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Arc Welding aka Stick welding is far from obsolete.

Sometimes its actually the better choice.

Last weeks video was about stick welding the cover pass on a 6g test and while I intended this week to be on some aluminum mig welding, I had so many things go wrong, I had to stop filming and just get that  job done. instead of aluminum mig welding,  I just had to punt and use a few clips shot a few weeks ago along with clips from other previous videos.

People use the terms "stick welding" and "arc welding" to mean the same thing. It does seem that old timers are more likely to use "Arc"  in conversation.

 I think that is because when gas welding was the main type of welding used and arc welding came on the scene, "arc--welding" was the obvious way to describe it. Technically, any type of welding that uses an arc ....tig, mig, stick, plasma, and flux core are all arc processes.

Its funny to hear people that are fairly new to welding ask if old fashioned Stick Welding is even still used.

It might seem old fashioned, but stick welding is still being used to weld bridges,  pipe, boiler tubes,  tall buildings, handrails,  farm equipment, and a lot more.

You will rarely see stick welding on any shows like Monster Garage or an Chopper Shows because its kind of smokey and messy compared to tig.

Its not as sexy as tig or mig welding but it sure does work and its still the best choice for certain jobs.

I would guess that a lot of businesses started up with little more than a stick welding machine and a cutting torch....and of course...

some ambition.

Reasons for choosing stick over other types of welding:

  • Stick welding is great for welding outdoors, the equipment is rather simple, and with the newer inverter machines being available, arc welding machines are more portable than ever.  A 140 amp stick inverter will burn a 1/8" (3mm) rod easily and is no bigger than a lunch box.
  • Lincoln Tombstone welders, those red A/C welders you see everywhere...can be had on sites like for $150 all day long and they tend to last for years.
  • I just went to Craigslist to see what was listed and here is a typical listing. It even has a handtruck type cart which it needs.  They are kind of awkward to wheel around otherwise.

  • Sometimes a weld is required in a place where a mig nozzle will not fit.
  • A stick electrode will fit in places where you cant reach with a mig or tig nozzle.
  • Also, there are times when someone who thinks they are saving you time, brings you a part that is tack welded.  The tacks might be full of crap, like porosity, or slag and if that is the case, stick welding is the way to go.

see more videos on stick welding and arc welding

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