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Thread: welding FEM

  1. #1
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    Default welding FEM

    Just a general comment, welding flattened expanded metal is not easy. I keep blowing right thru it. I'm using an ac arc welder, 3/32 6011 and 6013 at as low a setting as I can without sticking the rod-about 60 amps. I end up having to sandwich the FEM between 2 pieces of 1/8 steel. I should just buy a mig.
    Joe in NY

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  2. #2
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    Cool nfinch86- CANADIAN WELDOR

    yOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO IT WITH 6011, BUT USING MIG MIGHT BE EASIER FOR SOMEONE WITH LITTLE OR NO SKILL IN STICK WELDING !

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  3. #3
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    Default

    I have some skill in arc welding but its been many years and I just started again as a hobby. I'm making small tables, stools etc. The 6011 is more difficult, it has more penetration, sticks to the work more and just blows away the FEM. Since you say it's possible, I'll keep trying.


    Quote Originally Posted by nfinch86 View Post
    yOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO IT WITH 6011, BUT USING MIG MIGHT BE EASIER FOR SOMEONE WITH LITTLE OR NO SKILL IN STICK WELDING !
    Joe in NY

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  4. #4
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    Cool

    Sometimes with a mig expanded is not easy and it will come loose over time. Try welding a washer over the expanded and filling in the washer hole, plug welding it thru the expanded. That will strengthen the area and prevent the wire from comming loose down the road...Bob
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
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  5. #5
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    Default

    Bob thanks for the suggestion, I'll try that. BTW nice web site. I'm hoping to slowly get into ornamental iron myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by aametalmaster View Post
    Sometimes with a mig expanded is not easy and it will come loose over time. Try welding a washer over the expanded and filling in the washer hole, plug welding it thru the expanded. That will strengthen the area and prevent the wire from comming loose down the road...Bob
    Joe in NY

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  6. #6
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by jcirafic View Post
    Just a general comment, welding flattened expanded metal is not easy. I keep blowing right thru it. I'm using an ac arc welder, 3/32 6011 and 6013 at as low a setting as I can without sticking the rod-about 60 amps. I end up having to sandwich the FEM between 2 pieces of 1/8 steel. I should just buy a mig.
    This is possible with stick. It is easier with MIG. One thing you want to insure in order to make this easier is be sure the expanded metal is in GOOD contact with your other piece. Start your arc on the thicker of the pieces and mover your puddle into the expanded metal.

    Griff

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jcirafic View Post
    Just a general comment, welding flattened expanded metal is not easy. I keep blowing right thru it. I'm using an ac arc welder, 3/32 6011 and 6013 at as low a setting as I can without sticking the rod-about 60 amps. I end up having to sandwich the FEM between 2 pieces of 1/8 steel. I should just buy a mig.
    I agree that you should just buy a mig.

    I wouldnt bother trying with the 6011, but the 6013 should work. If i had a good fit-up everywhere (no gaps) i would just use a 7018..doesnt dig as much as 6011. Also, aim your rod mostly at the material you are welding to and let it flow over into the fem. What kind of machine are you using?

  8. #8
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    Default

    Yeah had the same prob with 6011 on light pieces. I just swapped to 7018 DCSP, problem solved.

    For $%17$ and grins one day I took a 1/16 6011 @ 90 amps 30% DIG and 0 arc length and pushed through a 1/2 steel plate. It was violent and nasty, but I guess the moral here is penetration.

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  9. #9
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    Default welding expanded metal

    Hi Joe,

    I try to find a simpler and cheaper answer first.

    The Eastwood Company makes lots of interesting equipment for many applications.

    Here is what I found on their Stitch welder which may help you.

    Now I haven't tried it so I can't say how it works but it seems designed to weld thin sheet metal on car bodies which may be useful in your application.

    A quick scan of the description seems to say they get this to work by using a solenoid or spring to break and then re-start the arc.
    They also don't mention which type of stick rod they use but I am guessing that it is 6011 as they mention AC welders.

    If it is as simple as a diode to reduce your welding current, please let me know as I have a big diode which can handle 120 amps.

    good luck


    http://www.eastwoodco.com/shopping/p...ProductID=1187

    Stitch Welder (Welding Rods Not Included)
    Welding Sheet Metal Made Easy! Safely weld sheet metal as thin as 22 gauge. Thanks to a reduction diode that reduces output by half, and lets you use AC arc welders set to 80 amps or less. All circuits have a 100% duty cycle. The arc is self-starting, so there is less chance of the rod sticking. Once you strike the arc, lay the rod on the metal and let the machine do the work. The resulting bead is smooth and even - the slag comes off in large pieces. The 5 foot power cord attches to the electrode holder on any AC output arc welder. Use standard arc welding rods up to 3/32" and weld up to 18 gauge steel.

    Welding Quarter Panels with the New Stitch Welder
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    An old car's fenders are usually in sad shape by the time that you start a restoration project. On newer cars (50's and more recent) its sometimes easier to replace the whole quarter panel than to attempt several patches. We'll explain the steps you'll need to get the car ready for panel replacement, as well as the techniques for using the new Eastwood Stitch Welder to weld the panel in place.

