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Old 05-01-2019, 09:37 AM   #1
cfan10
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Cool Welder

Cheap, I mean economical as my mom says. Looking at buying the Flux 125 Welder from Harbor Freight, I won't be doing body drops or anything with it just new cab corners and a few other rot repair spots. I've heard the welders do well as long as you buy Lincoln wire.
What would be the best suited wire to buy for sheet metal repair

As always thanks in advance it is greatly appreciated!


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Old 05-01-2019, 12:44 PM   #2
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Re: Welder

Hobart has a cheap jobber that does flux core only. It has a much better transformer, and better wire feed system.

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Old 05-01-2019, 12:54 PM   #3
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Re: Welder

Dont use flux core for welding body panels...and I'd skip on the HF welder...look at the Vulcan welder that hf sells...much better
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:59 PM   #4
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Re: Welder

https://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/hob...UaAvaMEALw_wcB

Forgot to mention get a flanger for seams. It makes the job much easier.

Also practice on a old hood to get used to the unit. Something preferably the same thickness as the sheet metal you plan to finish weld.

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Old 05-01-2019, 01:40 PM   #5
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Re: Welder

I would hunt the classifieds, Craigslist etc and look into buying one that you can use gas with, as I think it does better welds when using c25.

Heck, I know a Lincoln 140 is in a pawn shop for $150, though it does not have a box, everything is there and I don't think anyone has ever struck an arc with it
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Old 05-01-2019, 02:20 PM   #6
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Cool Re: Welder

I should mention I have regular wall socket and I've never welded before lol. Thanks.
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Old 05-01-2019, 02:26 PM   #7
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Re: Welder

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Originally Posted by cfan10 View Post
I should mention I have regular wall socket and I've never welded before lol. Thanks.
It is not hard. Just spend a few hours practicing. YouTube even has good tutorials as you learn.
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:12 PM   #8
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Re: Welder

I have a little Lincoln 110 flux core welder that I use for quick and dirty stuff (.035 wire). I go out of my way to find fab jobs and small projects that I can use it on.

It does not, however, work well on sheet metal. For sheet metal repairs I used a flange tool and structural adhesive. You can see my technique in my intro/build thread, linked below. It's been 10 years and all of those repairs have held up fine.

For really serious structural welding, like wheel repairs or chassis work, I don't trust myself. I take that stuff to a certified welder just to be sure.

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Old 05-01-2019, 03:25 PM   #9
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Re: Welder

Thin sheetmetal is difficult to weld...get a welder thatll accept gas...I'd suggest getting a copper backer to help with your welds...the Vulcan welders can run on 110 or 220....since you've never welded before like said..practice practice pratice... flanging a panel and welding usually isn't a good idea...itll create ghost lines and uneven warpage... also dont forget that your welds will need hammer and dolley work...
Try posting this in the bodywork section ...
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Old 05-01-2019, 05:05 PM   #10
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Re: Welder

I bought an older welder from HF and it was junk.. saved up $500 and bought a Lincoln one at home depot which uses gas and its great I can weld anything from body metal to frames
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:36 PM   #11
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Re: Welder

gas and solid core for body work in my opinion . better joints and the gas helps cool the joint a little maybe .

go get a lincoln 140 or hobart both of there 110volt units are far more of a welder over the HF stuff in my opinion . and if you never use it again then the resale is so much better to get ride of it .

and your patch panels / replacement units will need trim to fit good . there not just hang it and you good .

get the doors on and square the way you want them and the gaps set then set the repair panel up and test fit it and trim as needed little bits and then weld it in . also i only use what i need from a patch panel not the whole thing .

here is a few pics of a cab corner i did on my 2wd . showing bad / crap fit / trim and fit good .

i used just under 1/2 of the big cab corner repair panel . had to trim the rocker area to let it tuck in good . then the down part on the back i had to cut off the crimped in lip and remake it as out of the box it did not line up with the original cab stamped line .
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:30 PM   #12
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Re: Welder

I would also suggest saving or buying a used quality unit, Miller or Lincoln versus getting a unit that may make for a much more difficult setup and user experience. I would then run your welder on 75/25 argon/c02 gas for a much cleaner weld, flux core is horrible for splatter. This is always my go to thread for welding sheet metal, by MP&C.
https://www.garagejournal.com/forum/...ad.php?t=53534
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:42 AM   #13
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Re: Welder

I got a HF 120 amp 220v welder from about 7 years ago. Does ok for what I've used it for. Haven't done body work with it yet. I plan to convert it to gas before doing any body work.

If you DO go with a HF welder, I would go with their 170 amp and convert it to gas. This is a 220V welder.
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:51 AM   #14
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Re: Welder

Flux core and body work don't mix. The results are well documented. You'll waste your money of you try that route.
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:00 AM   #15
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Re: Welder

For all you guys recommending someone buy a flanging tool, please watch the following video and see what can and will happen in a flanged repair. This is a tailgate on a wagon that had the lower skin fixed with a flanged seam. The ghost line shows exactly where the repair was made.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGhFEfVqxb0



Now that you have seen this, please stop recommending someone buy a worthless gimmick tool without cautioning them of the hazards of such a repair. You are welcome to link my video in doing so, please! Or, just stop recommending the tool altogether. There are many other tools that someone can better spend money on, all while BUTT welding the seam with much better results.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:01 AM   #16
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Re: Welder

