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Who else still hammer welds?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by willowbilly3, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. willowbilly3
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,356

    willowbilly3
    Member Emeritus
    from Sturgis

    Can't say I'm a whiz but I still do it when I can. I also like my wire feed for some stuff but sure like the finished product a lot better on sheet metal when I can hammer weld.
    A while back I was on a project with a couple other welding contractors. I told the older lead man that I thought plasma cutters and wire feeds had made a lot of lazy assed welders. He raised an eye brow to one of the younger guys on his crew and said "See, I ain't the only one who thinks that".
     
  2. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,257

    oj
    Member

    Depends on what you mean by hammer welding.
     
  3. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,703

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    Yep...Same here.
     
  4. BISHOP
    Joined: Jul 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,571

    BISHOP
    Member

    If Im welding sheet metal, and it isnt flat, I hit it with a hammer & dolly while its hot.
     

  5. I still hammer weld body panels and small projects. I can't see buying a plasma cutter for home Too expensive, besides I like my torch. I have a mig and my 1946 SA200 Lincoln welder.

    Lee
     
  6. Only way I'll join outer body panels. I'll cut out and re install the inner structure to get to both sides if I have too. Doing a lot of both right now on the "butchered bird" I have in the shop. On this car I'm butting in floor patches with the mig. Much faster than gas, but I'm still hammering every weld.
     
  7. Check me out on the albums. No, I do not have very much there to show yet but it is coming.
    I do the dirty work!
    Yes I still do the hammer and shrink! Gas torch n all!
     
  8. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,257

    oj
    Member

    If you mean weld a short piece, stretch, then weld & stretch - then no, i fusion weld in a single very fast pass. I used to weld and stretch - i guess you call that hammer weld.
     
  9. oj, gas or tig?
     
  10. Pretty much every time I weld sheet metal.
    Either tig or torch.
     
  11. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,257

    oj
    Member

    Tig, but i'd like to try gas. I see you use gas, have you seen how David does it?
     
  12. hillbilly4008
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 2,917

    hillbilly4008
    Member
    from Rome NY

    I took a Winfield class, so I know the basics for gas welding. Now I'm just waiting for my cousin to return my small torch set. It really doesnt seem all that different from TIG welding
     
  13. willowbilly3
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,356

    willowbilly3
    Member Emeritus
    from Sturgis

    Same here. I have a Miller 180 in the shop and an ancient SAE-200 for the real welding. I do love that little wire feed but will never give up my gas and stick welders.

    I haven't hammer welded much for a while but recently have been restoring some old glass marble reflector road signs. Dam those big bullet holes are hard to get smooth in that heavy metal. It's a lot harder to push around than body panels.
    I have never tried a tig, would love to learn that before I go completely blind.
     
  14. willowbilly3
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,356

    willowbilly3
    Member Emeritus
    from Sturgis

    I think there is a lot more heat involved and you would have a bigger area to shrink, from what I've observed anyway since I've never actually tig welded.
     
  15. I'm getting pretty good at O/A and have played a little with the TIG. In the long run I think the TIG would be much better I'd like to step up and get a TIG, but there's soooo many tools on my want list. I lay down 1/2" to an inch or so then stretch. How does David do it?
     
  16. Did lots before migs came out in the early 80's Worked great but it's nice to have a friend hold the torch as you go. Lots of control and minimal grinding after.
     
  17. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 5,030

    pitman

    I grew up learning torch oxy-acet welding. For light(body) metal work it is just plain fun and easy to control. Get a damp strip of towel cloth and you'll be shrinking in no time.
     
  18. Koz
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,311

    Koz
    Member

    I love to hammer weld when I can. Let's face it, no customer would pay for it when Mig is 20% of the cost. I developed a healthy respect for it back in my Dads shop when eveything was o/A welded and metal finished with just a touch of lead. If you look at pics of the old R&C Dream Truck under construction you can see the real beauty of the hammer welds, especially the part done by Valley Customs.

    Unfortunately, I, like everybody else is more worried about the money and less about the true trade skills. A fact of life in these times.

    Might add, most of those guys were starving too!
     
  19. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,844

    dirty old man
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Not to hijack this thread, but there seem to be more OA welders here in this thread than I've found in one place in a long time.
    Any body tried one of those fancy pistol grip torches, what's the name, Henrob?, Whatever? If you've tried it, is it worth buying if you already have decent rigs in conventional OA, MIG, stick, plasma, and tig? For what use advantage?
    Dave
     
  20. I have a henrob. It's a nice torch, but not real comfortable to weld with. My hands are shot ,so I'm ready to go back to my old torch. I think the biggest advantage is low working pressures. Seems like less pressure on the puddle makes it easier to control. I have an old torch my grandfather got from an air base. very small and works well @ low pressures. Gonna have to dig it out and get it rebuilt.........
     
