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Old 04-29-2003, 07:11 PM
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Post Filling holes in sheet medal questions?

The Cab over has several holes in it that i would like to close. I do not want to use much filler. Can i cut little 1/2 " holes(plugs) and weld them in place ? Do i grind them down, of do i beat them down?( I don`t know the proper name for hammering the welds)Can i do this with wire feed? Thanks for your advise. It`s great to be 52 and learning stuff every day. I dig it!!!
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Old 04-30-2003, 04:17 AM
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Some body please help me!!!
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Old 04-30-2003, 04:28 AM
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Slider, every hole has a character of its own so I will lay out some of my techniques. Firs, what is behind the hole will dictate some of your approach. If the hole is less than 1/4 inch, and I will not set anything on fire, I will use the mig to weld it up. This technique is a series of bips around the edges, followed with a longer hit in the middle to puddle the little bips (use caution here if metal is thin and fairly large panel, can cause warping). If the holes are larger, I start looking for filler which can be like you mentioned. I have used small magnets to help hold these flush with the surface until they are tacked in place, or will spot a piece of coat hanger to the patch and hold in place. Once tacked, I slowly bip arround the edge not letting the area get to hot. If there is a bunch of swiss cheese, then I cut this out and patch but if you can get behind the area, I sometimes just fiberglass the back side. There is a good product out called Allmetal that will also work great.

Trees
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Old 04-30-2003, 04:40 AM
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PS, Slider. When done, grind smooth. Hammer in hand as little as possible so you don't create more work than necessary!!

Trees
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Old 04-30-2003, 05:04 AM
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Agree w/trees... when filling the hole shoot the wire 'into' the opposite edge of the hole so you fill it slowly- if you miss or shoot too straight it just goes through the hole and wire is all over! Go slow and when you grind there is virtually no evidence of a hole- thus little or NO filler needed!!
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:40 AM
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Out standing!!! You guys are the greatest. I mean that! Thank you so much. Some times i`m perty sure how to do something, just want to ask for other opinions. I have done very little body work prior to this, and your info will be a great help to me.
Slider in Wa.
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Old 04-30-2003, 04:01 PM
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Thanks guys, be patient, it could be worth it

I agree with them both. Also save your pennies, they work great for backers for small holes After your done, you not only have a filled hole, but a cool replica of one side of a penny

HK
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Old 05-03-2003, 03:09 PM
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The process that involves hammering the weld is called hammer welding. This is done with either gas welding or TIG welding. The weld itself is very soft after welding, and can be hammered flat (with a dolly behind the work). This stretches the metal, and often remove the distortion created when welding.

MIG welds are too hard to hammer, and the nature of MIG is locaized heat; Mig offers the least distortion of the popular welding options. High-end metal workers choose gas or TIG due the welds being more 'workable' with traditional body tools.

In your situation, I would prepare the holes so that the edges are very uniform, then cut filler pieces that fit snugly. I would use TIG process to weld them in(using little filler rod as possible). After welding, I would guage the amount of distortion, hammer the welds accordingly to remove said distortion. Finally you would use a body file to isolate the remaining high/low spots in the panel. Using a torch to shrink/quench the low spots and hammering off-dolly to lower the high spots you would slowing work the surface back into shape.

After a pass with the body file shows no further high/low spots.....prime and paint.

Good luck.
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Old 05-03-2003, 08:03 PM
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While the above post on hammer welding is the high end and probably the best way, I would go with the mig. I have done alot of hole patching, and I have always used mig successfully. Make sure and let the welds cool before making the next so not to add too much heat to the panel. The TIG will be much harder, especially for a beginner.

Chris
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Old 05-06-2003, 03:38 PM
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i filled the holes in my firewall and cab's floor two different ways: trying to weld the whole thing little by little then grind the hell out of it. not so good.

then i got these washers that are part of electrical suppliers' bag o tricks called "bolt-in knock-out seals" they are the perfect size for most factory holes (@7/8") there are lots of sizes and these worked like a charm. they are basically a big flat washer with a small 1/8" hole in the center that is easily filled. :p
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Old 05-06-2003, 05:47 PM
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Slider, thanks for the feedback. Nothing to it but to do it!!

Trees
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Old 05-06-2003, 06:40 PM
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mig welding small holes is easy with a little practice. every body has there own little tricks to make it easier. i hit a little bit, then grab my blow gun and blow cold air directly on hot spot nozzle right on it. till hand touch then weld a little more, not to much or it will warp, exp is the best teacher. practice on scrap first. grind smooth not to as this causes heat, then fill and sand. good luck
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Old 05-09-2003, 08:46 AM
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Although I haven't tried it myself, I just read a tip where someone used the knock-outs out of an electrical box as filler plugs. They are a uniform size, steel so a magnet would hold them in place, good and solid and cheap! There are 8 or more plugs in a box that is around a buck. Look at yard sales or construction/ remodeling sites and someone will be giving them away.
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Old 05-09-2003, 09:29 AM
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I had some good size holes in my fenders. I got a one inch Dia. copper pipe about inch and half long. (from Home Depot) I took my hammer and pounded it flat and used it as a backing and used my mig welder. worked great. Grinded it down then touched it up and grinded that down. Those sanding disc with the flaps work great to smooth it out.
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Old 05-09-2003, 10:29 AM
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wow, the electrical box idea was a good one. I myself just used tin-snips and cut little squares out, tacked them to the backside of the holes, and slowly filled the holes from the front with wire...maybe not the best way of doing it, but it doesn't look half bad for my first attempt using the mig on me truck.
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