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Technical splicing sheetmetal, lesser skilled

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by sloppy jalopies, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,646

    sloppy jalopies
    Member

    i came up with this out of lazy and common sense,
    .
    when splicing panels, door patches etc.
    cut too big...
    fine tune the ends or pillars...
    measure carefully, mark well and often...
    when final fit is got, kleco or tack weld the inside and out...
    slap a metal cutting blade in your HD sabre saw...
    use a wizzer to cut a starting slot for the saw...
    use a good face shield as the chips will be hot...
    will cut both panels at the same time...
    remove the klecos or grind off the tacks...
    check final fit, tack, remeasure everything, and go...
    does not work as well with curves... may be me ? DSCN5707.JPG View attachment 4940909 DSCN5828.JPG DSCN5829.JPG DSCN5830.JPG DSCN5837.JPG
    DSCN5848 - Copy.JPG DSCN6221.JPG
     

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    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
  2. cshades
    Joined: Sep 2, 2011
    Posts: 505

    cshades
    Member
    from wi

    the small air powered saws work even better for this i use a 24 tooth blade and go slow
     
    stillrunners likes this.
  3. oldskool.
    Joined: Sep 11, 2010
    Posts: 57

    oldskool.
    Member
    from florida

    Even pros do it this way
     
  4. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,448

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Not a new method at all, but glad you figured it out.
     

  5. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,727

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I like to make one panel have a night clean edge, then lay the other over it and scribe a line with a scratch awl. Making a nice tight cut to the exact line doesn't take more skill than it does patience. Sometimes it's best to cut the extra off, leaving a quarter inch on, and then use a nice sharp set of hand shears to trim right on the line. Again, patience is key to a tight fit.

    Sometimes when I weld I won't even need to use wire, just fuse the panels together if the joint is tight.
     
  6. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 33,853

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Cleaning your metal better would make it even easier. All that rust is not good for the welds.
     
  7. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,646

    sloppy jalopies
    Member

  8. Fry
    Joined: Nov 14, 2002
    Posts: 855

    Fry
    Member
    from SK, Canada

    Fitzee, a hamber, had similar setup I believe from how you're describing it. On his youtube channel, he had this video is how he butt welds patches. Made me realize I was doing it the hard way this whole time.

     
  9. NashRodMan
    Joined: Jul 8, 2004
    Posts: 1,663

    NashRodMan
    Member

    Fitzee is great! I've watched a lot of his videos and learned a bunch.
     
    6sally6 and Fry like this.
  10. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,848

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    I saw something a while back.....don't remember where. The guy put one panel behind the other and then tilted the thin cutoff wheel about 45 degrees instead of 90 degrees to the panels. When he cut through, the 45 degree angle, the panels fit each other with a slicght overlap/butt. Might be worth trying on some scrap metal to see if it works as well as it did in the video.
     
    rockable and sloppy jalopies like this.
  11. Kevin Pharis
    Joined: Aug 22, 2020
    Posts: 171

    Kevin Pharis

    The square edge of the panels is a must! When butt welding, the gap between the panels needs to be kept to a minimum... preferably none. As the welds cool, they will cause shrinkage, the square edge and and tight fit will prevent the panels from excessive shrinking. A gentle tap with a smooth hammer and dolly will stretch the weld back into shape and relieve the stress on the panels. I have been doing panel work for 20 years, and rarely fight weld distortion
     
    RMR&C, Fry and alanp561 like this.
  12. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,675

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    I'm a real amateur at repairing body panels. But one thing I've learned through the repairs I've done is don't get in a hurry and cut panels too short! I'd rather "sneak up on the cut" than mark it out and try to do it in one shot.
    I mark out where I think I want the cut, and then cut 1"-2" longer the first time. Then hold up the patch and mark it again to see if it's still where I thought it was the first mark up. If it is I cut it just slightly long, and then hit it with a disc, or whatever works best to get that final perfect fit.
    By doing it this way it takes me longer to mock up, but a lot less time spent when welding it, as I'm not trying to fix my goof ups.
     
    b-body-bob likes this.
  13. Sporty45
    Joined: Jun 1, 2015
    Posts: 952

    Sporty45
    Member
    from NH Boonies

    Great video, but this guy is welding with just safety glasses???
     
