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Old 09-25-2017, 12:43 PM   #41
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One other tip on the clecos: As seen in the picture, the stem that goes through the material isn't round and it isn't the full diameter of the hole. This means that a panel hung on clecos won't stay exactly where you put it. Plan on it shifting 1/32 or even 1/16 in some direction while pinned. Clecos are fantastic for getting a piece quickly hung in place so you can take your hands of it. If you're trying to get exact alignment of an exposed edge then you might have to do something secondary -- for example, hang on clecos, verify the alignment, then drill the next rivet hole and poke a rivet in (even if you don't set it).

Another thing that works real well, if there's a good place to hang them, is ratchet straps. Wind the ratchet until the panel is raised almost to the height where you want it, then slide the ratchet hook sideways to fine-tune the position. As the strap's angle goes from straight down to more of a sideways angle the panel moves vertically. If the strap angle gets too extreme the panel will want to swing sideways, but it's much easier to control that than to hold a full sheet motionless without any strap assistance.
Thank you for the tips and suggestions. I figured there would be some wiggle with the clecos. It shouldn't matter too much considering the edges of our sheets will all be hidden pretty much. I just need to make sure the verticle laps are level. I was looking everywhere for a good deal on clecos and FINALLY I came across this ebay seller who has TONS of new old stock for sale. I may start a new thread to point people in this dudes direction looking to get a lot for a little. I got 50 1/4" 0-1/4 grip clecos for $17.50 shipped! He sells them in much bigger LOTs also. YESSSSSS!! Here is the link.

Cleco Style 3H 1/4" Hole Temporary Sheet Metal Clamp 0 - 1/4 Grip LOT OF 50 | eBay

As for the ratchet straps, that is a great idea! I don't think I will have to use it because we will have several hands on deck. also, the way we are installing these: We are taking the rub rail off under the windows. under there is a lip that hangs out all the way down the bus. We are going to slide the sheet metal in above the window openings far enough for it to clear that lip on the bottom, then we are just letting it slide down until it rests on that lip which should be pretty level already. Then we just need hand and clecos to get that sucker to stick.

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Old 09-25-2017, 12:44 PM   #42
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I'm thinking about buying this welder today for welding the hat channels, the square tubing that will support the roof transition in the front of the bus, and to extend the channels around the door on the back of the bus, and other random jobs. It has spectacular reviews and is super cheap.. THOUGHTS??

https://www.amazon.com/Goplus-Welder...e981f4d9530d1d
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:59 PM   #43
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I'm thinking about buying this welder today for welding the hat channels, the square tubing that will support the roof transition in the front of the bus, and to extend the channels around the door on the back of the bus, and other random jobs. It has spectacular reviews and is super cheap.. THOUGHTS??
Did you forget a link?
How cheap is super cheap?
To me, my Hobart is about as cheap as I'd care to go. Plus if I tire of it I can sell it for nearly what I got it for on sale.
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:26 PM   #44
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Did you forget a link?
How cheap is super cheap?
To me, my Hobart is about as cheap as I'd care to go. Plus if I tire of it I can sell it for nearly what I got it for on sale.
Sure did!

From what I've read this should work... right? It is CHEAP!

https://www.amazon.com/Goplus-Welder...e981f4d9530d1d
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:31 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by The Rockwood Colony View Post
Sure did!

From what I've read this should work... right? It is CHEAP!




No gas shielding on that bad boy.

Hobart:

Self-Shielded vs Gas Shielded
There are two kinds of flux cored wires, self-shielded and gas shielded, both can weld a variety of base metals including mild steel and low alloy steel. In addition, gas shielded offers stainless steel and nickel alloys.

Self Shielded
The difference with self-shielding wires is that they do not require a shielding gas when the arc is active, which eliminates the need for a gas cylinder. This makes it a great choice for remote applications or when portability is important. Self-shielded wires are also a great choice for outdoor welding and windy conditions because the wire can withstand strong windy conditions.

These wires offer good impact toughness even at lower temperatures, however when comparing them to gas-shielded wires, they can produce higher levels of smoke and spatter.

