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Old 01-02-2007, 07:28 PM
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Help welding- begginer trying to weld 22gauge steel

Hi everyone i am new to this forum as well as new to welding! I just got a new welder at home depot just a standrad 300 dollar electric mig welder. I can weld 8th inch steel no problem but i am trying to weld 22 guage steel panels on my car! I am having blow throughs and the metal is just melting away! PLEASE HELP!!! how can i avoid this i have it set to the lowest power setting and the fastest wire feed

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Old 01-02-2007, 07:38 PM
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I hate to tell you this, but that welder is probably not made for what you are trying to weld.

Are you running gas or flux core? I prefer gas (I use a tri-mix).

What wire size are you running? You need very thin wire for what you are tying to do.

How low (amperage) will the welder go? I have never used a cheap one, so I can't even guess.

Actually a TIG would be better suited for 22 GA steel. I have never tried to weld anything that thin with a MIG. I am not sure its even possible with the machine I have.

Hopefully, somone with experience in sheet metal welding will come along.
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Old 01-02-2007, 10:54 PM
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Welding 22

Brian B asked the right questions but I'm not sure you can actually make a continuous weld on 22 gauge. You have to make a series of "tac" welds until complete and also jump spaces between tacs to keep the metal from warping.
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Old 01-03-2007, 12:41 AM
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It seems to be a running problem with the guys new to welding.
Flux core wire is not for body panels. One it welds to hot, second the flux get in to the welds for the beginner and third your going to warp the panel from the heat.
To weld sheet metal you need a tig or mig with the gas bottle. These to welder you can weld at lower temps.
Now you can go to power block tv and look at welding body panels. Which is the stitch or tack method. You tack in the panel or patch. Then you tack in a star pattern to keep the metal from warping and pull from one side to the other. Also allow for cooling as you work a round the panel your trying to weld in.
the thing is you need to see this done to get the Idea if you have never done it.

The thing with welding is it real hard to write it down and you go and do it. When you see it done it will be easer to understand why. Last read the posts on welding there's a lot of good info on welding hear.

Craig
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Old 01-03-2007, 02:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevyTruckGuy
It seems to be a running problem with the guys new to welding.
Flux core wire is not for body panels. One it welds to hot, second the flux get in to the welds for the beginner and third your going to warp the panel from the heat.
To weld sheet metal you need a tig or mig with the gas bottle. These to welder you can weld at lower temps.
Now you can go to power block tv and look at welding body panels. Which is the stitch or tack method. You tack in the panel or patch. Then you tack in a star pattern to keep the metal from warping and pull from one side to the other. Also allow for cooling as you work a round the panel your trying to weld in.
the thing is you need to see this done to get the Idea if you have never done it.

The thing with welding is it real hard to write it down and you go and do it. When you see it done it will be easer to understand why. Last read the posts on welding there's a lot of good info on welding hear.

Craig
this is about right..a series of tack welds..and I mean tacks..Just Zaaaap and then move on and Zaaap and so on till it is welded up..may have to stop and let things cool and maybe even a bit of hammer and dolly to help things along...takes patience to do right in thin metal..

Sam
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:09 AM
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In addition to the good advice above, another trick you can use is to put a heat sink behind the body panels (that's assuming you can get to it from the back side). I find that just a small piece of 18 gauge sheetmetal will often do the trick and take away just enough heat so you don't blow through the panel itself. But DO follow the advice above first...you don't want to blow through and actually weld the heat sink piece onto the backside of your panel. That would just be an invitation to rust and corrosion problems down the line.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:13 AM
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I don't deal with thin stuff very often so I didn't think to type this:

Another heat sink trick is to take a large copper water pipe and flatten it with a hammer. The weld won't stick to it and it wicks away heat. It will help with your series of hundreds of tiny tacks to keep them from blowing through as long as it is flat against the parts you are welding.

Just don't handle it with bare hands after you have been welding.
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Old 01-03-2007, 10:48 AM
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Good Idea guys,
I use a 1" x 6" block of aluminum where possible the think about aluminum is it will not melt like brass or copper and get in to the welds. So basically its a back up plate. pulls off the heat and will not melt and contaminate the weld.
Still need to use the beater your going to get some warpage.