I found a little lincoln 110 and found a guy who repairs them and he converted the weld to gas
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:26 AM   #17
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Re: Welder

I have the one you're looking at. I don't use it on body panels, more on anything else. It splatters so bad it's a nightmare on anything you're trying to keep looking nice.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:56 AM   #18
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Re: Welder

Quote:
Originally Posted by MP&C View Post
For all you guys recommending someone buy a flanging tool, please watch the following video and see what can and will happen in a flanged repair. This is a tailgate on a wagon that had the lower skin fixed with a flanged seam. The ghost line shows exactly where the repair was made.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGhFEfVqxb0



Now that you have seen this, please stop recommending someone buy a worthless gimmick tool without cautioning them of the hazards of such a repair. You are welcome to link my video in doing so, please! Or, just stop recommending the tool altogether. There are many other tools that someone can better spend money on, all while BUTT welding the seam with much better results.
looks to me like someone didnt block and sand like they should have done .
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:11 PM   #19
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Re: Welder

Quote:
Originally Posted by MP&C View Post
For all you guys recommending someone buy a flanging tool, please watch the following video and see what can and will happen in a flanged repair. This is a tailgate on a wagon that had the lower skin fixed with a flanged seam. The ghost line shows exactly where the repair was made.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGhFEfVqxb0



Now that you have seen this, please stop recommending someone buy a worthless gimmick tool without cautioning them of the hazards of such a repair. You are welcome to link my video in doing so, please! Or, just stop recommending the tool altogether. There are many other tools that someone can better spend money on, all while BUTT welding the seam with much better results.
I was just going to post this!

MP&C, I think the same way every time someone mentions POO15.

You can't have "cheap" and "good". Only pick one. If you want to be "cheap" and don't need to own a welder, pay someone to make a "good" repair.
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:06 PM   #20
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Re: Welder

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Originally Posted by sweetk30 View Post
looks to me like someone didnt block and sand like they should have done .
I am sure it looked fine when he got through with it but over a period of time expansion and contraction and shrinkage of material this is what can happen it was do to flanged seem and if they used panel adhesive it makes it worse
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:52 PM   #21
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Re: Welder

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Originally Posted by nsb29 View Post
I am sure it looked fine when he got through with it but over a period of time expansion and contraction and shrinkage of material this is what can happen it was do to flanged seem and if they used panel adhesive it makes it worse
I agee , nobody said how the panel was done. Could have been adhesive. I,ve yet to see a large panel welded on without some flange to hep as a second hand on u-tube for the DIY
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:42 AM   #22
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Re: Welder

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetk30 View Post
looks to me like someone didnt block and sand like they should have done .

This car was neat as a pin and based on the work elsewhere on the car, I’d say the guy does indeed know how to block sand. This is the only area that got a flanged repair, and is the only area showing a paint defect. (Funny thing, the repairs done on the door skins using butt welds showed no defects at all) The tailgate repair panel was welded to the skin first using plug welds into the hidden flange, and then fully welded from one side to the other to prevent any independent movement of one over the other.

Double the thickness of sheet metal (effectively increasing the heat sink) and you will indeed alter the expansion and contraction rates. Put it next to a single layer, welded or adhesive, and the area between these differing expansion rates will show themselves over time. There is a reason why the auto manufacturers don’t use flanged attachment where a hidden seam is desired.
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:09 AM   #23
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Re: Welder

Quote:
Originally Posted by blazer2007 View Post
I agee , nobody said how the panel was done. Could have been adhesive. I,ve yet to see a large panel welded on without some flange to hep as a second hand on u-tube for the DIY
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGglaSS View Post
I was just going to post this!

MP&C, I think the same way every time someone mentions POO15.

You can't have "cheap" and "good". Only pick one. If you want to be "cheap" and don't need to own a welder, pay someone to make a "good" repair.

For the DIY’er, the repair costs are cheap before the paint goes on. There are a multitude of videos on YouTube that don’t necessarily show a proper method. Eastwood, for example, will likely have a video showing the process to do exactly such a flanged repair. Here I would say their motivation is much less about showing how to do something and much more about marketing a gimmick tool to make a sale. There are shortcuts to doing the job properly, whether that be using a flanged seam vs. a butt weld or using POR type products so you don’t have to properly fix rust. In either case, shortcuts in methods will normally lead to a shortcut in lifespan of the repair. Yes, Repairs are cheap before the paint goes on. If given the whole story to make an informed decision, perhaps more would spend a bit more effort for a better repair.
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:31 PM   #24
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Re: Welder

Quote:
Originally Posted by blazer2007 View Post
I agee , nobody said how the panel was done. Could have been adhesive. I,ve yet to see a large panel welded on without some flange to hep as a second hand on u-tube for the DIY
Go to my home page and look at my door skin hear what MP&C tells you he is a great source of correct information as far as panel adhesive that’s my personal opinion because of a mess I had to fix
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:46 PM   #25
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Re: Welder

Try Eastwood they have a sale on their Mig welder. Then Google coupon codes for Eastwood (free shipping). I got welder and a kit with tips etc. delivered with tax for $380.
Comes with regulator and hose also.
Eastwood MIG Welder 110VAC/ 135A Output 12011 1 $314.97
Eastwood MIG Welder Consumables Kit 20000 1 $34.99
Subtotal $349.96
Shipping & Handling $0.00
Tax $30.10
Grand Total $380.06

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