How To Weld Sheet Metal – Part 1 of 2 – Welding Sheet Metal Basics with Eastwood


everybody it’s matt from eastwood
company and welcome to another technical video today we’re going to be talking
about TIG welding sheet metal probably the biggest thing that people
do at least an automotive hobby when you get a MIG welder you want to fix some
Ross want to do some sheet metal welding unfortunately it’s probably one of the
most difficult things to do we see a lot of guys struggling with blowing through
panels and getting some in proper repairs done on their cars that are
structural structurally sound so I want to give you some tips and
tricks show you what it’s supposed to look like and maybe give you some idea
of some cool products that are going to help you get your welds and your repair
is looking a lot better so let’s dive right in so with sheet metal welding there is two
wires that i would suggest to use the I would not suggest to use flux core well
welding or wire when doing sheet metal work I know some some people do it they get
by but it is not good on inherently flux core wires sticker just because of the
flux it’s around it it generally takes a little more heat
melt the wire because it is sticker which puts more heat to the panel and
causes issues obviously it causes more warping was it more grinding don’t
should suggest doing that I definitely just first of all using
make welding with a shielding gas the wire and 0 to 3 wire is probably if
you’re doing thin-gauge steel like like a 20 gauge or 18 gauge you’re going to
be pretty good with 0 to 3 wire you can get away with using o3o wire it just
have to change your settings a little bit but it can be used the nice thing about the o3o wire is
that you can then use it on a little bit heavier of stuff 16 gauge 8-inch you
know in some heavier fabrication so it’s a little more versatile that’s
what i have in the machine today is 0300 wire because we use this machine for
everything from doing sheet metal welding all the way up to some medium
duty fabrication we’re also using the big 175 today again
because it’s so versatile it’s 220 only but you can use it on
sheet metal all the way up to some heavier fabrication we do offer over here to additional
machines that we have we have to make 250 which is a much larger unit for
heavier fabrication but again it could do sheet metal no problem you can dial
it down or the 135 is a good little workhorse it’s a 110 voltage machine and
you plug right into a normal house outlet you can do the medium-duty
fabrication with this but it’s also great for sheet metal welding I keep it a 135 on my cart would just go
to three wire rent it for when i’m doing sheet metal repairs and it’s great to
roll around and use it for that so that’s a breakdown of the machines
the key with welding with with sheet metal is that you want to be hot and
fast you want to be in and out of the panel as quick as you can be so a
mistake i oftentimes see is that a the beginners yeah they turn the Machine down to low
the the actual heat coming out of the torch or your weld is too cold they
think by turning the Machine down it’s keeping the panel core you’re not really getting the
penetration that you need it takes more time to create that puddle which in the
end you’re putting more heat into it so I like to turn the Machine up a bit
higher since i’m a little more experience that I like to turn the
Machine up almost to the border of blowing through but I got it to the
point where you can you can hit the trigger and get in and out real quick and you’re not causing any issues the
other thing ideally you want to get a hundred
percent penetration between the two panels that you’re welding together I have one here and i’ll show you guys
that we’re going to do a little bit of welding later on in the video we’ll see
if Joe can get a shot of it but this is the back side of this piece here and you
can see that on this one here actually all of them but fish on this
one here there’s a hundred percent penetration so with that we know there are well is
going is connecting both of the pieces and he’s going all the way through that
the two panels that were there were welding together because of that you can
then blend the top edge you can grind sand and smooth everything out and
you’re going to get a nice solid repair because it’s all the way through the
panel it’s not just sitting on the top floating there and when you grind it
it’s just going to break her for a fracture so you want to be hot and you want to be
quick when you’re doing you’re welding you want to be in and out as fast as you
can be to get the heat in there and get the heat out the other thing is when you’re setting
the Machine up it’s good to get a test piece of the
same thickness that you’re welding so before we started this video I got
some so test piece is a 20 gauge and I kind of played with the machine to make
sure i had my optimum settings you definitely definitely want to do
that for you doing a project on your car even though I i I’ve welded 20 gauge
sheet metal countless times i still like to do it ahead of time just so you know
where you wear your settings are going to be going to be you never know every machines a little
bit different every piece of metal metal is a little bit different especially on an old car we got ruston
and you know maybe some older metal that’s a little thinner from sanding or things like that so
that’s the basic idea what we’re doing today I’m going to show you the two ways
to set up a sheet metal repair a gap to set up your gap when you’re welding with
mig welding just kind of two schools of thought the first school of thought is
if you have two panels like this you leave a little gap in between so you can
see that there’s a small gap in between two of these so this is one school of thought that
does work and works well if you get everything set up right these cool cool little clamps we have
here these are a little paddle clamps these guys have a little a little bar
here it comes out and has a little thumb screw on the top that you can tighten
the wing nut rather and this is what it looks like all mocked up so you can see
on the bottom here when you put this bar on the underside when you tighten that
the wing nut up from the top it pulls everything together makes the
paddle flush but also this little piece here in between sets your gap so if it gives you a little bit of
distance between there to set the gap when you’re welding a piece together
this is great for creating a consistent gap throughout the whole entire panel
that you’re repairing these little these little guys are pretty cheap and
affordable i usually get a couple bags with Rome in
my arm and my box and keep them around so that you can you can do a smaller
pair of large repair if you’re if you’re doing a wedding in this matter so the idea with welding with a gap like
this is that again we’re talking about a hundred percent penetration or by
leaving that gap there to give a space for the wire to kind of go through and
fill up a gap so that you can actually bridge that gap there and get a hundred
