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Old 04-08-2019, 02:15 PM   #26
mongocanfly
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Re: 53 3100 Project - My first truck build...

It would be much better if it was solid....but not a deal breaker.....it could be filled over...when your welding this thin stuff you'll have much better results if you use a copper backer....
Did you cut out the po's patch or just weld up what he put in?...you might have better results cutting it all out and start over with some new metal...
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Old 04-08-2019, 02:41 PM   #27
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Re: 53 3100 Project - My first truck build...

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Originally Posted by mongocanfly View Post
It would be much better if it was solid....but not a deal breaker.....it could be filled over...when your welding this thin stuff you'll have much better results if you use a copper backer....
Did you cut out the po's patch or just weld up what he put in?...you might have better results cutting it all out and start over with some new metal...
Thanks Greg! I am getting a copper backer, which should help. I tried welding in his patch, but plan on cutting out the other stuff and putting in a patch of my own. I've also priced the fender lower patches (somewhere around $80/$90), that i may try if I can't improve what they did. It's a rat-rod kinda build anyway, but I'd like the practice of trying my own repairs while I wait on the block from the machine shop...
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:30 PM   #28
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Re: Beginner welder, plenty to practice on...and a question

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Question for welders: I'm assuming I should be trying to fill in every smaller void with new metal, even though there are no "holes" left - correct?
Not really. Repeated welding will increase the likelihood of distortion, and then you'll still have to grind those welds down, possibly excessively thinning the base metal. Those voids ultimately will be filled with primer-surfacer, or if too deep you can skim them with bondo.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:37 AM   #29
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A little more fender progress

Learning as I go, but made some more progress on the rusty fender last night. Now to find some sheet metal to cut and fill the hole. This was also my first time ever cutting "bad" area out and trying to fill it with a patch. We'll see how that works out tonight I hope...

From this:




To this:


To this:


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Old 04-10-2019, 10:42 AM   #30
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Re: 53 3100 Project - My first truck build...

I'm still new to this too. Took me forever on a few spots. Better than bondo lol
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:43 PM   #31
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Re: 53 3100 Project - My first truck build...

depends on what you want. its not hard to pattern a new patch in there but it will be time consuming and can warp. If you are sure you can get all the oil and rust and corrosion out of there you could try some kitty hair.

I wouldnt personally weld over welds to fill it, as soon as you think you have it clean and put some filler on it you will find all the pinholes and junk in the welds and the filler will unstick.

if it were mine I would cut it out and weld a new, larger patch. two bad patches wont ever make a good one, and I would be sure of my welds instead of counting on someone elses.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:57 AM   #32
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Re: 53 3100 Project - My first truck build...

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depends on what you want. its not hard to pattern a new patch in there but it will be time consuming and can warp. If you are sure you can get all the oil and rust and corrosion out of there you could try some kitty hair.

I wouldnt personally weld over welds to fill it, as soon as you think you have it clean and put some filler on it you will find all the pinholes and junk in the welds and the filler will unstick.

if it were mine I would cut it out and weld a new, larger patch. two bad patches wont ever make a good one, and I would be sure of my welds instead of counting on someone elses.
Good advice, and I appreciate the input! Since I'm a newbie at sheet metal welding, I decided I'll use this as my practice piece and see what I'm able to do. I also found that I could buy an entire lower fender patch and just replace, so that's an option if I really butcher this thing.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:04 AM   #33
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Fender patching practice...

Had a little shop time last night and decided to try my hand at a patch panel.




Covered the hole with packaging tape and then drew the outline on the tape. Then transferred the tape to my sheet metal. I could only get my hands on 22-gauge metal, which was probably a little thin and made it even harder to weld.






Hopefully my copper backer comes in the mail tonight. I kept blowing through where there were larger gaps. It's not pretty, but it was good practice for me. I'm obviously not done yet, but that was all the time I had last night.

