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The robotic welding has been adopted positively improving the welding shops for the purpose of improving the welding efficiency and liberating operators from the severe working atmosphere. But for a large-size structure with thick plates like ship-building and every kind of plants manufacturing, the application of the are-welding robots is not established yet. The reason is assumed that the conventional arc-welding robots are not adoptable for multi-pass welding of thick plates whose grooves are not so accurate. Then, as one solution to this problem, the authors developed a new sensing system which detects the groove width and controls the wearing pattern, based on the former developed weld joint tracking technique, and incorporated it into a handy automatic welder with a welding condition programmer and a wearing actuator. By the utility testing, it is confirmed that this hands welding apparatus is applicable for butt joints whose groove width denotes maximum ±8 mm per 100 mm weld length and fillet joints in flat position and vertical position.