Why there is no love for stick welders?

FOMOGO

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Stick is fun, challenging but fun. If you can do a decent ac stick weld, you're a welder
I have the world's most unusual transformer-in-a-box:
View attachment 300142
That's a real work of art. Looks like it should be saying "take me to your leader" in a Flash Gorden episode. Cheers, Mike
 

stioc

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7014 is the easiest rod to weld with. 7018 isn't bad but on the cheap ones the restarts can test your patience!

I have all three welders but my main go-to is still the MIG after 15yrs of hobby welding. I'm new to TIG and want to make TIG my go-to welding process but I find it way too slow. However, as others have said it's the cleanest of the three and that's the main reason I want to use it the most because all my welding happens in my attached 2 car garage usually with the roll up door mostly closed.
 

cjtoombs

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I learned to weld on oxyacetylene and then stick when I was in high school vo-ag shop class. That was some time ago. I got a Mig welder about 25 years ago and used it with flux cored wire and then with shield gas, then I got a Tig welder. The Tig also had the option for stick welding, so I got a stick stinger and gave it a try again. That's when I realized how much harder stick is than the other processes and how much I had forgotten. I was actually pretty good at it in high school, but the results I got were horrible. After that practice session the stick stinger hasn't left the drawer. If I had a major job on thick steel that I didn't want to clean to perfection, I would spend the time, rod and practice metal to re-acquire the skill, but until then, I will stick with Mig and Tig.
 

Downunder Bob

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Stick is fun, challenging but fun. If you can do a decent ac stick weld, you're a welder
I have the world's most unusual transformer-in-a-box:
View attachment 300142
That'sa n interesting multi tapped beast. At a guess I'd say it's ell and truly pre WWII. but probably does a good job.
 

markba633csi

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Bob: I think you're right, around 1940s- works well, makes a nice hum when you flip that big toggle
Smiths brand
 

westerner

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My dad had the oxy/acetylene in the shop before I first walked in there. He had me go fetch another coat hanger more than once.
I started arc welding with a Lincoln AC "buzzbox" (so named due to the racket it made as you varied arc length, and therefore power produced).
Spent quite a bit of time on a Miller Bobcat, in the field. MUCH better arc in DC than the ol' buzzbox. 7018 got ALOT better.
Learned how to TIG on aluminum. First time I tried it on steel, I made a mess. WAY too hot:confused 3:.
Bought a 225 amp mig a few years back. I like it, it makes me look good. Almost never use anything else anymore. Don't do much anymore, either.

I never was a "real" welder with any of these processes, but I dang sure noticed that the skills required are all perishable.
 

markba633csi

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I learned some interesting stick facts:
1) Hot material and rod strikes easier
2) Burn off some rod before doing a bead in tight quarters, a shorter rod is easier to control
3) Experiment with the settings on your auto-dark helmet, and have good lighting. See better, weld better
 

NortonDommi

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I use stick mostly because it is convenient. I have two MIG machines and oxyacteylene as well but usually the bottles are empty. I do very little welding with oxyacetylene, mostly its for heating and cutting. I think the last time I gas welded was some aluminum sheet metal on my boat. I use the MIG in the basement shop, mostly because there are no obnoxious fumes although I still have my Miller buzzbox there. If I need to use it, I just open the door to the outside to vent the fumes.

I have toyed with the idea of making my own oxygen and hydrogen. A back of the envelope calculation shows I can generate the equivalent of my S tank for under $2 worth of electricity. I have an oxyhydrogen torch and I suspect that I can convert the OA torches over fairly easily.

I would like to add TIG and plasma to the arsenal. I keep eying the Everlast 265. It just gets increasingly more difficult to justify it as I get older. :(
As you mature when it comes to tools or hobbies do you need to justify anything?
 

RJSakowski

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As you mature when it comes to tools or hobbies do you need to justify anything?
Unfortunately, yes. I have come to the realization the my remaining years are limited. Even more so are the years that I can continue working in this hobby. When I was younger, it was easy for me to justify a purchase in that it would prove useful many times in the coming years. Now, that is not the case.
I am fortunate in that I am fairly well set and if I wanted to buy a machining center, I could and pay cash for it. However, I have a wife who is more than 14 years my junior and I have to think about her future when I have passed on. Given current affairs, there is a compelling need to hold a substantial reseerve. A single medical issue could wipe out our assets. A recession like that of a decade ago could seriously reduce them.
 