Self-shielded wires are a good substitute for shielded metal arc welding electrodes, due to their ability to increase productivity. Unlike electrodes flux cored wires donít need to be changed over and over again which as a result reduces downtime for changeover.

Gas Shielded
On the other hand, gas shielded wires have higher operator appeal, meaning they are easier to control and use and produce higher quality welds. These wires are a good substitute to solid wires because of their ability to produce higher deposition rates, which can get the job done a lot faster.

Gas shielded wires are suitable for thicker metals or in out-of-position applications and have a molten slag that solidifies more quickly than the weld pool. As a result, it creates a "shelf" to hold the molten pool when welding overhead or vertically up.

Unlike self shielded wires, gas shielded wires arenít as suitable for outdoor conditions. Any wind or movement in the air can affect the shielding gas performance and weld quality and will result in porosity to become visible in the weld bead.

Conclusion
Both self and gas shielded wires are different, and should be chosen based on the application type, however both produce high quality welds, repeatable performance and consistency, and can be great alternatives to other filler metals.

If youíve considered the switch to flux cored wires, there is no better time. Hobart has a great range of flux cored wires for a wide range of applications.
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:36 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rockwood Colony View Post
Sure did!

From what I've read this should work... right? It is CHEAP!

https://www.amazon.com/Goplus-Welder...e981f4d9530d1d
I'd avoid it. I like cheap tools, but there are tools that you don't want to cheap out on. Hobart has a basic little wire feed setup for around $250, that's about the minimal machine I'd consider buying personally. I got a deal on my Hobart Handler 140 it was on sale for $475, IIRC.
You can probably rent a decent welder, or maybe borrow one? Having a good, reliable machine that functions well will make a huge difference.
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:39 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
No gas shielding on that bad boy.

Hobart:

Self-Shielded vs Gas Shielded
There are two kinds of flux cored wires, self-shielded and gas shielded, both can weld a variety of base metals including mild steel and low alloy steel. In addition, gas shielded offers stainless steel and nickel alloys.

Self Shielded
The difference with self-shielding wires is that they do not require a shielding gas when the arc is active, which eliminates the need for a gas cylinder. This makes it a great choice for remote applications or when portability is important. Self-shielded wires are also a great choice for outdoor welding and windy conditions because the wire can withstand strong windy conditions.

These wires offer good impact toughness even at lower temperatures, however when comparing them to gas-shielded wires, they can produce higher levels of smoke and spatter.

Self-shielded wires are a good substitute for shielded metal arc welding electrodes, due to their ability to increase productivity. Unlike electrodes flux cored wires donít need to be changed over and over again which as a result reduces downtime for changeover.

Gas Shielded
On the other hand, gas shielded wires have higher operator appeal, meaning they are easier to control and use and produce higher quality welds. These wires are a good substitute to solid wires because of their ability to produce higher deposition rates, which can get the job done a lot faster.

Gas shielded wires are suitable for thicker metals or in out-of-position applications and have a molten slag that solidifies more quickly than the weld pool. As a result, it creates a "shelf" to hold the molten pool when welding overhead or vertically up.

Unlike self shielded wires, gas shielded wires arenít as suitable for outdoor conditions. Any wind or movement in the air can affect the shielding gas performance and weld quality and will result in porosity to become visible in the weld bead.

Conclusion
Both self and gas shielded wires are different, and should be chosen based on the application type, however both produce high quality welds, repeatable performance and consistency, and can be great alternatives to other filler metals.

If youíve considered the switch to flux cored wires, there is no better time. Hobart has a great range of flux cored wires for a wide range of applications.
Due to the location and conditions, and my cheapness we did my whole roof raise with Hobart flux core stuff and it did way better than I expected.
I just fixed a loose heat shield on my van exhaust, too. The welder has already paid for itself and then some!
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:47 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
No gas shielding on that bad boy.

Hobart:

Self-Shielded vs Gas Shielded
There are two kinds of flux cored wires, self-shielded and gas shielded, both can weld a variety of base metals including mild steel and low alloy steel. In addition, gas shielded offers stainless steel and nickel alloys.

