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Bought a Mig,question about welding body panels

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by BobK, Mar 21, 2002.

  1. BobK

    BobK 1/2 ton status

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    Just bought a 120 volt 130 amp gas mig welder.Spent yesterday getting aquainted with it,got a nice sunburn today!I played with the heat settings and wire speed for the different metal thicknesses(is that a word?).
    Anyway just having a little trouble with the thin stuff.I'm burning through it.I've got it set on the lowest settings(amps).I've tride slow wire speed,fast and in between as well.Had the most success with the medium speed.The gauge of the thin stuff is approx. what is used on body panels.
    The mig is a CLARKE.I use a Argon/co2 gas mix
    Any tips would be appreciated.
     
  2. SkulzNBonz

    SkulzNBonz 1/2 ton status

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    You will have to try upping (is that a word?) your travel speed. That is how fast you physically move the gun. Also, if you can, try to make as many of your welds downhill as possible. This will lessen the heat input, which will cause less metal distortion and burn through. The gas mix will effect it as well. If you are running 75/25 (75% argon/25% Co2), try switching to 92/8 (92% argon/8% Co2). I believe that more Co2 produces a "hotter" weld.
     
  3. Michael

    Michael 1/2 ton status

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    Most of the body panel welding tips I've seen suggest lots of short "spot" welds as opposed to running a continuos bead. You might also try a wire diameter close to the metal thickness. Lastly, or maybe firstly, try here: http://www.autobodystore.com/patch.htm
    The autobody store has a real good forum also.
     
  4. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Micheal Is right. if your putting in patch pannels you do not want to do a continious bead. Doing so will cause the pannels to warp. What you want to do is do a spot skip and inch or so and do another till the end. then do it over and over again til it's a full weld. Then when you grind it you want to again be very careful not to sit to long in one spot with grinder or you can again heat the pannel and cause it to warp.
     
  5. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

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    You can do it the way Grim said, but thats alittle more complicated than it needs to be. (not to be rude or anything Grim.:)) Make one spot weld or tack, watch the tack untill you can no longer see it glowing through your hood. This usualy means that the metal is cool enuff for another tack, without burning a hole. This works best with a shade 10 lens. When you can no longer see it glowing, make another tack almost on top of the first one...Progressing along untill the weld is complete..Hitting the trigger on the gone for no longer than about a second and a half....ect ect. You can make a damn strong AND pretty weld this way on the thin stuff. You can turn the heat up alittle higher this way and get better penetration, because your not concentrating all the heat on the metal all at once. Just in little spurts. Welding downhill is another way to do thin stuff. You just gotta really haul ass going downhill. /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif Hope I helped ya. /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif
     
  6. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I like Grimmy's method...much less distortion.

    Rene
     
  7. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

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    If you do it right, you won't get any distortion. Thats why you wait for the spot weld to cool. Metal only pulls/distorts while it is cooling, and only to a certain degree. I knows this for a couple of reasons....I spent just under 2 years at a tech school to learn welding/metalurgy/blueprint reading ect ect. 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Also, I've been working with metal/welding/fabricating for the past 5 or 6 years. Last, I just totally rebuilt the floor on my '76 from the fire wall back to the rear of the cab. This is the way I have always welded thin gauge steel. It works fine with no distortion. I hope that this doesnt sound cocky or arrogant or whatever....Just tryin to share some knowledge.
     
  8. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I've spent the last 15 years, fitting, fabricating and welding all sorts of ferrous and non ferrous materials in everything from Dump truck bodies to my present job building aerospace tooling. I spent 2 years repairing Demo trailer and heavy haul trailer frames after roll-overs using heat and quench as a part of getting these trailers back to straight. I have a fairly thorough understanding of heat distortion and approximately how much pull I'll get with 'x' amount of heat. Removing 18" of twist from a 53 foot trailer without cutting or hacking any of it is a great challenge...

