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Old 10-07-2011, 12:34 PM   #1
biohazardbill
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Welding body panels

A friend told me I could use cleco pins to help in keeping the panels together while welding. It seems to me that would be good for lap joints, what do you use for butt joints, like a cab corner for instance?
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:49 PM   #2
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Re: Welding body panels

Sorry but in my opinion clecko's are worthless, they don't hold the panel tight enough. I use 1/8 inch sheet metal screws, they hold tighter and cost a small fraction of the clecko's and they are reuseable like the clecko's. I would buy a panel flanger instead of butt welding for two reasons: it's a lap joint that is the same depth as a butt, and it's easier to weld.

If you are dead set on using a butt joint then buy the thinest cutting wheels you can for a die grinder. Overlap the new steel with the old and screw in place. Slowly cut along the top of the new steel and carefully unscrew a small section at a time, 2-3 inches, and peel away the overlap. Using a small screwdriver align panels and tack weld in place. Once all the tack welds are in place you can carefully come back to weld the rest being cautious not to warp the panel. Take your time and go slow it will be a better repair in the end. Also make sure to remove any old metal in the jambs so as not to have that overlaped since that should be butt welded anyway. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:57 PM   #3
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Re: Welding body panels

Cleco's work great for holding a panel in place when you're marking where you want to cut for a butt joint. Check out this thread.

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=421690
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:24 PM   #4
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Re: Welding body panels

To get a good butt weld use strong magnets. You can also get a good set of welding vice grips. They will have large throats or a long reach etc to get into odd positions. Magnets work well though. You can also tack weld a nail to the panel so that you have a handle to hold it. Once the panel is tacked in place just cut the nail off and grind down the weld. You will have lots of griding to do anyhow one extra tack isnt going to hurt a thing.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:40 PM   #5
chris mc bride
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Re: Welding body panels

For butt wqelds the vise grip clams work great for over lapping clekos work fine but not best as point of weld. We use sheetmetal screw and then just weld the hole up after removal.
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:33 AM   #6
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Re: Welding body panels

You can use clecos to hold panels together when doing butt welds.

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...utt+weld+cleco

The tighter the gap the less warpage you will introduce into the panel, the ideal gap is no gap at all. Those so-called butt weld clamps that Eastwoods sells are a complete joke IMO.

Granted vise grips work great but the good ones with enough throat and depth cost about 40 bucks a piece. Even then the longest ones I've seen are about 30 inches long...Eric
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:27 AM   #7
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Re: Welding body panels

i have used just about everything to hold panels. Even homemade clamps.Clekos work fine if you want to remove and re install the panel they hold it tight enough unless they are worn out.. quicker then sheetmetal screws. i use both at times . you can get clecos that have adjustable tension so thats no big deal. clekos are for speed and saving time.
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Old 10-08-2011, 02:48 PM   #8
OJ1988
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Re: Welding body panels

We use be magnets as well as sheet metal screws, depending on the application.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:43 PM   #9
lofly'a
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Re: Welding body panels

these panel clamps are the best and easiest i,ve ever used. eastwood, harbor freight, and northern tool carry them by the set.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:54 AM   #10
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Re: Welding body panels

we make our own like that. pretty easy to make. they are handy but don't work in every situation. You really need many style clamps.
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:14 AM   #11
lofly'a
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Re: Welding body panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbgmike View Post
we make our own like that. pretty easy to make. they are handy but don't work in every situation. You really need many style clamps.
i agree, sometimes i use a few sheet-metal screws or magnets until i make a few tack welds. i also made some of the panel clamps after i bought some, and they are handy if you can get to the back side of the panel to install and remove them.
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