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Sparky Sommer

Recent Posts

Welding is a universal language

Posted by Sparky Sommer on Jul 1, 2015 5:04:38 PM



Last year, I was working in Juarez, Mexico on a training job for ESAB with a great group of TIG welders. I made some good friends, had some great food...But the thing that really left an impression on me was how well we all understood each other. 

None of the trainees spoke English, and I don’t speak Spanish. Yet, despite the language barrier, for the whole week, we just went on with it - welding together, learning, and figuring out procedure. 

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Topics: Welder, welding, ESAB, ESAB blog, education, welding basics, TIG, welding tips, TIG welding, tungsten

Colors in welding are cool, but...

Posted by Sparky Sommer on Jun 14, 2015 2:25:18 PM


Lately, I've been following the websites and social sites you guys share your work on, like Instagram, and the TIG welds are incredible. I see all the pretty colors - straw, rose, green and blue. 

ESAB Photo

There's a good contest going between all of you to see how many colors you can get in one weld. I have to say it's pretty impressive...

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Topics: Welder, welding, ESAB blog, education, metal, welding basics, TIG, welding tips, TIG welding, color chart, aluminum, stainless

A Pocket Full of 7018 and 5 Stick Welding Tips

Posted by Sparky Sommer on May 18, 2015 11:55:00 AM


Have you ever had one of those days? You know, where you’ve got 6010 in one back pocket and 7018 in the other and the metal seems to stretch on for miles? Now that’s a welding work day many of us can relate to… 

For me, stick welding is where I feel my roots and the proud memories of the dedication and discipline it took to become a pipe fitter and welder. I feel lucky that my first welding job was as a hand on a pipe crew. The craftsmanship and mastery I witnessed there have never left me. I watched my welder make an orange peel bell reducer once, and that set me on the path of learning layout… Of course “Mr. Grinder” and I became very good friends at that point.

Thinking back to those days had me thinking about some of those basic stick welding tips I learned then, and still use today. I hope they’re as helpful to you:

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Topics: welding, ESAB, education, welding basics, STICK, welding tips

TIG tips and tungsten love

Posted by Sparky Sommer on Mar 29, 2015 10:00:00 AM


I have long had a passion for TIG welding and a love for tungsten. It’s a craft that takes your mind off everything else.  

And let's face it, tungsten is the Chuck Norris of the metal world. It even has a hardcore element name - WOLFRAM. Tungsten has the highest melting point at 6,191 °F (3,422 °C), the lowest thermal expansion coefficient, and the highest tensile strength of all pure metals.

Add a little thorium or zirconium and you have a tungsten electrode.

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Topics: Welder, welding, ESAB, ESAB blog, education, metal, welding basics, STICK, TIG, welding tips, TIG welding, tungsten

Intimidated by welding? Don't be.

Posted by Sparky Sommer on Mar 5, 2015 3:03:38 PM


As a former welding instructor, I would often watch as new students walked in and looked completely overwhelmed at all the welding equipment in class. Dials and digital readouts, gas tanks, regulators and torches...

My first goal as an instructor was to put them at ease.

“See all these gizwidget dials? Just wait and let me walk you through it, because it’s so easy,” I would tell them. “It all starts with what metal you want to weld.” 

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Topics: welding, ESAB, education, Fabricator, metal, welding basics, training, STICK, Tweco, Fabricator 211i, TIG, MIG

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