    Yes I have done it the way you described and if you have enough experience you will get good results with minimal distortion. However, for someone with little or no experience to duplicate that is going to be much more difficult.

    Commonly the time between 'tacks' will end up being too short and too much heat will be in one area. Just because the tack fades to black through the #10 lens doesn't mean it has cooled enough to stop pulling.

    The way Grim desribed is a more 'newbie' proof way of achieving good results. I try and offer an 'easy' way to accomplish good results for people that don't do this sort of thing for a living.

    Rene
     
  9. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

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    You are correct of course. And I apologize if I came off alittle arrogant. Sometimes I do that without realizing it. As far as the shade 10 lens thing goes....I said that assuming that he had a conventional hood. I use a Jackson auto darkeing hood with the delay turned all the way down. So as soon as I release he trigger, I can see whats going on clearly. I know that Grim was explaing the "newbie proof" method. BTW, I like that terminology. lol!
    Anyways, I hope that no one feels like I stepped on any toes. The last thing I want is any animosity. /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif
     
  10. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    No animosity here.../forums/images/icons/smile.gif I use a cheap regular helmet...mostly cuz I'm a cheap bastard./forums/images/icons/wink.gif but also because I've had 3 helmets crushed at work. Might as well ruin the cheap ones.

    Good to see another fabricator here.../forums/images/icons/cool.gif

    Rene
     
  11. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

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    Yes sir. I have alot less experience than you do, but I think thats just cause I'm younger. I'm 25. Hmm....I took some pics at work today....Would ya be interested in takin a gander?
     
  12. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Sure.../forums/images/icons/smile.gif What do you build?

    Rene
     
  13. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

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    I'll show ya....Gotta wait for pics to upload....be a few minutes.....
     
  14. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Send the link to me via a private message....I think this post has been hi-jacked enough for one night/forums/images/icons/wink.gif

    Rene
     
  15. BobK

    BobK 1/2 ton status

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    Ah...ok...thanks guys.ZOOOOM...right over my head!
    I'm still useing the .23 wire that came with the machine.At present I only have one of those cheap hand held shields with a #10 lens.I've got a auto darkening one on order,should be here in a couple days.
    I did get better result when I went REAL quick across the metal but still had a little...not burn through but when you can see the weld from the other side of the metal.
    I've heard about distortion and general rule is to weld in short spurts in different areas of the work surface but my trouble is getting that 1" stich weld in the 1st place.
    Ah well,practice makes perfect,right!
    Thanks guys.
     
  16. Michael

    Michael 1/2 ton status

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    Don't try for a 1" stitch, just a spot.
     
  17. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Bob,

    It hasn't been mentioned yet.....and if you're going to do a LOT of thin sheetmetal work, you might want to look into getting a "Spot/Stitch Timer" add-on for your welder.

    It's really nothing more than an adjustable timer for the amount of "ON" time when you pull the trigger.....then it shuts off the gun automatically. If you were trying to do a bunch of spot welds I'll bet it would give more consistent results than "counting the seconds" in your head!!! /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif

    I may eventually add one to my new MIG, but my projects for now are all thicker metals....so I can wait a while longer.
     
  18. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

    I've had 3 helmets crushed at work.

    <hr></blockquote>
    Good thing your head wasn't in them at the time! /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
     
  19. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    LOL Harry! I'm pretty bad for leaving my helmet lying around...

    Bob...1" is way too much for one go. The stitch timer is a cool idea, but a simple two count in your head would do it. On thin material you should see the backside of the material 'blue'. If you hit it with a sanding disc you'll see the backside of the weld will look like a welt (for lack of a better description) You should not see material sticking up though. All this is just showing how deeply the weld is penetrating the material.

    Rene
     
  20. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

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    Thats what ya want...The "welt" that tRustyK5 refered too. You'll be assured of the strongest possible weld that way. I think the between Rusty, Greg and myself, we got the welding questions licked. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
     

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