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I will never butt weld sheet metal again

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by bobj49f2, Feb 2, 2013.

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  1. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,937

    pimpin paint
    from so cal

    OOH! That last bit's a cold shot Tinbender:D I'm workin on bein' " kinder & gentler " when someone ask me what's causin my paint job to crack or " ghost '' like this, and what's it gonna cost to make it all better:(

    " Kitty hair, polyester resin and matt and squirtgun welders should be harder to get than welfare "
  2. Ive been trying that same "kinder gentler" thing myself! :rolleyes: I'm just not very good at it:D
  3. hillbilly4008
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 2,917

    from Rome NY

    Man, I can't believe this thread is still going. I posted a thread about "period correctness" and it only went a little ways before all the drama broke out and it got shut down.

    As Zobo said lap welds are traditional, thats the way cars were done back in the day. Its gotten to a point that all the period correct nazis are blasting people about their shit, then turn around and do shit thats not even remotely "traditional"

    Lap welds have their place, if done correctly. You CANT butt weld everything.
  4. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,003

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    Hi I am a metal destroyer, and I can't butt weld sheet metal for shit.
    I hope to advance to at least mediocre metal massager.
    With the help from this thread I may succeed. Thanks
  5. Zookeeper
    Joined: Aug 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,041


    Just a little tip from a less-than-great welder: buy an auto-darkening helmet. If you can't see the crack, how in the hell are you going to weld it? Second, if you have wire sticking through the backside, it's because you tried to start the weld in the space between the crack. I purposely start my weld on one side of the crack, about 1/8" off the crack on solid metal. Then wait a half a heartbeat and make a circle, then stop. Never try to actually weld sheetmetal with a MIG welder, it's just asking for trouble. I may be wrong on this method, but it works for me.
  6. Blownolds
    Joined: Mar 31, 2001
    Posts: 2,335

    from So Cal

    Haven't read completely through this thread, but I remembered one thing I'll toss in:

    I used to watch a guy do the buttweld/hammerweld thing, and although he was a total artisan, he did cut tiny corners for the sake of time savings. One thing he did was to tack weld with MIG and then he would gas weld with a small torch for the hammerwelding part.

    Here's the thing... the tack welds from the MIG were not soft... they were very hard, so that did interfere with the hammerwelding when he got to them. But he didn't seem to mind, he just ground those spot welds down.

    However... since the gas welding was soft (annealed) and then hammerwelded, that would likely be better in the long run in terms of cracking. I don't think I'd ever recommend buttwelding with just MIG. For all I know, it might crack at some point with those hard welds??
  7. I wonder how much of the many thousands of miles of mig welded joins have actually cracked?
    And how many of those cracked were due to poor welding as opposed to type of weld.
    Not much I would say.
  8. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,242


    I don't know guys.......

    The more I read this stuff the more I realize that this is not metalmeet. Which is awesome.

    This is the hamb. Why make anyone feel bad about how they build their hot rod as long as it is safe. A safety issue.. well I think that all suspension / frame / etc should be inspected by a state safety inspection station before allowed on the shared roads with people's families. Because no hot rodder's ego is that important.

    But sheet metal? Come on.. who cares. bondo it, glass it, tig it.. etc....

    If someone is paying the shop, and personally on my own, we are tig with butt dressed on both sides etc etc.....

    But if you go to any modern body shop it is lap welded. Seam sealed on the back side hopefully if possible.... or painted inside if possible.. and you are done.

    But again who cares?

    Why does the Hamb have to be about the perfect way to do anything? Just have fun!

    It is a hobby. If you want to lap lap, butt butt...., glass, lapp , butt , bondo.. whatever, okay, this is getting strange..

    Every piece of sheet metal does not have to be perfectly metal finished in a hobby.

    This is a hobby people. Have fun.

    These cars were never meant to be sacred shines. Build em, drive em, smash them, race them, blow up the motor.

