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Old 03-03-2006, 10:00 PM
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Refresher: welding 101

What a wake up call! Each of my two older brothers had a welding business so I was exposed to all types of welding and fitting. It has been 40+ years since I have picked up an electrode to practice a bit. 40+ years ago I could lay down a nice weld but now XXXXX. My younger brother gave me one of his old 70 Amp welding machines because it was way too small for anything he would be welding, so I loaded it up and brought it (from Louisiana) home. I go out happy and smug as a bug, bought a new Helmet, gloves and some rods, got home and all I could do is stick the the rod to the metal each time I tried to strike an arc. Maybe I was trying to strike an arc with a too low amp setting. I'll try again tomorrow wit a higher setting. I hope, I hope, I hope it will work for me this time. I need to practice on some 20 gage (I believe that is what most of the automotive sheet metal is) steel.
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Old 03-04-2006, 12:20 AM
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stick welding sheet metal ... wow I know it can be done cause stick has been around longer then mig, but good luck. I here welding is like riding a bike, and I am sure your touch will reappear after a few good sticks get stuck, welded to you work.. you are right about the 20 gage, if not right on I'd say very close . memory falls me at the moment
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Old 03-04-2006, 10:57 AM
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It's going to take far more than just a refresher to weld weld 20 ga. with stick, It will take major skill. You might want to look into getting a MIG if you need to weld something that thin.

Last edited by oldred; 03-04-2006 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 03-05-2006, 11:27 PM
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I have been welding for many years and I don't stick weld any thing thiner than 1/8" and up. For body sheet metal I use my MIG with a wire called 20gauge. It is sold by J.W.Harris. It is the best I have found for MIG wire on thin materials. It is an iron cored steel wire and you need to use C25 gas with it as recommended by the manufacturer. I also use TIG on the really thin stuff or oxy/accet depending on what I am welding at the time. MIG is fairly easy to learn also, I would recommend a MIG welder with the gas setup for what you are wanting to do, just my 2cents worth.
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Old 03-06-2006, 07:30 AM
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Gc, I too have been a welder for many years and although it is certainly possible to weld thiner than 1/8" with stick it becomes very difficult even for those with experience and as for welding 20 ga. with stick, it can be done BUT .... That J.W Harris wire you mention is the absolute best I have ever used on thin sheet and for someone using a 110 volt MIG it simply allows the 110 outfit to do things it could not do nearly as well with solid wire.

www.jwharris.com/images/twentygauge.pdf
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Old 03-06-2006, 08:57 AM
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My first experience using a MIG on sheet metal was welding the top I chopped on my car. A real experience for me. I began to panic when I started blowing holes in the metal. So I cranked the amps down, but then I couldn't get a good weld. It just takes a lot of practice to get the correct setting for your machine. I was using a .024 wire but I'm going to try the .020 wire you folks have mentioned for future welds on the thin stuff.
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Old 03-06-2006, 04:01 PM
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Red, That wire is actually .030 but it is a cored wire (not to be confused with gassless) that means it is a tubular wire with an iron powder core that will weld with a lot less current than the same diameter solid wire. It is amazingly smooth with little to no spatter and will make a really good weld at a ridiculously low power setting which translates to less panel warpage and burn through. I have found this to be a very versatile wire that can be used for a lot more than just body panels since it makes a strong clean weld.

Last edited by oldred; 03-06-2006 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 03-06-2006, 04:52 PM
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i taught myself to weld, some of my welds are ugly, but strong, thin netal weld a 1/2 inch, let cool ,, weld somemore, i use a linclon wire welder 115 volts
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:20 AM
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Thanks Oldred. I looked up the link you provided. Now to purchase it and try it.
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Old 03-08-2006, 09:12 AM
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I checked out their site too oldred, I think I will give them a try as well, my son has a 110V Miller Mig that I can play with , Thanks for the site info
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Old 03-09-2006, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
Gc, I too have been a welder for many years and although it is certainly possible to weld thiner than 1/8" with stick it becomes very difficult even for those with experience and as for welding 20 ga. with stick, it can be done BUT .... That J.W Harris wire you mention is the absolute best I have ever used on thin sheet and for someone using a 110 volt MIG it simply allows the 110 outfit to do things it could not do nearly as well with solid wire.

www.jwharris.com/images/twentygauge.pdf
oldred, Yes I have welded sheet metal with stick many times in my life and it can be done, not so easy for a beginner to learn though. The only reason I don't stick weld it any more is that it is SO much easier with the MIG and the 20 gauge cored wire. I did not own a MIG until about 12 years ago then I found out what I was really missing for the thinner sheet metals. I do weld under 1/8" also with stick at times but than again MIG is easier with out slag clean up. Lots of welding processes for different welding situations.
gcrmcc
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Old 03-09-2006, 12:34 PM
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I forgot to mention to all of you that are using a 110 volt gasless flux core welder. J.W.harris also has a wire called 10gauge that is the iron core with flux for thin sheet metal, it won't quite weld as thin of sheet metal as the 20 gauge but I know a few people that are using it and with practice and they seem to be welding body sheet metal with the 10gauge pretty darn decent.
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Old 03-09-2006, 12:40 PM
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Gc, You hit the nail squarely on the head, there is no one welding process for everything. Although some things might be possible others make a great deal more sense.
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