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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-18-2007, 02:18 PM
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I don't weld much, but would it be possible (and worth it) to grind or file some gaps/indents in the sheet metal where those clamps will go, so that the remainder of the butt joint is gapless?

Then, you remove the clamps and the only gap you have to weld across is where the clamps were and it would be no thicker than what you would have had across the entire weld seam without the clamp indent.

If you had a flat file about the same width as the strip in the clamp, seems like it wouldn't take all that much time to cut a quick indent on the edge of one or both panels. Would take more planning though, but if a gapless weld is better/easier, might be worth it.

Just an idea...

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Old 01-18-2007, 03:05 PM
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That is what I love about these forums, you "don't weld much", but you have a great idea. I have never thought of that, and it IS a great idea. Thanks!

Brian
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Old 01-18-2007, 03:30 PM
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butt welding

I tell you what,I've learned more in the past 5 minutes reading this discussion than in a whole year of burn thrus. So does anybody have any idea what good a panel crimper is ?It seems the butt weld is cleaner, easier to line up. I get all kinds of warp using a crimper and its impossable to get into tight areas.
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Old 01-18-2007, 03:55 PM
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You might also consider trying something like this.

Fiback, Fiberglass Weld Backing Tape
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Old 01-18-2007, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckucia
I don't weld much, but would it be possible (and worth it) to grind or file some gaps/indents in the sheet metal where those clamps will go, so that the remainder of the butt joint is gapless?

Then, you remove the clamps and the only gap you have to weld across is where the clamps were and it would be no thicker than what you would have had across the entire weld seam without the clamp indent.

If you had a flat file about the same width as the strip in the clamp, seems like it wouldn't take all that much time to cut a quick indent on the edge of one or both panels. Would take more planning though, but if a gapless weld is better/easier, might be worth it.

Just an idea...
The problem without an air gap is that the weld material builds up too fast and can easily lead to...

1) not allowing adquete penetration of the weld
2) extra material requires more grinding and actually leaves a very thin weld which in my experience doesn't last or behave as well.

With a gap the weld is the bridge and therefore doesn't just "sit" on top of the sheet metal - hoping you made penetration.

Take a couple of test panels and play around with it a little bit, I think you'll see what I mean...also, think about how you would weld 5/16 mild steel...you would bevel the edges to allow the weld to penetrate and spread across the valley...kinda the same thing with leaving an air gap with sheet metal patches...
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 01-18-2007, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plymouth_man
You can make your own out of pipe and bolts,Take the head of the bolt and cut a line on the top and get some banding strap,weld banding strap to the cut. Drill a hole the size of a nail in the strap abought a 1/4 to 1/2 inch down from the bolt head. Weld a washer on top of the pipe the size of the bolt,and insert the bolt and use a nut or wingnut and there you have it. the nail goes on the underside of panel,and when done welding, unscrew the nut some and take out nail to remove.
thats a lot cheaper than buying them, good tip
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 01-18-2007, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo_The_Dog
The problem without an air gap is that the weld material builds up too fast and can easily lead to...

1) not allowing adquete penetration of the weld
2) extra material requires more grinding and actually leaves a very thin weld which in my experience doesn't last or behave as well.

With a gap the weld is the bridge and therefore doesn't just "sit" on top of the sheet metal - hoping you made penetration.

Take a couple of test panels and play around with it a little bit, I think you'll see what I mean...also, think about how you would weld 5/16 mild steel...you would bevel the edges to allow the weld to penetrate and spread across the valley...kinda the same thing with leaving an air gap with sheet metal patches...
This should help visualize what I'm trying to say...

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Old 01-18-2007, 07:13 PM
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Rambo, we are talking SHEETMETAL here. Not only shouldn't you need any gap at all, you should be able to weld a bead in the middle of a sheet and get penatration. It just isn't hard at all to burn thru a pair of sheet metal panels side by side with zero gap. If one is getting a bead on top of the metal and not melting thru, one needs to up the heat, wire speed (to carry more of the voltage to the panel) or slow down, SOMETHING needs to be changed.