    These are hot rods.... not a sacred golden calf.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  9. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,802


    How come French coachbuilders could make a Bugatti front fender out of 15 pieces of sheet steel butt welded together and have it look dead smooth in the 1930's? Bob
  10. rouye56wingnut
    Joined: Jan 14, 2008
    Posts: 352

    from mn.

    Seems as though Traditional workmanship is the new " I cant do it correctly and dont give a shit method" I cant believe that those on here with shops or ones trying to be at a level to do cars for others are one day going to practice one type of method and do it any different on a job that you would care about putting your name on . I can just see going into a Tardel or Brizio or insert name here shop in the world that does traditional cars daily and see this kind of low grade work (YEA RIGHT)

    Cant believe all the people on here that are confussing the way cars are put together today and compare that with older auto repair practices . Todays metal is thinner and made of higher carbon and the two are not made to be cared for in the same manner .
  11. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,242


    People just need to get their panties out of a bunch and have fun.

    There is a time and place for everything. If you are not at work right now, then have fun.
    Lighten up.
  12. gerry miller
    Joined: Feb 3, 2012
    Posts: 108

    gerry miller

    It's been said that it takes 15 years to be a metal shaper and weld this thin stuff.
    But I have enjoyed this post and discussion.
    Thanks for posting your Frustration
  13. Hobby or not.

    It is still a HUGE INVESTMENT by many guys who are probably struggling to financially get things done and want it done as best possible. EG the right way.
    What's wrong with a thread that discusses the right and wrong way and the reasons why? Let it continue as there is a lot of learning going on here.:D
  14. I'll admit I read the first couple of pages and then skimmed the rest.

    I dont get the lap weld thing unless its a floor or panel that should or would have been factory.

    Exterior panel stuff butt welded and hammered is the the only way to get a really good result, in my mind.

    We only tig and or Oxy weld body work here the mig is for plug welds and makin benches.

    I take it from the original post it lap weld with the mig and body work is filler not hammer, dolly and file on metal.

    I'm not expert but it aint the way we do it. If it works for you then get on going and leave others to the metod that best suits them.

    But it isn't apples and apples.

    Mark Shearer
  15. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,242


    I totally get, support, and understand what you are saying.

    I was not speaking to the learning and doing the best you can always etc....
    That's me.

    Just speaking to some people getting way too worked up, slamming other people. It is great to be supportive of others and their goals on here.
  16. bobj49f2
    Joined: Jun 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,804


    I'm really surprised on how this post has generated so many replies. Again, many that were some what useless but many very helpful to me and it seems to many others. Thanks to the guys who saw value in this post and those who were kind enough to take the time to post helpful tips and advice, and especially to the guys who PMed me with support and suggestions.

    For the replies accusing me of being of little or no talent, or my favorite most useless post, accusing me of being just lazy, I would like to counter with this is just a hobby for me. I am in because I like old cars. I have a real vocation that I have to bust my butt at every day to make a living. I cannot devout hours and hours honing my skills at making filler less repairs. I spend most of my time trying to make a buck. Also, just because I had a problem with just one part of my build doesn't mean I'm a no talent lazy bum. While I don't consider myself a top expert on doing body work I do feel I do very good quality work. Considering the little time and money I have to put into my projects I wouldn't fear putting my work up against anyone. It may not match the best but I know I do the best I can and in the end I'm very proud of what I can do.