Self Shielded
The difference with self-shielding wires is that they do not require a shielding gas when the arc is active, which eliminates the need for a gas cylinder. This makes it a great choice for remote applications or when portability is important. Self-shielded wires are also a great choice for outdoor welding and windy conditions because the wire can withstand strong windy conditions.

These wires offer good impact toughness even at lower temperatures, however when comparing them to gas-shielded wires, they can produce higher levels of smoke and spatter.

Self-shielded wires are a good substitute for shielded metal arc welding electrodes, due to their ability to increase productivity. Unlike electrodes flux cored wires donít need to be changed over and over again which as a result reduces downtime for changeover.

Gas Shielded
On the other hand, gas shielded wires have higher operator appeal, meaning they are easier to control and use and produce higher quality welds. These wires are a good substitute to solid wires because of their ability to produce higher deposition rates, which can get the job done a lot faster.

Gas shielded wires are suitable for thicker metals or in out-of-position applications and have a molten slag that solidifies more quickly than the weld pool. As a result, it creates a "shelf" to hold the molten pool when welding overhead or vertically up.

Unlike self shielded wires, gas shielded wires arenít as suitable for outdoor conditions. Any wind or movement in the air can affect the shielding gas performance and weld quality and will result in porosity to become visible in the weld bead.

Conclusion
Both self and gas shielded wires are different, and should be chosen based on the application type, however both produce high quality welds, repeatable performance and consistency, and can be great alternatives to other filler metals.

If youíve considered the switch to flux cored wires, there is no better time. Hobart has a great range of flux cored wires for a wide range of applications.
SO, you are saying I have to have a welder with Gas Shielding for everything I want to weld? Can't I just get flux cored wires and use this welder? Welding confuses me deeply lol
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:49 PM   #49
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Due to the location and conditions, and my cheapness we did my whole roof raise with Hobart flux core stuff and it did way better than I expected.
I just fixed a loose heat shield on my van exhaust, too. The welder has already paid for itself and then some!
Do you have a link to the exact one you have? Did you weld the sheet metal to the channels? What all did you weld with it? Thanks!!!
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Old 09-25-2017, 02:01 PM   #50
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Do you have a link to the exact one you have? Did you weld the sheet metal to the channels? What all did you weld with it? Thanks!!!
No the sheets of steel will be riveted on. The welding is just for the structural stuff. although we did stitch weld the transition cap on, you have to be REALLY good at welding to do stuff like that. I had a professional welder I know come over and do that part. SuperDave did most of the rib extensions.
Here's the one I've got, its pretty much the gold standard for cheaper beginner machines-
Factory Refurbished HOBART Handler 140 MIG Wire Welder - Hobart Welding Products

That link is to a Hobart's site where they sell factory reconditioned units that are as good as new for about a hundred less than retail.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:51 PM   #51
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Flux core wire feed welders make ugly welds with lots of spatter. Also the little 115v models can't make a hot enough arc to weld thick material (1/4" is larger than I would want to try). You might not need more for a roof raise but tools should be versatile unless they are meant for something very repetitive or production, will you raise a roof twice?

A good welder is worth the money if you have a big project and a roof raise is big enough although i don't think you really need a welder if you use rivets properly.

I like a MIG with a Tweeco torch, they work better than the generic Lincoln and Miller and no-name varieties.

It seems better to have a Tweeco torch and a cheap welder than a nice welder with a cheap torch.

On the other hand, I would probably spend the money on TIG because I can make a TIG weld I am proud of, MIG always turns out kind of shitty, flux core usually looks like a big mess.

Some people get in trouble thinking they can pick up welding really quick. Some people can but some struggle.

Make sure you give yourself some time to learn and practice before you start your roof and get a fairly professional welder to look at your welds to make sure they are OK.

A really good welder can figure out how to make a decent weld with a shitty machine, a shitty welder can make a bad weld using a great machine without even trying.
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Old 09-27-2017, 05:07 AM   #52
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A decent welder can make a good weld with about any decent machine.
OP totally doesn't even weld yet and you're suggesting a Tig and a torch?
What on a bus needs to be torched ever?