NortonDommi

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My birds have flown the nest and while I worry about what will happen to my lifes collection of stuff I know that I may as well enjoy every moment I have secure in the knowledge that if I lose cognisance of reality or finally drop dead tomorrow I have gotten a few of the toys I wanted and had a play with them.
 

jbltwin1

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I learned on oxy-acet and still actually enjoy doing some gas pipe welding. Mostly, I use a MIG for smaller stuff but have a Lincoln 225 ac welder for the thicker stuff. I enjoy using the the old tombstone as it was my dads and it welds like butter when you hit the spot. Mostly 6013 but have some 7018 but honestly, the 6013 works for most of the garbage I end up welding. Mike.
 

Ed.

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It depends on the situation and the job to be done, most industrial fabrication using cleanish prepped steel under a roof would be done with MIG due to its speed thereby saving on labour costs, if on dirtier steel and outdoors or windy conditions then MMA would be the way to go. Generally I think that you need more amps with MIG than you do with stick to achieve the same penetration, as well as the right gas for the thickness of the metal.

I think most hobby welders choose an under powered machine which doesn't do a good job, a 140A MIG welder will not give you as good a penetration as a 140A stick welder. It's like anything you have to match the job, with MIG, the right size and type of wire, the right gas and a good beefy machine. With MMA you need the right type of electrode and coating but you loose significant speed in welding but you gain on not having to worry about cleaning the metal as much compared to MIG or worry about windy conditions.

Just my 2 cents worth.
 

epanzella

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Stick is the workhorse of welders. I think it should be everyone's first welder. You can't stick weld without having a basic knowledge of what welding is all about. Master a stick welder in all positions and you can move to any machine. I have all 3 systems and the stick is still my go-to machine for serious structure welding, fabricating and field repairs. Use 6010 on DC or 6011 on AC and the strong flux on these rods will cut thru grease, paint, rust and dead chipmunks. 7014 and 7018 are a little prettier, have a little less splatter, and the slag chips off much easier than 6011/6010 but they won't tolerate crud as well.
 

Aaron_W

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Stick is the workhorse of welders. I think it should be everyone's first welder. You can't stick weld without having a basic knowledge of what welding is all about. Master a stick welder in all positions and you can move to any machine. I have all 3 systems and the stick is still my go-to machine for serious structure welding, fabricating and field repairs. Use 6010 on DC or 6011 on AC and the strong flux on these rods will cut thru grease, paint, rust and dead chipmunks. 7014 and 7018 are a little prettier, have a little less splatter, and the slag chips off much easier than 6011/6010 but they won't tolerate crud as well.
I specifically bought a box of 6011 so I would be prepared to weld through dead chipmunks if the need arises. :)
 

rwm

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I specifically bought a box of 6011 so I would be prepared to weld through dead chipmunks if the need arises. :)
My Schnauzer has done this....
R
 

westerner

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I specifically bought a box of 6011 so I would be prepared to weld through dead chipmunks if the need arises.
Indeed. When the chipmunks get dried out, striking the arc gets tough. 6011 A/C can get thru the "insulation", but 7018 will test my patience.:cautious:
 

john.k

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I was doing a night job once using cellulose rods..,and everyone in the plant nextdoor was watching.......one woman said "It looked like you were sitting in the middle of a giant firework"...pity there wernt no utube then...........cellulose rods are great,but the spatter is something else.....all my arms and bald head got burn scars allover from the spatter of high amp cellulose......but you can thru penetrate 1/2" plate with no prep at all ,just a bit of a gap.....cellulose always restrike hot or cold.so you can do all the fancy pipe welds with them.
 

eugene13

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Our city just erected a new water tower, when the tank was joined together the inside welds were MIG welded, this was the root pass, and when the outside was welded they used stick. Any Ideas why?
 

wildcatfan

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Our city just erected a new water tower, when the tank was joined together the inside welds were MIG welded, this was the root pass, and when the outside was welded they used stick. Any Ideas why?
Just a guess, but i would say stick wwas used on the outer surface welds due to wind.
Harder to shield mig without external hard wind shield/curtains.
 

epanzella

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The flux on a stick rod creates shielding gas and is not impervious to wind. If you don't believe me try doing a stick weld in front of a fan. I don't know why they used MIG on the root. Maybe the spec called for no slag on the inside of the pipe? With MIG they could use shielding gas in the pipe to protect the inside.
 

