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Old 05-24-2016, 03:40 PM   #261
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The design goal is to completely seal and skin over rear of the bus, that means no windows and no door, except for the new tailgate - . I had previously planned on cutting the existing door down to a 24" height starting at the floor level, and then building the garage roof/bed platform at 24". But, the resulting door would have only left me a small opening to the garage with what I felt was limited access to all that I had planned to install in there (potable water system, WVO, etc).

The tailgate idea came to me as a way to have bigger/easier access to the garage from the outside, e.g., it will replace the existing door. What I'll do is raise the roof as planned and frame/skin over the entire rear of the bus as needed while accommodating the tailgate and the garage. Does that make sense?

After I got this tailgate in my grubby hands it occurred to me that I could use them as doors for the storage bins I'm building below deck. I do have the two 24" shuttle doors that I planned to use for this already but these tailgates are a really good solution for this, too...so...we'll see!
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Old 05-24-2016, 05:23 PM   #262
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Sounds good to me. You've got some pretty reasonable ideas in my opinion. It's been interesting watching you gather information and formulate different ideas. I like the unusual and you're paring that well with common sense.
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Old 05-24-2016, 06:29 PM   #263
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Cuell, thanks for the props Robin!
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Old 05-24-2016, 07:01 PM   #264
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[QUOTE=Jman6631;149524]I went to the Virginia School of Metal located between Charlottesville and Richmond. Depending on where you are in Ohio you could prolly make this. It's a weekend course of two 8 hour days. Can't say enough...

I left with all the basics I need to do a decent hack job on my bus...just don't look behind the curtain at all the nasty welds, please!

https://www.vaschoolofmetal.com/[/
Have to ask did you do two passes or one?
If your worried about your dirt dobber nest as a finished product then your trying to do 1 pass and your not penetrating, wire speeds not right and your not comfortable using your machine.
That's a roof raise ready to lower itself?
Adjust your machine until you are comfortable and it will make you look good.
Wire heat,wire speed, hand speed, and you being comfortable in the position you are welding in.
Flux core does leave the flux coating on the outside/visual side of the weld so use a wire brush to clean it, hand brush or a wire wheel on a grinder? And look at it then? If it is dobbered and you didn't penetrate then play with yourself and your machine and you will find a solution. I use a bastard file for cleaning most not all of my 7018 welds
Use the side handle on your grinder, wear your dang gome glasses when your grinding even if it is weld weld slag.
Those little things are better done hot but suck when they run down your drawers?
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Old 06-17-2016, 09:07 AM   #265
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Finally had a chance to try out the little gasless HF mig I got off craigslist.



I started slow and light and built up from there. At first were the expected outcomes where the pieces were easily disconnected after the fact. I was going too fast on the low setting on pieces that were not gapped. Then I slowed down, set the machine to high and gapped the pieces slightly and that made all the difference.

At first I was able to pry or knock the pieces apart fairly easily. Then after modifying my approach I had much better and stronger welds. Here is one test on the high settings where I slowed down and slightly gapped the pieces and laid a bead on both sides. I tried everything to break it apart including putting it in the vice and smacking it with a 3lbs mini sledge:



Here is another test where I welded both sides. I put it in the vice and pounded a cold chisel into the gap on one end and it would not split, and I got pretty violent with it, too!



I cut them open to see what I could see and it wasn't very clear visually if they were good welds or not. The "tests" I performed to break them apart proved it well enough to me but I was hoping for something more obvious on the cross section.

I'm inclined to proceed with this unless anyone knows of a good reason why I shouldn't? I'm also on the fence enough to be seriously considering a stick welder. I understand they are probably the next best option for me as far as welders go for this project.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:10 PM   #266
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Cool

Mate,

NOT to crush your ambitions, but to be brutally honest - anything you show in the pics are NOT welds. These may hold a while, but eventually they will corrode out - but structurally they are way not there!!
I suggest you get some reading material and get on youtube and do a little self-schooling on the subject.
If you can - get a basic welding course!
[Vocational stuff in the area....]

Even welds with beautiful beads can be "foul" - welds with lousy beads are DEFINITELY "foul" - your's I would not even call beads....

Do NOT do anything on your vehicle, before you get the hang of it!

It is NOT hard to learn, but you should really know a little theory too, it becomes a LOT easier if you know what to look for.

