Let's clarify this so someone doesn't make a mistake. You say you did it exactly like Al said but Al said "Weld a Bit 1/2 " or less and then Put a Wet cool rag on it" and your welds look more like a quarter inch at best and you say "I mean the metal around the weld". That is two completely different things the way I read it. Can you clarify?
I have found that if you were to cool the WELD with a wet rag you shrink the metal, the molecules gather when the metal is quinched. This is how you shrink metal when you WANT to shrink metal, you heat it to get the molecules "dancing" around then cool it bringing them closer together shrinking it.