I've seen whole production shops running flux core and producing fine welds. Even more shops and hobbyists using Mig and making amazing things. I could mig weld when I was in high school. We actually had shop class!

My 115v Hobart will weld 1/4", heck it'll even do a little thicker.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:05 PM   #53
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Flux core wire feed welders make ugly welds with lots of spatter. Also the little 115v models can't make a hot enough arc to weld thick material (1/4" is larger than I would want to try). You might not need more for a roof raise but tools should be versatile unless they are meant for something very repetitive or production, will you raise a roof twice?

A good welder is worth the money if you have a big project and a roof raise is big enough although i don't think you really need a welder if you use rivets properly.

I like a MIG with a Tweeco torch, they work better than the generic Lincoln and Miller and no-name varieties.

It seems better to have a Tweeco torch and a cheap welder than a nice welder with a cheap torch.

On the other hand, I would probably spend the money on TIG because I can make a TIG weld I am proud of, MIG always turns out kind of shitty, flux core usually looks like a big mess.

Some people get in trouble thinking they can pick up welding really quick. Some people can but some struggle.

Make sure you give yourself some time to learn and practice before you start your roof and get a fairly professional welder to look at your welds to make sure they are OK.

A really good welder can figure out how to make a decent weld with a shitty machine, a shitty welder can make a bad weld using a great machine without even trying.
Great info here! Thanks! Ya, I don't have to weld anything anywhere near a quarter inch I don't think. It will just be for the hat channels which will be 14g on top of 14g. The structural adhesive I'm going to use to lap these channels over each other says you can spot weld through it while it's curing. Will that cheap welder spot weld? I'm sure right now you are seeing how clearly I am under qualified to handle this hahaha. I will learn first though.

Also I will just be using this welder just for this roof raise.. once.. haha.. and maybe a couple small things throughout the bus. I can't blow a bunch of money on a welder. That is the only reason I am looking at this cheap one. If I do go with this welder, is their a specific type of wire I should use in it for optimal results? Thanks!
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:06 PM   #54
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A decent welder can make a good weld with about any decent machine.
OP totally doesn't even weld yet and you're suggesting a Tig and a torch?
What on a bus needs to be torched ever?

I've seen whole production shops running flux core and producing fine welds. Even more shops and hobbyists using Mig and making amazing things. I could mig weld when I was in high school. We actually had shop class!

My 115v Hobart will weld 1/4", heck it'll even do a little thicker.
Thank you kind sir. I think I will have a pro welder with me one of the days so hopefully he can show me some magic!!!
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:10 PM   #55
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I'd go with name brand wire. And I'd buy a NAME BRAND welder and simply sell it if you no longer use it. they don't really lose a lot of value, so you'd likely get at least a good chunk of your money back. If a cheap welder breaks, you're out whatever you paid and no one is gonna touch it. The cheap ones usually have plastic feed wheels instead of metal. My lil Hobart is about the cheapest welder I've seen that doesn't come with the plastic wheels.
You REALLY should go talk to a welding supply shop, or even the local vocational school. They usually have welding programs.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:19 PM   #56
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Maybe I have the terminology wrong but the torch I speak of is the business end of a MIG machine. Tweeco makes good ones and every welding shop should stock their parts.

I said "I" would buy TIG, I also said you really don't need a welder at all.

It sounds like you've never tried TIG. You probably don't know what it is like to lay down a perfect stack of dimes bead, be confident that the penetration is full and consistent throughout and clean it up with 1-2 strokes of a wire brush. Done.

MIG can look pretty good if you have a good machine and welder doing it.

I've never heard of flux core in a production shop, I can only imagine that what they were producing was really cheap. I'd want a ton of exhaust fans if I worked there.

I'm sure your 115v Hobart can weld 1/4" but if you tried a 220v machine you would see a big difference. Little machines have to crank the heat and turn down the feed to keep enough heat in a thick weld so you're sitting there pouring heat in to the metal for twice as long. A 220v machine can create enough local heat to do the weld before it flows away through your structure.

