I'm so sorry... New to welding and need help.

  1. Dan Evans New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    Hi everyone

    I've been reading this forum for the last few weeks and thought I understood enough to get started but how wrong I was.

    I have an old van and unfortunately the welder I was going to use up and left the country and I couldn't find another one so I decided to give it a go myself after researching it a bit. It would also be a nice skill to have seeing as my van is 30 years old.

    Anyways, I bought a Clarke 135te welder, replaced the small gas bottles with a 5% argon 10l bottle and regulator. I also bought a flow meter that goes on the end of the torch just incase the regulator wasn't 100% accurate.

    Finally I bought .6mm wire along with the tips to match. Hopefully that should explain my setup enough.

    So onto my issues, I have a 30 year old Japanese van and I'm not sure if they used a thinner metal than most but I am getting constant blow throughs, the new metal seems fine but the old metal is terrible.

    I bought 1mm metal for the bodywork and I understand that the old metal should be the same.

    I've set the clarke to it's lowest setting, I have the wire speed at 6 and the gas at 10ltrs/min when using the .6mm wire.

    I understand you cannot do a nice continuous seem as it will blow though due to the heat so I am doing small tack welds and going from corner to corner so I am not welding the same section again and again.

    My spot welds are as follows, 1 Mississippi, 2. Is this too long......? What should it be?

    Am I thinning out the metal too much...
    To sand off any primer and get back to bare metal, I am using a flap disc, I am also using the same disc to clean up my welds (think this is an 80 grit). Is this disc too much and should I be using something else thats not going to thin the metal? I think i get a bit careless with the flap disc, it does make the metal look great but being a thin 1mm piece of metal, surly it wouldn't take much to make it thinner.

    The videos I have watched on youtube are using professional kits that go down to 16-19 amps, I believe mine is 30amps minimum so I'm on the back foot straight away.
     
    Mr Roo likes this.
  2. tom2207 Member

    Messages:
    1,604
    Location:
    uk northern ireland
    pictures are needed ,,, practice on the bench on similar thickness steel till you have a feel for it all , then go rolling about in the mud and the blood and the beer . ..... Johnny Cash reference there ,,
    and get a big lump of copper bar to use as a heat sink ,
    Practice and Patience ,,,, this is getting to be my catch phrase these days ,,,
     
  3. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    2,704
    Location:
    london
    I mainly do jap stuff from the 1990s...Nissan and Toyota. It is very thin steel...Nissan is maybe 0.6 or 0.7 mm.

    I usually start with a tack at each end and then add tacks at the half way points...and keep dividing down. When my tacks are 2 inches apart I work off one tack to the other.

    Still tough going...copper plate behind the weld helps but isn't always possible.

    The other trick is put your join on a bend if you can....the process of stamping seems to thicken the metal along bend/fold lines and that really helps a lot.
     
    James1979 likes this.
  4. tom2207 Member

    Messages:
    1,604
    Location:
    uk northern ireland
    I also tend to clean back with a 1mm cutting disc , Guard must be on at all times , and wear goggles ,,, angle must be low , and this technique needs practice , lots of practice , but it works really really well , a cutting disc is like a snipers rifle , and a flap disc is a shotgun.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  5. gaz1

    gaz1 Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    10,434
    Location:
    westyorkshire
    it dosnt matter i can use .8mm wire with the clarke

    however i aim towards the other weld you have just done not direct at the material this helps you out as your not using direct heat on the metal

    so blob move to other corner blob move back and so forth

    however not as easy as that as you have to reposition yourself depending on the material and what angle your welding

    so blob wait wait blob wait wait blob the heat is your killer and will distort any material

    im not a welder but i can do that with an arc welder and also a mig welder teakes some doing when your using arc but ive had to do it with exhaust pipe and thats worse to weld
     
  6. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    2,704
    Location:
    london
    My rule if thumb...if I can tack it then I can weld it up by working off the tacks. Just takes a little patience.
     
