Scratch Start Tig Welding with a Twist

What can you weld with a simple old school scratch start tig welder?
Well, I can tell you this...you might be surprised at all the X-ray quality welds on pipe that are made every day using a simple scratch start rig.

Rig welders make pipe x ray quality joints in carbon steel, stainless, and inconel all the time using nothing but an Engine drive stick welder, tig torch, and argon bottle with flowmeter.


I was talking to a good friend today and he told me about his first job after welding school.  Dairy pipe welding. you know, food quality where the root pass has to be silver with no crevices where little critters can grow.

The boss man pointed to a Miller Thunderbolt that was connected to an argon flowmeter and a tig torch... " there's your welding machine" he said.

"Where is my foot pedal?"


Silence and eyes rolling...followed by....

"Sonny boy, we dont use no stinking foot pedals."

Anyway, this company used strictly Miller Thunderbolt DC stick welders hooked up to tig torches and argon because they knew when they tossed them in the truck and drove to a job site...they would work when they fired them up.

There is something to be said for rugged , tried and true low tech tig welding.

But for a twist....I made a quicky DIY foot switch for this video because it greatly enhances what a scratch start tig can do.

What do you think?


What Other welders Have Said

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6G tests Carbon & Stainless Duplex 
Gid'ay i'm from the land of Oz, (or down under) Question: hay i was doin a 6G test with my scratch start Kempi inverter 150 and it was gonna be X-rayed, …

Lincoln 225 AC/DC Tombstone and Tig 
Jody, 1. Can I use a Lincoln AC/DC Tombstone without the extra rectifier for Tig? I have DC+ and DC- up to 125. yes you can. 2. What thickness …

Miller maxtar 150 stl 
I do stainless food service sanitary tubing for a brewerey. We use a miller maxstar 150 stl lift arc with a foot pedal. the biggest problem we have …

2% lanthanated tungsten 
I saw your review on 2% lanthanated electrodes a couple of years ago. that junk is hard to break. you pretty much have to score it with a diamond wheel …

weldor2 
Scratch start tigs are definitely still in use today. I am a former Millwright and we were using this within the last 10 or less years on stainless food …

Late 70's & early 80's oil boom.  Not rated yet
Some of the Ol' Hands that read the comments on here will remember after the Alaska pipe line boom there was the Wyo. oil boom in the late 70's into the …

Welding Techniques Not rated yet
Jody, I enjoyed your video I have welded for 38 years & I have to say that some old school techniques will make you a better welder. Todays machines …

memories of youth Not rated yet
I have an old Miller econo tig hf . It has no pedal and it has no argon valve . I believe it dates from 1980 or so . How might one get a tig torch with …

Fabinator ll Not rated yet
Jody, just wanted to say thanks for all the informative videos. I learn something every time I watch one. Also I especially want to thank you for being …

Old school started me out Not rated yet
Because of your Tig Welding Old School video I added tig to my game about a year ago. I liked it right away and bought a used high freq box. This …

Tip for starting the arc using the filler rod Not rated yet
Thats a good tip using the filler rod to start the arc. I always rock the torch in slowly until it touches and then rock it back quickly. But sometimes …

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