But 1/4" isn't relevant to a bus unless you're doing chassis repair. A bus is mostly sheet metal and I would rather do plug welds and fusion welds with a TIG (you can't do fusion welds with MIG).

I do a lot better vertical up with TIG and upside down I like TIG too, hell, I've done upside down with my left hand and right knee and made a decent weld.

I'm pretty ok, not some type of TIG virtuoso...
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:24 PM   #57
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Maybe I have the terminology wrong but the torch I speak of is the business end of a MIG machine. Tweeco makes good ones and every welding shop should stock their parts.

I said "I" would buy TIG, I also said you really don't need a welder at all.

It sounds like you've never tried TIG. You probably don't know what it is like to lay down a perfect stack of dimes bead, be confident that the penetration is full and consistent throughout and clean it up with 1-2 strokes of a wire brush. Done.

MIG can look pretty good if you have a good machine and welder doing it.

I've never heard of flux core in a production shop, I can only imagine that what they were producing was really cheap. I'd want a ton of exhaust fans if I worked there.

I'm sure your 115v Hobart can weld 1/4" but if you tried a 220v machine you would see a big difference. Little machines have to crank the heat and turn down the feed to keep enough heat in a thick weld so you're sitting there pouring heat in to the metal for twice as long. A 220v machine can create enough local heat to do the weld before it flows away through your structure.

But 1/4" isn't relevant to a bus unless you're doing chassis repair. A bus is mostly sheet metal and I would rather do plug welds and fusion welds with a TIG (you can't do fusion welds with MIG).

I do a lot better vertical up with TIG and upside down I like TIG too, hell, I've done upside down with my left hand and right knee and made a decent weld.

I'm pretty ok, not some type of TIG virtuoso...
I've worked in and around welding and steel fabrication my entire adult life.
A torch is for rough cutting of metal. I have a Victor/Radnor setup.
I've ran a bank of robotic welders before, I'm more than familiar with Tweco! Stuff I've made is in the nuke plants in GA and SC, the parking garages and dorms at UCF, and if you've taken any toll roads or highways in FL, you've almost certainly driven over a bridge or overpass held together party by things I've built.
For the OP, that stuff is irrelevant, imo.
I'm just trying to show the op the merit of a name brand welder vs an $80 chinese buzzer.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:43 PM   #58
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If you just want to weld hat channel together, I would suggest a pop rivet through the top of the hat because the cost will be minimal.

Rivets alone would be fine, rivets glue and welding is very redundant.

If you don't want to buy a quality machine I suggest eliminating the weld. That will work for your budget and you don't have to learn welding.

If a Hobart is too expensive for you, stop.

You can buy a quality used welder and sell it when you are done if you can't afford to keep a welder but not buying a welder is lots cheaper than that and no risk.

Speaking of risk, improper welding can weaken metal so jumping in to welding is a risk.

Learning and a cheap machine is not a recipe for good welds (this goes for flux core, MIG and TIG).
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:50 PM   #59
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A torch is for rough cutting of metal. I have a Victor/Radnor setup.
Yes, OxyAcetylene torch is for cutting metal, but the business end of a TIG is also called a torch, on a MIG it's a gun 'cuz stuff (wire) comes out.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:58 PM   #60
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If you just want to weld hat channel together, I would suggest a pop rivet through the top of the hat because the cost will be minimal.

Rivets alone would be fine, rivets glue and welding is very redundant.

If you don't want to buy a quality machine I suggest eliminating the weld. That will work for your budget and you don't have to learn welding.

If a Hobart is too expensive for you, stop.

You can buy a quality used welder and sell it when you are done if you can't afford to keep a welder but not buying a welder is lots cheaper than that and no risk.

Speaking of risk, improper welding can weaken metal so jumping in to welding is a risk.

Learning and a cheap machine is not a recipe for good welds (this goes for flux core, MIG and TIG).
I agree 100% on ALL that!
Chinese welder and learning on a roof raise isn't a good combo.
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