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Thread: Welding Bodywork

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    Pit Crew Decade Plus User MK1_Oz's Avatar

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    Welding Bodywork

    I am new to welding and today was the first bodywork welding that I have tried to do....I suck!!!!

    I practiced on some scrap and it appeared that I was getting sorta OK penetration so I progressed to the real thing. All I did was blow blooming holes and have hot welder wire spit in my lap .

    Can somebody suggest some solutions for me please? I am welding fresh metal on the rear panel at the point where it joins to the bracket that is on the boot floor. My new metal is 1.0mm. The welder is a 150amp affair and I have just put in a new spool of 0.6mm wire. The settings are shown here (pretty much I have tried several settings but even as low as it goes is blowing holes)-sorry if they come out too large;



    Following is a gallery of my inability. It's my first car restoration and as I said my first welding but I have read every thread on here and thought I might have half a chance.......

    The gap around the new metal varies between 0.5mm to 1.5mm.






    The next 2 from inside the boot didnt come out all that well so you cannot see the penetration I got on the tiny blob of weld that didnt blow.





    Some thoughts I had as to reasons;

    1. I suck
    2. Insufficient earth. It splattered alot and stop-started. The bolt in the picture is there to hold the plate in place but also to provide an earth
    3. I had sprayed some weld through primer onto all surfaces before welding but I just could not get a decent earth (this was before I added the bolt). I cleaned it all off with a flat wheel. Maybe there was sufficient residue left to cause the spitting. I had already cleaned off all the etch primer that was applied after sand blasting.
    4. The gap between the panels is too large?
    5. I suck
    6. The wire feed was a little irregular. I think it was not coping with the weight of the new wire spool.

    Any help or ideas you can offer are greatly appreciated. There is only so much rear panel so I have to limit my hole blowing!!!!!!
    1970 Mk1 Escort Tarmac Rally Car

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    I would say probably a bit of 4, a bit of 6 and a lot of 5.
    If it is any consolation full rear panels are readily available.






















    You need practice, and lots of it thats all. Top tip: learn to weld on bits you can't see such as floor panels.

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    World Champion Decade Plus User exboyracer's Avatar

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    It does sound like a bad earth, and probably a bit too much voltage as well.

    You're better off not using weld thru primer until you've got the hand of the welding. Do lots more practice off the car with some offcuts of scrap and play with the settings until you get a result you're happy with!
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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Dave, a rear panel over here is something like 180 pounds. Not only are they expensive but I also wanted the pride of fixing rather than replacing. If I stuff it up too much I will replace the panel. I assume a welder should be able to cope with a new real of wire? Maybe the one I am using is getting a little tired. Are small reals available? Might be that little bit lighter to allow a smooth feed.

    Exboyracer, I will have to grind back a nice shiney earth point on the shell. I think I will also sacrific a sheet of new steel to practice on although even the 1mm stuff is thicker than the car body. Oh, and the welder was turned down to its minimum setting already!!!!!!
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    Mechanic flick5848's Avatar

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Another tip is to keep the welding torch wire as straight as possible which will help smooth the feed out, Keep the welder as far away from the job as possible. Gaps are a nightmare for even experienced welders but practice is what it takes.

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    Pit Crew Decade Plus User MK1_Oz's Avatar

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    flick, as in like this?

    1970 Mk1 Escort Tarmac Rally Car

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Have a look at this website

    http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/tutorial.htm

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    Mechanic flick5848's Avatar

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    No mate the wire that comes out of your welder should be as straight as possible in relation to the job. If the welding wire has to go through loads of twists and bends if affects the feed

    [IMG][/IMG]
    Last edited by flick5848; 09-02-2010 at 11:46.

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Everybody is cra[p when are new to welding. I didn't realise that one needs to keep a slow pace,I was scattered all over. In comparison to your first attempt,you've done good. It's just a matter of getting use to it,and the feel. This website helped me out http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/mig.htm

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    i spent a day welding scrap bits of metal of different sizes, shapes, angles etc before I even attempted anything on the car... well worth doing imo

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    I've been welding at old scrap cars for over 20 years and still blow the odd hole. Yes you need to practice a lot before you weld at the car. Also what you are trying to do is quite difficult - ie butt welding a patch into a vertical part of the car. Even when you do start on the car it would be best to try doing a few patches on the flat first of all where they won't be seen - any holes in the floor or that type of thing.

    OK, there's a couple of other things, I don't like weld-thru primer, I find that the weld can spit, just like it does with rust etc. Also your gaps are far too large, they should be less than 1mm for you to be able to weld properly ie about the same as the thickness of your metal. If you do need to bridge a bit of a bigger gap try putting the head of a copper mallet behind where you are welding, the weld won't stick to copper and also it acts as a heatsink.

    Hope this helps a little, Neil.

