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Old 04-19-2009, 10:24 AM
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welding help/question

Okay what I am tring to do is weld a donor roof on my 1929 ford model A .... since it is sheet metal I would guess I need do spot weld all over the place thousands of them so I don't distort the roof or can I do some small welds just moving around? anyway I have a snap on welder I had the heat at 7 and the feed at 7 with the gas at 20 inches... it does have settings for spot, stitch and continous weld.. with spot with settings upto 4 seconds... I had it on contious weld and was able on practice sheet metal get it to get good penetration where if i bent the sheet metal back and forth it would break behind my spot welds... there is a lot of extra weld on top is this normal or is there a way to cut down on the extra metal and have a more of a flat spot weld? also sometimes the spots would look like "puter" very rough and pourus what causes that? any help on setting this welder up and getting a better weld would be appriciated.... I don't want to touch the welder to the car till my welds look a lot better! but I don't want to use a whole spool of wire and tank of argon co2 tring to get this right....

thanks,
simon

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Old 04-19-2009, 11:08 AM
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Several guys here have found that they have used more than one tank of gas and a spool of wire and somedays it still needs help..but I digress..try dialing back your wire speed a bit so you are not laying down so much metal and this will flatten the weld a bit..the trick to welding thin sheet metal is not to build too much heat into any one area..if you do then there can be a lot of warps to get out so take your time when welding in that roof..using something like a wet rag or a copper backer in the weld area can help with the warping a bit but ther is no majic answer beyond taking your time and trying not to get in a hurry..

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Old 04-19-2009, 12:59 PM
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poreus(spelling)welds

There are a few different things that can make ur welds bubble or look like they have pin-holes. The first thing I would check is the gas flow. If your outside welding or there's any wind. The wind will blow away your gas cloud that pretects the weld from oxygen and creates the bubble effect or pin-holes. Even a shop fan will create enough wind to make this occur. If you are outside try and turn the gas regulator to full blast and it will create a better gas cloud. Also try and clean out the welding tip and make sure there's no slag or mess in the gas holes within the cone. When you trigger your welder you should hear the gas. Also a dirty or rusty piece of metal will create the same effect. Welding a new roof in is a timely process and yes, spot welds are the best and just be patient. Move around placing tack between tack until the seem is filled.
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Old 04-19-2009, 03:56 PM
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I saw a good video on setting the welder up.. it said to use what would be a good heat setting then turn the feed all the way down pull the trigger and turn the feed up till you get a good sizzle, then check to see if the penitration is good ... adjust heat if needed then the feed to get the good sizzle.. which I did and the welds came out much better.. I also found if the two pieces are butted up together you need more heat than if there is a little gap between the pieces... is this true? I feel a lot more comfortable about welding now... so If I do 1/2 welds and cool with a wet rag right away and move from side to side the warpage should be minimal? or should I just use tack welds? I am using a ribbed roof I hope that it will help with keeping the warpage down... any more pointers would be great !!!!

thanks
simon
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Old 04-19-2009, 04:09 PM
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Your exactley right. You will need less heat if there's a small gap between the joint. Although you don't want to big a gap causing you to need more then one weld to fill that gap. That causes added heat and more warping. Still in my opinion I would sudgest several tack welds, moving equally around the hood untill the piece is welded. My friend and I replaced the wood top on a steel body 30 sedan and we used a mini van top which had ribs in it. Great move on selecting that as your new top. It does help with warping and is, in my opnion the best choice. Like we all said just take your time and become confident in your skills before you begin. Lots of luck and you'll do fine. Let us know if there's anything else we can help you with. Also upload some pics when your done and share your experience. Later
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Old 04-19-2009, 04:15 PM
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I am using a minivan roof.... okay I am going to just do thousands of little tacks... I will cool them with a rag as soon as I lay them... I will work from side to side... to keep the heat down... I will post as I go along... I have a couple of weeks to practice since the wood that was given to me to replace the top wood there was too long ... the new wood will take a couple of weeks to get so I will practice welding on the old roof incert that I took off which looked like the whoop section of a motorcross course...

thanks,
simon
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Old 04-19-2009, 04:28 PM
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The metal will shrink no matter what you do.
You will need to stretch the welded areas as you go.
Weld an inch or so , then stretch it with a hammer and dolly until its back to the original shape.
If you do this you will always know where the problem is and correct it before welding more.
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Old 04-19-2009, 04:59 PM
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I'm def. Not the one to argue with a fellow hotrodder but I am do beg to differ on the following comment. (Hammer welding)as refered in the last statement is a great skill that takes years to master and is very hard to do when your dealing with a roof. I don't know about you but none of my friends want to sit inside a car and hold a dolly while I smack a flat hammer on the top. Its loud and with partners it often does more harm then good. Your partner may not move as you do and can create dents and crazy waves if atempted by a novice. (No offence at all) I would never second guess anothers abilities. If your comfortable doing that then go for it but to me, in this type of application I wouldn't sudgest it unless the person has don't it before. If the tacks are placed equally and welded corectly, moving around a lot. You shouldn't even need the rag to cool an area. That is only needed if an area becomes "tinny". Lol that's a whole nother subject. But just to make clear. I'm not judgeing anyone on there techniques or there skill level. Hot rodding is about doing what you love and knowing your capabilities. Just have fun. Right???
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Old 04-19-2009, 05:41 PM
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well a hammer and dolly won't work anyway since there is no way to get the dolly under the wood against the roof... it is impossible... my plan is to just tack weld directly across from each other like torqueing on a cylinder head... hundreds thousands how many tacks it takes... just from playing today on some junk sheet metal I did warp the metal when I tried welding it , but when I did a tack let it cool and so on it didn't seem to warp of course I didn't check it with a straight edge, but from laying on the ground and looking at it it wasn't warped at a noticable amount

simon
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:00 PM
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Well not to stur up trouble but that's what I figured. Its a great technique and has been used for years but in the situation its just impractacle. Your headed in the right direction man. Keep in touch and have fun. Just remember. TAKE YOUR TIME and move around.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:22 AM
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The basic fact is every weld is a shrink point.

The distortion shows up different in every panel. You could get done with this roof panel looking flat and find out the windshield does not line up cause the upper body is now trapezoidal.

Now you clearly have issues like not being able to get behind a panel. This is where careful practice and good welding are paramount. You need to move around the panel as you do not want the weld shrinkage to mess up your seam lines. You need to get the panel securely in place with good welds and then move to fill them in doing short welds and allowing heat to not build up in one area.

It is important to also keep in mind you can not evaluate the distortion until all the metal is at one temperature.

I have some hints and web links for you to consider:
Some metalworking hints
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:51 PM
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well I plan on just spot welding the entire roof in... moving as far away as posssible from the previous weld. like to the opposite side of the car... if it takes days to do so be it.... I am hoping the the wood in the car should help to keep anything from really warping... remeber im not replacing an complete roof just the center section on a 29 model A where the soft top would of been... I appriciate all the help and support you guys are giving me!!!!

thanks,
simon
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:04 PM
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Your more then welcome bud. I think you'll do fine and the wood and the curve on the top will help with destortion and warping. Don't be scared its just a hotrod.LOL. The more things you weld the better you'll get and the more comfortable you'll get and the end product will show. Well good luck and have fun. Later,, james
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