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I want to give my A a hair cut... I don't own a welder or know how to weld

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by TweedDeluxe, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. Yeah totally. I shouldnt have dissed MIG it probably is his best choice. Cost vs skill etc. , its just the grinding that sucks.

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  2. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,794

    The37Kid
    Member

    10X on MIG grinding, what a royal pain in the ass. Learn to gas weld first, sure will make the upgrage to TIG a lot easier. Bob :)
     
  3. txturbo
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,771

    txturbo
    Member

    Do it the "traditional" way and gas weld it. It's not that hard to learn.


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  4. cheepsk8
    Joined: Sep 5, 2011
    Posts: 560

    cheepsk8
    Member
    from west ky

    Lots of unknowns here. Mig is ok, gas would be easier to learn, and maybe cheaper. You say its an A, is it a coupe or sedan? Remember its not just a cut here and a whack there. You then have garnish and the windshield frame, not to mention glass sizing to deal with. I would suggest for you to find a local builder with some experience in this and ask for a hand or at the least sit in on another chop. He will need some help lifting and you will need the experience. Good luck. Be involved.
     
  5. teddyt
    Joined: Sep 24, 2010
    Posts: 99

    teddyt
    Member
    from U.S.

    I agree on lots of practice before welding that top back on,......your patients will pay off. But,.....In saying that,.....I just want to point out that there are worse things to do than having to grind down crappy welds. Chopping a Model A Top involves more than just cutting straight lines. If the body is not braced correctly before cutting the top off,.......crappy welds are going to be the least of your problems. Also,......depending on the technique you decide to use,......relief cuts may be necessary also. There are alot of good books and videos on the subject. Take your time, have fun,......enjoy the fact that you did the job yourself :)
     
  6. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    VoodooTwin
    Member
    from Noo Yawk

    There is also the pre-chop body bracing that needs to be done properly to prevent the body from springing out of square. Educate yourself before picking up the sawzall.
     
  7. My ass it isn't! I did a bit in welding school, it's a pretty tough skill.
     
  8. Good luck with gas on sheet metal being a novice welder. Those panels will walk around till it looks like a skateboard park!! Mig, by just a quick zap every 3" and cool off with air and keep doing it until its all solid won't warp hardly at all. Hammer welding is gas welding but you hammer the red hot weld and restretch the metal back to its original shape. If you can't hammer weld it because of interference from the back, you will warp the panel with the flame as you get the metal molton to weld it. Remember, heat shrinks, hammer stretches!! Tig is great but is probably the most skill involved in the 3 types of welding. Back 38 years ago I took 4 years of welding, most all gas and arc. I was an ace at gas and got As on every test, arc was all C+ and Bs. When I got my mig, it was like a dream, almost like point and shoot. I then bought my Miller Tig and it sits collecting dust while the mig burns through rolls of wire. Im not sure what experience people have with hammer welding, Mig and tig but as a novice, you can mig almost imediately. I over stretched my roof from hammer welding and am now going to relieve it and mig the relief. I did about half mig and half hammer welding and the mig looks way better. Also its not like a Model A is the hardest chop. Now if you had a Merc or a 1936 Ford, I would be hesitant to say jump right in. Anyway. Good luck with what ever you decide. I'm sticking with mig.
     
  9. I meant most forgiving. A flame getting a panel red hot will create distortion out of this world unless you can get a dolly behind it and stretch it back into shape. Here is what I have done with a Mig with no problems. This was a Chevy roof modified to fit the Whippet 3 window coupe. Alot of welding and grinding just in this roof, never mind the rest of the car as every piece of wood has been replaced with metal. Mig is the most versatile welder around and the easiest to learn with. At least thats my opinion. Is it the best ? In some instances it is, is Tig the best, in some instances, is hammer welding the best? In some instances. They all have their place and you can do most everything with all of these, it's just what you are familiar with and what you know. Mig you need to know the least. My opinion only.

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    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  10. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,357

    el Scotto
    Member
    from Tracy, CA

    You can do it. Whatever method you pick, you can do it. Model As are EASY to chop.

