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Welding on Lambretta steel

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I just picked up a real welder, a Hobart 210 MVP. 

 

What sort of wire can I use on the steel that Lambretta bodywork is made from? Please keep in mind I know shit about welding. I need to weld up cracks in panels and tears in legshields. Normal stuff. I did get the spool gun for aluminum wire but I won't be doing anything aluminum until I get the steel part down.

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I use .22 for thin steel and .30 for heavy duty stuff like damper brackets and such.

Did you get gas? You berated me years ago when I pressured you about getting a gas bottle for a harbor freight welder but we're not welding farm machinery here so flux core isn't going to do you any favors.

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Peter....how do you keep the heat down so the thin gauge steel doesnt ribbon or deform? Like for fixing the split that happens on floorboards.

 

Do I just turn down the temp knob. I have a old cheapo wire feed but basically the same question as Ward.

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I have a Hobart 145 and use Argon-CO2 gas which is a must for welding thin metal like leg shields, Aluminum takes Argon gas, probably have to use low settings, get lots of scrap metal to practice, you won't learn this over nite

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You have to stitch weld and go slowly...On most stuff I normally skip about a half inch, but on big flat surfaces like the floorboards, even more. Or find a buddy that is good with TIG!

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Yep, stitch weld and peen the welds as you go.  I'd be reluctant to use a cheapo wire feed as it will quickly turn a small tear into a mess. You really need to have shielding gas to do it right.  Otherwise it's just too hard to see what you are doing and will quickly make a mess out of things.

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Nice welder, Chris.  You should be able to do all your welding with 115v.  I only ever use .30.  You MUST use shielding gas for most jobs.  Do not use flux core.  Flux core is for practice or welding a fence in the middle of a field.

 

Lambretta steel is high quality, no worries there.

 

IMHO the #1 thing to keep in mind when welding, much like painting, is prep.  Clean the weld area.  Clean, clean, clean.  Then your welds have a much better chance.

 

Also practice.  Time under the hood is well spent.  You need to understand the relation between wire speed and voltage.  Weld puddle management is an art.

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Berate is a strong word.

I have to get a bottle for gas. I think there is a small one at my job from the previous business that was there

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If you can't find a bottle, the core charge isn't too much... Small bottle handles tons of welding...

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In thin sheet metal I like to use a heat sink on the back side.  If it is flat, I clamp on a bar of aluminum, otherwise I use a flattened piece of copper pipe.  This really helps to stop it from burning through or warping to much. Also going slowly (stiching) is key to cut down on warping. 

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I don't want to be a total wet blanket, but a TIG is best for just about any job on a scooter, a hot glue gun(MIG) makes for more work after welding, especially if your skill/experience level isn't that high. I know the price difference is massive between MIG and TIG, that is the reason I rent time on a good one when needed, one day I will be able to afford my own. MIG is great when you have to fill a big gap, like around the main strut. But after that it is TIG all the way. Practising on thin sheet can help, but when it comes to repairing splits in pressed, stressed, age hardened bodywork the game really changes. Just my opinion.

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I am the worlds worst tig welder.

 

During my apprenticeship, the first test examples of TIG and ARC I did got lost real quick, It looked like a seagull with diarrhoea had joined the two pieces,  whereas the trial pressings from the first tool I made are still kept in a nice little bag, I knew then where my strengths lay :D . Welding is like learning a foreign language, if you don't use it regularly you lose it! I choose to use an interpreter!  ;)

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I'll be doing fabrication using steel that is generally a touch thicker than Lambretta body parts steel. The Hobart 210 only cost me $860, and plugs into a regular socket.

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I'll be doing fabrication using steel that is generally a touch thicker than Lambretta body parts steel. The Hobart 210 only cost me $860, and plugs into a regular socket.

 

Go to a metal stores and buy a big (off cut) lump of aluminium or copper for use a a heat dissipater, it will help dramatically, don't use steel cos it will fuse to it.

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 I clamp on a bar of aluminum, otherwise I use a flattened piece of copper pipe.  This really helps to stop it from burning through or warping to much. Also going slowly (stiching) is key to cut down on warping. 

 

 

Thanks Dan. This is pretty much the kinda stuff i'm looking for. 

 

I have on both sides of my rear sets, the typical vertical split in the floorboard. 

 

I just wanna secure it with out to much deformation.

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Thanks Dan. This is pretty much the kinda stuff i'm looking for. 

 

I have on both sides of my rear sets, the typical vertical split in the floorboard. 

 

I just wanna secure it with out to much deformation.

 

If your going to be re-painting too, get a strip of steel spot welded across the back of the weld, this will slow down the cracks return dramatically, similar to the modification done by the Indians on their GP kickstart side floorboard, just do it on both floorboards.

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Thanks Dan. This is pretty much the kinda stuff i'm looking for. 

 

I have on both sides of my rear sets, the typical vertical split in the floorboard. 

 

I just wanna secure it with out to much deformation.

I had to weld mine there too, I backed it with aluminum, welded I'd up, then I added a piece of sheet metal to the back like skippy suggested, no deformation on the outside. It really helps to get full penetration of the weld, but not burn through which can be tough with mig and thin sheet metal.

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I landed a bottle and hope to have it filled on Friday morning with 75/25 mix, unless someone can give me a better idea of what to use.

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Sorry, I got ahead of myself on the whole "DO NOT use flux core" thing.

 

If your welder kit came with flux core, I'd highly recommend practicing with that first.  You'll need to learn how to install the spool, set the tension, feed the wire, set the polarity, install a proper tip, etc.

 

Get scrap steel, gloves, helmet, etc.  Watch youtube vids on MIG, and then have fun splatter welding.  Better to practice without gas first since its one less thing to wrap your head around.  It will also make you appreciate gas MIG when you get there.

 

You will suck at first: wrong wire speed, incorrect voltage, too thin weld, not enough penetration...  Just have fun drawing beads on flat steel, forget joining metals for a bit.

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