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Old 09-01-2008, 03:33 PM
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I welded in my first patch panel, need help grinding welds

Well, I patched my driver side door today and it went a whole lot better than I expected. It also took a lot longer than I thought it would. Used my mig welder to butt weld the new piece in and then over and over until the holes were filled.

The issue I had was grinding down the welds. Man was that tough, and noisy. I used a 4" grinder and it worked ok. I had the best success with those little 2" sanding pads on the end of my angle grinder. I also tried one of those flapper discs on the 4" grinder, but it really didn't help much.

What do you guys use to grind down your welds? I was kind of in between 2 heat setting on my Miller 210. Setting 2 would burn through really easily using .023, so I used setting 1 which worked but the weld ended up sitting off the panel more, thus creating more grinding.

I still have to patch both quarters, so this was a good learning experience.

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Old 09-01-2008, 03:53 PM
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You have to be really careful with that. If your heat is turned down, so you aren't getting proper penetration, grinding the welds flush can weaken your welds moreso than just lack of penetration. If it is just something cosmetic, it's not so crucial, but if you were ever to do a structoral weld, you gotta be careful.

I use those 2" norton discs, usually 50 grit, on the end of my angled die-grinder type thing. $10 a Princess Auto, works great.
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Old 09-01-2008, 04:18 PM
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I am a complete amateur as far as body work.

I typically start out with a used/worn disk (mine are 4 1/2") to grind the welds down on sheet metal. The worn disk has a flat area instead of a new sharp edge to grind with. That will take it down a lot (being cautious of heat-don't want to warp it worse).

The new disk...will cut in really hard. They are harder to get them to polish. Not what you want to smooth welds off on sheet metal.

Then as stated, I switch to the 2" roloc disks to finish it off.

Again...I am not a body guy.

I learned the worn disk trick in a steel fab shop.
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:15 PM
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Thanks guys, the worn down discs make sense.

It was cosmetic and I will practice on some similar thickness sheetmetal before tackling the quarters. Maybe bump the voltage up to allow for a quicker and flatter tack instead of what I did today.
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:21 PM
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Yes...definately play with some scrap to get good penetration. I even used to do that when I worked in the steel fab shop to set the welder for whatever type of steel or stainless I was welding at the time.


I am using a 220V lincoln mig. I have to turn it way down on sheet metal and I still get a solid weld on the back side (looks almost like the front).
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:46 PM
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Thanks Brian, will do.
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:30 PM
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I start off with one of these.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=47077

I install two discs instead of one. I use this to grind the bead down to almost flush. This allows you to concentrate on the bead without thinning the base metal.

Then I go to a 36 disc on a 2" pad using one of these.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=93088
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:33 PM
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I never tried the cutter to grind with. That is what I cut my panels with though.

Hmm...will play with that the next time I need to do a patch.
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:02 AM
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Harbor Freight also has electric die grinders/cutoff tools-I think I paid a little over $30. At 30,000 rpms the weld goes away fast. I use .035 thick disks to cut and .187 thick to grind. Much faster than those large 4-1/4 griders.

have fun

Keith
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:16 AM
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flap disks, I actually use them for everything. I never continuously weld panels that are butted either - only every couple inches or so. I start with about 4" between, basically put the wire between the metal and tap the trigger (on plenty hot to fuse). After that I go back and put one between those. Then I grind with a flap disk and half of the welds break so I go back over some of them.

Works great, you don't want to get the metal too hot!
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:33 AM
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Thanks guys, I am ordering some more discs today. I too use those same 2 Harbor Freight tools and they work great for the money.
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:46 AM
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the grinders aren't bad (killed my first one yesterday, but I have killed makitas etc) but the abrasives are horrible. Go to a welding shop and invest in good 4" flap disks - you will thank me

I've only used the 2" roloc or whatever they are called for polishing, and that was a long time ago..
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slickriffs
Harbor Freight also has electric die grinders/cutoff tools-I think I paid a little over $30. At 30,000 rpms the weld goes away fast. I use .035 thick disks to cut and .187 thick to grind. Much faster than those large 4-1/4 griders.

have fun

Keith

It's the disks your using, not the grinder..
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:51 AM
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ya maybe so..I buy 3M green something-much better than the cheapo's..But the rev's have to play a role too.
Keith
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_B
I am a complete amateur as far as body work.

I typically start out with a used/worn disk (mine are 4 1/2") to grind the welds down on sheet metal. The worn disk has a flat area instead of a new sharp edge to grind with. That will take it down a lot (being cautious of heat-don't want to warp it worse).

The new disk...will cut in really hard. They are harder to get them to polish. Not what you want to smooth welds off on sheet metal.

Then as stated, I switch to the 2" roloc disks to finish it off.

Again...I am not a body guy.

I learned the worn disk trick in a steel fab shop.
I'm totally an amateur at this as well. I bought a Mig welder last year and jumped right into body work.

Like Brian_B, this is pretty much what I typically do. I use a worn flap wheel to bump the welds down. I try to stay on the weld as much as possible without grinding any of the surrounding base metal. You can really thin out the surrounding area if your not careful. I go back with a 2" wheel on my 90 deg Air Di-grinder and fine tune the seam. This allows you to focus in more detail on the seem and without getting off on the surround area.

I just cut out a strut tower for a buddy and welded in a new one and used the method mentioned above.

Here are some pics:
Bad Areas




Cut Out


Donor Piece


Welded into place and welds bumped down




Body work Started


I also replaced a Rocker Panel on my own car last year using the same method.
Cut out Rocker


Replaced


Check for door closeing clearance (Check )
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