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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Looking for some simple welding advice.

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10 replies to this topic

#1 Gyoas759



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Posted 19 February 2008 - 11:01 PM

I've been reading among the posts and it seems the USMB is rampant with cabin fever. I'm the same way. I have some rust issues to address on my 83 in the spring. I'm planning on buying a welder and going full tilt to take care of the car. The rockers are pretty much gone, the rear wheel wells are starting to erode and when I lift up the carpet in the front I can see a little bit of the ground along the outer seams. I've seen some posts from a few people on the board who have cut out the rusty stuff and welded in new metal to fix the problem. I'm feeling up to the task, but my problem is, I've never welded before. Nuts and bolts are no problem, but this is new to me. Anyone care to help a new guy out?

Any advice on where and what welder to buy? And I could sure use a dumbed down version of how to go about repairing the car. I get the concept, just need a little more detail. And what's the best sort of undercoating to use to seal the new metal once the rust is repaired. Thinking that rubberized undercoating for $3. a can at wal mart isn't going to quite cut it. I want to have my baby ready for the summer time.:)

#2 subyrally


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Posted 20 February 2008 - 12:03 AM

well, first off, take your time and practice on scraps before you attempt to weld in the car. if you are looking for an inexpinsive welder, there is a shop here in frederick called hg welding that sells a wire feed mig welder set up for about $300. looks like its a pretty well equiped machine, has wire speed, gas feed and heat controls and comes withthe gas regulators. i am actually going to get one as soon as i get some moenys.

when you get around to cutting out rust, make sure you get all of it and when you make patched, dont try to cover the larger holes in one patch, use multiple smaller patches and take your time. also get weld through primer to coat the back sides of the patches so they dont rust out from the inside where you cant paint after welding. i would also reccomend talking to a local body shop or restoration shop, basically, find the hot rodders and talk to them about rust repair.

good luck.

#3 [HTi]Johnson


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Posted 20 February 2008 - 12:03 AM

Any good lincoln or miller will work for your case. Like a little kit from home depot would be fine, but if you want to make structure stuff, you should look into a higher amperage unit. Check craigslist.

#4 DaveT


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Posted 20 February 2008 - 12:17 AM

Any advice on where and what welder to buy?

Here's a few things I've picked up & learned over the >25 years since my first welder.

For your first attempts, get some scrap 1/4" thick steel to practice on. I found 7014 rod pretty easy to use & get decent welds. Store welding rod in a DRY place.

Then do some 1/8" thick.

I managed to weld 1/16" with stick, but that's it for that mode.

Joints to weld must be clean and fit up good.

The thinner you go, the harder it is.

I have done a little MIG, but with a cheap welder, and I won't do that again.

I just got a TIG setup going. For thin stuff, it's the best I've tried. The remote (foot) control for the power is very helpful for thin metal.

If you have space, you can get an excellent welder for cheap if you go with an old industrial welder:


I've seen these go for $50.00 - $800.00.

Downside to this type is that it is not right for MIG.

For stick welding, a flip down mask is ok, I much prefer the auto darkening one for TIG.

There are basic welding books that will show what good vs bad welds look like, etc.

This forum has everyone from beginners to pros, they have been helpful:

#5 3eyedwagon


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Posted 20 February 2008 - 02:47 AM

For your application, MIG sounds like your best option.

I'm not saying it is your only option, you could try TIG, or even stick. Heck, you could even try submerged arch if you like. TIG will take you much more time to learn. It is a great process for light sheet metals, pipe, and even up to heavier metals. However, it is slow, and kind of difficult to learn. "Stick welding", or SMAW is also great. Stick welding is highly portable, it is cheap to perform, the machines are the cheapest to buy, and they can be run on a small ammount of power. However, stick is also hard for a new welder to learn, it requires the correct storage of welding rod that can go bad, it can be very frustrating, and it does not work well on thin metal.

In all honesty, MIG welding, specifically "Hard Wire" or GMAW is going to be your best bet. IF you desire to some day do much thicker metal, "Dual Shield" or FCAW may also be something you wish to consider. But, you should know that many MIG welding machines can do "Flux Cored", "Hard Wire", and "Dual Shield". Most fair to good welding machines can perform all 3 of these welding procedures with a few simple changes.

For what it sounds like you will be doing, I highly suggest "Hard Wire" welding. It is clean, simple to learn, forgiving, and highly versatile. "Hard Wire" is what is most commonly used by automotive body shops because of its speed, ease of use, and it can be performed cool enough to work really well on the lighter gauge sheet metals. This makes it perfect for what you wish to do. Hard wire also has the range to weld thicker steels, like up to 1" no problem if you have a big enough machine.