    I did it with a couple buddies, it was our first time and we had a blast doing it.

    We used a 220v mig on gas, a 4.5" grinder, 2" wide masking tape, some of those sheetmetal clampy deals and some leftover spray paint.

    Sure, it involved some pie cuts here and there, a little gap filling there, but it turned out great! I was even able to metal finish the welds.

    Just takes careful planning and an extension cord. ;)
     
  11. scootrz1
    Joined: Apr 16, 2011
    Posts: 268

    scootrz1
    Member
    from usa

    im using Mig also and started because shops wanted way to much to put both quarters on my car . so I bought a welder and practiced alot 1st making a welding cart and so on . and was told at 1st you wont be able to do it ,well i did and still do . i agree to practice alot so you get the hang of it before cutting into your roof . But do it yourself and you will be wicked proud in the end . all the info is on line now it wasnt when i started so you are way ahead of the game already
     
  12. oldnuts
    Joined: Jan 14, 2009
    Posts: 355

    oldnuts
    Member
    from nebraska

    Is flux core mig wire good enough or should I switch to the gas shielded? I'm planning my first chop on my model A too. I appreciate all the tips guys
     
  13. Gas shielded unless you plan on chopping it outside in the elements this winter!!;):p
     
  14. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,794

    The37Kid
    Member

    I feel much better gas welding, chopped my '29 Tudor and gas welded it back togeter. Can a MIG fan please explain why there is 3/4 of the weld standing above the metal that takes a lifetime to grind off? Bob
     
  15. What?:eek: I resent that statement!:rolleyes: I'm a certified welder and I have wired a few cars from scratch over the years. You can be a bad welder and still stick things together but if your life depends on it you need to know what the hell your doing.:cool: You can wire a car poorly and it probably won't run, so you won't get hurt, just might set the garage/house on fire:eek: No point here as you can see:rolleyes: Just bustin Bob's nuts.:rolleyes:
    Seriously, the best way to learn to weld is take some classes to learn all the safety do's and don'ts. Then start with gas welding first. It really teaches you control and allows you to see what is going on. Oh and take at least 4 & 1/2 inches out of that A:cool:
     
  16. Glad to see the MIG vs gas debate continues! :rolleyes:
    As To the original subject. If I was to chop your car. First everything must fit. Then be well braced once squared and fit. All other structural work should be done first, but it's not a must. As long as you have the fit right!
    Then I would sleeve the A & B pillars. I would plug weld the sleeves and seam weld the joint with MIG. I'd cut out windows to reach all sides of the pillars I would also sleeve the window frames, but I would weld them and all the sheet metal with gas. In my opinion, although I never want to discourage someone to go for it, and learn, there are too many cars being half assed by amateurs that think a chop should be the first modification they should try....

    So build your car, go as far as you want. But have enough respect for these cars to learn the skills to do it nice. It will be worth it.
     
  17. a good mig weldor can beat a tig or torch weldor with one hand tied behind his back.:D
    i say practice, and then find a mentor to guide you as you do it.
     
  18. Beat them at what?
     
  19. If you want quantity go MIG. If you want quality go TIG. End of story!
     
  20. :confused:

    Here is a tough weld as its 2 verticle welds with no access behind the metal half way down. Only a mig can do this without distorting the metal. Try running a flame down these thin panels and see what you get. If you don't have access behind to stretch the metal back, you are shit out of luck. Migs work great on sheet metal.

    [​IMG]This took very little filler to finish smooth.

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    No reason to fear mig and you can use it for welding everything. I'd get the 220volt 175 or 180 or even the Miller 211 but its way more costly. I paid $400 new for my 175 and use the hell out of it. It gets way better penetration than the 11o I started with on thicker material which you need for a good weld.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  21. Dude you're getting your panties in a bunch...I don't agree with you. Get over it.
    You're showing muscle car stuff. (Completely different body construction than a model a.) That requires certain techniques. A model A is a different animal. I think if he's going to learn he should learn. Not just go with the herd. Different strokes for different folks. Just because you don't like a technique or have problems with it, doesn't make it not good for him or me. What I said earlier is my opinion. I think mig sucks to clean up after. Sometimes its your only option. A lot of times its not. Obviously it works well for you. I've seen your stuff. It' s nice. But its not the only way. Sorry my blanket statement twisted you up.

