Help with autobody welding


  #1  
Old 12-17-05, 09:32 PM
foxracing500r
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Help with autobody welding

Hi Im new to the forums and I have a question about welding, Im new to welding and basically never welded, I have a 73 c10 and need to weld some of the body, like the bottom door repair pannels and such, What type of welder would I use? Whats easiest and whats cheapest. Thanks in advance and have a Happy Holiday
 
  #2  
Old 12-18-05, 05:51 AM
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A mig welder is what is best at welding auto panels.
Be carefull though if you plan to buy a cheap one.
Inexpensive migs can be quite troublesome and hard to find consumeables for.

If you browse previous posts there is a lot of discussion on purchasing welders.
 
  #3  
Old 12-18-05, 05:58 AM
lutheranpastor
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auto body welding

My experience in welding thin materials is limited. It is possible to use an oxy-acetylene torch. Weld a little until heat builds up and there is danger of blowing through. Stop and hammer the weld from both sides. This smooths it and reduces the work later.

Most would probably use a wire feed or MIG welder. These can be dialed down so you can weld pieces of a tin can to one another.

You might be able to get by with a stick welder. Something with some mass made of copper or aluminum could be held behind the weld to absorb extra heat and prevent burning through.

In any event, the addage, "Weld a little, cool a lot." applies. If you watch them building gas tanks for motorcycles on the Discovery Channel, you notice they tack the pieces together leaving space between the welds. Later they go back and carefully fill in between the tack welds.
 
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Old 12-18-05, 09:19 AM
foxracing500r
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Now what about a spot welder, are they any good? And if not what are the main concerns with a Mig Welder? Like safety issues and such, I really dont want to blow myself up anytime soon, so I rather not use a Gas welder. Thanks
 
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Old 12-18-05, 12:39 PM
lutheranpastor
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auto body welder

A spot welder requires the pieces to overlap. The welds are only a round spot with unwelded metal between. The end result would need to be covered with body putty and sanded to get a smooth look.

MIG welding allows very precise heat control and results in a final product that defies anyone detecting where the seam is (after some grinding).

The oxy-acetylene welding process mentioned above in an earlier post results in a very smooth finished product. It was suggested in a book on auto body work.

Both MIG and oxy-acetylene allow welding edge-to-edge, unlike spot welding.
 

Last edited by lutheranpastor; 12-18-05 at 12:41 PM. Reason: clarification and added detail
  #6  
Old 12-18-05, 02:35 PM
foxracing500r
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Ok so how much would one of these babies cost, I dont have real deep pockets but then there not real shallow either.
 
  #7  
Old 12-18-05, 05:02 PM
lutheranpastor
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auto body welding

A MIG without shielding gas bottle, etc. will probably run $300 - $400. Check what is available at Lowe's and Home Depot from Lincoln.

Have you considered renting one if you have only a small job? Do you have any friends who own a MIG and would do the job for you?

If you try to do the job yourself, I would advise watching the guys on American Chopper (Discovery Channel) build a gas tank. It would be instructive and would be similar to what you are contemplating.
 
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Old 12-18-05, 06:09 PM
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Been There, Done That

After searching for 3 years for the "perfect" truck, I netted a '89 F150 4WD with low miles and high body rot.

I too wanted to do it myself and was lucky enough to find a used MIG unit. I got a Lincoln, Weld-Pak 155, and then got a gas conversion kit. Learning to weld is best not done on body work you want to end up looking good. Every time I pulled the trigger, I got a hole. I got really frustrated until a friend who knew how, showed me proper way to weld. First off, DON'T BE IN A HURRY. Plan enough time to take your time. When tacking in a replacement panel, let go of the trigger as soon as you see the flash. Space your tacks far apart, but close enough to keep the patch "behaving". Don't hesitate to take a break to hammer and dolly the patch back into position. Once your patch is in place, start welding in the spaces between the tacks, but make sure to jump around and not weld in the same area too long. Be sure to make short welds.

Before I got my first Lincoln MIG, I had never welded or done body work before. With patience and few CO2/Argon refills, I managed to restore an old rusted F150 into something I'm proud to point to and say, "I did that".
 