    gaz1 and Dadweld like this.
  7. Shedendman

    Shedendman Member

    Messages:
    4,238
    east sussex
  8. Sean Another 602 fan

    Messages:
    1,285
    Edinburgh
    Poly strip wheel clean the metal front and back - has to be clean on the back as well as the front or it just blows, your new metal wont blow because its not covered in wax and paint and rust on the back. Hard grinding disk may well be thinning it out too much , 80grit flap wheels are pretty fast and a bit more gentle.
    its not so much a case of counting more watching , see the spot grow and glow off the trigger watch it cool and darken and just as its about to look black pop another spot on once you get in the rhythm its pretty fast.
    and the body work is more likley to be 0.8mm perhaps this is why your popping holes youll have to use more power on the thicker metal and the old stuff is long gone by the time the new stuff is flowing
     
  9. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    2,704
    Location:
    london
    I just use a finger file for cleaning...a lot more control than waving a grinder around.

    My favourite is the black and decker orange one....I buy the large belt sander belts and tear my own for the file (learned that on here :thumbup:)

    Just don't buy the evolution one...it's pants. In 8 years the black and deckers have survived. Only one I lost was one I gave away...like a fool...when I bought the expensive evolution!
     
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  10. Dan Evans New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    Thank you everyone for your feedback.

    Before starting on the van I practiced on 3mm bits of metal, that seemed a breeze so I then went on to 2mm metal sheets, I seemed to be able to do a complete run. I then changed to 1mm and again I managed to do a run although you can see a tiny tiny mark where it seems to have come through but nothing major, so I thought I was ready.

    As soon as I started on the bodywork, It seemed to crumble before my very eyes, I'm wondering if I need to cut off more metal so it's further away from rust. Maybe it's still contaminated or if I did grind too much away.

    The way I cut out the rust was with a 1mm cutting disc, my corners are shocking and I ended up cutting over my lines by about an inch so not very neat, I might try a hacksaw or drill circles in the corners so I don't need to get as tight. Once I cut out the rust I then use the flap disc to remove everything around it to get back to the metal, I'm sure I am now thinning what is already thin material.

    The Japanese metal is very thin so it wouldn't surprise me if it was .6 or .7mm.

    I've tried doing the tack welds and got down to about 1inch apart but as soon as I did a run from 1 tack to another, I found it blew through.

    I will try aiming towards the other weld rather than onto the metal to keep some of the heat away.

    I will try using a cutting disc to clean back but as you mentioned it's very hard so is there another option as well?

    What can I use to remove all the paint, filler, primer and surface rust?

    I will try and get some better pictures tomorrow but here are a few I took before so you can see what i've currently done.
     
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  11. Shedendman

    Shedendman Member

    Messages:
    4,238
    east sussex
    Stop if i were you,i'd check the full length of those sills,my wild guess it'll be bad on the inside most if not all along them,you dont know under the paint,if thats the case see if you can get a replacement panel,that why i asked what van is it
     
  12. Dan Evans New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    It's a Nissan S Cargo

    unfortunately there are no replacement panels otherwise I would go straight for a swap at least that way I know they were done.

    I've been hitting the sills with a hammer and there is one other spot on the sill about the same size and about 2 ft along from that one and again one of the other side so to be honest they seem fairly good but my thoughts were the same so that's why i gave it a good few hits. My thoughts were an MOT tester would do the same so I would rather get it over and done with now than have to redo everything again at a later stage.
     
