The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by squirrel, Nov 27, 2017.
sure, it's the 240v unit.
Jim, you can bet that when I got enough seniority to bid to a job off that spot weld job and into something better there, I did so.
After 8 years of working there and enduring strikes, layoffs, short time, etc. they shut the second shift down for an extended layoff and I went to school to learn the machinist trade and never went back there. Best thing that ever happened to me!
You are probably already aware of this, but other guys may not be. My brother was shop foreman at a good sized sheet metal shop for 25 years and did all the machinery maintenance too. He told me that the most important thing for getting a good spot weld is to have good clamping pressure at the tips. More is better and all you can get it just barely good enough. Of course, all of his metal was new and clean, so he didn't mention cleanliness problems that we have.
I proved his advise when I was working maintenance at the local power plant. We had an old hand held spot welder that nobody would use. Lots of comments about "POS" and "It just burns holes in anything it touches."
Never one to take anybody else's word for things that don't work right, I gave it a try and found that it arced almost as soon as the tips hit the metal. A quick little switch adjustment so that you had to squeeze hell out of the handles before the switch energized the tips and all of a sudden it was a great tool. It was soon a favorite tool with the maintenance crew and was getting used a lot.
I'm making sure to shine up the metal first, and I play with the clamp adjustment to get it as tight as it needs to be. You can quickly get a feel for how it's working, by how it behaves when you first push the button....if it's loose it will spark right away, if it's right it will just hum and the orange spot will grow
Have you watched videos of the old cars being assembled? neat stuff.
There are spot welders like that, they cost serious money, though.
one side done.
Make your own out of one of these. Might be able to use most of the high leverage clamp. Trouble with long rods is getting good clamping pressure. Might make most of the arms from box tube and put the copper rods on the end. Depending on how long you want them, you might need to make your own high leverage clamp. Or, use a big C clamp, but that would be slow.
The ones we operated on the line were air operated and water cooled, on DC current, pull the trigger and blam! verypowerful and sparks flew everywhere! Far as I know they're still used, were still in use when I returned to the car plants at Ford as a toolmaker for awhile in '77-'79 before going to airline and into jet engine and airframe parts machining.
But I haven't forgotten how those damn sparks burned up your skin and your clothes.
I have an import version of that deep reach clamp but with the finger end style, normally I don't use a good clamp for close welding, this one I will, what a POS.
Now, the Vise Grip brand my friend has, they are worth the extra money.
I hear you. If there was a hand held spot welder with a 24" or 30" throat I would buy it. Anyone have knowledge of one???
Miller sells them up to 18”, pricey though. Had a harbor freight spot welder, stepped up and bought a Miller 110 volt- I don’t regret it.
With all the car plants that have closed up in the USA, ought to be a damn big pile of spot welders somewhere.
Might be out of a hobbyists budget
Here's the one at my school.
The Vise Grips that were made in Dewitt, NE were but the POS Vise Grips made in China sure aren't!
Quite true, Irwin Tools bought Vise Grip, and most if not all production has been moved to China.
I'll keep drilling or punching holes and plug welding, thanks. I've seen and rewelded way too many spot welds that have failed. Gene
All the body shops I worked at had welders that were 3 phase and some were powered by more than 220V.
If you look at how car bodies are built, you'll see that the spot welds are done around the edges, and the parts are assembled in order such that the welding is always done around the edges. The flanges to be welded are carefully placed, so they can be got to easily.
When we build hot rods, there are not many places that we can use a spot welder, because we make panels that are smaller, and need to be welded in hard to access areas.
They do I think Miller. We had one at the Star that we were able to spot weld larger panels for the presses. Instead of wrestling the panels you set them up on the platen and then just drug your leads around them.
When I worked at a body shop in the 70's we had a spot welder with two hand held guns. You held them against the panel about 2 or 3 inches apart and hit the button and got 2 spot welds each time. Now I have an Eastwood 110 volt clamp style spot welder. It works OK but not great. I has the extended long reach tongs also. The problem with the long reach tongs is, you can't get enough pressure on the ends of the tongs as they tend to bend.
The arms can be stiffened up a good bit by clamping some angle iron to them, but be careful not to add too much weight to them. I like the spot welds because they are much easier to clean and paint than plug welds, so I use them as much as possible.
maybe you could find one of the old "how to build your own spot welder" threads and bring it back to life?
Getting a lot on here that doesn't really have much to do with an 8 second Cuda, but I'll add one more comment about a long arm spot welder then quit.
The arms don't need to be non conductive, just insulated from the tips. Arms could be 1 x 2 box tube or similar with power cables inside and the contact tips, or original short arms from the portable spot welder attached to the outboard ends.
Jim, try Bullet cams when you get ready for a cam. I had one in my 582 BBC, right at 800 lift, went 2 seasons with the same springs, also had a 657 lift in a 434 street driven, solid roller, and it had over 11000 miles on it. I used the best Morel solid roller lifters in the 434, and Crower hippo in the dragster. They know their stuff and customer service is real good. Good luck on the build.
Jim; you mentioned using Round tube on your rear wheel openings. I've done that many times. On my last job I use 1/2" X 1" .035 Rectangle tube and found it much easier to shape, hold in place and weld. It didn't want to kink or wrinkle at all while shaping and held it's shape while welding. Round tube seems to want to walk around and difficult to clamp to. Food for thought.
Forgot the photos;
Hey Wizzard ...thanks for the tech....
nice idea on the wheel openings! how did you bend it? looks nice. i have a project that needs that.
That is a neat way to do it. Not sure if it's crude enough for my build, though
I have been cleaning up the rear end housing, getting ready to cut the tubes. I'm still doing the figuring to decide how wide to make it. I probably want to center the pinion. And I need to decide the driveline angle. I'm thinking about how high to mount the engine/trans.
Remember Jim not more than 24" from cl of crank to the ground.
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