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Old 04-12-2019, 03:26 PM   #34
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Found a patch over a rust hole...

I decided to start grinding around a PO patch that was raised up on the fender. Not sure "why", but a PO had spot-welded a square patch over a rust hole.

So...I'll cut the rust out and get some more practice cutting and welding sheet metal patches...

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Old 04-12-2019, 03:37 PM   #35
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Re: 53 3100 Project - My first truck build...

Good for you cleaning up the PO work.
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Old 04-12-2019, 04:23 PM   #36
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Re: 53 3100 Project - My first truck build...

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Good for you cleaning up the PO work.
Heck, I might be making i worse but at least it's good practice for me... :-)
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:12 PM   #37
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Re: 53 3100 Project - My first truck build...

Some of my stuff was a bit two steps forward one step back for me. Like you said, good practice lol.
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:18 PM   #38
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Re: 53 3100 Project - My first truck build...

yeah sheetmetal is the thinnest and the biggest learning curve. what helps me on sheetmetal blow through is to

1. turn the welder to the lowest heat setting and leave it there no matter how tempting it is to turn it up.

2. start with a high wire speed and tack a couple test spots, turning the speed down until the gun just barely doesnt push back on you.

at that point you can almost lay into the weld, your tacks will sit flatter and look better. spend time fitting the parts, you can close bigger gaps with some practice but its easier to spend a little more time making sure you dont have a lot of gap between pieces. sometimes to let this happen I will shape the piece larger than it needs to be and then clamp it to the part I am repairing and use a thin cutoff wheel in a grinder to cut both the patch and piece being patched at the same time.

thusly:




when you start tacking, move around a bit, the metal will "pull" towards the tack which increases the gaps, if you spend too much time in one area you will have a hard time getting it back close enough to weld.

looking good, keep practicing!
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:31 AM   #39
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Re: 53 3100 Project - My first truck build...

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yeah sheetmetal is the thinnest and the biggest learning curve. what helps me on sheetmetal blow through is to

1. turn the welder to the lowest heat setting and leave it there no matter how tempting it is to turn it up.

2. start with a high wire speed and tack a couple test spots, turning the speed down until the gun just barely doesnt push back on you.

at that point you can almost lay into the weld, your tacks will sit flatter and look better. spend time fitting the parts, you can close bigger gaps with some practice but its easier to spend a little more time making sure you dont have a lot of gap between pieces. sometimes to let this happen I will shape the piece larger than it needs to be and then clamp it to the part I am repairing and use a thin cutoff wheel in a grinder to cut both the patch and piece being patched at the same time.
Great info Joe, Thanks! The lowest heat setting DID improve my blow-throughs. I didn't do myself any favors by picking 22-gauge metal for my first patch though. The local Tractor Supply only had 16-gauge and 22-gauge. My copper backing tool came via UPS but it wasn't the saving grace that I thought it might be. I'm thinking about going to a local scrapyard and picking up a door or hood panel and using that instead...
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:02 PM   #40
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Re: 53 3100 Project - My first truck build...

glad to hear! its amazing that lowering the heat and turning up the speed is a cure, sounds counter intuitive.

yeah 22 ga is a little thin when you are welding it to the 18ga of the fender. in that case I would start my weld on the thicker side and pull it to the thin. we are talking about maybe 2mm of movement, so it will take some practice, just imagine twisting the gun almost as soon as you start the tack.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:54 PM   #41
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Re: 53 3100 Project - My first truck build...

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glad to hear! its amazing that lowering the heat and turning up the speed is a cure, sounds counter intuitive.

yeah 22 ga is a little thin when you are welding it to the 18ga of the fender. in that case I would start my weld on the thicker side and pull it to the thin. we are talking about maybe 2mm of movement, so it will take some practice, just imagine twisting the gun almost as soon as you start the tack.
Thanks again! I actually went to a local welding shop today to buy some 18-gauge sheet metal (16 bucks for a 24" x 30" sheet - not complaining). While I was there one of the guys asked if I had considered torch welding the panels. I told them I had never seen nor tried it. They invited me into the back of the shop, grabbed two scraps of 18-gauge and showed me how it was done. Very cool of them to do that and the weld bead wasn't NEAR as large as my MIG spot welds. Granted, they were experts at doing it though...

