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stick welding body panels

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by indygasser, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. indygasser
    Joined: Nov 24, 2009
    Posts: 303


    anybody ever done it? have a Forney fs235
  2. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,659

    from California

    doesn't sound like a good idea to me
  3. The panels want to melt first, because they are thinner than the rod.
  4. Gigantor
    Joined: Jul 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,815


    I'd want to watch someone try it first... get it on video too.
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  5. The weldment itself needs to be thick enough to hold up while your Arc rod strikes an arc and that arc melts the filler material without totally melting the weldment itself.

    With sheet metal, the arc itself will act like a cutting tool ...cutting your sheet metal before you even have a chance for the rod/filler material to melt and actually make a deposit on your weldment.

    Carl Hagan
  6. jerry sezar
    Joined: Oct 12, 2005
    Posts: 95

    jerry sezar

    You can use an arc welder to weld on body panels if you are working on a TANK! Oxy-acty gas welding will work on thin sheet metal,ifyou don't have a mig or tig. If you only have an arc welder you can pop hole's in the patch, hem the other flange, back it up with alum/copper to absorbe the heat, weld thru the hole and cool with air......personally I'd try and save the money for a small mig or maybe borow one.
  7. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    from trevose pa

    You can do it but not sucessfully ,as with a mig .It burns way to hot .Even if you turn down the amps ,Just doesn't work as well as a mig .
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  8. docauto
    Joined: Dec 1, 2006
    Posts: 789

    from So Cal

    You can make it can work if you have the right sized rod and a steady hand. When I was a kid (more than a few years ago) I used 1/16" rod and worked carefully. You have to skip stitch to avoid serious warping.

    Nowadays with cheap MIGs and TIGs, I wouldn't bother.
  9. I used to weld new floors in my buddys Jeep every other year using a stick welder.I would use a 1/6 or 3/32 -6010 rod and run it reverse polarity, this puts all the heat on the rod. You have to whip it to control the puddle , it CAN be done if you know what you are doing. I would not use that method to weld panels that you will see though. There are better methods available with mig and or tig machines. Mike
  10. skullhat
    Joined: May 30, 2009
    Posts: 892


    i would say no as well

  11. oldgoaly
    Joined: Oct 22, 2004
    Posts: 561


    When I went to work in a prototype lab for a furnace and a/c manufacturer, they had a little trick they pulled on the new guy, grabbed some old 1/16" welding rods and some 20ga and said here "we wanna see if you can weld" Well after little adjustment of the welder and a couple of minutes of practice, I laid down some fair beads. So expecting to hear "you need to do better". All of them said "congratulations your our new welder". One guy even said in the 15-20 yrs he had been there he never seen anyone lay a bead down. Needless to say there was hell to pay!!! oh the fun we had! Yes it can be done but why? You can learn to mig in a few minutes if not pay someone to weld it!
    I still have some of those rods, couldn't even pull that trick on my boy, but if you'd like to try it? come on over, don't forget the beer! tt
  12. 1930roadster
    Joined: Nov 9, 2009
    Posts: 323


  13. OldBuzzard
    Joined: Mar 8, 2008
    Posts: 878


    I wish I had known that in 1958 when I built myself a Corvette style body out of a '50 Chev 4 dr. Arc welded the whole body. If I knew how to do pictures here I would put it on.
  14. Fordguy321
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 422

    from Arizona

    id get some sheet metal and expeirment! personally i think it will be a disaster, but interesting, id go to walmart and buy a cambell hausfeild welder.
  15. 64Cyclone
    Joined: Aug 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,496


    Years ago I tried the Eastwood spotweld attachment for a stick welder and attempted to weld in a radiator support on a just burnt holes and made a mess. I'd say a stick welder is not a good idea.....go with a mig. A 110 mig like a Lincoln or Hobart 140 works pretty good from what I've read here.
  16. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,738

    Tech Editor

    I used to own a handbuilt Italian car that had a lot of the panels stick welded on.
    ( as well as regular spotwelds )

    I was surprised to see it too.

    But it was clear thats what they were, when I was restoring the car.
    ( a stick weld is easy to recognise, and some of them even still had the slag on them )

    The welds were pretty narrow, so I'm guessing it was a pretty thin dia, rod.

    The panels were thin gauge steel.
  17. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,627

    from Hypocrisy

    I've done it, it's not any fun and it takes forever, but that's all the gear I had, an 80 amp Sears buzzbox which I still own.
    You can't run a bead just multiple spot welds. They have a weird little solenoid thing that jumps in and out of the weld puddle 60 times a second but it never worked for me.
  18. CShroom
    Joined: Mar 25, 2009
    Posts: 127


    It can be done. You have to have a welder that can get real low. Thin rods, and clean metal.