Craig
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Old 01-03-2007, 11:29 AM
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Like ChevyTruckGuy said, flux core + thin panels = frustration
The best way Ive found to do it is to turn up the amperage and the wire speed above whatd be considered normal and hold the tip with one hand and hit the trigger with the other, and, stitch-weld it as others stated. The only difference is that I barely tap the trigger, repeatedly, and I dont move around...I go from one end to the other, occasionally stopping to let it cool if it needs to. Im sure its not good for the motor feeding the wire or the welder, but Im able to lay down a textbook bead that penetrates well and needs very little, if any, cleanup. And it doesnt warp the panels. Sure, its unconventional as compared to the way others do it, but it works for me
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Old 01-03-2007, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDJr
Like ChevyTruckGuy said, flux core + thin panels = frustration
The best way Ive found to do it is to turn up the amperage and the wire speed above whatd be considered normal and hold the tip with one hand and hit the trigger with the other, and, stitch-weld it as others stated. The only difference is that I barely tap the trigger, repeatedly, and I dont move around...I go from one end to the other, occasionally stopping to let it cool if it needs to. Im sure its not good for the motor feeding the wire or the welder, but Im able to lay down a textbook bead that penetrates well and needs very little, if any, cleanup. And it doesnt warp the panels. Sure, its unconventional as compared to the way others do it, but it works for me
I think you hit on it as this kind of technique works well even with mig or tig to do those little stich welds that are needed when welding thin stock..Very seldom is one going to be able to use a continous weld like we use in structrual steel when welding thin body metal with any kind of equipment..

Sam
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Old 01-03-2007, 12:15 PM
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Anoher thing that seems to slip through the crack. Mig wires aren't made for what your doing. Get some Harris "twenty gauge" wire. It'll make it a lot easier.
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:19 PM
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i have a lincoln weld pack hd its all electric

its a flux core

im running .035 wire

i have only welded 1/8 in but now im doin 22 gauge and struggling please help with ways to weld this using my welder


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_B
I hate to tell you this, but that welder is probably not made for what you are trying to weld.

Are you running gas or flux core? I prefer gas (I use a tri-mix).

What wire size are you running? You need very thin wire for what you are tying to do.

How low (amperage) will the welder go? I have never used a cheap one, so I can't even guess.

Actually a TIG would be better suited for 22 GA steel. I have never tried to weld anything that thin with a MIG. I am not sure its even possible with the machine I have.

Hopefully, somone with experience in sheet metal welding will come along.
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:47 PM
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Welding 22 Guage

You have a lot of good information from all of the previous posts and it looks like it comes down to this:
1. You need a gas mig; Check your machine to see if is compatible or has accessories to use gas arc shielding. If so, you will need a gas bottle of 75/25 (Carbon-dioxide & Argon mix), a gas regulator and hose to hook your bottle to the mig. Also there is an electrical buss bar inside the spool cover that will have to be changed from flux to gas use. Check your owners manual!
2. Minimize wire size from 20 to 24; Most migs have an adjustable (reversible) wire size drive wheel and must be set to the smaller wire size.)
3. Use the chain tack weld process until fully welded out.
4. Go SLOWLY or warp! as others have advised to use some type of heat sink absorbers or dams. Even play-dough or clay will work when placed parallel to the weld areas.
5. Try not to build up the weld area with too much metal as it is hard to smooth and fill later.
6. Use a weld through primer in underside areas that can't be seen after the new panel is in place or it will rust out again quickly.
Practice, Practice, Practice and you'll get the hang of it.
Good Luck!
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:49 AM
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Mig with gas. I butt welded some fender flairs. They were originally overlapped so I had to cut them as I went. I am pretty good with TIG but a very quick tack weld with TIG warped it enough I could slide a screw driver between the metal on either side. Mig is the way to go where heat is a concern. Take your time. Make couple short tach welds, put it down, come back do it again. Never let it get hot. Take your time you don't need heat sink. It is only something you have to clean off the metal latter. Take your time grinding . You can warp it just as fast gringing. Grind a little, put it down, never bear into it.

No warpage, no need for hammer dolly work when done:









Etch primer no filler, just after it was ground down:



Gary

Last edited by gow589; 01-04-2007 at 07:51 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-04-2007, 12:34 PM
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First let's point out THERE IS NO SUCH THING as a gas-less MIG, If it is not set up for gas then it is a flux core welder and NOT a MIG (M-etal I-nert G-as). Get a conversion kit for gas and convert that thing to MIG and forget about trying to weld the 22 gauge with flux core wire, after you use MIG wire you will see why. 61 Bone is right the Harris Twenty gauge wire is far Superior to solid MIG wires for something that thin and would be well worth the effort to locate some. The part no. for a 10 # spool is TGE5 and to avoid confusion that Twenty (NOT 20) gauge name is just that, the name of the wire and it does not refer to the size of anything. If you do use solid then go for .023 but the Twenty Gauge .030 will be a lot easier to use and because it is a cored wire it uses even less current in that size as the smaller solid wire.

The Twenty Gauge is a "cored" wire but not a "gas-less" wire and requires the same C25 gas as the solid wire, also the polarity must be switched when using gas on either solid or Twenty Gauge.
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