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Unread 07-27-2014, 05:16 PM   #1
Moabrubi
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Newbie sheetmetal welding advice

Hello everyone, I am trying to skin a lid I built for my trailer. I decided to make it fancy and put a 45 bend in it and now that I have gotten to the skinning part I am having a bit of trouble.

This lid is built to fit a '47 Bantam trailer that is way out of square, so every piece is custom cut. Trying to use 18ga to keep it lightweight as this top weighs alot as it is. As you can see in the pics below after attempting to grinding it smooth i pretty much burn right through in the process.

Obviously this isn't working out, so if you were attempting this what would you do? I'm thinking I'll have to scrap the 18 gauge idea. Any suggestions are appreciated, obviously I don't have any experience with thin stuff like this.

Some cell phone pics.. if you need better pics or more info let me know.

Thanks.

1406502835625.jpg   1406502850502.jpg   1406502863663.jpg   1406502874588.jpg   1406502884981.jpg  

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Unread 07-27-2014, 09:36 PM   #2
YJ475
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What type of setup are you running, and at what settings?
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Unread 07-27-2014, 10:35 PM   #3
Moabrubi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YJ475 View Post
What type of setup are you running, and at what settings?
Hobart 190, .030 wire, I tried 2/50 like the label on the welder suggests as well as turning it down to 1/40ish. Settings recommended on the chart seemed to work best without blowing through, but obviously doing something wrong here
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Unread 07-27-2014, 11:28 PM   #4
AtTheHelm
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Thin stuff is a pain.... But here's what I would try before scrapping: cut out your old weld joint with a thin cutoff wheel so you have a gap the thickness of the wheel. See if you can find a small pc of copper sheet and bend to 45* to use as a backing plate and 'backstep' doing short 1" beads take your time to avoid too much warpage. Flap disc the joint with a 120 grit disc and do long uniform strokes so it doesn't look like it has a bunch of dents in it when your done.
You might still need to bondo it depending on how far you wanna go.

If you do scrap it, talk to a sheet metal shop or roofer with a long sheet metal brake. Make a layout drawing since it's out of square.
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Unread 07-28-2014, 12:54 AM   #5
Professur
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go to .23 wire
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Unread 07-28-2014, 01:01 AM   #6
Jonathanjr1
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Get a copper welding spoon and use it to back where ever you weld. Use a bunch of small tack welds and have some distance between them.
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Unread 07-28-2014, 10:55 AM   #7
mark8201
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I think you will have a tough time if your trying to lay a bead down, as once the metal heats up it is going to blow right thru. I would tack weld it grind the tacks, and repeat this process until its fully welded.
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Unread 07-28-2014, 12:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moabrubi View Post
Hobart 190, .030 wire, I tried 2/50 like the label on the welder suggests as well as turning it down to 1/40ish. Settings recommended on the chart seemed to work best without blowing through, but obviously doing something wrong here
since you are saying you are using .030 wire then i am assuming you are using fluxcore.........
REAL PITA to weld any type of sheetmetal with fluxcore....

Your best bet is to invest in a bottle of gas and some hardwire..

If you can't afford it,it can be done but with a lot of patience....

Like was said already,cut the weld with a thin cut disk to leave a very small gap.
Make sure everything is clean,no mill scale or leftover slag from the old fluxcore.

Start using the "tack n go" method....
Only do a good tack...stop,move to another spot,do another tack...do this until it is full welded,everytime you go back to an area where it was already tacked,use a wire wheel to make sure there is no slag left on the tack from the fluxcore...and the gap you left will give you a full penetration and make it much easier and better and stronger after you have ground down the welds for a nice finish.

It looks to me like when you ground the welds most of the weld wasn't penetrated 100% and was only a surface fusion and when you ground it to level it out you just ground off the top surface fusion because it wasn't welded completely through...

If you decide to get a bottle and hardwire,get a small spool of .023 or .024..they have lincoln .024 at home depot and lowes in the 1# and 2# spools if i remeber correctly.
And don't forget to swap your polarity if you switch from fluxcore to hardwire
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Unread 07-28-2014, 01:10 PM   #9
Moabrubi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtTheHelm View Post
Thin stuff is a pain.... But here's what I would try before scrapping: cut out your old weld joint with a thin cutoff wheel so you have a gap the thickness of the wheel. See if you can find a small pc of copper sheet and bend to 45* to use as a backing plate and 'backstep' doing short 1" beads take your time to avoid too much warpage. Flap disc the joint with a 120 grit disc and do long uniform strokes so it doesn't look like it has a bunch of dents in it when your done.
You might still need to bondo it depending on how far you wanna go.

If you do scrap it, talk to a sheet metal shop or roofer with a long sheet metal brake. Make a layout drawing since it's out of square.

Thanks I think I will try this method before I scrap it. The copper makes sense. I was hoping not to have to take it to a fab shop to have it done on a brake but sounds like it might be way easier.