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    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  22. I sure hope you welded the firebird fully before the mud.
     
  23. Jeez talk about panties in a knot. I'm showing that thinner material can be welded as the metal on 1960s cars are way thinner than 1920-and 30s and not as structurally sound as a Model A. Maybe if you spent a bit more time learning to mig sheet metal you wouldn't have such a hate. Hater!!!!:D Come on Matt calm down!!:rolleyes: Mig doesnt take much to clean with a flapper wheel especially when you melt the wire instead of laying it on top of the sheet metal. How much gas and hammer welding have you done? Maybe I should set up another class with Russ Divers to show the basics of Hammer welding as he is one of the best. Would you be into it? I know he likes teaching but only like 8 people at a time. And like I said in my first posts, you can weld with any of the above ways. Mig is the easiest to learn. Gas is probably second to me and Tig, I still need alot of practice. I tried Hammer welding, but I am not that great as I hammer too much or too little which wont stretch the metal back into place or I over stretch. The skill level of each type is the key to what type a novice should consider. Mig takes the least skill but as was said, a few night school courses is always invaluable to help with the learning curve. I learned to weld in 1972 and took 4 years of schooling in 1976-1980 Things have changed alot in equipment.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  24. Definately!! This was just the start but to show all the spotting to keep the heat down. Both quarters were fully welded plus front lower fenders, lower parts of the doors.
    Back to topic. Don't think you can't do it. Everyone that chops cars learned by chopping their first car. There are people that chopped cars and people that haven't. Be one that has. It's a great feeling to do it yourself!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  25. mcmopar
    Joined: Nov 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,601

    mcmopar
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Strum, wi

    Some how it got off of topic, mig, or tig. I say go for it and learn a lot. As long as you learn and you will enjoy your time in the garage and good luck.
     
  26. GearSlammer
    Joined: Feb 27, 2013
    Posts: 203

    GearSlammer
    Member

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  27. it was a joke. see you only need to use one hand when using a mig, a tig and torch needs two hands. i guess i should have used a few grins:D:D:D:D
     
  28. cheepsk8
    Joined: Sep 5, 2011
    Posts: 560

    cheepsk8
    Member
    from west ky

    Man there has been a lot of discussion about method, mainly from us that know how to weld with various methods, mig -tig- stick -torch. And we have access to the machines which our OP does not. Some good advice in this thread. MEASURE / BRACE/ TAKE PICTURES/ ASK QUESTIONS , get help, trade school , welding videos, Look at other chops. A lot harder to undo it once you have whacked away. Overwhelming? Yea, but you can do it if you want to bad enough, just get your ducks in a row before you make that first tape line.
     
  29. falconsprint63
    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,359

    falconsprint63
    Member
    from Mayberry

    buy youself a good 110 mig unit. make sure it has the gas option and you get everything you need for that. I've been using a flux core only lincoln from home depot for 15 years. when I bought it I had no experience. I watched the included VHS tape and started practicing--before i went at it on my friends land cruiser. now you have the added advantage of you tube and such.

    I just moved into a shop with a buddy who has a tractor supply hobart mig with gas. the quality and ease of welding increased exponentially by adding guess. I guess that's the upside to learning to do it well the hard way.

    a good mig welder will do everything you need to do in this hobby. in some cases other things will do it better, but a good quality mig welder will be a lifelong part of your tool chest.

    As for the chop itself. and A's just about the easiest thing I can think of to chop. plan and lay out your cuts--don't just go willy nilly. look at the available documenation of other chops, brace it well the measure twice and cut once. and DON'T try and run solid welds continuously along the cut ares all at once or it will become a coupster.

    good luck.
     
  30. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,917

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    My first thought was "And I want to bake a cake but I don't have a mixing bowl or an oven" :D

    Lots of good advice here, buy a mig and take some night time welding classes at your local community college.

    From there you can do what you need or want to do.
     

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