  #9  
Old 02-21-06, 11:36 AM
foxracing500r
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Welding

Ok sorry, I have been gone for a while, I have about 700 bux coming back on my refund check, so I plan on buying a welder, I have my auto body to weld, and a Exhaust System, And some other stuff. I realy would like to stay away from gas if possible, I just have a fear of blowing myself up, (Im 17, havnt lived long enough yet)). I really want to do this myself. Now the dude Imagineer said
"I got a Lincoln, Weld-Pak 155, and then got a gas conversion kit" So is a Mig welder electric?, I watch TRUCKS on tv all the time and I am 100% positive he use's a MIG on the autobody, Thats what I want to use. Is there a Risk of blowing up the tank on a MIG welder, Thats my fear. I read through my thread and relised That Lutheran was talking about the Weld Blowing through. And what is a Oxy Torch? How Much? How to use?
 
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Old 02-21-06, 12:13 PM
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Some of the cheaper MIG welding machines are made to be used with Fluxcore wire. This wire is rough and will wear out the liner in the feed tube. The gas conversion mentioned is to use a shielding gas instead of flux to keep the weld clean and impurities out. There are many sheilding gases including Argon and some mixed gases. The gas bottle has a hose that attaches to the welder and feeds gas through the hose your wire goes through. No worry of explosion.
Using Oxy torch is just an oxygen/acetylene torch set-up with a small torch tip and melting your current metal together with a metal filler rod. Hope this helps. Good luck.
 
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Old 02-21-06, 01:33 PM
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welder info

I suggest hitting the lincoln or miller websites. Lots of good stuff on them for the beginner. The gases they are talking about for the mig welder are inert gases (meaning the will not explode). Only way to blow them up is it maybe you weld on the tanks, which are under pressure, and burn a hole through them. May also go to AWS webpage and do alot of reading. My recommendation for the beginner is the SP175 by lincoln....great little unit that will weld just about anything.

regards

metweldeng
 
  #12  
Old 02-21-06, 02:51 PM
foxracing500r
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Welding

Anything else a lil cheaper? I know Lincoln is a good company so will there cheaper MIG's be what I need?
 
  #13  
Old 02-21-06, 03:18 PM
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foxracing500r,

I'll add that you should not eliminate the possibility of using "gas".
The issue of safety is a good one to be concerned with but the hazards associated with shielding gasses are from the pressure in the cylinder, not any fire or explosion hazard from combustion.
What shielding gasses do is exclude air from the weld and as such will not burn or support combustion.
You would need to be aware of the safety requirements having to do with pressures but they are similar to what you would need to know to own an air compressor.

The reason you should consider shielding gasses is that they allow you to do a much better job when welding thin panels.
Flux core is very easy to burn through with and puts more heat into your weld, making the panels more prone to distortion.

I too would see if you can find a major brand like Miller or Lincoln for the simple fact that repacements and consumables would be available almost indefinately.
Almost every conceivable part I would need for my 10 year old MM-150 is hanging on my local Miller dealer's wall.
 
  #14  
Old 02-21-06, 03:21 PM
foxracing500r
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Welding

Well I guess I will do gas then But what kind o welder? I dont want to spend my Whole 700 because I still need A Tank and some wire
 
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Old 02-21-06, 03:55 PM
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Considering you will need to do a LOT of practice, it would make sense to blow the whole amount on the welder and get the gas later.
If you get a good machine it could be a very long term investment.
To buy a major brand welder you will lilkely have to go to a professional welding supplier and they would likely throw in a spool of flux core.
Plus, if you do not rush and go talking to salesmen, they might give you a good deal.

Just don't buy at the first place you go to, shop around.
 
  #16  
Old 02-21-06, 04:09 PM
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Some welders will require 240 volts from you house.
Check and look, how to supply power to the welder from your house.
 
  #17  
Old 02-21-06, 06:31 PM
foxracing500r
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Welding

So any Idea as to a Cheaper,Nice Mig welder would be?, I wont order offline, I will buy in person, Just want to know what Yall think would be a good welder for a reasonable price, I want my 700 to hopefully get a Welder,Tank Supplies, Repair Panels for my Truck, And hopefully have a Little in my pocket afterwards. Hey By the way, They have like Hundreds of Propane Tanks laying around here where I work, They use it to heat new houses. Would that work for a tank? Or would the two gasses conflict, Here is a pic Of what they look like(Or would a Decent tank not cost alot?)
http://www.reecetents.com/images/Propane%20Tank.JPG
 
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Old 02-21-06, 08:07 PM
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No, you cannot use that tank.
The gas comes in it's own tank that you will have to either buy or rent.
We first were looking for a welder for 700 and now we are buying a welder, all the supplies, the material to repair your truck with money left over???