  21. The old sheet metal seems to respond better to the older techniques as the metal can become brittle. Pick and file. found that hammer welding and a torch worked best on old steel. For me, anyway.

    " Real hot rods don't have fenders "
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  22. hillbilly4008
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 2,917

    hillbilly4008
    Member
    from Rome NY

    I have one of those small Lincoln torch kits, the kind that comes with the "two liter" size bottles and is all in a plastic carrying case. The torch that comes with that kit is VERY small, light, and comfortable. Plus with the cutting head its great for late night trips to the "parts store";) Whole kit prolly weighs in around 25-30lbs
     
  23. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,703

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    I have a Henrob.

    It took some time for me to get used to it.

    But I'm now to the point where I prefer it over my trusty old Victor for sheetmetal welding.

    I guess you can cut with it too, but I still use the victor for that.
    ( and for the rosebud too...)

    The pistolgrip on the Henrob seemed a bit contrived to me, and with all those pretty castings its probably unnecessarily heavy.

    But it welds really nice.
     
  24. jw johnston
    Joined: Oct 16, 2011
    Posts: 106

    jw johnston
    Member

    Thats all i use for sheet metal. I fusion gas weld and it gives great penatration, malleable, very little to no grinding and no weld spatter and its era correct to most of the cars i work on which makes it easy to replecate the factory welds or old customization. I personally perfer it over tig and mig. I only mig if a have absolutly no access the get a dolly behind the weld and for spot welds. I like the meco midget torch or a good victor with 000 tips.
     
  25. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,876

    chopolds
    Member
    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    Count me in, too, though I still do a lot with MIG for customer cars. With the hundreds of hours labor, I tend to use the quickest methods to save guys money. But on the tricky stuff, or higher quality jobs, gas and hammer can't be beat!
     
  26. Use both the O/A with a henrob torch and tig for sheet hammer welding sheet.

    Found plenty of tacks every inch or so lightly tapped to streach when cold prior to welding.

    Start at one end and weld 3 to 4 inches gently hammer, and then move on to the next three to 4 inches. I've found this works better than skipping around.

    New and old tends to work better with the O/a and new new with the tig or at least for us here.

    Mark Shearer
     
  27. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,152

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    I prefer tig for my ultimate stuff. I spend more time fitting, less time reworking/shrinking/stretching, and more than likely, not even lead used to metal finish. Sometimes I lead the backside of something if it's going to show and don't feel the need to fill it with weld. I'm no master at O/A but I can still do it. I always had an issue with how far the heat travels on the panel. In some instances, no big deal, and also it can be an advantage when it's left to slow cool (if it's heavy/hot enough). I've also hammerwelded mig repairs. Yeah, I said mig repairs. It takes 2 guys to do it, both as good with a hammer as they are a squirt gun. You weld in spots, one on top of the other, and no more than 3 at a time. Get outa the way and the hammer man gently taps them out to stretch the panel to normal before they go cool. Weld, hammer, repeat. Done right, just a bit of patience, you can 100% metal finish both sides and never know you were there.
     
  28. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,257

    oj
    Member

    The thing with the tig fusion welding is that you do it so quick in one motion and there is very little metal shrinkage. It is hard to do a long pass in one motion, i manage about 18" or so. The big think about that is there is no starting and stopping, each time you start, stop and start again you double the heat in that particular spot. Double the heat = double the shrinkage, there'll be a pucker right at that spot. Single pass fusion weld is done very quickly at very high heat and the HAZ is very small and uniform - if there is a wide spot on the HAZ then you have extra shrinkage at that spot. When i do it it is done so quickly that you don't see the weld, you see the shiney ball of molten metal but if you watch the metals join you are going too slow. You have to take it on faith that it is welding. Like HighLander said, you have to fit the panels perfect. If you have a problem like a gap you skip over it to maintain the constant heat. Let the mess cool and come back to it and that'll be a place you'll have to metal finish.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  29. Koz
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,311

    Koz
    Member

    A while back The Home Machinist did an excellent series on O/A welding over a few months titled "Fun with Pyrotechnics". I posted on here maybe we could find the details with the right search. It covered everything you could want to know and showcased some unbelievable work.

    I'm still partial to my antique Victor, which has been rebuilt numerous times. It was my Dads and I believe it dates to right after the war. With 00 or 000 tips it is unbeatable, and with larger tips will weld frame nicely as well. When I worked at Dana Corp. heavy truck frame problems were repaired on the Mack and Peterbuilt lines with O/A, and I've seen pics of the old Chassis Engineering shop and others, building frames with O/A.

    Let's see some pics of some of your hammer welding!
     
  30. I can do the same thing with a torch,and very little HEAT!! fast and easy.


    ' Real hot rods don't have fenders "
     

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