They earned my continued business for sure.

Last edited by hobo; 04-16-2019 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:33 PM   #42
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Re: 53 3100 Project - My first truck build...

torch welding is great but requires the setup, and then knowing how to setup. I had a little bottle setup years ago for cutting and got rid of it because the bottles were always empty in the middle of doing something.
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New Project! Project: KECHI
my L35 4.3 4L60E S10 49 chevrolet 3100
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=782525


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Old 04-15-2019, 10:39 PM   #43
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Re: 53 3100 Project - My first truck build...

Just when I thought I might be done doing patch repairs, you minded me of my rear fenders needing some attention....
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:22 AM   #44
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Finished one of the patches...

I mentioned that I had ground off a high patch. Turns out a PO had just spot-welded a patch over a rusted spot:



So I cut the rusted area out:



Used some tape over the hole, drew an outline of the patch I would need, and transferred the tape to the 18-gauge sheet metal to cut out the patch:



Fit the patch in. Not great, but fit well enough:



And the finished patch. Still learning, but getting better! The 18-gauge worked much better than the 22-gauge. Only a thousand more to go!
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:34 AM   #45
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Re: 53 3100 Project - My first truck build...

Good start! Progress is progress, keep at it.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:39 AM   #46
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Re: 53 3100 Project - My first truck build...

that DOES look better! welding is no mystery, simply watch the weld!


dont forget the clamp/cut both sides trick. get yourself a cordless 4.5 grinder and put a slicer blade in it. in a corded grinder slicer blades are dangerous, they have enough torque to shatter the blade when they get bound up, but the new crop of battery grinders (I use the 18v type) when the blade gets in a bind it just stops, no where near enough torque to explode into shrapnel. with enough practice you will get a mastery of it, wielding it like a surgeon uses a scalpel.
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New Project! Project: KECHI
my L35 4.3 4L60E S10 49 chevrolet 3100
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=782525


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Old 04-18-2019, 09:48 AM   #47
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Re: 53 3100 Project - My first truck build...

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Originally Posted by joedoh View Post
that DOES look better! welding is no mystery, simply watch the weld!


dont forget the clamp/cut both sides trick. get yourself a cordless 4.5 grinder and put a slicer blade in it. in a corded grinder slicer blades are dangerous, they have enough torque to shatter the blade when they get bound up, but the new crop of battery grinders (I use the 18v type) when the blade gets in a bind it just stops, no where near enough torque to explode into shrapnel. with enough practice you will get a mastery of it, wielding it like a surgeon uses a scalpel.
Great advice on the grinder - Currently I'm using an air-powered die grinder with a 3" cutting wheel. I'll look at the cordless grinders.

I'll also need to research that clamp/cut both sides trick...
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:39 AM   #48
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Started some work on a the cab today...

One of the POs filled the rusting cab corner with spray foam. I'm only showing the big pieces. Most of it I chopped up and sucked out with a shop vac. The bed looks to be welded on, so I'll need get creative on how I remove it in order to address the cabin corner replacements:





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Old 04-22-2019, 08:42 AM   #49
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Bed work...

A pic of the welded-on bed and the fabbed up brackets from the PO.

Also removing the PO's choice of green everywhere, including on the notched frame where it stuck up over the bed boards...



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Old 04-22-2019, 08:46 AM   #50
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Some pics inside the cab. Patch-work quilt...

I'll probably continue the POs patch work and just fix the rusty/weak spots before I cover in bedliner or something. What do you guys think about the POs just placing one sheet metal layer over another?


img]https://i.imgur.com/oNtKVADl.jpg[/img]







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