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post #1 of 15 Old Jan 5th, 2012, 11:14 pm Thread Starter
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would appreciate welding tips

Gearing up to begin the restoration of a '65 MGB. First project will be replacing floor pans and door sills. To that end I'm trying to learn to weld thin metal. I'll be taking a community college class beginning the end of the month, but wanted to get a jump on things.
I have a 220V wire feed welder, got myself some gas and .023 wire. Here's my first attempt at welding 18 ga flat stock.
One photo shows the top side, the other the bottom (as well as the spot on my bench that I set on fire ).
I would really appreciate thoughts and perhaps advise from you guys that weld, as to what I'm likely doing wrong. Thanks in advance.
Frank

If it makes any difference, I had been using 030 wire, both solid and flux core. Do OK with 3/16th and/or schedule 40, but was blowing holes in thinner stock. Thus the drop to 023 and gas.
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post #2 of 15 Old Jan 5th, 2012, 11:34 pm
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Re: would appreciate welding tips

18 ga is tough to weld. I do light gauge metals in 1" to 2" passes, then a 2" to 4" space, then another 1" to 2" pass. Sometimes it's necessary to let the metal cool between welds or even cool it with a wet rag. Your welds look good to me but I confess I'm not considered a great welder.
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post #3 of 15 Old Jan 6th, 2012, 1:48 am
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Re: would appreciate welding tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by seahabit
18 ga is tough to weld. I do light gauge metals in 1" to 2" passes, then a 2" to 4" space, then another 1" to 2" pass. Sometimes it's necessary to let the metal cool between welds or even cool it with a wet rag. Your welds look good to me but I confess I'm not considered a great welder.
I agree. Make short passes and spread them out. Long passes or passes too close together will warp or distort the material, thus ruining your hard work. Spread out short passes and you'll be fine.

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post #4 of 15 Old Jan 6th, 2012, 6:27 am
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Re: would appreciate welding tips

Hello fpmlt

I did some rusted panel replacements and found that the best way to attach patch panels it to epoxy them in .The epoxy I used was way over priced 3M brand , would use JB weld next time . You can get an air tool that puts an offset /z bend in the edge of the panel and makes for a flush install = a lot less bondo work ! , less rusting in the repair area and best of all NO heat induced warping .
High end German car fenders are epoxyed with spot welds in certin locations .
Got the tool from some Ford PU restoration web site .

I have welded for a living and recomend epoxy with out reservation

Bob G
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post #5 of 15 Old Jan 6th, 2012, 6:37 am
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Re: would appreciate welding tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by seahabit
18 ga is tough to weld. I do light gauge metals in 1" to 2" passes, then a 2" to 4" space, then another 1" to 2" pass. Sometimes it's necessary to let the metal cool between welds or even cool it with a wet rag. Your welds look good to me but I confess I'm not considered a great welder.
Plus 1
Also turn your heat down if you can. I use a small 110 wire feed without gas & it is very hard to weld thin steel. Turn your wire feed speed down too so your "welding puddle" is not as big. The heat will melt the 2 sheets enough to stick them together so very little wire will need to be need to make the weld strong.
Never weld on wood!!! Put a piece of scrap metal under the weld.

Stevie Shreeve
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post #6 of 15 Old Jan 6th, 2012, 10:26 am
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Re: would appreciate welding tips

The size of your panels make a considerable difference as to how you set up to weld. Take the panel and set it up whether flush fit or lap fit. Tack the ends, just inside of the end by 1/4 inch. Go to the middle, if it's a long weld, if not too long split the distance by 3 or 4 and tack that. Once you have it fit up the way you want split the distances between the tacks and tack them as well. At this point DON'T start at one end and continue down the length of the seam, move back and forth with the tacks. Meaning if the weld is to be 2 foot long, start at one end tack it and then go to the 1 foot and tack that then move down a little further and do the same thing. Continue this process until you have the seam welded all the way out. Remember little tacks have a lot less chance of warping than a continuous weld.
As for your heat and wire setting on your machine, it looks fine from the pictures.
Personally I would tig 18 gauge if at all possible. Done properly there is NO warpage what-so-ever.
I hope this makes sense to you and helps you on your project.
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post #7 of 15 Old Jan 6th, 2012, 11:08 am
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Re: would appreciate welding tips

I just started my bucket list...learning to welding is at the top...i have been Googling "welding videos training"...there is a lot of info their...good luck.

www.weldingtipsandtricks.com

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post #8 of 15 Old Jan 6th, 2012, 12:02 pm Thread Starter
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Re: would appreciate welding tips

Thanks guys, everything makes sense.
My heat and feed speed are all the way down. Polarity is correct for gas.
It seems like the bead is too tall. Is that a function of making too slow a pass? I'm going out today to practice some more. One trick I need to learn is drilling holes in one piece, then welding another piece behind it, through the holes.
Oh, and I actually did figure out to NOT WELD ON WOOD. But then again, it does confirm that I'm getting good penetration and heat
Thanks again all.
Frank
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post #9 of 15 Old Jan 6th, 2012, 9:50 pm
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Re: would appreciate welding tips

Frank,
I put myself through college as a welder, but that's been MANY years ago so I'm not sure I totally remember some of the finer points. I still do some stick welding, but haven't wire welded in over 40 years.

