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Newbie using Handler 210 for 18g floor pans

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  • Newbie using Handler 210 for 18g floor pans

    Today was my first time using my Handler 210 and my first ever welding experience. I started by laying tacks and beads on 3/8 steel scrap. Then I moved to 18g scrap sheet metal for practice before starting on my floor pans. Boy, it's a lot harder to weld on the thin stuff! My first attempt blew thru the metal. I kept playing with the settings until I could get a good tack. Ended up switching between 1 & 2 and speeds between 30 and 50. I noticed when I used higher voltage I would get that nice high speed sizzle sound but it was more likely to blow thru the metal. When I lowered the settings the sound was like a slow sizzle with occasional pop but it didn't make holes. At this point I'm unsure of my settings or what to listen or look for. Any tips would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Welding thin stuff is very difficult, so don't feel bad. On my HH180, I find I actually do better with "50" speed than with slower, and I run that at #1 power setting.

    Be carefiul not to "over-prep" your material, becaus ethat makes it thinner.

    Slit, then flatten out a copper pipe fitting to make a copper backing strip (bend the edge and hold with a small pair of Vice Grips), but I use strips of scrap sheet metal whenever I can, and just let them get welded in...if you are not doing a full-blown resto, they'll be fine, once covered with undercoat spray.

    I alo like to 'under-cut" the hole in the old floor to provide lip to both support the new pns going in, plus give a nice shelf to plug weld through the new to the old (That works great!) put lots of sheet metal screws (or Cleckos, if you have them) around the edge to keep the new pan from turning into a potato chip, then remove them and tack the oles shut (also plug welding as you go!).

    I also keep a Windex trigger spray bottle filled with water to keep it all cooled down as I go.
    "Good Enough Never Is"

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    • #3
      That sounds like great advice! I can't wait to try it out in the morning.

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      • #4
        They sell an air operated tool for sheetmetal that has a punch on one side and a flanging die on the other that works great for plug welding sheetmetal floor pans.

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        • #5
          You didnt say what wire you are using but .024 is where its at!
          HH 140
          Hobart stickmate ac/dc
          Sanborn 7hp 60gal comp
          1950's Craftsman drillpress

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          • #6
            Originally posted by scapegoat View Post
            You didnt say what wire you are using but .024 is where its at!
            2nd that. I run .030 in my 175 for most normal stuff. But switch to a 1 or 2 lb spool of .023 for exhaust and sheet metal. Makes it much easier to run at the lower settings. If you are running .035 in the 210 it'd be that much worse.

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            • #7
              Gotta use .023 or 24 Or You Be Fillin In Lots Of Holes

              If you keep burning through or are having headaches with a particular area try putting a backer strip along the back of the weld and butt them together across on top of it. That will act as both a heat sink, stiffener and burn through protection. Nobody is going to see it once you prime paint and undercoat it anyways. Add it where you can or need it, no need to be continuous. I used some 3/4 by 1/8 once to manage a fender patch panel and the smallest 6013 I could lay my hands on. It worked quite well but MIG is going to be a whole lot easier for you. The best way to weld that nasty hardened stuff they use on panels is tapping the trigger like a semi auto rifle and going elsewnere doing the same and repeating all over the patch until it tacked down well. Jut keep doing it in short welds until it is complete. If you do it every day then it is fast and easy to burn it in with longer welds but if you aren't well practiced you will get warping. It's a good idea to keep anything you cut out or old fenders and such to practice and get set up on before you attack your project.

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              • #8
                I agree on the pulse trigger method, that is the only thing that worked for me when welding the floorpan. Start with small welds all around the piece, then fill in with more small welds. No need to go continuous, you can just seal around the piece with seam sealer like they do at the factory. Which appears to be very much like Liquid Nails adhesive caulk, and the Liquid Nails is cheaper.

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                • #9
                  Pushing the torch will help as will tilting from vertical about 20-30 degrees. The ultimate sheetmetal 'wire' is Harris "TwentyGuage" wire which is specifically designed for thin sheetmetal work and is really helpful for the less than 18 guage stuff. It IS a flux core wire- but you run it with gas and I have found if you leave the polarity setup as though it was solid wire it works much better and select settings as if you were welding one guage thinner material, so if you are welding 18 guage use the settings for 20guage material seems to get you pretty close with minor tweaking.
                  As was mentioned weld in short sections- practice on scrap to see how long of a weld you can make before you burn thru-then hold your welds to a slightly shorter time, I have a stitch feature on my machine so that makes that much easier as I don't have to 'time' each weld the machine does it. A good rule of thumb is if say you had a weld that was going to be 12 inches long- you put in a short tack in the middle- then one on each end-allow the panel to cool naturally- using water as suggested or a blast of air- will cause the grain structure to 'freeze' larger and thus be harder and weaker, so not a good idea . Once the panel is cool- place a tack half way between each of the first welds-again allow it to naturally cool- then keep splitting the distance and allowing it to cool. Yes it will take a while doing it this way, but you'll not warp the panel as readily and not harden the steel.
                  Finally spend more time practicing before you hit that new floor pan.

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                  • #10
                    Harris TwentyGuage wire is metal core wire not flux core. Powdered steel alloy is in center of metal core wire. Metal core wire was .045 and thicker wire before the new Harris TwentyGage. Tri-Mark and others make metal core wire.

                    All dual shield wire and and metal core wire I know of use same polarity as solid wire with shielding gas DC+. Self shielding flux core wire uses DC-.
                    Always good to see what polarity wire manufacture specifies.

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                    • #11
                      Roger
                      You are absolutely correct and thanks for catching my faux pas, I meant to say 'it IS LIKE a flux core' and left out 'like' I need a proofreader as well as a spell checker! What I was trying to convey by that is the 'wire' is basically a hollow tube with powdered metal similar to how innershield is constructed but it has to be run like solid wire. There must be something in the powdered metal probably a resin to bind it that does leave a deposit on the weld that needs to be cleaned off similar to flux but since most patch panel repairs require grinding any how it is not a big deal. The stuff does work well especially on the ligher guages. The only real criticism of it is, it is real 'springy' you've got to keep a hand on the spool as you load the wire thru the feeder if you don't it will go 'sproing' like a coiled spring.

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                      • #12
                        where can you find it?

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                        • #13
                          Welding thin metal...

                          You should be able to weld 20 gauge sheetmetal with this welder, easy, 3/16 is quite alot of material their, but to help you you may want to switch to .024 and through trial and error get the temp and feed set, and keep your stiches short to eliminate warpage, if you are working with sheetmetal place spots numerous to spread heat, put a dolly behind and hammer on dolly to flatten spot and move around, always keep gun orientation the same for uniform weld.

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                          • #14
                            Have a look at this link, good info on floors and patch panel welding of various types.

                            http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=417446

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