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Old 05-10-2012, 04:52 PM
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Welding plate to cover a hole... any tips?

Hi guys,

I've never welded before, but the welder I hired did a horrible job tacking a plate on the hole in my transmission tunnel. The tacks are weak, and the metal forming he did was absolutely awful.

He had used 14ga steel -- i was thinking i could go thinner -- the metal in the car is definitely thinner than the 14ga.

I have made a little template with a piece of cardboard, for the shape I want. I was planning on using some 18ga steel -- from what i've read, its thinner and easier to form. I'm planning on transferring the template to my piece of metal, beating out a little dome shape where the transmission is bumping the piece of metal, and welding it on.

Does anyone have any tips on welding metal this thin? I'm gonna practice a bit on the scraps that I have, but do you have any other knowledge?

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Old 05-10-2012, 05:07 PM
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Often "pros" with no passion make more mistakes than home hobbiests with a passion to do a nice job.

Check out my "Basics of Basics" to MIG welding, print it out and read it a number of times and you will have a real good start. Click here for "Basics of Basics" MIG welding

This is no big deal, welding 101 tips.

1. Make a tight fit so you have no gap to overcome.
2. Clean metal. both sides, of all pieces where you are welding. Yes BOTH sides, the metal is going to melt thru right? If you don't have the back side clean the contaminates on the back side will be sucked into the weld when it melts thru.

Those are the two biggest things that make a difference.

But read the "Basics" and if you have any questions post them here for us.

Brian
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:26 PM
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It will be easier to weld if your patch panel is the same thickness as the floor.
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:54 PM
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18 gauge is probably what the original floor is.


Brian
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Old 05-12-2012, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Often "pros" with no passion make more mistakes than home hobbiests with a passion to do a nice job.

Check out my "Basics of Basics" to MIG welding, print it out and read it a number of times and you will have a real good start. Click here for "Basics of Basics" MIG welding

This is no big deal, welding 101 tips.

1. Make a tight fit so you have no gap to overcome.
2. Clean metal. both sides, of all pieces where you are welding. Yes BOTH sides, the metal is going to melt thru right? If you don't have the back side clean the contaminates on the back side will be sucked into the weld when it melts thru.

Those are the two biggest things that make a difference.

But read the "Basics" and if you have any questions post them here for us.

Brian
People always talk about having the I-car gap before butt welding (1/64")but honestly, I like seeing a complicated patch done and there's no gap. If I know there's no gap I'll either take my time and take my time and hammer n dolly out any jambing together.

In any case I've learned my best welds are made when I have a good feel for the welder I'm using. They're all different and so you can master one and get on another and spend a good amount of time dialing it in. You can never judge a welder till you have it dialed in. Heck, you probably won't even like the best welder you've used til you get to know it's settings...and they never seem to work when you go by the manufacture settings.
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tech69
People always talk about having the I-car gap before butt welding (1/64")but honestly, I like seeing a complicated patch done and there's no gap. If I know there's no gap I'll either take my time and take my time and hammer n dolly out any jambing together.

In any case I've learned my best welds are made when I have a good feel for the welder I'm using. They're all different and so you can master one and get on another and spend a good amount of time dialing it in. You can never judge a welder till you have it dialed in. Heck, you probably won't even like the best welder you've used til you get to know it's settings...and they never seem to work when you go by the manufacture settings.
Yep Henry, I don't believe in any gap at all.

Brian
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:02 PM
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Gap

The gap in the butt weld allows the weld to cool and shrink uniformly. If there's no gap, the "ungapped" metal does not shrink at the same rate as the weld. This results in a cracked weld.
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:30 PM
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That is a common thought, but honestly, if there is a gap the metal has somewhere to go, it pulls together. I used to feel the same way, until I picked up this little flyer called "Smater than the metal" http://www.htpweld.com/products/tig_welders/books.html personally buying it from Ron Covell http://www.covell.biz/ one of the nations leading tin men so I believed it was correct info.

I started following the zero gap method and it works spectacularly.

There is no way no how a weld is going to "crack" because there is no gap, or there is a gap, or it's too big or too what ever. That would have no bearing what so ever on whether a weld "cracked" or not. There is a serious problem with the weld it's self if it is cracking.

Brian
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:11 PM
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thanks guys! i got one last piece to weld on to make a flat area for my shifter boot.

The welder i bought was the Chicago Electric 90 amp, from harbor frieght. it seemed to do the job, but following the manual was pointless -- the manual said to keep wire feed speed at "2" and power on "min". I found that to make an effective weld with my 18 ga cover plate/trans tunnel, i had to use a speed of "4" and turn the power to "max".

I also used Lincoln Electric wire -- this helped alot, as the harbor freight wire was awful, creating alot of spatter, and not "good" welds.

Hopefully i can get this last plate on with no problem, and this shifter boot will go on with no problems. After that I'm covering the other area of the hole up with sound deadening carpet liner & some rubber from an inner-tube as bonus sound deadening material.

thanks again for the welding hints! i cant wait to find some other good projects for it!
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:37 PM
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welding is all about sound. every different settings should relatively sound the same... like frying bacon. If it doesn't sound like this you have to examine why it is.... wire balling up...wire speed too slow....wire sticks out a mile after each weld...too much wire speed... burning holes instantly...too much amps. weld too high and penetration on backside...not hot enough.

more amps equal bigger/hotter/penetrating weld
more wire speed means cooler/ less hot/ less penetration weld.

both your amps and wire speed work in tandem. you can move one and not the other but you only have range to do that in. Usually if you move one by a lot then the other has to go with it and you're listening for the frying bacon.

when I use a new welder I write down settings for open butt welds/ open butt welds with more gap(usually my rust pin hole settings)/ rust pin hole settings/ plug weld settings ( usually my lap weld settings)/ plug weld through 3 layers settings.

So I'll have a piece of tape on my tool box with all these settings written down and I swear it gets ripped off and replaced cause later I'll realize I like a different setting better.

Last edited by tech69; 05-15-2012 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:10 PM
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I have to say Henry, I know you are just repeating something that has been said for years, that welding "sounds like frying bacon". As I said in the "Basics of Basics", if your welding sounds like frying bacon you are doing some crappy welds! "ZGHZZ-POP-ZHZGHZ-POP-CRACKLE-ZHZGZ" that is NOT how your welds should sound. They should sound like an electric buzzer "ZGHZGHZGHZGHZGHZGHZGZHZGH" that is how a weld should sound.


"more wire speed means cooler/ less hot/ less penetration weld."
More wire speed IF the voltage is to low may mean a cooler less penetrating weld. But when the voltage is turned up that higher wire speed "carries" the higher voltage and will produce a hotter more penetrating weld.

I know you know this but when it is left out someone may get the wrong impression.

Brian
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