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Old 04-23-2011, 11:06 AM
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Filling in trim holes how big before patch

I am removing most of the trim from my 68 caddy and would like to know how small or big the trim holes can be fixed without using a patch. I have a bunch of small holes from the side trim. The biggest ones are maybe one quarter inch by one half inch roughly. Nothing much bigger than that. I was hoping I could just weld them up if I took my time.

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Old 04-23-2011, 11:13 AM
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with 120-140's I weld in two settings. My plug welds are as hot as my open but welds with a tad more wire speed. This is the highest voltage setting. When I do holes or gaps I turn the voltage down one setting and go down about 5-10 on wire speed. Anyhow, start on the edge of it and tack hot. Bridging 3 hot tacks onto eachother while the metal is still red. Then go to another hole while it cools down and keep staggering so you don't warp your metal. Keep doing that til you completely shut the holes. Good lighting is crucial for a clean job cause the better you aim your wire when bridging the better it will turn out.

You don't need copper backing for this as it would just leave voids on the other side, but if you're having trouble with heat it will help you.
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:23 PM
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You can also take regular 3/32" gas welding rod, curl it around itself like a sailor's rope, and tack that into your holes. Makes welding them shut easier.

Let each weld cool-down naturally, DO NOT cool them down with an air blower or wet rag, that's called shrinking and will cause you problems.
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:29 PM
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I'm glad you mentioned that. I thought I was alone when it comes to letting it cool naturally. There's not many procedures in this trade that are misleading but that's one myth that's wrong. Funny how you have soo many guys that believe shocking the metal with water or air is gonna stop it from warping.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:42 AM
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Nails work pretty good..different sized heads for different holes.If they have a coating ,a quick pass on the bench grinder will get them ready.

Last edited by deadbodyman; 04-26-2011 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadbodyman
Nails work pretty good..different sized heads for different holes.If they have a coating ,a quick pass on the bench grinder will get them ready.

Good idea! Being a carpenter, I have lots of nails....but I guess everyone does lol.
If its larger than 5/16 or so I cut a small round circle of sheet metal to fit and hold it flush with a small magnet enough to barely tack in in place, remove the magnet and complete the weld.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:40 AM
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welding trim holes.

Hi,years ago,we used to fill trim holes by first grinding paint off of hole to be filled, DIMPLING the holes(V shape) larger the hole,deeper the dimple,i made a tool ,with a concave,end and a convex end,with a small bolt to tighten them,(think of a 2 sided V shape) as you tighten the bolt,you form the dimple,without messing up the rest of the skin,then,lead the holes shut,uses way less heat than welding,and ive never had a lead plug fall out.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadbodyman
Nails work pretty good..different sized heads for different holes.If they have a coating ,a quick pass on the bench grinder will get them ready.
I just nosed and decked a '57 Chevy. I was at Ace Hardware, trying to buy some sort of punch to make filler plugs. I didn't find what I wanted, but the clerk I asked was holding some nails at the time. Ureka! I went home with a handfull! (...and thought I had come up with a new method.)

They say somebody else has already thought of an idea before you. I guess so.
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:51 AM
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been using flush bolts since the early 70's . flush bolts look like pick up fender bolts in the bed. heads are usually 1/2 or so. stick though from behind and weld. cut the stud off and finish . best to use weld through primer on them .
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