One summer job I had was in a factory that built farm machinery, specifically the giant grain wagons. We used to weld up the bin portion of the wagons from pre-formed sections of sheet metal. While you would normally push a wire feed (versus pull an electrode on a stick welder), for some reason I seem to remember we would slightly pull the feeder when doing the bin sheet metal sections. It made a smaller, tighter weld that way. I think we also may have had the heat slightly up and moved the feeder pretty quickly.

I hesitate suggesting it, since I might be all wet here (wouldn't be the first time my memory fails me). But if you're practicing anyway, you might try it. Good luck!

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post #10 of 15 Old Jan 8th, 2012, 8:33 am
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Re: would appreciate welding tips

TIG is the way to go on thin stuff. Much better heat control.

Welding is not like riding a bike. Once out of practice, takes a while to get your touch back.

Don't weld while wearing bifocals.

That is a pretty good looking weld for a beginner.

B D R
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post #11 of 15 Old Jan 8th, 2012, 9:18 am
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Re: would appreciate welding tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbob
Hello fpmlt

I did some rusted panel replacements and found that the best way to attach patch panels it to epoxy them in .The epoxy I used was way over priced 3M brand , would use JB weld next time . You can get an air tool that puts an offset /z bend in the edge of the panel and makes for a flush install = a lot less bondo work ! , less rusting in the repair area and best of all NO heat induced warping .
High end German car fenders are epoxyed with spot welds in certin locations .
Got the tool from some Ford PU restoration web site .

I have welded for a living and recomend epoxy with out reservation

Bob G
Put the welding gun down and step back...

Modern adhesives are making welding - in many circumstances - obsolete.

ALL of the body panels on the new Porsche Panamera are bonded together with adhesive, mainly because they are dissimilar metals, but also because the adhesive is many times as strong as even the best weld.

Get some Liquid Nails Metal Projects Repair Adhesive (LN-203) epoxy, the air tool mentioned above and be done with it.


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post #12 of 15 Old Jan 8th, 2012, 2:51 pm Thread Starter
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Re: would appreciate welding tips

Bob, I've searched around but can't find the tool you're referring to, unless it's just a pair of pliers with big flat tips. I've got one of those.

I won't argue with adhesives as I've seen them at work. I've also seen adhesive tapes hold great. Believe that Beaver Coaches use them, and there's one brand of horse trailer that uses them exclusively. I think what would worry me, is that if they were to let go, welding then would not be an option as it would ( I only assume ) compromise the rest of the adhesive.

Wish I could afford TIG, but....
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post #13 of 15 Old Jan 8th, 2012, 8:34 pm
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Re: would appreciate welding tips

Don't think you can't afford a tig.... They can be had pretty cheap... And since you've already got the gas setup...........You're just short the inverter and a torch...

TIG is the best way to go for sheet metal....


John

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post #14 of 15 Old Jan 8th, 2012, 9:19 pm
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Re: would appreciate welding tips

Check out these.

http://www.longevity-inc.com/product...gWeld-200D.php

Damn nice machine and not a bad price.

Look for the "Make us an offer" button.

Try for $500.00 and see what they say..

I have three of their machines and no I do not get paid to type this.

Why am I here and what day is it??
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post #15 of 15 Old Jan 9th, 2012, 5:12 am
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Re: would appreciate welding tips

I am a self taught, hobby welder, so the value of my observations and suggestions is limited. That's not a bad looking weld IMO, there is a lack of penetration at the lower end of the weld; but there is a fine line between between getting good penetration and burning through with thin sheet metal. I wonder what that weld looks like on the other side:


A butt joint on thin sheet metal can be tough. If your controls are turned all the way down on your unit, suggestions above all sound good to me, i.e. weld in sections, let the metal cool. You might consider a metal table which will conduct away a little heat and reduce the risk of smoke and fire.

Here's a cheap TIG unit. I have one, an am happy with it.
http://www.plasmametalcutter.com/pro...products_id=35
Note that it lacks AC so won't do Aluminum, it can do DC+ and DC- by switching the cables. The powersupply autoswitches between 110 and 220 so you can plug it in to a household outlet for convenience and into 220 when you've got it.

It does Stick, TIG, and plasma cutting. Made in China and sold on the Gianttech website and on eBay. I picked mine up for less than $500.

After having used Stick and MIG machines in the past, TIG is kind of fun, lots of control. The plasma cutter is nice to have too.

Over the years I've graduated from a 110 volt stick (Walmart), to a commerial 220v stick (Hobart), to a MIG (Lincoln), and now the Chinese TIG unit referenced above. Stick and MIG are quick, both in setting up and welding rate. The TIG takes me a little longer to setup and the welding rate is slower, but it provides more control. It is possible in some cases to use the TIG to weld the metal without filler rod, or to use miniminal filler. This minimizes later grinding if your goal is a smooth flush surface.

Have fun.

Last edited by CharlieVT; Jan 9th, 2012 at 5:21 am.
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