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Old 05-20-2008, 09:58 PM
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Body welding tips / tricks ?

I read many articles. I got a small mig. My Argon/CO2 tank is being shipped. Most of the patch panels are here. I'm getting nervous.

What do you recommend for wire size? (I've been practicing with .30 flux)
Is it better to cut the panel and car on a natural body line (bend) or on a flat area?
It might be a long time before I get it to paint. What should I use to protect the metal after the patch is in place?

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Old 05-21-2008, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenCam
I read many articles. I got a small mig. My Argon/CO2 tank is being shipped. Most of the patch panels are here. I'm getting nervous.

What do you recommend for wire size? (I've been practicing with .30 flux)
Is it better to cut the panel and car on a natural body line (bend) or on a flat area?
It might be a long time before I get it to paint. What should I use to protect the metal after the patch is in place?
Use .023 diameter wire. As for where to cut it all depends on what it is, if its on the flat you could use some small metal clamps.

You can roll or brush on epoxy paint, just don't put it on to thick or mix up very much, because what you don't use will set up.

It wouldn't hurt to take a look at my website, it will show you the thickness of floor pans and how to tell what gauge it is.

Get aquainted with the thickness on your car, then practice welding on some metal of that thickness.

The web site will show you different tools you can use on reworking panels, never mind all the screws I put in, you don't need to do that.

But pay particular attention to the size hex head sheet metal screw and size drill bit, that will bail you out of some situations where panels don't fit to good, and you need to draw them down.

If you ask questions up front like you are doing right now, and reading and searching all you can, it will save you a lot of headaches and money.

I'm not sure what all you know.

I'll search out some of the main stuff for you.

Heres your sheet metal thickness. http://www.1969supersport.com/smthoughts.html

Heres the screw size, third picture down. http://www.1969supersport.com/floorpn2.html

Heres some butt weld clamps. 5th picture down. http://www.1969supersport.com/flrpn11.html

Butt weld clamps in action, 3rd picture down. http://www.1969supersport.com/7floorpan4.html Its hard to tell because of all the magic marker lines I drew, but they just hold two flat pieces of sheet metal together with maybe a 1/16'' of an inch in between the panels so you have room to slide the clamp tightener in to it.

Cleco fasteners, they hold one piece of metal on top of another, so you can plug weld or lap weld. 2nd, 3rd and 4th picture down. http://www.1969supersport.com/flrpn6.html

I mentioned earlier about rolling on epoxy on bare metal, saves loading up a spray gun and all the cleanup. I just brushed it on the these panels and the inside of the floor support, page one all 5 pictures. http://www.1969supersport.com/fpn3.html

Plug welds, is nothing more then welding one piece of sheet metal on top of another, the top piece of metal has a hole, so you weld in that hole to adjoin the two pieces. http://www.1969supersport.com/pntest.html 3rd picture down.

Heres a plug weld, 1st and 2nd picture. http://www.1969supersport.com/fintest.html

A spot weld, we use plug welds in place of spot welds because we don't have a real expensive spot welder or sometimes the room to get in to do it if we had one. Heres what a spot weld looks like. 4th picture down. http://www.1969supersport.com/flrpan2.html

You just looked at spot welds on the bottom of a floor support, its spot welded to the floor pan, so lets say we want to remove that floor support but leave the floor pan in. We will attempt to drill out or grind out that spot weld, but the trick is you only want to penetrate the floor support, and not cut into the floor pan, so you only drill or grind down about 1/32 of an inch deep.

Thats why a spot weld cutter is flat on the bottom. Now in a lot of cases you will drill right through both pieces, but thats okay, just try not to do it, but you can weld both holes up.

I'm going to get off from here, if you or anybody else that reads this wants more of this information, you can mention it on this thread, some of it is real basic stuff, anyway, sometimes pictures make it easier to understand.

Rob

http://www.1969supersport.com

Last edited by robs ss; 05-21-2008 at 02:36 AM.
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:14 AM
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Thanks Rob. I've actually been to your site in the past. You have a lot of good info and an awesome setup. I'm very glad guys like you are here.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:39 AM
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Definitely use .023 wire or if you can find some the JW Harris "Twenty Gauge" (brand, not wire size") tubular wire in .030. the .030 tubular wire actually has less mass than .023 solid so it uses less current. This is a true MIG wire (75/25 gas) and NOT gas-less flux core and although it has been hard to find lately it is now sold by Lincoln and should be more widely available soon. I have been welding thin sheet metal for many years and the "Twenty Gauge" is the best I have ever used for that purpose, much easier to weld body panels without burn-through and warpage due to less current required. I know some people use .030 solid wire for body work and I have seen this suggested but IMO it makes little sense because of the higher current requirements and it is contrary to all welding logic, just because some CAN do it does not make it better.
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Old 05-21-2008, 10:11 AM
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Weld through primer on any areas that you wont be able to prime after they are welded. Ie. if you do a lap weld or plug weld in a panel.
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Old 05-21-2008, 03:35 PM
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It's best to clip a patch very close to a body line if there is one. I assume you will be doing a lap weld?...