  13. Springerdinger

    Springerdinger memoirs of the mediocre diy mechanic

    Messages:
    430
    Location:
    UK nr Southam
    Hi Dan
    Don't lose heart when you blow through on thin bodywork it's pretty normal.
    If you are blowing through put your mig on a low setting and place a couple of high tacks that may not be penetrating very well.
    You can do this to either side of the join and across so they connect as they will be small welds.
    You can do this in a few places to position the repair piece.
    It won't be strong and it won't look great.
    Next flatten them down a little with a flapper disc or grinder. Avoid the panel
    Then turn up your welder an do a proper tack at a slightly higher ampage over those first tacks.
    Let them cool
    Now you can do two or three small tacks using those first ones as the starting point. No more than two seconds. Let it cool.
    Move on to the next one to keep the heat out of the panel.
    If you blow through stop. Let it cool.
    Put the welder to a low setting and hit the edges of the hole with a split second tacks of metal. Do two or three of these. Let it cool then turn up the welder and close the hole.
    Sometimes on thin old metal it needs very short burst of crap tacks to get going. You can flatten these down then go over them with the more a pleasing penetrating weld.
    Don't rush. Don't let it get too hot. Be patient. It will look worse before it looks better
     
  14. sg66 Member

    Messages:
    544
    Location:
    northeast
    Start your tack on new metal then onto old, then do same from new tack, with practice you should be able to do short runs in bursts, doing this from multiple points it doesn't take long to weld.
     
    Springerdinger likes this.
  15. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    2,704
    Location:
    london
    Well that explains the issues you are having ....have you seen my project nissan figaro build?....that was a lot of fun. The figaro is only 0.6mm-0.7mm thick steel....I know because I measured it (with the paint on!)

    https://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/threads/project-2-nissan-figaro.74791/page-50

    My suggestion....cut a square out of the sill....clean it up and slit it in half and then practise your welds on that. Thats how I did my toyota the first time around. It means you are on the game so to speak because you are welding a piece of the car not lovely clean factory steel. Once you can get the car bits to weld you're ready for the real deal.

    I don't understand why you can't just make a good length of the sill up and then cut out the lower couple of inches where all the rust will most likely be living? Here is a quick way to make a sill to fit your existing sill....works for simple shapes and doesn't require any fancy tools.

    https://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/threads/mr2-mk2-sill-repair-cheap-panel.40615/page-4
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
    Springerdinger likes this.
  16. Springerdinger

    Springerdinger memoirs of the mediocre diy mechanic

    Messages:
    430
    Location:
    UK nr Southam
    I found a few pictures to show how bad thin metal can be when I seamed a rear wing top as a test
    I have accepted these days that the first run of welds might not be the last.
    Weld, flapper disc, weld, flapper disc and so on. Always letting the panel cool. This strengthens the metal where I'm welding and very little filler needed later. I always close out pin holes.
    I don't know that this is the best way but I'm getting good results. Time is the biggest cost.
    It looks soul destroyingly bad before it gets better.
    You can see the lower amp tacks in the first pic. The end result pic is in the wrong place. With primer sorry

    IMG_20200425_102310.jpg IMG_20200425_102640.jpg moo IMG_20200425_120828.jpg IMG_20200425_103123.jpg IMG_20200425_112602.jpg IMG_20200425_114743.jpg
     
  17. Shedendman

    Shedendman Member

    Messages:
    4,238
    east sussex
    S cargo quite a rare van and you want to do patch repairs?
    [​IMG]
    Wild guess i reckon the cherry sills might fit that
     
    wacky7791 and Springerdinger like this.
  18. Dan Evans New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    Wow, looking at those pictures and the links makes me feel a whole lot better.

    I'm going to remove all the paint from the sills tomorrow and see if there's any other signs of rust no matter how small. I may look at rolling my own sills.

    I'll update you all tomorrow.
     
    Pigeon_Droppings2 likes this.
  19. Sean Another 602 fan

    Messages:
    1,285
    Edinburgh
    Ah the resemblance to a Citroen 2cv goes further than looks ! Sounds like they chose a similar guage metal

    i feel your pain.
     
  20. sg66 Member

    Messages:
    544
    Location:
    northeast
    That looks to be a simple enough shape to form, I've bent sills on soil pipe before.
     
    Pigeon_Droppings2 likes this.
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