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 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?


see more tig welding videos like this one on scratch start tig welding