Be careful when doing a wide area,like a door bottom; don't push the panel in, or push from behind too much, as it will bow the whole doorskin. Keep checking with a straightedge if you are not sure if it's in too far, or out.

"welding" a patch is NOT running long beads; use short welds.

Where to start welding on a long patch? Takes experience IMO. I start tacking in the center mostly, (depending on what type of panel) then work outwards,... but take lots of cooldown time between stitching.

If you get a little practice in using a damp cold rag, you can reduce the waiting a little. But improper cooling can/will shrink the metal, and that will be a disaster.
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Old 05-21-2008, 03:43 PM
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I never heard of "Twenty-Gauge" wire before. It sounds like a good idea.
I did know about the weld through primer. I haven't got any yet. I guess Napa would have it.
I was actually planning to butt weld. I love those little Eastwood clamps but they seem a bit expensive for no more than you get. I think I could fab some cheaper.

Thanks again for the info!
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Old 05-21-2008, 04:32 PM
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harbor freight sells those buttweld clamps cheep.

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Old 05-21-2008, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenCam
I never heard of "Twenty-Gauge" wire before. It sounds like a good idea.
I did know about the weld through primer. I haven't got any yet. I guess Napa would have it.
I was actually planning to butt weld. I love those little Eastwood clamps but they seem a bit expensive for no more than you get. I think I could fab some cheaper.

Thanks again for the info!

Twenty Gauge was designed for welding thin stock and it does an excellent job. It is a tubular wire with a powdered metal core that requires less current than comparable sized solid wire plus the metal core tends to be far less likely to burn though. JW Harris did a very poor job of marketing the Twenty Gauge but they were recently bought out by Lincoln Electric who plans a much more aggressive approach. Not long ago I had an E-mail conversation with sales at Lincoln about the problems of finding this wire but they assured me it will soon be a lot easier to find and they plan to get the info on it out where it can be seen. This stuff really does work, I ran a mining equipment repair shop and we had one job in particular that required a lot of welding on 24 ga steel that for years was done with .023 solid wire and C25 (75/25) gas. When a salesman approached me with this new kind of welding wire I was skeptical at first but it did not take long for me to realize it was the best thing to happen to welding thin sheet since the MIG welder was invented! We switched to using the Twenty Gauge and it made the job much faster and easier then it was just natural to start using it for body work. It is still sold by JW Harris (now owned by Lincoln) and is marketed under the brand name "Perfect Circle Twenty Gauge" and the part no. for a 2 lb spool is TGE5. One of the problems in finding this stuff is that name "Twenty Gauge" since some get that confused with size but it has nothing to do with the size of the wire or what it is intended to be used on it is simply a trade name, if you do a search on it or try to order it use "Twenty" and not "20" as this too has caused some confusion.

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Old 05-21-2008, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 33mopower
harbor freight sells those buttweld clamps cheep.
Harbor Freight has them? I was just there last week and I didn't see any. The wife was rushing me a bit.
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
they were recently bought out by Lincoln Electric
There is a local supply for Lincoln. I'll stop by there when I get my tank filled. Maybe I can get it without having to order it online.
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Old 05-23-2008, 07:45 AM
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A good starting point to understand.

EVERY weld is a shrink point that needs to be corrected with hammer on dolly hits.

The more you understand about how to shrink metal and how to correct for shrunk metal the better you get at making and installing panels.

If you wish try an educate yourself more on metal work I have some tips on my website.

Metal work hints
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Old 05-23-2008, 04:06 PM
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hey oldred a question for you. as i am not very good at welding sheetmetal i thought every little bit would help so i got some 20 gauge as you suggested no one can seem to get it to work right .any clue were i might look for what is wrong? even had 2 body repair guys try and no one seems happy with it. thanks
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Old 05-23-2008, 07:20 PM
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First thing is to check the polarity as it should be set on DC reverse (electrode positive-ground negative) and using C25 (75/25) gas, all the same as with solid wire. They say in the specs that straight CO2 can be used but I have found that it does not work well at all and the C25 should always be used, actually everything should be the same as with solid wire except the current setting and wire speed. One other thing I saw recently was a fellow had a problem with spatter and excess smoke, it turned out to be the wire had been wet and even though it had only traces of rust on the outside (never use rusty wire anyway) it apparently had a lot of moisture trapped in the powdered core that was causing the problem. The package showed signs of being stored in a damp area and was fairly old so we baked the wire overnight in my rod oven and that helped the problem a lot but I had him return it for a fresh roll anyway since there is just no excuse for selling welding wire in that condition, this fresh roll was 100% better! Check that polarity and if you still have a problem let us know what it is doing wrong such as excess spatter, burn through, etc.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:25 PM
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copper back up & heat putty

You can make copper back-up from a piece of 1 inch pipe, hammer it flat then bend and shape to fit yout panel. copper will absorb the heat and help prevent burn thru. MY welding supplier sells heat absorbing putty for $ 10 per pint. It's about like kid's moulding clay , form a 3 8 bead about 1/2 in fron the weld area, after you are done you can scrape it off and put in another container, add water and let it reconstitute ... In the old days it had asbestos in it , and was easier to use...
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