
Even though the portability of a stick welder is a true bonus, something should be said about how universal it is more than just being able to weld any metal. For many decades stick welding has been a fully accepted method of repair and manufacturing, back to the days of R.G. LeTourneau who favored welding components together rather than bolting them together in his world renown earth moving equipment factories.
Years of testing and use have proven that a solid stick weld is as sturdy as they come. Whether its steel, stainless, or even aluminum (to an extent), almost any metal can be welded successfully with a stick welder. Additionally, given enough passes, all but the lightest duty stick welders are able to weld virtually unlimited thicknesses. No, it doesn’t mean you should take an Everlast PowerArc 140 ST, and go try to start building bridges with it. But it does mean that just because it can handle and lay in a 1/8” rod, doesn’t mean that is the maximum thickness limit of a joint that you will be able to weld. Additional passes may be added and overlapped, successively to build up the weld. In fact, multi pass welds are preferred in stick welding for best results, without having large areas that are affected structurally by the heat, or having large molten pools of steel that cool too quickly before the slag and impurities settle out. Many industrial welds are performed this way every day, especially pipe welds, where a full day or more may be spent welding a single joint, making multiple 1/8” welds.