As for a machine, I would recommend buying a brand name machine. I'm sure there are a bunch of people in the world that have had good experiences buying a welder off the back of a tool sale truck, but I'd bet there are just as many whom haven't. This machine is going to be a good chunk of change. At least $300 plus, depending on what you buy! So for that kind of change, I would advise you to buck up and get a brand name welder. By this I'm saying; MILLER, LINCOLN, HOBART (Canadian Miller). These companys are the big names for a reason. Miller has won the Consumer Electronics Award for like 23 years in a row :eek: . That's pretty impressive. I'm not advocating one brand or another, and the people who have each will be diehard loyals. It's kinda like comparing Chevy, Ford, and Dodge. At any rate, all 3 of these companys have great little MIG welders that will suite your needs wonderfully. The Millermatic series from Miller, Lincoln has the Power Mig series, and the Hobart Handler series are all great 110v powered welders that will do 1/4" plus steel with the proper metal preparation. You can expect to spend about $700 dollars (with bottle) for one of these setups. If you would like some advice on individual machines, PM me and I'd be glad to help you find one best for you.

If I were you, I would start by researching MIG welding. There are literally thousands of videos, books, and websites devoted to the education of welding. The AMERICAN WELDING SOCIETY offers a limited time free membership, and their website is brimming with welding information. Also, most major welding companys have websites that contain valuable welding information as well. I would suggest taking your time when purchasing a machine, and don't just run out and buy the first thing that Jim Bob says is THE BEST EVER. If you buy a good machine, it's going to be around a long time, and you don't want to kick yourself every time you try to use the thing, and it doesn't do what you wanted it to do.

Hope that is of some help. Any questions, let me know.

Good luck!

#6 matts87glsedan


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Posted 20 February 2008 - 05:27 PM

i had the good fortune to be given a lincoln weldpack 100 a few years ago that has treated me well. i've done some semi large sheetmetal projects with it. the bottle and regulator for it was a 250$ touch, but gmaw is the way to go. I need to pre heat anything ove 1/8 with a propane torch to get good penetration.

#7 Andy FitzGibbon

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 05:43 PM

If you are a beginning welder you will be frusturated trying to weld sheet metal with a stick welder. As has been mentioned, a MIG welder is the best bet for your application.
In my limited MIG experience I've found I much prefer a gas setup over flux-core wire.

#8 Frank B

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 07:24 PM

Best bet is to buy a small MIG. Get a gas model, not the flux core wire! I have a flux core wire feed welder(it was cheap) and it makes a horrible mess. It's good for your lawn mower, exhaust, or structure repairs that don't need to be pretty. But for body work you need the gas shield.
Other than that, just practice. use up a spool of wire on scraps before you take on any real project. Oh, and get some sort of welding manual.
Welding is easy, anybody can do it. Just be patient and be safe.

#9 zrbrat


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Posted 20 February 2008 - 08:08 PM

You should look into using metal adheasive and simply glue the pathes/panels into place. Fusor and Durimix are two brands that come to mind. Then use a metal conditioner to treat any bare metal, DX520 is made by PPG and works well, then use an epoxy primer, PPG's DPLF epoxy works good and it can set for up to 7 days before painting or top-coating. After that you will need to scuff it for top-coat adheasion. Also you should wear gloves when handleing bare metal so the oils and sweat on your skin don't start to rust the metal. Any bare metal should be treated and primed as soon as possible so it doesn't start to rust from the moisture in that's in the air. You also need to sandblast any rust on panels or parts, just grinding it off doesn't get the rust out of the pits.

#10 Bucky92


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Posted 20 February 2008 - 08:26 PM

I am learning to weld right now ...went out and got a little Lincoln Electric wire feed..it is alittle messy but still very easy to use. And I was told for my in-experience I did a nice beaded weld on 2 pieces of stainless. ..Not quite ready to tackle body yet..but its coming soon cause the XT6 is going to be getting ALOT of fresh sheet metal soon.

#11 crockettbrat


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Posted 21 February 2008 - 11:01 PM

Hey there:

My first welder was a lincoln sp100 wire feed mig. It didn't come with the regulator or gas, so it was all flux core wire feed. It ran off 110v. As I got into welding thicker metal I upgraded to the sp175 with gas. This welder requires 220v. I love it! Wire feed mig welding is very easy to learn. Get some scrap as mentioned before and practise. Getting the wire speed and amps set right is very important. It will sound like bacon sizzling in a very hot pan when you've got it right. The lincolns are good for welding steel, but if you are going to want to do aluminum in the future and are on a budget (ie-no money for a good tig set up) maybe research the miller welders because I believe the miller 135 amp mig can work with their spool gun. The small lincolns don't have the ability to run a spool gun. Good luck. Make something!

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