Also, Instructables and Pinterest will give you a load of links to find info...

You definitely can do it yourself from the net, but it would be really fast to get to the basics if you have an instructor there...

cheers,

thjakits
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:32 PM   #267
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Thanks! No crush at all. I did take a basic weekender class and did reasonably well but freely acknowledge my lack of knowledge and skill, hence my post here. The instructor did say I had the best beads in the class and from the look of it anyway I do think I did reasonably well.

In training we used nice argon Miller's, naturally, and I'm using an admittedly cheap gas-less mig at home.


I've seen some videos online and will check out the sources you cite, but I do believe I have at least a decent hand, what I definitely need is a decent rig that is powerful enough.

Could you be more specific about what looks questionable on the pics I posted? Also, for the corrosion protection I will paint and seal all of these welds (not to mention practically every other piece of metal and wood on the bus!).

It's already recommend that I dump this mig and go stick. What do you think?
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Old 06-17-2016, 02:30 PM   #268
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Find a good used Miller or Lincoln wire welder with gas shielding. Stay away from the Chinese knock offs. If the mig won't handle .035 wire it probably isn't big enough (amps) to trust for structural welding. Also, spray weld through primer on the joints before you weld. This is particularly necessary when welding sheet metal. Go to a local welding shop, helmet and gloves in hand, and beg to watch and ask questions etc. Sometimes a 12 pack of GOOD beer helps.

As was recommended above, get in some more practice with a better mig before you weld your bus.

One last thing, only a very skilled welder can get away, with using a stick welder on the light weight steel used on our buses. Sticks are really great for thicker material (1/8" or more), but are too hot (localized amps) to do anything but blow holes in lighter material. Hope this helps. Jack
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Old 06-17-2016, 03:25 PM   #269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
Find a good used Miller or Lincoln wire welder with gas shielding. Stay away from the Chinese knock offs. If the mig won't handle .035 wire it probably isn't big enough (amps) to trust for structural welding. Also, spray weld through primer on the joints before you weld. This is particularly necessary when welding sheet metal. Go to a local welding shop, helmet and gloves in hand, and beg to watch and ask questions etc. Sometimes a 12 pack of GOOD beer helps.

As was recommended above, get in some more practice with a better mig before you weld your bus.

One last thing, only a very skilled welder can get away, with using a stick welder on the light weight steel used on our buses. Sticks are really great for thicker material (1/8" or more), but are too hot (localized amps) to do anything but blow holes in lighter material. Hope this helps. Jack
Very good advice and post, sir!
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Old 06-17-2016, 04:11 PM   #270
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Jman,

it might just be your lack of experience with this machine - it might also be a wrong or expired wire (and/or core) and it might be that your welder is no good!!
OR all 3!

Sometimes you get away with a "good" cheap China job, but mostly - not.

As mentioned, if you can afford it go Lincoln or Miller and gas shielded.

Core wire is either a "cheap" solution or a specialized application....

A GOOD stick-welder is always good to have, but you then need the GOOD sticks too! Generally you can do about any&all welds you need around a bus with a stick, but many DO get tricky! A Stick welder capable of doing any&all is also not cheap anymore!
If you are limited to ONE GOOD welder for BUS work - get GOOD Gas Mig!!

Miller or Lincoln depending on your local support - if you are in for the long run on doing stuff at home, get rather a used bigger machine than a new basic one - eventually it pays off!!

You asked what's wrong on your welds - usually MIG beads should not have ANY scale or inclusions (Bad beads are just not penetrating well, but no "dirt" around). With your welds it seems the core did not evaporate correctly and left a load of dirt all over the place (in the beads and on them) - impossible to clean up. Painting won't help as the corrosion will happen within the bead and the "dirt". Remember with gas-less core wire, the core is just a different method to produce the protecting gas cover, which mostly doesn't work as advertised....

I don't know how you welded and how it sounded, but IF it was continous and sounded "smooth" - it was wrong. MIG is a sequence of melted on wire drops.
arc - wire tip melts off and interrupts the arc - wire feeds out and strikes another arc close to the material - wire tip melts off and interrupts the arc - ....you get the idea! It is NOT like a stick or TIG.....

On thin material it is great, because there is a lot of cooling between the drops and you can easily just "spot mig" .....

Anyway - you got the virus, go for it!!

thjakits
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