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Welding pot metal? can it be done?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by DIRTYT, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. DIRTYT
    Joined: Oct 22, 2003
    Posts: 3,264

    DIRTYT
    Member
    from Warren,MI

    Some say yes some say hell no? I really feel that i need to weld my 52 buic grill surround onto my chevy in order for me to mold it on proberly(see my other post http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=76914 )

    Can it be done with a mig welder? I hate to try it and screw every thing up so i want to know if any one has donw it before. or if you have other ideas on attaching this peice to my car. bolting on would result in the filler cracking at some point.

    Thanks
    Bryan
     
  2. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,818

    53sled
    Member
    from KCMO

    braze it, copper/aluminum rod, brazing tip. mig will prolly destroy it.
     
  3. DIRTYT
    Joined: Oct 22, 2003
    Posts: 3,264

    DIRTYT
    Member
    from Warren,MI

    should the chrome come off before brazing?
     
    Clay Belt likes this.
  4. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,913

    El Caballo
    Member

    A mig would probably blow a hole in it, that metal is soft as hell. A stick welder would blow a large hole in it. Gas welding is your choice...
     

  5. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,189

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

    Yes. The least amount of heat possible will get it done. If I remember correctly, high nickel content tig rod works real well. But don't quote me on that.
    BTW.....looks killer.
     
  6. pigpen
    Joined: Aug 30, 2004
    Posts: 1,624

    pigpen
    Member
    from TX USA

    I had a '41 Ford pot metal grille repaired by Superior Plating out of Houston. They did a fine job. They took the chrome off before the repair. There is a special rod for pot metal that is used with a torch but you have to be very experienced to get it right. Best to let a pro do that kind of a job.

    pigpen
     
  7. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,818

    53sled
    Member
    from KCMO

    fordflambe likes this.
  8. Digger_Dave
    Joined: Apr 10, 2001
    Posts: 2,517

    Digger_Dave
    Member

    Bryan, I have a "kit" that I bought a long time ago that has a "flux" and a "low temp" welding rod for welding "pot" metal. It is used with an oxy / acc torch on a soft flame. Tricky stuff to use; I never had a lot of sucess using it. (tried to repair a '40 pot metal grill)

    As far as using a "mig", I can't say if it would work. But there has to be some welders here that can answer that question.
     
  9. DIRTYT
    Joined: Oct 22, 2003
    Posts: 3,264

    DIRTYT
    Member
    from Warren,MI

    Ok this should be lots of fun. ive never tried to well with a torch before its justa fire wrench to me. Im not to sure i want to attempt this and ruin a perfectly good part. This front end has fought me evry step of the way so why wouldnt it now:rolleyes:
     
  10. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,129

    Squablow
    Member

    Two years of FVTC Welding/Metal fab school says you can't weld it with a MIG welder, I guarantee it. Brazing will hold, but talk to your chrome shop first, because most chrome shops don't want to deal with a piece that's been brazed on, hard to get the plating right. But some shops will do it, so if you need your joints to be strong, make sure you have a plating shop on board, then go for it.

    I worked at a plating shop for a few years and the stuff we used was silver solder, but there are a few other solder-like metals that you can use to "weld" your parts together. Just make sure there's no big stresses at the joints because cracking could result if there was a load on the places where you joined them together.

    And yes, the chrome needs to be electro-stripped first. You'll get nothing to stick if you try to join them with the chrome on, then when the plating shop has to strip the chrome, your joints are gone. Don't try to grind the chrome off, either. You can embed pieces of chrome into the base metal which makes a mess in the chroming process.
     
  11. FiddyFour
    Joined: Dec 31, 2004
    Posts: 9,008

    FiddyFour
    Member

    LOW heat.. friggin pot metal eats itself at about 450-500o IIRC... i tried messing with some of the muggy weld type rod i picked up at the local welding supply. stuff is GREAT on aluminum, and i did get limited success with pot metal but its a practice makes perfect deal.

    find yourself a few test pieces to play with for a while before you go at your finished piece.
     
    golferforpar likes this.
  12. You want to weld Pot Metal to the factory body ?

    First choice:duplicate the shape in mild steel,and weld that in place.

