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Ryan Brault




Location: Camarillo, CA
Joined: 08 Aug 2005

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sat 13 Aug, 2005 4:12 pm    Post subject: welding sheet metal         Reply with quote

hi everybody,

I was wondering what kind of welder would be the right power to weld 18 ga. sheet steel but not just melt it.


ryan

"OH SWEET METAL CUTTING PARADISE, THY NAME BE BEVERLY"
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E.B. Erickson
Industry Professional



Location: Thailand
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 434

PostPosted: Sat 13 Aug, 2005 7:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Ryan,
Just about any type of equipment cab be used to weld sheet, but you'll have to set the machine on it's lowest settings, and practice on some scrap to see if you've got things (temperature and technique) right.

Back in the US, I had a MIG welder that I used for steel thinner than 18 guage, but it did take some practice.

Here in Thailand I've got your basic "buzz box", and I can do sheet that's about 1mm thick. There is,however, some bad language involved in this technique, and the ability to hold your mouth just right!

--ElJay
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Ryan Brault




Location: Camarillo, CA
Joined: 08 Aug 2005

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sat 13 Aug, 2005 8:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thanks, i asked because i'm working on a breastplate that needs the bottom welded to get the right shape and i don't want to heat up more than i have to, to maintain the strength of work hardening.

thanks again,

ryan

"OH SWEET METAL CUTTING PARADISE, THY NAME BE BEVERLY"
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Mat Billings




Location: Kelowna, BC
Joined: 05 Jan 2005

Posts: 30

PostPosted: Tue 16 Aug, 2005 2:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

four words, "Pain in the ---". Your best bet would be to do it through a series of tack welds; you'll find a mig welder to be the easiest to do it with, but that isn't to say it may not be impossible to do through other methods. Try and move around a lot to keep the heat down, otherwise I garuntee you'll burn through. As long as you've got the machine set right, you shouldn't have too many issues; it is possible Big Grin Wink
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Don Halter
Industry Professional



Location: Bryan, TX
Joined: 25 Mar 2004

Posts: 94

PostPosted: Tue 16 Aug, 2005 3:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Find a friend with a TIG welder. I used to do 26 ga with a nice Lincoln TIG when I was welding every day on the job. If you have access to a stick welder....My personal machine is a stick welder (Miller thunderbolt 240). I can do 18 ga with 3/32", 7014 rod (shallow penetrating), DC- polarity and 70-75 A. Using an aluminum plate behind it as a heat sink helps also. You can use steel, but if you melt through, you just welded your object tot he heat sink! Eek! For some of the smaller stick welders, use a 1/16th" general purpose rod and about 60 A on a scrap piece and go from there. You'll still want to do several tack welds to keep the metal from pulling apart as you weld.
Don "Krag" Halter
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Ryan Brault




Location: Camarillo, CA
Joined: 08 Aug 2005

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue 16 Aug, 2005 7:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thanks guys, this will definetly help.

ryan

"OH SWEET METAL CUTTING PARADISE, THY NAME BE BEVERLY"
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Russ Thomas
Industry Professional



Location: Telemark, Norway
Joined: 25 Jan 2004
Reading list: 43 books

Posts: 323

PostPosted: Sat 20 Aug, 2005 12:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ryan,

I think that Don halter has definately hit the nail on the head here. TIG !
Welding thinner guages of steel is tricky at the best of times, personally , I use MIG most of the time, I am used to it, but Tig is wonderful stuff and you can weld really thin stuff with it. However, it gets extremely hot extremely quickly, so if you are not in practice with using it a big hole will very probably occur ! Gas , Oxy-acetylene I also use ,but after having discovered the delights of the TIG set up I do not think that I will use this anymore for welding armour, but it is great for a localised heat source for riveting up sword nuts etc.
The other beauty of Tig, is that like gas welding, it can be very heavilly hammered afterwards without fear of it cracking. I tried a piece and gave up before it cracked, and that was with me hammering carelessly and much more aggressively than I would ever have done for real. WTF?!
I make armour professionally, so for me I have to be able to use welding equipment, but for someone , possibly like yourself ( and forgive me if this is an erroneous assumtion ), that is only making the odd item, then I would find out someone with a TIG or gas set (that knows how to use it ! ), and ask them to weld it up for you.
But welding is fun to do and so handy to be able to do it yourself too. Happy

Regards as ever,

Russ

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero !


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