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    the gaps definately ain't helping with the blowing of holes for sure.
    mine is a 150A welder & i tend to weld bodywork on the lowest setting & chassis on the next setting up [mine has 6 settings??] - 8mm wire btw.
    you have got the surfaces cleaned up nicely so shouldn't be a problem there so just make sure you have a good earth.

    how many setting's does the welder have?? i would get it on it's lowest & then adjust the wire speed so you can get a nice sounding tack weld then work from there.

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    they look like perfectly normal first welds if you ask me, it does take practice (please remember im no expert) but i would start by making sure the piece you are going to weld in fits the hole nice and snuggly otherwise you have to then try and fill the gaps with weld which makes it far more difficult, then use the lowest power setting and make sure the wire isnt feeding too fast so that it is nice and smooth feed with no stabbing at the work piece, really is best to have a few evenings on the scrap metal than on your car though dude and as mentioned the mig welding site is where i picked up a lot of tips

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Alright mate,

    Firstly those welds ain't too bad and I'm sure all of us on here who weld produced stuff of a similar standard to begin with.

    I would agree with peoples views on the gaps, id probably try and have no more than about 0.5mm but obviously it ain't always that easy to get a nice uniform gap.

    The straightness of the torch's hose will also make things a bit better but the erratic feed may not just be down to this. I struggled like hell to get my two previous welder to feed smoothly so i fitted a steel liner for the wire to both of them and it helped no end. Also check the roller which comes off the motor inside isn't slipping on the wire

    One last thing, is i aim to direct the wire at the previous weld and not necessarily the gap next to it. I found it tends to flow better and almost uses the 'blob', as it were, made previously as a heat sink whilst still moving the weld along the joint.

    This is just what ive found, hope it helps.

    Good luck

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Vertical welding with mig should be done downwards
    Gaps look a bit big

    small short runs / beads give the metal a chance to cool
    Put tacks along your joint at intervals, then the gap will not get any bigger, stops the plate distorting.
    Last edited by Allerton Classics; 09-02-2010 at 20:57.

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Thanks for all the help fellas. I had an epiphany overnight. Looking at various welding websites it became apparent that welders (or at least some) have a tension knob on the wire spool. When I put the new 0.6mm wire on I just tightened this up. I reakon I have it so tight that it is making it too hard for the machine to feed wire at low feed settings.

    I will also try a series of spots rather than trying to run a bead.

    Getting married this weekend so have to leave the car for a week and prepare...... (thant's for leaving teh car not for getting married!! )
    1970 Mk1 Escort Tarmac Rally Car

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    Pit Crew Decade Plus User MK1_Oz's Avatar

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Damn it. Just taken another look at the welder and no wire spool tension device ahhhhhhh

    OK. Its definitely causes #1 & #5
    1970 Mk1 Escort Tarmac Rally Car

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Quote Originally Posted by Allerton Classics View Post
    Vertical welding with mig should be done downwards
    Only on thin stuff. You risk having cold joints with zero penetration if you're not careful.

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    I have found if your trying to weld and there's a gap, clamping a heat sink on the back the weld wont stick to (copper, brass, etc) really helps, saw a tip on another forum the other day, a big cheap brass padlock can do the job, has helped me in the past and i'm not good at welding.

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    the gaps are huge,ok if your experienced at welding.
    as you are learning i would cut another plate and get the gap as close as possible.
    then get some scrap plates same thickness and try joining them together,
    and try and try and practice and practice,weve all done it and it will get easier

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    welding old steel can be tricky
    rust thinned is a waste of time cut back to fresh
    try as little wire speed as possible but not globular transfer were the wire melts and drips to the workpiece just abit more were its feeding the weldpool
    short bursts of trigger can help
    running the weld down the tack you already did to the join helps

    some of your gaps are excessive
    1mm cutting discs help as you can cut the plate larger and run the cutter down the overlap to give a consistent gap or no gap if you judge it right
    propper tin snips Gilbow as they slice like knife through butter and make it easy to cut straight ebay example below
    i used to be a exhaust production welder useing 300amp migs at 90% duty welding brackets and stuff to .8mm box skin we blew holes alot aswell lol



    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/GILBOW-MADE-IN...item2302e30f12

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Right, finally got back to the car........For what it is worth here is what I finally managed to achieve (please don't openly mock - talking behind my back only please!! )

    These are after welding and grinding down with the flap wheel. Notice all the precision air holes I left so that the metal can breathe






    A bit of worm poison (K&H Convertor/Primer). This stuff doesn't paint on all that smooth but not to worry as I sand it back off before applying etch primer (I assume once it has done its poisoning/converting that its job is over?)




    And finally with etch primer - gee the pin holes stand out like the preverbial now!!




    OK given the issues I was having with blowing holes, poor wire feed blah blah blah I am actually quite happy with the result (sad I know). For a first go I think it will just about do. Maybe a little more filler needed than I hoped but that stuff will cover my sins.

