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Old 02-01-2009, 11:35 AM
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Getting a pro to weld the frame? Cost?

I am far from a pro welder, but was hoping to weld my own frame. I ran into a welder at the local watering hole who basically convinced me I should not take any chances and bring it to someone certified to weld it out who could x-ray it for flaws. I'm building a Model A frame, z'd in the back and front.

Any idea how much a weld shop would charge to weld it out assuming I just had everything tacked together? Thanks!

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Old 02-01-2009, 11:47 AM
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welding

The guy is probably correct and that is a matter of who does is probably #1.I would be careful its jigged or welded really slow as not to warp it .At todays mind set alot of shop guys automaticlly think,HOTRODDER ,hes got money,Maybe round 500 would get it.Hard to tell.
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Old 02-01-2009, 11:58 AM
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I had my front crossmember welded by a guy at work. Where I work they all have to be certified and pass 100% X-Ray. We done this after work one evening, cost about $50. It took about 3-4 hrs to clean, locate and weld the crossmember in. I figure that is cheap to what it might cost in the real world.
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:11 PM
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i dont believe you need to have it x-rayed
if you know about the person that is doing the work
but thats just me, my cheapness somtimes borders on trouble
but i like to think i know when to poney up and pay
pay for a good welder but if you think you need to double check his work maybee you didnt spend enough time picking your welder
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:59 PM
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Very few welds are X-Ray'd. You X-Ray critical welds in industry and during QC checks, but most simply do not need to be. The welder can see if he is getting enough penetration and see if there are serious porosity problems.

The big consideration is not the welds but the overall frame stress and twist due to uneven heating and cooling during the welding process. Put the frame in a jig or chain it to the floor but you need to get that frame solidly fixed so that it cannot react to the effects of thermal distortion.

Cost? Most welders can ballpark hours and material fairly close so just get a T&M not to exceed bid from them.
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:22 PM
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I'm a crummy welder: I know how to prep a weld, just can't run a decent bead. There is a shop next to me that does fabrication. The guy who owns it was a welder for the shipyard and knows his stuff. Basically. he told me that he didn't want to spend the time to measure, cut and fit my hot-rod stuff and I wouldn't want to pay him to do it, but If I did that and tack-welded and clamped everything in place, he would bring his welder and do the finish welds. It's an arrangement that has worked out well for both of us.
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Old 02-01-2009, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
assuming I just had everything tacked together?
Ayuh,...

If you're talented enough to get it jigged,+ tacked up,...
You can finish the job....

I think the guy in the ginmill was alittle Too oiled,+ Boasting,....
A Welding Certification is merely a piece of Paper,...
And, Your frame Ain't gettin' X-rayed...
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:10 PM
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Yeah I would love to do it myself and really hate paying people to do stuff, but I may just fork over the dough for the welder to do the critical stuff. I'm not sure my wife would get in the thing unless a pro helped out.

Yeah I agree - I wouldn't be worried about getting it x-rayed.
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigIrish
Yeah I would love to do it myself and really hate paying people to do stuff, but I may just fork over the dough for the welder to do the critical stuff. I'm not sure my wife would get in the thing unless a pro helped out.

Yeah I agree - I wouldn't be worried about getting it x-rayed.

When welded right,It doesn't have to be X-rayed.If you would see some of the newer car's the way they are welded. Like said before the key to doing it right is doing it in a jig.And skip around when welding.When you know how to weld,you also know where you should weld next.You can do it wrong and the weld's will pull it out of square.Hope some of this make's sense to you.Anybody that has to X-ray a car frame,Doesn't trust in himself enough to be building a frame.Just my 2 cents.
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:31 PM
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The frame is as important as your home's foundation. If it isn't exact bad things happen. Some things are too important to do it yourself unless you can do a very good job.
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Old 02-01-2009, 11:58 PM
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I agree that a frame fabrication should be done by an experienced welder, but it also depends on the application. Thousands of aftermarket frames are churned out every day for fiberglass street rods that get welded, ground, painted, and shipped without ever seeing an X-ray, or even anything more than a quick inspection by the boss. As long as you have no voids and good penetration, there is no reason why you can't build it and go. Of course, if you were repairing the leaf mounts on a 1-ton pickup frame that tows 12,000 lbs daily, that's a different story. You might want to have a pro do it. But I repaired a rusty crack in the frame of my 85 El Camino with a 110v flux core welder and 43,000 miles later its still holding... and I'm no wonder-welder either.

Don't worry about pretty, worry about getting as much penetration as you can without blowing holes or leaving voids. Don't use flux core, and don't try it with a 110v welder.

If you can jig and tack it, have someone lay the final beads, or take your time on some scrap and practice until you are up to the task yourself.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:27 AM
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x-raying is just a fancy term that welders use to sound even better. The only real time that x-ray is used is for pressure vessels and high stress structural welding. Just trying to save you some money. My brother did my frame on the garage floor with some shims to get everything square, and it held up fine. Thats not the perfect way, but we only planned on doing one frame, so a jig wasn't wanted. Just make sure to measure after every weld pretty much.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:48 AM
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if you have a good machine
take the money you are going to pay someone else and use it to go to welding school at the comunity college
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:06 AM
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If you do go for it,Just make sure you bevel grind all butt's,so that you can get good penetration's,And 100% weld's.And make sure every thing is wrapped good.not rapping a weld is a bad thing,And that's where your problem's will start.

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Old 02-02-2009, 10:53 AM
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When you say "bevel grind" I assume you are talking about basically thinning the very tip of the tubing so the weld will penetrate better? What is "rapping"? I also heard I need to have about a 1/16ths gap between all the joints to aid penetration. True as well?

The more I learn, the more I realize I have alot to learn!
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