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Welcome to El Paso Welding Co. Our business offers a variety of quality welding services to the El Paso and surrounding areas. We strive for high quality customer service and excellent work.

With years of experience under our belts, we are the preferred welding service in the area. From commercial and industrial applications, to simple cutting or torching, we have the equipment and experience to get the job done.

Have a look around our website to see what we are about. Keep reading below to see an excerpt from one of our experienced welders, educating our visitors on the four main types of welding commonly used in the industry. Thank you! We look forward to serving you.

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Hey, welcome to our website! So there are a lot of different kinds of welding out there. I’m going to break down the four most common types from a high level, so you’ll know what you might want to learn or what you might want to learn next now if you want to learn how to do. One of these I put videos that I made down in the description below, so you can link to those and see step by step, how to learn them, but today we’ll just talk about what they’re good for and how they kind of work.

Now, let’s start with stick welding, it’s also called shielded metal arc, welding or manual metal arc, welding or rod welding, a bunch of different names, but I’ll call it to stick welding. It uses these elec

trodes that look like a stick now. This is an ingenious invention because it solves multiple problems, all in one simple package, so the first thing that you have in the center is you have a rod of metal, that’s similar to the metal that you’re welding.

In this case, it’s steel and I’ll connect. It to an electrode holder like this, which is an electrical clamp that has a handle on it and that allows electricity to flow from my welder up through the rod and then I’ll put this other clamp on my welding table, or you can put it on the part you’re working on to complete a circuit, and so you just touch the end of that rod there, and that makes a short circuit and will create a spark that starts an arc and the arc is where electricity jumps over a gap and creates a tremendous amount of heat when that happens, it melts your base, metal and it also melts off the center of this rod and adds it to it.

That's why you get that crowned-up shape on your weld. The other thing that happens is this: outside coating, that's called flux, burns off and it protects that molten metal from the air so that it doesn't get contaminated by oxygen and other things in the air. So it's genius how that works. Now, as you move along, your rod will burn down from long to short, and let's go ahead and do a little demo. So you can see as I'm welding here.

The electrode is just maintaining that nice short arc and that's because I'm moving my handing closer to the metal as I move along and it's just you've got that bright spot where it's really hot. It's depositing that metal in and it's also burning off that flux and leaving a coating on the top of the weld called slag. Now, at the end of the weld here, you can see that slag coating remaining and I'll go ahead and just remove it with a tool called a chipping hammer and after I rake that off and clean it up, you can see. I have a nice result.

So stick welding is really good for a few reasons. One the equipment is inexpensive, so you can have a basic arc. Welder like this lincoln tombstone buzz box, or this is another stick welder that I picked up for about a hundred dollars on amazon. That works pretty well also, and so it's very portable, very simple. You just need one of these and some rods, along with your safety gear and you're, basically, in business, you're ready to go some of the drawbacks.

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Is that slag coating that it leaves so I wouldn’t use it for like auto body sheet metal that will be more of a challenge than other processes. I also typically won’t stick weld anything thinner than about 1 16 of an inch or one and a half. Millimeters though you can, if you do it right, but I usually try to avoid that because it becomes pretty challenging to avoid burning through. But it’s really good for anything that thick or thicker, especially good for structural things like welding up furniture trailers. If you want to build a smoker that kind of things, it’s good for all sorts of things like that, just general purpose work and repairs so really good process.

It’s used a lot in the industry still especially on the pipeline. Next, let’s talk about flux, core welding and it’s the same process as stick welding in that you deposit your metal through an arc and you shield it with the flux but imagine taking the stick, welding rod and you turn it inside out. So you take the metal and put it on the outside of the flux, and then you wind, that around a roll and you feed it with a motor instead of feeding it manually with your hand and that’s what you have here is this feeding mechanism and you Push it through a tube and add a gun now some of the advantages here are one it’s easier, because you don’t have to worry about striking an arc, it kind of happens on its own.

When you push the button, also, you just maintain the same distance and you don’t have to stop when your electrode runs out. So it’s much easier than stick welding to learn how to do. It can also be done with relatively inexpensive equipment. This is just on a basic flux: core welder from harbor freight, that’s less than 200 and there are other similar ones, and then that this one I’ve had for a little while and use it from time to time, and it’s worked well or you can use. Any MIG welder, so if you know you’re going to want to, you know, learn to MIG weld one day or add the gas cylinder to do that.