    I ended up pulse welding the majority of it. It became a case of pulse pulse pulse until the wider gaps were bridged. If I am totally honest (and certainly not brave enough to put up pictoral evidence) I used ALOT of welding wire followed by ALOT of flap wheel action.

    Thanks for everybodies help.

    I can only get better..................................
    1970 Mk1 Escort Tarmac Rally Car

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Looks good to me for a first try. I would advise you just put a tack over each of the holes and grind them back even if you are filling it or it may cause issues later in life.

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    To be honest I spent ages doing that. It seems that everytime I fill a hole it blows another. What would the issues be later in life? Rust?
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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Sorry I meant to ask.....the rear chassis rails have a metal plate on the end. Is this plate in turn spot welded to the rear panel or does the rear panel just sit ontop of it without actually being attached at that point?

    I took pictures but the ones that would have helped me were not taken derrrrrr
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    Mechanic flick5848's Avatar

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Filler shouldn't be used to bridge gaps even this small. There are a few things that could happen but my main issue would be moisture entering from the back and the filler eventually falling out. I know its only a small issue but it would play on my mind. Try filling the gap by putting a few spots around the hole to get a good base to bringe with filler, If you aim directly at the edge of the hole it will just burn through and keep getting bigger. For future reference try and fill all holes before grinding it back if possible as this thins the metal and makes it more tricky. I always shine a light from the back if possible as this will show up the holes.

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    Way too much free time Decade Plus User Retromotorsport's Avatar
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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    90% of welding faults are down to wire feed.. if its eratic then so is the welding.. ask anyone whose been in my workshop about my welding torch lead.. anyone stands on it and they leave via the nearest door.

    Check the feed by placing your finger on the end of the wire, and pulling the trigger.. follow the wire with your finger, let it push you finger away, it should be one smooth continous movement.

    If your blowing holes when spotting.. i would say the wire is starting with the first fraction of the trigger, and then stuttering.

    If the wires not feeding right, get a new liner for the torch ..and treat the torch like you would your own member.. no rough treatment, put it away after use, and never, ever let someone stand on it or bend it .

    All the other tips have been covered .

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Put the worm treatment on with a rag. It only needs a wipe over.

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    i had some gaps welding mine the weekend larger than i would have liked. what i ended up doing was slightly overlapping the pulse welds [along the join] but starting on one piece & bridging them over the join - hence the finished weld looked about 7-8mm wide.
    i do usually grind of the initial tack welds too if i can once the repair piece is in place prior to welding.

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Try it with copper behind the welding line .
    http://www.abload.de/img/100_2331ybau.jpg

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Quote Originally Posted by Taunus-GXL View Post
    Try it with copper behind the welding line .
    http://www.abload.de/img/100_2331ybau.jpg
    Somebody on an Aussie forum gave me the tip of gluing a couple of 50 cent coins to a block of wood and using that instead of a copper block. Seemed to work!!! (Dont tell Her Majesty I defaced a coin :o )
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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    An update. I had the welder serviced, put new earth and new tip in. The welder is now much more predictable. Unfortunately the tech that came to do the service didnt have a spare to replace the organic component on the trigger .

    OK...I am starting to get somewhere with this welding. I am not blowing as many hole but when I grind back teh welds I am seeing lots of pin holes of light. I have tried spotting over the top of these with some success but often I will fill the hole but blow another.

    Rather than grind the welds right down and therefore create these holes, is it acceptable to use some seam sealer over the top of the semi-ground weld???

    The particular bit I have just finished today is the spare wheel well so nobody will really see it. Just a thought to help me out until I learn to weld a continuous bead that doesnt have holes.
    1970 Mk1 Escort Tarmac Rally Car

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Quote Originally Posted by MK1_Oz View Post
    Getting married this weekend so have to leave the car for a week and prepare...... (thant's for leaving teh car not for getting married!! )
    oh god,I didn't realise they legalised euthanasia in Australia

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    Quote Originally Posted by MK1_Oz View Post
    To be honest I spent ages doing that. It seems that everytime I fill a hole it blows another.
    When that happens to me,I stop,let the heat drop and give short spurts of weld pausing each time.

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    As always, thanks for the replies.

    The repairs I have done to the rear panel are not too bad apart from the pin holes. I may try to re-spot them seeing as the welder is working a littel better now. A skim of filler will hide the last of the nastiness.

    I am still not sure what to do about the repairs in the spare wheel well. It is very hard to get the angle grinder in there to try and flat the welds. Maybe I might try to use the Dremel tool (similar to a die grinder I guess). How much do you guys grind back your welds??? Do you try to get all welds flush or only the ones visible? I have to let in a replacement floor section soon. Would you grind both sides down?
    1970 Mk1 Escort Tarmac Rally Car

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    Re: Welding Bodywork

    I guess it depends on what sort of car your building, personally my cars are never show cars so i only grind back welds that will show, if its on the floor for example it just gets left (unless its one of my extra bad blobby messes, then it gets a small tidy)

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