    Before all of you experts suggest that if I don't want to devote more time to improving my body work I should get out of the hobby I would say a good guess would be the vast majority of HAMBer are not professional auto body repair men and mechanics. The hobby is made up mostly DIYers, while dedicated to the hobby aren't the best at it and don't really care to be the best, they just want a nice, safe good looking care. If all of us guys who aren't willing to devote 90% of our waking hours to this hobby have to get out the population of the HAMB would dwindle considerably.
  17. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,167


    Good summation Bob!
    I am an engine man myself with no body & fender or painting skills.
    I read this whole post with the hopes of gleaning enough insight to face the
    daunting task of replacing rusted out quarter panels on my '40 Ford coupe.
    I bought some patch panels from Carpenter, (no contours at all)
    threw them away and got some good quality ones from Drake.
    Next I bought a cheap Harbor Fright Mig welder and a lap joint forming tool
    (because I didn't know any better). I don't plan to become a pro.
    After seeing a number of posts on patch panel work over the past year, I
    decided I should probably try the butt welding technique. Haven't done it yet.
    Like you, I have a real job that prevents me from spending my whole life
    in my shop. IT'S A HOBBY!!!
    This thread has provided more needed advice for my first attempt.
  18. slimcat7m3
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 113


    Keep lap welding, you keep us guys that do a good job in business
  19. Pete
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 4,578


    What a bunch of blowhard douche bags!

    I bet you guys beat up girls in the 3rd grade, made you feel big.

    There's a right and a wrong way to do anything....and there's also other perfectly acceptable ways. Butt, lap or stepped...who cares. iv done both with the same outcome, a smooth outer surface.

    Some of you guys are legit while others im sure would fail the "perfect" but weld / metal finish with no filler....stop doggin' the underdog, get a life.

    A true craftsman never brags about his or her own work.

  20. shinysideup
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,627

    from ruskin, fl

    Thank you for that info. I will re-learn my technique. I bet one could learn alot working with you.

  21. bobj49f2
    Joined: Jun 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,804


    I'm not too worried about "guys that do a good job" working on my vehicles. I do all my own work, good or bad. The only time "guys that do a good job" are going see the insides of my vehicles is when I'm dead and gone and then I don't think I'll really care much.
  22. The "NO FILLER" metal finish guys - serious talent there.
    God given or the selling of souls remains a question.
  23. bobj49f2
    Joined: Jun 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,804


    I totally agree. I am very envious of them. I just don't have the time, patience or need to be as good. I've seen some really amazing metal fabrication on this site. We all have a talent for something.

  24. What he said!!!
  25. 296 V8
    Joined: Sep 17, 2003
    Posts: 4,666

    296 V8
    from Nor~Cal

    Is it time for bunny’s w pancake’s?
  26. nickk
    Joined: Feb 2, 2011
    Posts: 749


    On my 30 coupe, I had to replace both wheel wells and the first one I butt welded and it turned out great, the second one i was convinced by two others to lap weld it. I was hesitant at 1st and figured if there was a time to learn and now was it. well for ME i did a terrible job. bondo will probably cover it fine but it was a learning thing for me. education cost. i wont lap weld anything on a car again unless its needed. then again id rather see lap welds rather then pop rivets. i say if its your car to keep do whatever, but for me or some expecting something perfect I wouldnt because id make it look like ass
  27. bobj49f2
    Joined: Jun 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,804


    Why don't go off and look for some. If you don't like the post don't read it, it's that simple.
  28. havi
    Joined: Dec 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,875


    Agreed. My car may look like ass when I'm done, but it's still my car, and I'm the one that's going to re-do it time and time again. I don't care what anybody else says. Oh, and my weld cert required me to do both lap, and butt. Learn both. It's just more tools in your belt.

    And, I, too, wouldn't mind hanging out with Mr. McCartney.
  29. deanopopino
    Joined: Aug 20, 2007
    Posts: 237

    from Troy, MO

    Sorry, I had to do it!


    Actually, I DO know what y'all are talking about and it's been a fascinating, informative thread.
  30. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 6,978

    anthony myrick

    Amen brother, but that bunny with pancakes cracks me up.
    Whatever you do, dont stop trying to improve a skill.Ive been banging and welding sheetmetal 25 years and still struggle with it some times.
    Remember butt welding requires the best fit possible .better fit means less welding which means less heat distortion. All welding will cause this distorton. Correct it by learning how to hammer and dolly your weld joint.
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