Brian
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Old 01-18-2007, 07:35 PM
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Definately no need for a gap welding sheetmetal, your weld bead shouldn't be very high either. Turn up the heat or slow down the wire speed or both, use a slightly overlapping spot weld technique with the nozzle held fairly close to the surface for a hot start.
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Old 01-18-2007, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Rambo, we are talking SHEETMETAL here. Not only shouldn't you need any gap at all, you should be able to weld a bead in the middle of a sheet and get penatration. It just isn't hard at all to burn thru a pair of sheet metal panels side by side with zero gap. If one is getting a bead on top of the metal and not melting thru, one needs to up the heat, wire speed (to carry more of the voltage to the panel) or slow down, SOMETHING needs to be changed.

Brian
Laying a bead of weld in the middle of a panel and getting penetration is nothing the same as joining two pieces of metal together...even if it's 2 flat blade razors!

Butt welding patches without a gap, and not being able to see the backside - I'd all but gaurantee anyone but a seasoned professional is not going to get complete penetration across the length of the weld...remember we were talking about sectioning a quarter on a 65 chevelle...

I'm no pro, self-taught and all I can rely on is what I have observered and cars I have fixed or built over the years , my approach might not work for everyone - but it works for me...
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Old 01-18-2007, 07:53 PM
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Bob, slowing the wire speed is "cooling" the weld by adding more resistance. The slower wire speed is like a smaller air hose, it may have the same pressure but it doesn't have the same volume. Wire speed is the same, speed up the wire speed to carry more electrons to burn hotter. PLUS it gives you more filler to fill the weld and not fall thru.

Rambo, we will have to agree to disagree on this one guy. I butt weld sheet metal on a regular basis and believe me, getting penetration isn't hard, it is all too easy (blow thrus being the proof ).

Brian
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:38 PM
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I have welded a heck of a lot of 18-22 ga. over the years and no gap works best for me, I guess using a gap is ok if someone is comfortable with it but I fail to see the advantage. Most of the time burn through is the biggest problem not penetration and it would be quite easy to get 100% penetration even in the middle of the sheet. Now if we were talking 14 ga or so that would be a different story.
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Old 01-18-2007, 10:36 PM
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Like ckucia said you can grind "notches". You can also grind down the "blades" of those clamps from .040 to .0XX thin, that works OK also. I like no gap at all so I use Magnets and welding clamps and tape and wood blocks and my hands just to get tacked in place. The biggest hassle are the trucks with welded on inner fenders/inner walls: 55-57 suburban for example. Got to cut reach holes to get the copper in there if your still at a level like me where I blow thru maybe 5-10 out of 150 welds.
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Old 06-19-2010, 09:46 PM
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But weld sheet metal

I am installing wheel arches on my truck and cam across this thread, really saved me a big problem, I have my inserts fitted as close as I could get them, gaps range from no gap to maybe the thickness of a hacksaw blade, anyway I had my heat too low (actually wire speed was too low) and notice I wasn't getting full pen on the no gap areas, so increase my wire speed and worked great, heat is right on the edge of burn through but increased wire feed compensated and looking on inside of panel shows great penetration all the way along, by the way areas with gaps did warp more than the no gap areas, bondo will have to hide these areas, will have to be more particular on the other side panel insert for fitting, now I can do the other side with confidence, thanks guys for all the great info.
Using a Lincoln 110V wire feeder with .025 wire and a argon/co2 mix think it's 75/25.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 06-20-2010, 10:12 AM
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One other thing I might mention (I also Weld Sheetmetal with no gap, by the way), I use Earth Magnets to hold my Panels when I weld-the Panels have to have the correct curvature and fitment to do it, but I find that the Magnets hold the Panel flush (without the Clamps)-don't try this with Tig though, the magnets will pull the flame to them-

Also, sometimes it is very difficult to get a no-gap piece to fit (you either cut it too short or the gaps aren't uniform)-while some here don't agree with this, in a tight situation I will screw the new Panel to the old (with a hole near the edge of the Panel), and then weasel my air Hacksaw in the hole at an angle, then use the new Panel as a template to cut the old-you can take the old Panel out in sections (or, just push it in)-if you are really careful you can end up with a Panel that fits with almost no gap. Then, take out the screw(s), and weld the small hold shut-I use this as a last resort sometimes, but it works-

Last edited by 35WINDOW; 06-20-2010 at 10:27 AM.
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