percent penetration it does work and a lot of guys prefer to
do the repairs this way the only downside i would say to this is
because of that gap you can very difficult to fill across that with
this thing of sheet metal and we’re going to show you in a moment what I
technique that i do to try and to try and help with that but it is difficult
if you get it not right or your heats not quite right you’re going to probably burn a hole
through here you’re going to create a bigger hole and then you’re going to
fill that hole back step and everything just to fill it in so it can create a
mess if you don’t have everything just right
so that is one problem so what I’m going to do is I’m going to set up the machine
here and we’ll do a couple stitches welds on this and show you what it looks
like after I do a couple zaps here and we’re going to do it just straight up
like like it is and we’ll go from there so make sure you read all my settings
down ahead of time just so we didn’t we weren’t fooling around with the machine so right about there good we’ll make sure
that are gases on using a CO – 7525 argon co2 blend pretty standard and grab
it set of gloves here of course you don’t want to burn our hands all right so then I machine setup one
thing to mention is some mistake that I see beginners make is they leave too far of
a stick out on the coming out of the out of the tip of the nozzle here if you
have a real long stick out you know maybe something like that where
you hold your hands too far away it’s going to actually you’re going to
lose some power by the time that you actually get it
this gets to the to the piece can also lose shielding gas so I i suggest using
a set of these pliers a little trick that i do that i use these pliers here
I’ll run a little bit out so you can see i use these little make flyers like we
sell and I used it the the cutter side as a depth to set my set my depth here
hopes will flip it around set your depth and cut your piece off
and that kind of gets you close every time you want a little bit closer of a
cut you can turn it the other way that’s usually how I do that really
handy these have pliers on them if cutters on this kind of handles
everything on one tool for for using with your big water I keep one in the
car and I keep usually one under the flap on the on the machine so i have my
my ground clamp on the table here this is a nice clean of bare metal
welding table so we can create great to the table we don’t have to worry about getting the
clamp in and in the way if you don’t have a queen piece you need to clamp
right on the repair area or close to it they’re working on a car you may need to
sand some paint or some some primer whatever off of the panel and clamp as
close as you can to it you get a good ground that’s very important as well you’re not
going to get a good well if you have your ground all the way across the the
vehicle or if it’s it’s clamped on an area that’s not clear bare metal so together we got our ground
clamped on there we’re going to set this piece up here
and we’re going to do we’re going to do a weld real quick so you can get this to
go with a gap here see that’s what happens and and the reason i don’t really like
the gap portion or at least without using something to help you can see when
you set your well there it blows right through it’s not really a great experience and
now you gotta now you gotta fill that hole so what you really need to do you need
something to back that up now I can I can quit doing well here and
and blend that in and it will be just fine but it’s going to be more heat into
the paddle to save yourself the hassle what I like to do if I’m you if I have
to well with a gap like that or if I have to fill the gap with a MIG welder
is you can use these copper backers we sell a kit as a little handle with a
bunch of different sizes or a bunch of different shapes at least and we also have these flat ones that
have some little magnets on for this instance a flat one would be great I’m just going to put the flat one
behind here and since we got our clamps on here i got to set something
underneath but i’m going to use that to back up my weld let’s see what it does with the copper
back or attached and see if it’s a little easier now I’m going to take this
off here ok sounded a lot better right so that’s
that’s the difference between welding that’s the one without the backer just
blew right through and again I i could probably finagle it and get the thing –
well you know – get it – well without the background there but it’s it’s
pretty tricky it takes it takes just the right hand movement to get it out to get
it set right versus using the copper backer room i put it on there and I just
did a quick weld now one thing you may have noticed i
don’t know if it was easy to see when I did it what I do is what I do welding like this I like to the matter how you do it i usually will kind of sit I’ll kind of
sit the edge of the nozzle down on the piece like that so i can get a visual
kind of visually see where I’m where I’m welding and then i just read right when
I’m about the world I lift my hand up off of the peace and
hit the trigger well my torch is still turned like that and it as i said as
soon as I see that puddle form i turn my wrist up like this over to the other way
or straight up and down what that does is your your kind of
working that the puddle from one side over to the other and it really helps
kind of just fill the paddle out get a nice flat weld so that’s one trick that you can do or
if you’re trying to fill a hole like that you can kind of do the same thing
we can’t favor one side and then and then quickly move it over you will also notice up the trigger
really quick there wasn’t a long well it was just zapped in and out done if you got the machine set
correctly it will be nice and hot you’ll be in and out and we don’t have a
excessive heat into the work piece here now the one thing you will see on the
back side here if you look this is the back so we got a hundred percent
penetration is completely filled up that that I that gap there that’s what you want now you got a
hundred percent penetration when you stay in the top of this smooth
you’re going to have still have something bridging the gap there and
still going to be nice and strong so that’s without or with the gap that’s one way to do it you just got to
make sure you set your gap like that and again i would highly suggest one of
these copper backers the other way is to do it if we showed
in the beginning on the peace with no gap whatsoever so this piece here I but it together
tightly i put some tack welds on it just to hold it together so we can we can eat
easily show you how it’s gonna go well with this way again nothing wrong with
this it’s just that you need to set the
Machine up so that it’s a little hotter because you’re actually you’re melting
between the two pieces to join them together then you’re almost there almost
melting that center area way so with that we’re going to crank the
Machine up a little bit so we’re going to crack it up basically a whole entire
setting and one wire speed I’m put some sort yeah yeah