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Old 08-16-2004, 10:52 AM
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Warped metal

Grrrr... well I managed to warp the metal on my quarter panel patch severly. Unfortunately its at the top of the wheel well where I can't get a dolly behind it.. THe area is recessed about 1/4 to 3/8 inch right by the weld, and the panel is wavy. I got impatient and agressive so it's my own fault. From reading posts it could definately use some hammer and dolly work on the welds.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to use as a dolly to get between the wheel well and quarter? I'm considering a piece of leaf spring, which may fit between the panels. The space between the two panels is about 1/4 ". Only other option I can think of is cut out behind patch and reweld inside the wheel well. It's a bit tight in there so I'd rather not do it this way. Welding while inside your wheel well sucks.

I suppose I could also panel bond the patch inside the wheel well. Suggestions welcome.

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Old 08-16-2004, 08:12 PM
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Magnus,

The leaf spring idea is not a bad one. Have a look at my post "Outer door skin". It doesn't sound like you have a lot of room to manuever but I found that with a quick "snap" you can also use the end of the spring as a hammer from the inside.

Kev
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Old 08-17-2004, 12:56 AM
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MJ,
You will have to use whatever you can find that will get in there. If you use a leaf spring, you may want to weld a washer or a piece of flat metal on the face of the spring and shape it just a little so it has just a little radius to it, but a flat spot in the middle will be good, approx. 1/2" diameter flat, with the sides blended into the spring. This will act more like a dolly and you wont be as prone to hitting on an edge of the spring, making for more work. Also, I would use a leaf spring on the outside as well, rather than a hammer, as the hammer will probably just cause more damage. You can make all sorts of slappers from old leaf springs. If you will take a few minutes and polish the working surfaces you will end up with a very high quality tool. Far better than anything that's on the market!
Let us know how it comes out!
If you overstretch it, just make yourself a shrinking disc and you can metalfinish it perfectly.
I might add too, that before you start hammering on the welds, remove all but the last remaining few thousandths of proud weld bead. You should have just enough weld bead left that you catch your fingernail as you try to scrape across it. This slight bit of proud weld will be cold forged into the parent metal, creating a very strong weld.

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Old 08-17-2004, 04:08 PM
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Magnus,

Randys bang on about the leaf spring slapper. I made one using about 9 inches of the crest of the spring. I tapered one end (like that of a file) and attached a wooden handle and then polished both sides of the business end. On the concave side I put a fair bit of crown and on the convex side I made it a little flatter. It is a very effective tool and tends to leave a better finish than any of the hammers I have. I've gotten to the point that I grab it first and only when I am trying to work a tight spot do I go over to the hammer.

Kev
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Old 08-18-2004, 01:29 AM
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Randy Ferguson Question

Randy,
In my haste, I ended up with a section that had some pretty good shrinkage on a weld seam. The problem I encountered was that the seam that shrank was tight enough that it was difficult to get into the area to grind the weld without damage to the surrounding metal.(mig weld) What I did was ground what I could and then went at it with the dolly, and then ground some more. I also used the small 2" roloc on a 3" right angle to work just the weld area. What would you recommend for this condition since it took me quite a bit of time to grind, dolly, grind etc. What a pain, but I could not come up with a better method. I was concerened about distorting the metal by pounding on an uneven weld area,or worse yet, missing the welded area since it was uneven (which I managed to do). Does it matter that much if you are in this situation? How hard do you work the metal? I think I may have been using to light of a blow initially, and this may have contributed to the length of time it took. I spent the better part of a Saturday working up a 3-4' seam, and still not as flat as I would have liked. I was using a variety of body hammers, the kind you get in those cheap kits. I then switched to a modified (radiused) 3lb hammer. When I went with a softer hit with the larger mass, it seemed to noticably move the metal, and it even seemed more predictable. Ofcourse I over stretched one area when I whacked it too hard. Had to find the max I guess. It wouold be helpfull if you could give me an idea of say how hard you hit the area and what should I look for in each hit. I guess it may be hard to put in words, but it would be great to have some bench marks to know if I am going the right way. By the way, it is a hell of alot harder doing this on the car verse what I do on the bench at work.

One last thought. Would a slapper eliminate this problem? How heavy or large of a slapper would you recommend to move about a 3/16" deep seam? I also wanted to add that when I used a hand held dolly, it was still tough to move the metal. I then welded on a handle to a hunk of shaped 2" bar stock so I could get into a tight area that I could not reach. I have been reaching around the door on the inside with the dolly and pounding on the outside around the quarter panel. With the handle (homemade dolly) the metal really moved and I could really feel the mass difference. The homemade dolly was the only way I was able to hold something on the inside about 2' away and hit on the outside. Quite the challenge. I am hoping there is an easier way for the next seam, yeah I know, weld it slower next time would help too. I would also swear that the weld seems harder than most.

Last edited by Ron M; 08-18-2004 at 01:29 AM.
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Old 08-19-2004, 12:28 AM
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Hi Ron,

Read this post.

http://hotrodders.com/showthread.php...747#post316747

You're on the right track with the dolly mounted to a handle. You just have to be creative and find a way to get behind there to back up your hammer/slapper blows. You want to be in complete command of the metal as you are welding it. Getting in a hurry is the #1 reason most of us fail at metalfinishing a butt welded panel. One of the first ones I did was a real horror show!! Rather than stretching the metal in the HAZ as I went, I waited (like you probably did) until I was finished welding the entire length of the door. I stitch welded it and thought I was in control, but soon found out just how dumb I was when it came time to work the weld. I NEVER get in too big a hurry anymore. It's best if you stretch the weld when you see the first signs of warpage, rather than waiting until it's already warped badly. Keep at it, you'll eventually get it stretched out to where it needs to be.

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Old 08-20-2004, 12:29 AM
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Randy,
Thanks for the words of encouragement and advice. Not working the metal while working it was the biggest problem. Yes I waited to work the metal until I welded the whole panel. I did not read your instructions carefully enough. #$$@%, at it for almost 20 years and still learning, hey wait, thats a good thing!
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Old 08-20-2004, 12:44 AM
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Hey Ron,
It's called MALE EGO!!!!
We all have it!!

INSTRUCTIONS!!!!!! ARGH!!! I don't need no stinking instructions!!!!

Randy
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Old 08-21-2004, 02:04 AM
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Ready made tools you're looking for is a spoon dolly and a slapping file. I have several of both. Look in a Snap On catalog to see what I'm referring to. I highly recommend buying a good slapping file. I've also used spring ends on many occasions. A really thin spring end will go into tight places and can be twisted a little if you need some lift. Mostly, a helper is needed on the inside to hold a dolly and then work the metal as needed when still hot from welding. A hammer weld is about the strongest there is. I also like to cool with a sponge as I go. Every couple of inches after working the weld...... Almost 50 years now............
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Old 08-22-2004, 08:10 AM
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sorry I was out of town for a few days. Looks like I'll be making some tools in the next few days. I'll have to dig up some old leafs and get this rolling.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm doing my best to do this right and avoid anything but the thinnest layer of fill. The more skill I get now the better I'll get at this.
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Old 08-26-2004, 08:16 PM
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The leaf spring idea worked. I got it behind the weld and hammered it. This removed 90% of the dip from warpage.

Thanks for the info I'm posting results in my journal
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