    I have used an old LinArc to tie in some unseen sections on my truck, but none of it is real pretty and it was a bear to keep it from blowing through.

    Oh and don't run too long of a bead, you have to keep things cool. Otherwise you will go from perfect to a gaping hole faster than you could imagine
  19. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    from Sultan, WA

    I'm with everyone else saying i wouldnt try it, that said if you can afford one, get one of the little 110v wire feeds preferably with a bottle kit, otherwise break out the O/A kit, and some coat hangers and practice up
  20. Jessie J.
    Joined: Oct 28, 2004
    Posts: 334

    Jessie J.

    Back in the'60s and '70s I did a lot of sheet-metal welding using a 110 buzz-box and 1/16" rod, and actually became pretty good with it.
    At that time I was an assembly-line welder at Fisher Body/Oldsmobile and working with a mig 8 to 10 hours a day, but the price of a mig setup back then was way out of reach. So at home I had to make do with what I could afford.
    One trick that I employed to get good sheet-metal welds with the buzz-box was using an extension cord as a means to further drop the input voltage. This worked even better when combined with one of those often cussed 'Stitch Welders'. (never even attempted using it with the 220)
    I have a good mig set-up now, and the welds are prettier, and lot 'cleaner', (no slag) but not any stronger. Biggest advantage is in no longer having to diddle around with changing electrodes every couple of minutes.
  21. negative. get a mig.
  22. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    from trevose pa

    The one thing that I would like to say ,You older guys were very good at setting the ,P ace for us new guys ,I know you can weld sheetmetal with an arc ,But its alot nicer with a mig .The technology is here now ,Ive heard many stories ,Engine hoists were trees and swing sets They didn't have them back then .,Didn't have mig or tigs back then ,Alot of gas welding going on without warping.I just wanted to say thanks.......I weded my tunnel together after sectioning and narrowing with an arc ,I used two rods one as the arc and the other rod as the filler .It worked but it wasn't pretty ,I didn't care Body filler and carpet will hide the ugliness .Actually the filler did.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  23. KrisKustomPaint
    Joined: Apr 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,107


    mig is the easiest to learn on sheet metal but if you've got the equipment and access to the back of the panel, a hammered gas weld is the way to go.
  24. Fu-Manchu
    Joined: Feb 19, 2009
    Posts: 70

    from az

    I do it all the time and have no problems.
  25. i had to stick weld exhaust and i asked for some tips at the welding shop. he said a rod and a coat hanger for the heat. i would say if ya have a stick welder use it. but practice on some junked out body panels. it can be done.
  26. I cannot thinbk of a bigger disaster than an inexperienced welder trying to stick weld sheet metal. To encourage someone to try this is not even funny.
  27. indygasser
    Joined: Nov 24, 2009
    Posts: 303


    well guys I can weld a little, mig tig,and stick, seen boby panels welded with a stick long time ago.all i own is a Forney fs235 neat old welder that's what i have. there is something about useing a chunk of alum. to grab some of the heat ever heard of that trick. thanks for the input.
  28. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    from colorado

    Yes I can. It takes practice. Don't do it anymore, now I use a wire-feed.
  29. rustyhood
    Joined: Dec 2, 2009
    Posts: 719


    Indy, A friend of mine has a Miller Regency 250 mig same as I use in my garage. It has tank and spool gun. Very nice for any project you encounter. He mentioned the other day about selling it. Price? PM me if you want me to find out more for you. It looks like new and works great.
  30. weldtoride
    Joined: Jun 14, 2008
    Posts: 259


    Like docauto and some others above say, it can be done.
    If that’s all you have, give it a whirl. I did it too, back when all I had was a buzzbox. Migs used to cost a lot, and we now take 110 Mig machines for granted.

    Keep in mind that there is always more than one way to skin a cat, but I used: 1/16” E6013 rods as mentioned above. E6013 is a “soft” rod with medium penetration, an easy starting rod with good re-start characteristics, especially when hot, and the slag is easy to remove. If your starting technique is lacking and has you burning thru, lay a thicker scrap near your weld, and fire up the arc on the scrap, move the arc to the weld after you establish the arc. AC was what I used, because it was all I had, if you have an AC/DC box, DC Straight (DC- or DCSP) will put more heat into the rod than DC Reversed, which will concentrate more heat in the base metal which is what you don’t want.

    Don’t even think of laying a bead adjacent to a tack or another bead without thoroughly cleaning the slag away.

    Use fresh rods, from a name manufacturer. If the rods in the cardboard vac-pack at your bigboxhomestore are from anywhere but the USA, go to a welding supply. Get some scrap panels to practice on, the learning curve is long, but that’s why they make those skinny little rods.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2010

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