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  #1  
Old March 23rd, 2010, 07:38 AM
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Booger welding

I was doing a little bit of welding on the Bandit Chipper yesterday. Some time in its history the fender that the hydraulic tank sits on go whacked and it caused the thin metal to tear with the weight of the tank rattling away year after year. Anyway, I tried to stitch the crack back together with my flux welder. I eventually got it but only after burning through in several places and generally making one of the ugliest fixes I've ever seen.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how one would butt weld thin stuff like this ? I tried several wire speeds and both hi and low settings without any discernible improvement in the weld. The fact that my welding skills are terribly bad and that the fender was in a somewhat odd position didn't help. I just ground off the big globs and painted it, since the overall look of the contraption is not too purty.
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  #2  
Old March 23rd, 2010, 07:51 AM
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I'm hardly an expert but I would say use low heat,, small diameter wire, and low wire speed as well. Hold the torch a bit furter from the ork and or angle it down to reduce penetration if need be. Stitch it together with short welds so as to keep from overheating the work. Gas would help alot too.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 08:25 AM
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Charles Galpin
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What he said. Position helps a lot too. How thick are we talking btw?
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 08:38 AM
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All of the above and make sure the area is super clean. Are you able to get some material behing the weld area? I will sometimes use a huge bolt, and hold the head behind the weld to act as a "floor" for the weld.

Either way, butt welding sheet metal is one of the hardest welds to master, so don't feel bad. A professional restorer would be use a gas-shielded MIG or even better, a TIG, so don't feel bad.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 02:56 PM
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Run a series of spot welds across the whole thing. Start with one in the center and then one in the center of each side and keep working your way side to side until the whole thing is filled with spot welds. Then touch up any areas that leak with more spot welds.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 04:17 PM
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You can't do it with flux. You need gas. Even then it can be a real pain.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 04:21 PM
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Also start the weld slightly away from the seam and work in toward the seam in a small circular motion. If you try and start the arc right on the seam it will blast right through.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckon37s View Post
You can't do it with flux. You need gas. Even then it can be a real pain.
Maybe I just suck, but I have done this with my little hobart flux thing and it worked fine.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
Maybe I just suck, but I have done this with my little hobart flux thing and it worked fine.
If you have a really good machine I think it might be possible. But flux burns hotter than gas and is much harder to work with on thin steel.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 06:13 PM
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C, the fender is really thin like maybe 16g or sumthin. About 2mm at most. Welding thru rust didn't help. Doing it at 10:30 at night didn't help. I actually was using ron's spot weld technique...add a dollop of metal and beat on it, add a dollop and beat on it some more...eventually it more or less happened. I guess I got a little greedy and held the tip in place too long. Hafta practice Dave's penetration reduction techniques. Still really ugly. Goes with the chipper's aesthetic tho.

All to a good end. Took down the big magnolia in my front yard today. Chipper happy, chainsaw happy, Bill happy.
Anyone need some magnolia flavored mulch?
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