  14. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 1,148

    birdman1
    Member

    i got a pair of welding glasses for xmas. they are just like safety glasses, but have the automatic darkening feature of a welding helmet. I only use them for wire welding.
     
  15. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 3,953

    Fortunateson
    Member

    Fitzee is the fellow with the 45* cuts on the over lapping panels. Seems to be a smart modification on the overall process.
     
  16. chriseakin
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 378

    chriseakin
    Member

    That would be Fitzee, more than likely, cause that's how he does it. Tacks the panels together with an overlap, then does the cut a section at a time, welding as he goes.
     
  17. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,517

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've been oxy/acet welding panels for a long time...since 1954.
    Previously had a Victor 'mechanic set', (read 'large'...cumbersome...but had a complete collection of tips, down to 00. I was in 'fools' heaven'. BUT...at starting out at 12 years old, with a sometimes 'mentor' showing up, it was good exercise. Huge mixer, large heavy hoses...grew some 15" guns, I got 'torch curls'!)
    Welded sheet metal like this for years...also aluminum.
    Ron Covell told me if I could weld aluminum with that huge torch I could probably do wonders with a small 'Aircraft Set'... I told him that he should give classes on metalwork. He laughed. (that was mid-'70s. I should be a Swami.)
    Nevertheless, I bought a Victor Aircraft set. (1975) Wow. Like working with jewelry. I thoroughly recommend it, albeit the availability of Tig now...
    I used my Airco Cobramatic Mig 250 from '77 on, in the shop and for production work.
    But lately I've been welding with my little Aircraft torch, (SOME discipline is being applied!) Long time since I had done this, but it does come back. I file the welds, then sometimes 'skim' them.
    Takes practice...and @KevinPharis is right: Square up perfect. Weld will follow. If careful.
     
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  18. THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,493

    THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Member
    from FRENCHTOWN

    I like to use Clecos with an offset barb with the offset equal to the metal thickness. I score the barbs on the backside before welding and break them off after tack welding the panels. A little hammer-n-dolly work and voila - a perfect butt weld.

    Buck headrest 13.jpg Buck headrest 14.jpg Buck headrest 15.jpg Buck headrest 16.jpg Buck headrest 17.jpg Buck headrest 18.jpg
     
    b-body-bob and loudbang like this.
  19. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,571

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    All good info!!

    Now I have but 1 question... Who wants to weld the below belt line door skin on my model A ?? Lol!!

    I suck at it....
     
  20. Kevin Pharis
    Joined: Aug 22, 2020
    Posts: 171

    Kevin Pharis

    The more shape in the panel... the easier it is to weld. Flat panels are the most difficult, as a tiny amount of weld distortion can change the shape of the entire panel. This is when square edges and zero weld gap are the most important. Almost forgot... get a TIG welder!;)
     
    loudbang likes this.
  21. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,678

    Marty Strode
    Member

    I don't do much panel splicing, but I always start with totally clean metal. Similar to Alchemy's method, I trim, or make, the replacement panel with rounded corners, and scribe the line to be cut. Using aircraft snips (Wiss brand) I trim out the old, leaving around a 1/4" of metal, to be trimmed off the second time around. By snipping only the last 1/4" of metal, you will get far less distortion, especially in the curves and tight corners. Then welding is the easy part. IMG_5965.JPG IMG_5966.JPG IMG_5967.JPG IMG_5969.JPG
     
    little red 50 and loudbang like this.
  22. Rusty J
    Joined: Nov 25, 2019
    Posts: 77

    Rusty J
    Member

    I watched Fitzee's videos before I cut off the damaged quarter on my 39 this summer. His tips and suggestions work fantastic. All welded up, the thickest amount of filler I'd need to use might be a credit card thickness in a spot or two, otherwise it's mostly metal finished. From ugly and bent up every which way, to almost ready for paint. I sacrificed a 2 door sedan quarter that had the roof cut off to be used for a pickup. Yes I sort of mini tubbed the wheel wells to fit the upcoming wheels. So much easier using this method. 20200912_094320_HDR.jpg 20200917_171835_HDR.jpg
     
    loudbang likes this.

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