    Second choice would be the "correct" type of Solder and Flux,
    using a SMALL flame.You might get away without having to strip
    all the Chrome,just the first 3/4" or so.
     
    theHIGHLANDER likes this.
  13. DIRTYT
    Joined: Oct 22, 2003
    Posts: 3,264

    DIRTYT
    Member
    from Warren,MI

    yea thats what i want to do. weld it to the fenders. And i just tried welding some peices to steel and it doesnt work at all just snaps right apart. Im disapointed...

    Roadstar said something about a new bonding agent they use on new cars. or some type of other bonding agent. I dont think bolting it on then putting filler between the steel and pot metal would last so i need to "bond" it to the fenders some how ughhhhhh
     
  14. DIRTYT
    Joined: Oct 22, 2003
    Posts: 3,264

    DIRTYT
    Member
    from Warren,MI

    Well the boss just came home and told me how to do it. Leave it to the girl that doesnt ever work on cars to set it straight.

    She wants me to keep it chrome and i want to as well. so she came up with a plan to just extend the fenders a little bit to match the wrap arounds. since there is about a 1/2" gap on each side other wise the fitment is pefect. So it will be bolted on and stay chrome.
     
  15. hotrodladycrusr
    Joined: Sep 20, 2002
    Posts: 20,763

    hotrodladycrusr
    Member

    Lurker Denny, owner of the Ionia Hot Rod Shop, welded holes in my pot metal grill with great success. Steve, the owner of Advance Plating praised his work over and over when he saw it. Perhaps Denny or Matt can help you out. Talk to Matt tomorrow nite at Chris's party. Maybe he has some ideas for you.
     
    mrfliboy likes this.
  16. FiddyFour
    Joined: Dec 31, 2004
    Posts: 9,008

    FiddyFour
    Member

    isnt it amazing how Mama can come along an set all your priorities in order... weather you like it or not? :eek::p LMAO


    Yo FatHack... whatchoo been a doin lately?... aint seen any kool long ass bitchin stories of the adventures of a formerly fat guy from D-Town down recently bro... got writers block or been busy in the shop?
     
  17. DIRTYT
    Joined: Oct 22, 2003
    Posts: 3,264

    DIRTYT
    Member
    from Warren,MI

    Well at this point i wont need much welded but perhaps get the "buick eight" that is cast into it filled if its possible.
     
  18. abonecoupe31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2005
    Posts: 696

    abonecoupe31
    Member
    from Michigan

    The Muggy material works, have seen that in use before...but there is practice involved......and there's another but I don't know if it's available anymore.

    We used it to repair kirksite molds...it was called Alladin Majic Welding rod, or something like that..would repair almost anything that was a zinc based casting.......and it worked with no flux, and you could use TIG,a s we did...it would "marry" to any aluminum material as well...

    Word was, the old guy that made the stuff hunted down all the Kaiser/Frazer grilles in the junk yards and used this pot metal as the basis of his alloy...he was sitting on tons of it we heard...

    I believe it was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan...or thereabouts....

    This goes back to 1979, when I started in the Mold making business...if I could get in touch with my mentor from back then, I could maybe bring everyone up to date...

    Mark aka Abonecoupe31
     
  19. Powerband
    Joined: Nov 10, 2004
    Posts: 542

    Powerband

    How about the rods they hawk at car swaps that fixes holes in beer cans?. I think the carny hawkin' that shit says it "welds" pot metal in his spiel.

    I bought some of the rods but so far I have emptied all the beercans before they needed repair.

    I did try it on a cast mower deck, it didn't work at all but I think the deck was magnesium alloy.

    Powerband.
     
  20. FiddyFour
    Joined: Dec 31, 2004
    Posts: 9,008

    FiddyFour
    Member

    Those are the same rods that i bought back about, i donno three years ago at the MN state fair. guy was fixin coke cans too. he also had a junk aluminum boat prop that he took a hammer to and broke a huge ass chunk out of one of the blades, and proceded to "weld" back on.

    i used all the rod i bought from him, and was kinda bummed i hadda wait till the fair to buy more, but found the stuff at the local welders supply. sold by one pound bundles, even came with a nifty little rod tube to keep em in and for a HELL of a lot less than the carnival barker at the fair. IIRC it was about $18 for a pound at the welding supply, and over $25 for less than a pound at the fair.

    they do work, but its just like brazing steel or "sweating" copper line... takes practice :D
     
  21. Bob K
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,773

    Bob K
    Member Emeritus
    from Antigo Wi.