Flyinfool

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Mig is also a lot faster than stick or tig. This lets them get the parts glued into position quickly and on to the next part so that the crane can go home sooner and stop running up the bill. Another thought is that MIG is a lot cleaner, if the inside were done with stick then all of that chipped off slag would have to be meticulously cleaned out of there. As mentioned, stick is not impervious to wind, but it can handle a lot more wind than MIG or TIG. When only half of the tank is up, there is not much difference between inside and outside.
 

jwmay

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I think it’s welding snobbery. The Joneses have a mig machine. I’d hate for them to see me out there with my chipping hammer and wire brush. How embarrassing!
 

gr8legs

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I took night courses at our Community College in all flavors of welding. Definitely time well spent. Now, having a choice between welding processes I seem to gravitate toward stick, but the reason is shop configuration and logistics.

My Idealarc 250 is always plugged in and the leads are easily accessible so it's just pull down the leads, click the switch and GO. I may have to turn the dial once to get an acceptable arc depending on the rod and material combination. Fastest setup option, slag removal not included.

To use the MIG (Miller 250X) machine I have to roll it out from its under-bench storage, unfurl the power cord and get it plugged into an outlet across the shop, then orient the hose and stinger - Second fastest option, some spatter to deal with. Pam spray and a needle scaler are your friends.

To use the TIG machine (a Miller 180 which sits on top of the Idealarc) I have to unfurl the leads, unwind the pedal cord, place the pedal somewhere convenient, turn on the gas, and then start fighting with the machine settings. Tied for seccond place, no slag, no spatter.

And then, another consideration: If I'm welding outside in the wind, the stick is best even with the time spent chipping slag.

Related thread: https://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/show-us-your-welders.16877/#post-387527
 

Downunder Bob

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I think MIG was chosen for a couple of reasons.

1 As has been mentioned it is quicker getting the job set up and tacked into place, then the crane can go home.

2. the root pass might have been specified in MIG because there is virtually no clean up required, and no slag to clean up so that the next pass can be run on a clean surface.
 

Downunder Bob

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Reminds one time I had to do a welding repair on the top end of the jib of a crane mounted on the deck of a ship. The crane was the forward most one and therefore up near the bow. We were at sea heading east from the cape of Good Hop (South Africa) to south coast of Australia

We were in the "Roaring 40's", and had a following sea so we were climbing up the back of each swell and running down the other side, occasionally the bow would plunge into the next swell wave, throwing a huge amount of water and sea spray all over the job and me. A great place to work, even without the presence of 36V A/C at around 140A. I had a bosuns chair lashed to the crane jib and secured myself to that. I was wearing a T shirt , with a heavy jumper over that and a canvas welding shirt and a nylon Parker over that, rubber washing up gloves with leather welding gloves over them etc, I was soaked, My helmet was of the type that you nod your head and it drops down over your face. So ready to start welding, as I nod my head my chin touched the metal zipper on the jacket the resulting shock would throw my head back and I'd lost the starting point of the weld.

The job had to be done, so I got one of the deck hands, who had been helping me with the rigging, to keep an eye on me, and as I nodded my head he would turn the welder on. It took us a couple of shots but then we got the timing right such that after nodding my head and lifting it up again my skin was away from the zipper. No shock and a good weld

The job only;y took two 8g rods total of about 10 min welding but about 4 hours to set up another hour to make it happen and then 3 hours to pack up. A days work for 10 mins of welding.
 

NCjeeper

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I think it’s welding snobbery. The Joneses have a mig machine. I’d hate for them to see me out there with my chipping hammer and wire brush. How embarrassing!
Nah. The Joneses don't even know what a welder is. All they know are mini vans and Starbucks.
 

eugene13

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Just a guess, but i would say stick wwas used on the outer surface welds due to wind.
Harder to shield mig without external hard wind shield/curtains.

Thanks for the comments, everyone, that's what my welder son said. I would like to hear some more bad position welding story's.
 
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