    You can weld body panels with oxyacetylene, arc, mig welders. The oxyacetylene method is the most common but it takes too long to weld and the extreme heat produced causes warpage and distortion on the long panels. A mig leaves a clean weld, works fast and causes virtually no distortion-except to your budget. The smallest migs cost over $900. Finally, arc welding (shielded metal arc) or "stick welding" is fast but most welders are designed for heavy welding repair on frames, bumper brackets, etc.-not delicate sheet metal work. The conventional arc welder throws too much heat and cause burn- through on sheet metal, however an arc welder is inexpensive, readily available, and easy to use.

    The new Eastwood stitch welder tames a standard arc welder by controlling the amperage output to produce a smooth, even weld bead on sheet metal. This unique welding attachment controls the heat so burn through and distortions are virtually eliminated. Any body man knows distortion or warpage is the big problem in welding autobody panels.

    The Eastwood stitch welder has several specially designed circuits to reduce or control a conventional arc welder's high output. It can be used in two modes: direct circuit or diode reducing. These settings are adjusted with a small screwdriver at the base of the handle. Don't tighten the screw too much-just make it snug. The other circuit is a solenoid coil, which passes all welding current en route to the electrode. The electrode holder is spring loaded and vibrates. When current passes through the coil the electrode and arc are then pulsed thousands of times a minute to create an interrupted arc. This creates the amperage control necessary to weld thin gauge metal. It can be attached to any AC arc welder that can be set at a low amp output-usually 50 amps. If you can't go down that low, use the diode mode to cut the amp output by half.

    Select a welding rod to match the job. The stitch welder will work with 1/16", 5/64", and 3/32" electrodes. For body repair the 5/64 electrode with the welder set at 50 amps works best. All welds shown in this article were run with our welding system power pack, which delivers a consistent 50-amp output. The stitch welder will work on any AC arc welder set at 80 amps or less.

    Using the stitch welder is different from conventional arc welding. Striking the arc is much easier than standard stick welding -it seems to start automatically when laid on the metal. For better weld control a stringer bead (vs. weaving bead) is used on sheet metal. This bead is about three times the width of the electrode wire and is easily controlled because the electrode is laid on the metal. It also produces a smaller bead for less grinding. The forward motion is operator controlled. The weld bead will run fast and that's good since you create a minimum of heat. Run the weld bead as fast as possible without breaking the arc. Remember, with the .040" thick body metal penetration is no problem. After practice you will be able to direct the arc into the 90-degree angle of a flanged joint and getting good penetration is no problem. After running a bead for three or four inches check your results. Sometimes the dark lens makes welding difficult and you might be off target. Check your progress often.

    Restarting a bead is easy, but all slag should be cleaned from the end of the previous weld. To restart to about 3/8 of an inch from the end of the weld and strike an arc. As the arc starts, rapidly move the tool backward until the arc touches the old bead. During these few seconds the arc stabilizes and produces a proper bead. Next, reverse direction and continue a forward motion. The technique leaves a bead that will blend to a virtually unbroken line.

    After welding the resulting slag must be removed before you inspect the weld. The slag is a weld by product and helps keep the weld area from cooling too rapidly. Always allow the weld area to cool for a few minutes before cleaning. The base metal is so fine that a standard chipping hammer would put dents in the panel. The best alternative is the Eastwood trim hammer (13146). Its chisel end and 2-oz weight are just right for breaking away slag. To get residue out of nooks and crannies use our cleaning disc. After a bead is cleaned you can spot problems or missed areas and decide if you need to weld more.


    Developing Welding Technique
    The stitch welder requires its own special welding technique. Sometimes positioning your right arm over your left eliminates shaking (right handers). Always start with a length electrode. Just cut with a pair of snips ---the end can be used later. Practice on scrap pieces. This let's you get used to the feel and sound of the tool. Learn how fast to run the bead. Running too slow will cause burn through. Don't try to fill the hole (it wont work):leave this job for body filler. Don't be alarmed if the pulsing stops after a few seconds. After the bead starts, this is normal.

    If you have trouble starting the arc, check the following:
    1) Connections for ground and stitch weld. If the connection is poor, it will seriously impede welding performance.
    2) Electrode choice: If you have an improper grade electrode, the stitch welder won't work.
    3) Amperage settings: If the welder's output is too low an arc cannot be maintained. Sometimes some persistence is necessary because lower settings produce less distortion causing heat.
    4) Practice, practice, practice! After about an hour or less most welders can master the stitch welder. Don't attempt a patch panel repair without previous experience on scrap panels or metal of similar thickness.

    Safety Equipment
    Follow the same safety precautions as you would with an arc welder. Proper lens and shield, long gloves, long sleeve shirt, proper ventilation, etc. are musts.
    Thermal Arc GTSW400, Airco Heliwelder II, Miller Dynasty 350, Hypertherm 1000, oxy-fuel setup, metal cutting bandsaw, air compressor, drill press, etc.:

    Call me the "Clouseau" of welding !

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    881

    Default

    You don't already have a MIG welder? Of course you should get a MIG welder!

    But in the mean time, use a 7018 rod. If you've got a buzz box, use 7018 AC. Try 3/32. Once you get good, you can use 1/8 on anything if your heat is set right. Once you get used to them, they make a really nice weld.

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