You can get a MIG welder and set it up for flux core now and then grow into it. So it's really good for that. It can weld. You know anything from thinner sheet metal up to this one's rated for 3 16 of an inch, but there are industrial processes that weld extremely thick things using heavier-duty equipment with flux, core process. So so it's good for all of that, you still have that slag to deal with right, so watch as I weld along here.

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You can see I’m just maintaining a steady distance with my arc between the end of the gun and the workpiece and moving along and it’s depositing metal in just the same and at the end, after I remove my slag, I got a pretty nice result now. Let’s move on to MIG welding: this is the process I use the most in my shop because it’s fast to run, it doesn’t leave any slag coating and the reason for that is, it doesn’t use flux. So, let’s look at the equipment here.

You can see that there’s this roll of wire and it looks like copper wire, but it’s steel, wire coated in copper to protect it and that wire gets fed through and out of the gun, the same way as with the flux core welding except for this time. There’s a nozzle around the outside and shielding gas which comes out of a gas cylinder and that’s either carbon dioxide or argon, or a mixture of the two most of the time that gas will protect the weld pool instead, that’s nice because you don’t get the slag. So it’s really good for anything from thin sheet metal.

It’s great for auto bodywork, it’s great for all sorts of things clear up! My machines will run 3/8 of an inch thick material in a single pass running on 240 volts, so that’s with a relatively small machine. So so it’s good for many many things you can see as I weld along here. I’m just you know doing a small oscillating motion and it’s filling in that weld, but I don’t have that slag on the top, and so after I’m done it’s just uh. Nice and clear and clean now, one of the drawbacks to MIG welding is it’ll, be more expensive than either flux core or stick welding for the equipment because one the machines are typically a little more expensive and two. You need that gas cylinder to go along with it.

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So keep that in mind when you’re, making your decision but like I mentioned before you can start with just the machine and run it on flux, core wire and then get the gas cylinder at some point. When you want to it’s also less portable, because you need to take that gas cylinder with you. Finally, let’s talk about TIG, welding, or gas tungsten arc welding. It’s often called and imagine the MIG gun that we had before because it has the gas nozzle that comes around the outside, but

instead of wire feeding out through the center just put an electrode that won’t melt, and this is made out of a tungsten alloy.

And it’s similar to you know in a light, bulb you’ll have a tungsten filament because it can get hot and not melt in an old-fashioned light bulb. And so you can create that arc and concentrate the heat there. And you decouple that from adding metal to it, and so that makes it work well for precise work where you want to have really fine control. So it’s the most well-controlled and precise of the processes, though the most challenging to learn. So, to add that filler metal, you just use an additional rod and you’ll feed that right into your weld pool so watch as I run this here, I’m just creating that weld pool and as I move along, I’m just adding that filler metal right to the leading edge of the weld pool here on this steel weld coupon and you can use TIG welding for aluminum.

It’s the ideal process for welding aluminum, but you will need to get a machine that will output alternating current or ac as well as dc, and that will increase the cost of the machine. So, as far as cost goes, there’s a gas cylinder similar to MIG, welding, and TIG welding machines. Are, you know, in a similar price range to MIG welding machines with the alternating current options being on the higher end of it? So you know you’re fair, similar there um in terms of price uh for the machines and portability um. One thing to keep in mind is almost all TIG.

Welding machines can be used to stick weld, so I've taken my TIG welder before and just used it for a stick welding job. So that is an option for you. If you get that now, let's just talk for a second about multi-process machines and those are machines that are available to do more than one thing like I said pretty much any TIG welder will stick weld also and now some machines are MIG TIG and Stick and they'll run flux core also, so you can do all of these with one machine, and just one thing to keep in mind is those typically on the TIG function might be a little more limited in the way that the arc starts.

They're, usually a lift arc, and we don't need to get into too much detail on that, but it isn't as good as some of the dedicated TIG machines as far as starting your arc. Also, another challenge with those is: they will usually only put output direct current for TIG, so you won't be able to weld aluminum very well with those multi-process machines, though there are a few that will output alternating current as well, and do everything so just make sure you know what you're looking for and that it will do what you're going to want to do with it.

One last thing to keep in mind with the multi-process machines is your MIG and TIG? Shielding gas will probably be two different types of gas, so uh make sure to keep that in mind, if you're planning on doing both that you'd need to purchase two gas cylinders which will increase the cost a bit. We'll see you next time!

We appreciate you taking the time to read through our website. We hope you found some value in this tutorial from one of our master welders here at EWC. If you are ready to get started reach out to us in a contact form or call the number on the page to get started. Thank you! -EWC

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