View Full Version : Welding to Frame- Help Needed
01-20-2009, 10:46 AM
Second post here.
Currently, I am a proud owner of a 92 HiJet with a dump bed. Stoked to say the least. A big Thank You to everyone here whose presence/posts made this decision easy.
Was looking to add a rear bumper/receiver hitch and a brushguard/receiver hitch to keep the bruises from bounces off a trees to a minimum (I live in the woods).
Figure it was easier to fab up something versus buying something, paying shipping costs and then modifying it anyways.
I am not the greatest welder (almost all stick experience) so I asked a buddy, who informed me he can weld, to help with some of the critical welds.
For the back bumper, figure we needed to weld some tabs to the frame and have the bumper bolt up to the tabs (just in case I need to get to the spare tire/ gas tank at a later time). It only took a cursory look to see that the steel is a lot thinner than what we are used to seeing on a car.
So we figured we needed to practice a bit on some scrap metal. Used a Lincoln tombstone, 1/8" 6013, 75 amps. We blew through every time.
I say we need to drop to 1/16" 40 amps. My buddy says we need a MIG, which I would have to purchase.
So.....I am at a conundrum. Do I need to find a better welder (person), should I try this at 1/16", or do I need to go out and buy a MIG welder?
Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated here.
01-20-2009, 12:22 PM
i've been welding off and on for 20 years... and solid for the last 10. i've done stick, tig, gas & mig. mig is by far my favorite. it's the easiest and needs little to no clean up. mig welders have come down in price significantly the last few years. and what i paid $1000 for can now be had for almost half. i just built a bumper for the back of my jeep using 1/4" material and a 110V MIG welder. i have a dedicated 20 amp circuit in my garage just for that. the 110v welders are good and do have limitations, but even those can be circumvented with proper metal preparation and pre-heating when necessary.
also run a search on here for bumpers... greg built a really nice front and rear for his :D
01-20-2009, 05:06 PM
Thanks for the reply. I found Greg's bumper. Wow!!!! Nice!!!!
What you did do is get me to crawl back under my HiJet and think about how Greg attached his rear bumper to the frame with bolts, bushings, and angle iron.
01-20-2009, 06:43 PM
Milt, Bumper looks great. Mike, Milt is exactly right, I'm no professional welder but I've use stick welders and when it comes to them its very hard to control the heat especially on thin sheet metal. All I use is a 110v Miller Mig. and with the proper preheating for heavier stock you can weld just about all you want with it. Get a uni-bit and weld some sleeves into the frame, its the best way to gain the strength your looking for. If you use 3/16" wall sleeves you can probably pull it off with a stick welder, just concentrate the weld toward the sleeve.
01-21-2009, 11:08 AM
thanx greg... as with the hijet, my bumper is stronger than the frame... so now i have to get under it and beef up the frame to support the bumper better. the frame is just like 12ga sheet metal.. ugh!
personally i have an old Lincoln SP135plus. it's been a damn good welder that has made me at least $50,000 (probably double that) in the almost 10 years i've had it.
another thing to keep in mind with the wire feed welders is you can use flux core wire and not use the shielding gas to weld thicker material with better success. but there is a lot of clean up involved when you are done. i much prefer to take my time with the prep to avoid the aftermath though :D
and honestly the most important thing i've found with the 110v welders is the electrical supply... for the heavier materials you REALLY need to have the full 20amps that the welder requires to get good penetration.
honestly i know my bumper is strong and will hold up to what i'm doing with it, but if you cut it apart, it would never pass a proper x-ray test. but i've built bumpers with the same equipment and material before and drug around trailers with 3-4 tons on them and never had a problem.
01-23-2009, 02:44 PM
Thanks for the tips Milt and Greg. Everyone I have talked to tells me once I start using a MIG, I will never go back to stick.
So....now I have to find a MIG welder. Scanning C-List but what is your feeling about buying one used versus new? I bought my tombstone off of C-List but I knew what I was looking at and ran a few beads to verify it worked.
01-23-2009, 03:27 PM
New or Used is probably no difference. If you buy a used one, and your not familiar with the machine or in your case have never used one, just have the person selling it to throw down some beads for you to inspect. Have them use the different heat settings/wire speed etc... If they are not willing to do this I wouldn't buy from them. Make sure it comes with a tank, regulator, supply hose etc.. Alot of used units won't come with these and can set you back a couple of hundred bucks.
04-06-2009, 01:07 PM
Great thread, I was just wondering the same things, stick or mig.... all the conversations I've had, have had the same basic points came up. The one concern I had with the mig, which was the way I was leaning, was welding heavier stock. I'd been told you can't get good penetration in heavy stock with mig, but then you guys mentioned pre-heating the metal. I happen to have just set up my Grandfathers forge in my work shop! I could do that, preheat that is. So just to be clear, you guys are saying you can get deeper penetration welds with mig if you preheat your stock first? That makes sense but I'm sure there is still a knack to it. Practice practice practice cures all I'm sure..
04-06-2009, 03:09 PM
preheating doesn't necessarily require a forge... it depends on the machine you are using and the size of the stock you are welding. i built some dock bumpers (you know, the ones the big rigs back into when they are unloading?) i was using a 300 amp lincoln digital (piece of crap computerized junk IMO) and the bumper stays were made out of 1" plate steel welded to 3/4" plate steel. i was building these in january. i had to first take a torch to the pieces... not to get them red hot, but to get the chill out of the metal... you could see the steel warm up and the chill back away from the fire.
the welding i was running only had .035 or .040 wire in it (don't remember) but i had to make several passes to get a proper weld on it... one root pass, then two more on top of that & then 3 to finish off the fillet weld. that was in the corners on the outside, on the inside corners i had to just do one root pass and two on top... and on the butt welds i did just one root pass again and two on top for final welds.
hope this helps.
i would never try welding something like that with my 110V welder... ever. the most i have ever welded with that machin was 5/16" and i had to do multiple passes.
04-06-2009, 03:25 PM
Milt pretty much said it. I usually heat up my stock if it is cold (winter) and sometimes if I'm welding something thicker than I should be. You can weld thick material with a MIG. Like Milt said... It all depends on the machine you are using. The biggest mistake everyone makes when I try to teach them to weld is that they try to go too fast.
04-06-2009, 03:59 PM
Ahhh so your building up material with several passes...sorta like what you see when they are welding really big stuff like in shipyards. They have like a v gap at the joint and they fill the v with the weld. I know what your saying Milt, to do heavy material you need a heavy welder. In all honesty I'll only be welding pretty light stuff, less than 5/16th's I'm sure.
And Greg, I've heard that too, Take your Time! My shop teacher back in high school used to say that all the time. Good Advice!
Ultimately I hope to get alot of scrap and practice alot until I get the knack.
04-30-2009, 06:35 PM
I,m new to the forum,but been welding my whole life. Being a journeyman sheetmetal worker for 24 years in commercial and industrial work I can say SMAW welding is possible on 18 ga or heavier with practice and patience. A mig is nice but why buy a new welder unless you really need it. My collection includes 110 esab stick with scratch tig,millerabp 330 watercooled,lincoln sp 200 and lincoln 135 sp. All capable of welding frame on these minis if setup correctly.
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