    FWIW, When I built the tilt front on my 47 Chevy I molded the 46 chevy grille to the fenders and hood. The top bar is pot metal. I had it stripped and we used "Fusor" to bond it to the hood and fenders. I understand that this is the product that they bond the body parts of fiberglass cars with.

    It has been on the car now for over 100,000 miles and there are no visible cracks or bubbles yet. On the other hand we used the same procedure to french the 82 Caddy taillights into the rear bumper and a few small cracks started to show up last summer.

    Also used the same stuff to french the pot metal housings of the 50 dodge taillights into the fenders of my 52 Convert. Worked slicker than hell. and it ain't cracked yet.

    B:cool:B
     
  22. PotmetalB
    Joined: Aug 13, 2017
    Posts: 29

    PotmetalB
    Member

    Absolutely! Check out http://potmetal.repair

     
  23. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,484

    manyolcars

    I looked at your website. It would be quite a trick to repair a 37 Mercury grille since the first Mercury wasnt made until 1939 but your grille looks like my 1947 Merc grill.
     
    milwscruffy likes this.
  24. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    56sedandelivery
    Member Emeritus

    I was going to suggest Muggy Weld also. I've personally never used it, but have seen "similar" products at the State and County Fairs where the vendors use different metalic items to weld with. They seem to sell well, and I've never seen anyone complaining or trying to return anything. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  25. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,047

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    '37 BUICK grille..................not Mercury

    Ray
     
    PotmetalB likes this.
  26. Barrelnose pickup
    Joined: Aug 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,298

    Barrelnose pickup
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Pot metal goes from a good peice to a peice with a hole in it in seconds with 1 degree of to much heat!! I'd been welding for yrs only to find this out.
    There was a bloke doing the swaps selling these wonder rods. He was punching the hole in a alloy drink can then repairing it (easily)with a gas torch on a low heat.
    He sold shit loads of them but word from others that brought it said they couldn't get it right without destroying their peice.
    I got a guru to repair mine prior to chroming.
     
    PotmetalB and Hnstray like this.
  27. morac41
    Joined: Jul 23, 2011
    Posts: 532

    morac41
    Member

    Hi.. I used to weld pot metal back in the early 50's to repair grills and other broken parts from wrecks..also engine parts...I used to go to the breaker's and get a door handle off the same model car and melt it into several sticks to use as filler rod.....Each car manufacturer has their own pot metal mix and CANT be mixed with other manufacturers pot metal....Thats what I was taught ...The welding temperature can vary on each pot metal because of the different metal contents.....I Only used oxy- acetylene ...the way I was instructed at trade school was to light the acetylene first and cover the item with acetylene soot and then add the oxy slowly untill the soot started to disappear... it would be near the right temp to soften the pot metal..adjust up or down .then add the filler rod to repair ...the right temp is when the pot metal is like a paste (not liquid )just like solder as it just starts to get heat into it...once you get past this point its liquid and will become just a blob on the ground.and cant be retrieved without recasting the item...lead wiping is similar ..its about temperature and cleaning the repaired area before application... and a lot of Patience ..Tig probaly would be an option these days...still would need lots of experience on puddling the metal
     
    KustomKreeps and PotmetalB like this.
  28. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,222

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    Zombie post. What did you end up doing?

    Also, it seems back then folks didn't read it all since the O/P wanted to weld pot metal to steel.
     
    metlmunchr and Hnstray like this.
  29. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,227

    19Fordy
    Member

    Hnstray likes this.
  30. paleot
    Joined: Aug 29, 2011
    Posts: 226

    paleot
    Member
    from louisiana

    I bought the harbor freight aluminum welding rods, same ones you see at swap meets and flea markets. They demonstrate welding coke cans together. I used them to weld the studs on the back of the V-8 emblems on my 53 worked great uses low heat. Also used them on off topic aluminum timing cover on my Grandsons first truck sloppy timing chain cut a groove in it still holding today 4 years later.
     

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