The past week was quite windy here in Edmond, and Kay’s fast-growing tomato plants didn’t fare so well. Top-heavy already, the wind blew them over and broke a few plants. I had put a few rebar stakes in the ground earlier this spring but they weren’t enough to hold the plants in place against these strong winds.
So this morning Kay and I decided to give her plants a little structure to grow on. I had a few 20′ sticks of 3/8″ rebar in storage, so I tossed my new Lincoln Square Wave TIG-200 welder on the back of our Kawasaki Mule, ran a long 110 volt heavy duty extension cord to from my shop to the garden, grabbed some bolt cutters and got to work. I decided to use the TIG welder in stick welding mode rather than my MIG welder in flux-core mode. I knew I was going to be welding some old semi-rusted rebar and didn’t want to swap out MIG wire for flux-core wire in my Lincoln MP-210 wire welder. So I simply unscrewed the argon bottle from the welder, disconnected the TIG torch and foot feed, grabbed my stick welding stinger and a few rods and went to work.
Kay held the plants in place while I cut rebar, stuck it in the ground, then ran horizontal rebar and welding things together. It was nothing fancy and we will probably replace it with a much better looking structure next spring, but this took us about an hour and now Kay’s tomato plants are in much better shape. She weaved the plants through the rebar structure, trimmed a few stray leaves, and things look much better now.
I really like how my TIG-200 welded in 110v stick mode. It offered plenty of power to weld rebar using 3/16″ rods. The 6011 rods cut through the rust just fine even though they were a bit hard to strike and get started. The welder is easy to carry and easy to set up and program for whatever task I have at hand. Saturday I TIG welded thin sheet metal on a Ford Ranger pickup truck and today I stick welded rebar – all with the same welder. Great product from Lincoln Electric!