It's been over a month since you first asked about this and you should have been researching how to do autobody welding .
You have received a lot of good advice and I would suggest you do a search on the general topic of welding.
The search term "how to weld autobody panels" will yield 826,000 hits.
Check it out, it might help you.
 
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Old 02-22-06, 05:41 AM
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welder selection

You dont have to buy new either. Look around in local trading papers or auction billings. Some good deals out there. Before you buy used try to find a buddy that knows alittle something about them take a look with you. There are bargins out there.
 
  #20  
Old 02-22-06, 09:52 AM
foxracing500r
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Welding

As a reply to Greggs post, I have been studying everything I can about welders, I am sure I am getting a Gas Mi welder, I just need to know which one, I dont plan on starting a business with one, just weld Some Body parts and a exhaust. I was wondering will This welder be good?, I would like to stretch my 700 dollars as far as posible, I would like to have A Welder, Tank, Panels, and have some money left if I could, But If I dont then O well. Thanks for being Patient with me, Im just stepping somewhere, I have never been.

Click image:

Image credit:weldingmart.com
 

Last edited by GregH; 02-25-06 at 05:52 AM. Reason: Code image
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Old 02-22-06, 11:04 AM
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That one should be fine.
When your ready to get a gas bottle don't get one less then 50 cu-ft that's a bottle about 3 feet tall.
A smaller one will cost you a lot more to refill in the long run.
As for welding an OLD exhaust pipe with a mig that will take a lot of practice, I don't even try, I use a torch.

You will need to get a helmet, that other one you have to hold it in your hand.
when starting to learn, you will need to steady the gun with you other hand.

And gloves is a must, the UV rays like the sun will burn you hands and less then 20 minutes if you don't use gloves.
 
  #22  
Old 02-22-06, 11:20 AM
foxracing500r
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Pipe

Nah I am welding brand new pipe, so It shouldnt be to bad, And I will get a decent hemlet and gloves, But that is a good welder?, How can I plug it in? Will it go into a standard wall outlet or what do I need?
 
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Old 02-22-06, 05:23 PM
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I don't have a Lincoln I have a Century but Lincoln now owns them, the company has been around for a long time.
For your requirements, I Think its a good choice.
Because I have not used that one I cant say how good it is. You don't have a lot of choices.
The reason I don't recommend the import machines its harder to get parts and things like knobs and plastic things are of low quality and brake more often, you also need replacement tips

-------------------------------
It will plug into a standard 120 volt outlet, the manual requires a 20 amp circuit.
another words a 20 amp circuit breaker.

You should check what size circuit breaker is feeding the outlet you intend to plug the welder into.
If its a 15 amp breaker you may not be able to run the welder at full power without tripping the breaker.
You can NOT replace a 15 amp breaker with a larger 20 amp breaker without also changing the wire in the wall to a larger wire size.


Here's a manual
http://content.lincolnelectric.com//...r/im/IM724.pdf
 
  #24  
Old 02-25-06, 06:03 AM
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foxracing500r,

I agree that you would do well with that Lincoln.
It has a nice heavy duty cable handle assembly compared to import welders and parts should be easy to get.
I would recommend that you get the cart for it if you have the room. It will make the unit more accessible and allow the cable to come out of the machine with less bends.
When welding with a mig you want to keep the cable as straight as possible so that the wire comes out smoother and with less strain on the drive wheel.
A cart will also make it easy to prevent the machine from getting banged up.
You have to keep in mind that if you really take a shine to welding this little welder although great for tin, would be a bit shy on capacity if you try welding on bigger projects.
There is a good market for used welders and if you are able to keep it in original condition you will get top dollar for it if you sell it or trade it in.
Keep the box and all the packaging because ""near new in original box" will get you top dollar.

Let us know how you make out and good luck.
 
 

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