Stick Welding...Which welding process should I try first? Part 2
Stick Welding, What's best for you? Part 2
When welding in general, the aesthetics of your weld are important, though it is often said that it doesn’t matter how ugly a weld is, as long as it’s a strong one. Well, yes and no. An ugly weld is likely to have many flaws and discontinuities. A smooth, pretty weld may have no penetration, but it’s likely that person with skills to manage a good weld appearance also has the skills to pull off a sound weld. Stick welding is a good choice for selecting a process that gives you a “stack of dimes” look when properly executed. This of course too is related to manipulation in part, but it’s also a result of the forward motion and the rapid cooling that can take place while stick welding. Stick welding offers two forms of weld manipulation: stringer and weave beads. Both provide excellent potential for making sound welds, and any beginner can learn with making stringers, by dragging the rod along in a straight line. This is simple and a preferred method of welding on many job sites as it reduces chances of error. It leaves a smooth consistent bead, and the main factor is only the speed at which the rod is moved along. This give the beginner an easy way to get started with a boost of confidence. A good stringer is a weld well made. MIG welders can make stringers as well, but none so pretty as a good stick weld stringer. Another form of manipulation that stick is excellent at teaching is the “weave”. Years ago, this was a standard method, with a variety of suggested weave patterns. However, in many circles today, it has fallen out of favor because of the skill needed to pull it off and increased possibility of flaws in the weld. But the stick weld process offers the best chance for the beginner to learn to properly weave, and generally provides the maximum aesthetically pleasing appearance.