Will probably have to bondo/fill it to get the bigger imperfections out but the small ones will be hidden by Line-X.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark8201 View Post
I think you will have a tough time if your trying to lay a bead down, as once the metal heats up it is going to blow right thru. I would tack weld it grind the tacks, and repeat this process until its fully welded.
Above pics are done with a tack method, not trying to run a bead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironworker709 View Post

since you are saying you are using .030 wire then i am assuming you are using fluxcore.........
REAL PITA to weld any type of sheetmetal with fluxcore....

Your best bet is to invest in a bottle of gas and some hardwire..

If you can't afford it,it can be done but with a lot of patience....

Like was said already,cut the weld with a thin cut disk to leave a very small gap.
Make sure everything is clean,no mill scale or leftover slag from the old fluxcore.

Start using the "tack n go" method....
Only do a good tack...stop,move to another spot,do another tack...do this until it is full welded,everytime you go back to an area where it was already tacked,use a wire wheel to make sure there is no slag left on the tack from the fluxcore...and the gap you left will give you a full penetration and make it much easier and better and stronger after you have ground down the welds for a nice finish.

It looks to me like when you ground the welds most of the weld wasn't penetrated 100% and was only a surface fusion and when you ground it to level it out you just ground off the top surface fusion because it wasn't welded completely through...

If you decide to get a bottle and hardwire,get a small spool of .023 or .024..they have lincoln .024 at home depot and lowes in the 1# and 2# spools if i remeber correctly.
And don't forget to swap your polarity if you switch from fluxcore to hardwire
I am running gas and hardwire, I do a lot of welding on thicker stuff and hate fluxcore First time on sheetmetal like this though.

I tried tacking it as much as I could without blowing through but still wasnt able to penetrate enough. Would switching to .023 wire help? How so?

Thanks for all the help guys.
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Unread 07-28-2014, 01:35 PM   #10
Ironworker709
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moabrubi View Post
I am running gas and hardwire, I do a lot of welding on thicker stuff and hate fluxcore First time on sheetmetal like this though.

I tried tacking it as much as I could without blowing through but still wasnt able to penetrate enough. Would switching to .023 wire help? How so?

Thanks for all the help guys.
The general rule of thumb is the thinner the base metal,the smaller the filler wire.

Too big of filler wire makes it a PITA to get both full pen and not blowing through.

You want just enough to burn into the gap and fill without blowing through,too big a filler wire and it will build a puddle too quick on top and not fully penetrate ..or...trying to hold the puddle too long will cause a complete blow through..the thinner filler wire makes it a much easier job to work with and control everything.

Now that you'll be using a thin cut wheel to get a gap,you'll be able to do the tack and go method with the .030 if you don't want to switch to .024..
Just make sure when you pull the trigger the wire is directly in the center of the gap and stay there.

I see most people using .030 are using fluxcore,and i didn't see you mention which process you were using,thats why i was asuming fluxcore..

Personaly i never get .030,its either Lincoln .035 or .023/024 for my Lincoln 180 here at the house but i get it all at a real good price for 10/11# spools at my local weld suplly,the guy who owns the store used to weld along side me at nuke plants..lol
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Unread 07-28-2014, 09:54 PM   #11
Moabrubi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironworker709 View Post

The general rule of thumb is the thinner the base metal,the smaller the filler wire.

Too big of filler wire makes it a PITA to get both full pen and not blowing through.

You want just enough to burn into the gap and fill without blowing through,too big a filler wire and it will build a puddle too quick on top and not fully penetrate ..or...trying to hold the puddle too long will cause a complete blow through..the thinner filler wire makes it a much easier job to work with and control everything.

Now that you'll be using a thin cut wheel to get a gap,you'll be able to do the tack and go method with the .030 if you don't want to switch to .024..
Just make sure when you pull the trigger the wire is directly in the center of the gap and stay there.

I see most people using .030 are using fluxcore,and i didn't see you mention which process you were using,thats why i was asuming fluxcore..

Personaly i never get .030,its either Lincoln .035 or .023/024 for my Lincoln 180 here at the house but i get it all at a real good price for 10/11# spools at my local weld suplly,the guy who owns the store used to weld along side me at nuke plants..lol
I will be buying a spool of .023 wire to make it easier to work with and trying the methods suggested this weekend. I think I'm going to try it sans copper sheet first and see how it goes.

Will let you all know how it goes this weekend.
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Unread Yesterday, 06:35 AM   #12
Professur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moabrubi View Post
I will be buying a spool of .023 wire to make it easier to work with and trying the methods suggested this weekend. I think I'm going to try it sans copper sheet first and see how it goes.

Will let you all know how it goes this weekend.
.23 is the bread and butter for sheet metal and body work. Get your work tight and gaps straight, keep hopping about, no long beads. Tack, tack, tack, tack ...
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Unread Yesterday, 12:14 PM   #13
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yea, tack tack tack! I don't do sheet metal to often, but I like to turn up the heat so the tack is pretty flat, then tack tack tack tack tack tack..... haha And move around, so you don't heat it up to much.
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