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Unread 03-06-2008, 10:38 AM   #1
tweba99
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Trick to smooth out steel after welding (for a finish look)?

I am going to be extending my 3/16" crusher corners 6" this weekend (to fill in the gap after moving my rear axle back) with some 6" 3/16" flat bar. Does anyone know the best way to smooth out my welds so you can can't tell that I welded in the piece of 6" flat bar? I have done stuff like this before and after grinding and then flap wheeling the weld down (80 grit flap wheel), you can always see where I welded (little ripples) because obviously I grinding to deep in some spots. Do I need to use a 200 grit flap wheel or just grind the head of the weld down and then use an orbital sander (that would probably take a while)? I am also using a stick welder and probably some 6013 for this job (only welder I have). Let me know your tips....

Here is a visual of what I am doing:


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Last edited by tweba99; 03-06-2008 at 10:49 AM..
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Unread 03-06-2008, 10:46 AM   #2
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You can use a grinder to get the bulk. Then switch over to a block and sand paper with 60 grit.
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Unread 03-06-2008, 11:44 AM   #3
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I've always used flapper discs, probably about a 120 grit or so, with a light touch. I built an entertainment center and smoothed out the welds that way. It sits in my living room, so it's not hard on the eyes at all.
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Unread 03-06-2008, 11:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bairy View Post
You can use a grinder to get the bulk. Then switch over to a block and sand paper with 60 grit.
Block and sand steel plate sounds like a lot of work to me.

Go over the welds the first time with a grinder. I like using a 36 grit flap type wheel. It removes fast. Once the welds are getting close to the level of the base metal quit. Now go to a red sanding disc. I like the 80-120 grit to start. Get the weld down to where you are just starting to get scratches in the base metal. Now quit that. Look over the welds real good now. If you have any pits or low spots run another bead over those areas and re-grind them. Once you get everything looking pretty good get a 220 sanding disc and finish the area. Feather a couple inches into the base metal. Very small pits and the 220 scratches will fill with primer. And before you call it done do spray the job with some primer so you can "see" how you did better. Where most jobs like this get screwed up is when you get too aggresive with the grinder and cut into the base metal. Once you get everything smoothed it will look wavy if the base metal was cut into very much. And of course, make sure you bevel the 1/4" stuff well before welding.

BTW I presume you have a A/C only machine? Try some of that 7018 AC rod. Really nice stuff. Very high quailty smooth welds.
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Unread 03-06-2008, 11:56 AM   #5
tweba99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbob View Post
Block and sand steel plate sounds like a lot of work to me.

Go over the welds the first time with a grinder. I like using a 36 grit flap type wheel. It removes fast. Once the welds are getting close to the level of the base metal quit. Now go to a red sanding disc. I like the 80-120 grit to start. Get the weld down to where you are just starting to get scratches in the base metal. Now quit that. Look over the welds real good now. If you have any pits or low spots run another bead over those areas and re-grind them. Once you get everything looking pretty good get a 220 sanding disc and finish the area. Feather a couple inches into the base metal. Very small pits and the 220 scratches will fill with primer. And before you call it done do spray the job with some primer so you can "see" how you did better. Where most jobs like this get screwed up is when you get too aggresive with the grinder and cut into the base metal. Once you get everything smoothed it will look wavy if the base metal was cut into very much. And of course, make sure you bevel the 1/4" stuff well before welding.

BTW I presume you have a A/C only machine? Try some of that 7018 AC rod. Really nice stuff. Very high quailty smooth welds.
Thanks for the advice. What is a red sanding disc? Is this something that I put on my grinder? orbital sander? hand?

Yes, I have an A/C welder but I figured I would use 6013 since this will not be structual and i won't have to burn it quite as hot.
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Unread 03-06-2008, 01:01 PM   #6
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I've heard of using JB weld to smooth things out. I've never tried it, but it sounded like a pretty good idea. It sounds like Bob has a good plan.
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Unread 03-06-2008, 01:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tweba99 View Post
What is a red sanding disc? Is this something that I put on my grinder? orbital sander? hand?
You can buy a sanding disc at places like Home Depot. Red is Red Oxide paper. Fast, but smooth cutting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tweba99 View Post
Yes, I have an A/C welder but I figured I would use 6013 since this will not be structual and i won't have to burn it quite as hot.
No more heat with the 7018 AC. 3/32 needs about 80-95 amps to run and the 1/8 needs 100-120 amps. And it is more structural than the 6013.
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Unread 03-06-2008, 01:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbob View Post
You can buy a sanding disc at places like Home Depot. Red is Red Oxide paper. Fast, but smooth cutting.
I am asking what do you use the sanding disc on? Is it something you attach to an angle grinder? Drill? Orbital Sander? Palm of your hand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbob View Post
No more heat with the 7018 AC. 3/32 needs about 80-95 amps to run and the 1/8 needs 100-120 amps. And it is more structural than the 6013.
I know 7018 is more structual than 6013 and I was just stating that this is not really a structural purpose so that is why I was going to use 6013. I don't have much use for it (since it is not a structural rod) so I figured this was a good project to use it on.
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Unread 03-06-2008, 02:02 PM   #9
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or try 7014. pretty wicked stuff
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Unread 03-06-2008, 02:03 PM   #10
tweba99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMountainYJ View Post
or try 7014. pretty wicked stuff
I think I need DC to run that......
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Unread 03-06-2008, 05:55 PM   #11
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FWIW - BigBob pointed Dogman towards 7018AC and it improved the welds - I could almost say drastically. I don't know enough about stick to know why but Dogman said there was a big difference between the two.

And I've also heard of using JB Weld to fill holes...that might just work, it would be easier than making some spot welds to fill in smaller holes because you'd have alot less grinding...
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Unread 03-06-2008, 06:38 PM   #12
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i use a worn out 36 grit. i hold the grinder as flat as i can wate till the pad warms up ( you will feel it bite ) then i drag it back towards me very slowly. as long as you dont start digging the top section ( near the end of the disc ) it will smooth out the welds. one major thing to remeber is not to be agressive even with the hard wheel, take the weld seem down slowly and dont leave big gouges as these will be harder to get out after.
i have done plenty of welds like this and made them dissapear to the point where the inspectors that need to UT the welds they cant find them , jason.
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Unread 03-06-2008, 07:00 PM   #13
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I know that jb weld will fill in any little imperfections and get it a good finished look!!!
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Unread 03-06-2008, 07:19 PM   #14
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Unread 03-06-2008, 10:31 PM   #15
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I take 'em down with a 60 grit flapper.. run it tipped up a bit to take the weld down quickly. Then, lay it flat and take big strokes to blend it into the surrounding metal. If I'm finishing the steel, I'll run over it flat with a 120 grit flapper prior to shooting primer. Shoot primer, block sand and you can't tell where the patch was.
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