96DXCivic
96DXCivic Reader
10/9/09 1:25 p.m.

If I wanted to replace a frame rail and do a couple small patch panels, want is the cheapest arc welder I can get away with? Or can I even use an arc welder?

Grtechguy
Grtechguy SuperDork
10/9/09 1:46 p.m.

pay someone else

foxtrapper
foxtrapper SuperDork
10/9/09 1:48 p.m.

Unless we're talking tractor trailer frames and such, you can arc weld. Cars are thin, so the cheapest AC welder will do the job.

If you've never welded, you'll successfully blast holes through the frame, and make a thorough mess of things.

96DXCivic
96DXCivic Reader
10/9/09 1:50 p.m.

I have welded but it has been a while since I have touched anything but mig or tig. as for paying someone else this might be a challenge car so I don't want that in the budget.

andrave
andrave HalfDork
10/9/09 2:25 p.m.

you'll never get away with "patch panels" with an arc unless you have a master's touch.

Sheet metal + arc welder = swiss cheese.

I can't manage it at least.

surely you can borrow someone else's mig or something? you can rent em from home depot if that helps. dont think tool rental counts towards budget.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
10/9/09 4:18 p.m.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=55525

Hint: Use your 20% off coupon found in The Mag for an additional 20 points off that price.

aeronca65t
aeronca65t HalfDork
10/10/09 5:56 a.m.

The MIG above is OK if you add the C02 gas attachment. The "gasless" wire (which is the way they come standard) is not that great. I just gave one of those away because it never saw any use, even at the track (I have a 220V gas-shielded MIG in my shop).

One other thing to consider is oxy-acetylene. The smaller sets aren't too expensive and are completely portable. I started out welding airplanes and I love welding steel with an open flame. Plus you can use coat hangers in a pinch.

As for arc welding, if you use very low current and 1/16" 6011 rods, it's possible to weld thinner stuff. You take sort of a "dab" motion (don't let the arc run for more than a second). Postion yourself comfortably and use two hands to hold the electrode holder. If you practice, it ain't that hard. An auto-darkening helmet helps.

By the way, I've used one of ~These~ little Lincoln inverter arc welders and it's amazing how different they are from cheaper arc welders. Thin sections are actually pretty easy with these. Probably beyond your budget, but I just want to point out that all arc welders aren't the same......

Woody
Woody SuperDork
10/10/09 10:34 a.m.

Arc welders are for building bridges.

96DXCivic
96DXCivic HalfDork
10/11/09 8:12 p.m.

But I am right in understanding that an arc welder is ok to do the frame rails with right?

toddgreene
toddgreene New Reader
10/11/09 8:27 p.m.
96DXCivic wrote: If I wanted to replace a frame rail and do a couple small patch panels, want is the cheapest arc welder I can get away with? Or can I even use an arc welder?

Working on a SAE car? A MIG is an arc welder, just uses gas to shield. For what you are wanting a cheap flux core welder will actually work. A MIG will be the the best choice.

If you are in a budget, I can loan it if you pick up.

I still haven't used the Ultrashield seat I bought yet.

Spinout007
Spinout007 Reader
10/11/09 9:40 p.m.
Woody wrote: Arc welders are for building bridges.

I've got a cousin that will make you eat those words...

Only guy I've seen weld overhead with an arc welder, amazing. You should see some of the "toys" he builds. Really wish I could get him to get involved with the challenge but, he likes trucks, mud, and boats more than corners.

96DXCivic
96DXCivic HalfDork
10/11/09 9:44 p.m.
toddgreene wrote:
96DXCivic wrote: If I wanted to replace a frame rail and do a couple small patch panels, want is the cheapest arc welder I can get away with? Or can I even use an arc welder?
Working on a SAE car? A MIG is an arc welder, just uses gas to shield. For what you are wanting a cheap flux core welder will actually work. A MIG will be the the best choice. If you are in a budget, I can loan it if you pick up. I still haven't used the Ultrashield seat I bought yet.

No. I am thinking about just hanging on to my Midgets and doing some work on them.

atlantamx3
atlantamx3 Dork
10/11/09 10:17 p.m.
96DXCivic wrote: No. I am thinking about just hanging on to my Midgets and doing some work on them.

That could be taken the wrong way... LOL

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
10/11/09 10:29 p.m.

midget porn?

Run_Away
Run_Away New Reader
10/11/09 10:32 p.m.
Woody wrote: Arc welders are for building bridges.

Ah, but can you not also make bridges out of stone?

digdug18
digdug18 New Reader
10/12/09 2:09 a.m.

kinky, i haven't seen bridget the midget in awhile..... your gonna use a mig welder, or have someone else do it, and you really think that everyone lists ALL the work they do on challenge cars, or that they really get a eaton supercharger for $50, c'mon.

Kramer
Kramer HalfDork
10/12/09 9:37 a.m.

My uncle welded quarter panels on a '65 Chevelle with his arc welder--the car is one of the nicest restored cars in town. Although his profession is welding and fabrication, and his college education was in metallurgy and welding. His machine shop now employs about 15, and he has some of the nicest Miller mig welders available.

He doesn't use arc welders for anything, any more. Get a good mig.

96DXCivic
96DXCivic HalfDork
10/12/09 10:05 a.m.

How much am I looking at spending to get new frame rails welded in?

Kramer
Kramer HalfDork
10/12/09 1:47 p.m.
96DXCivic wrote: How much am I looking at spending to get new frame rails welded in?

It depends totally on how much prep work goes in first, before the welding takes place. If you do all the measuring, cutting, grinding and fitting, the actual welding will go very quickly and cheaply. If your car is a rusty piece of junk, and lots of additional work needs done, a reliable, decent job could cost you quite a bit.

Kramer
Kramer HalfDork
10/12/09 1:51 p.m.
96DXCivic wrote: How much am I looking at spending to get new frame rails welded in?

I loaned my welder to a buddy once. He had the vehicle ready to work on, and he brought it to my house. It took him a few hours to do the work, but I didn't have to do anything. I think he brought me a six-pack of beer--that was enough compensation for me. And I'd do the same for most other people. If he wanted to take my welder to his house, I doubt he'd offer enough money.

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