Blasting and Welding - Timing/Project Scoping - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Blasting and Welding - Timing/Project Scoping

Hey everyone, I've got a 65 coupe that has rust in all the usual places (cowling included). The car was half-stripped down when I got it from my uncle, so I decided to go the rest of the way with the teardown now, fix all the structural and rust issues and then start putting it back together. New to welding, but always wanted to learn. So... to save some money and learn a little, I plan on doing most of the body repairs myself and saving the difficult jobs, like the cowling, for a local restoration guy who's done a few. Hoping for some collective wisdom from the group for a couple of questions I have.

1. Affordable welder for a beginner? Been seeing good reviews for the Hobart 500554 190 and 500559 140, along with the Lincoln Electric K2697-1 140. Those are definitely at the max of my price range, but was wondering if anyone had any other affordable recommendations?

2. Blasting...I'll have the car fully-stripped this summer and I also have a friend with a media blasting business (very lucky!). I know he will give me a deal, and the thought of having someone go ahead and blast the whole car seems like it would save me a ton of time. What media do folks recommend? I've been seeing posts about dustless blasting and I'm thinking that would be the least abrasive but still get me where I need to be. Also, I'm concerned with getting to bare metal and not being able to make all the body repairs in a timely manner before things start to oxidize again! Is a treatment like Ospho, Picklex 20 or something else enough to prevent future oxidation while I continue to make repairs? Is POR-15 worth it for the chassis and other nonexternal parts?

I don't have a set timetable yet, as I want to be comfortable with welding before I dive in, but am working on a budget and activities list to keep track of things and stay organized.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 10:11 AM
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A suggestion, consider doing the cowl replacement yourself and put the money saved into a better welder. I bought my welder through Cyberweld online, good prices and freebees when they have specials. I bought a ESAB smart welder and it came with a $100 rebate plus a free welding helmet. The Miller 211 is on a similar sale now, I know it is more than your budget, just an example to consider. I know people who use the 211 and they like it alot.

The hardest part of the cowl replacement is cutting out all the spot welds. I removed the cowl on my 70 Mach 1, yes it is a PITA but slow and steady gets it done. Plug welding with a good welder is pretty easy to learn. Just get scrap metal and start practicing. A quality welder like the 211 will allow you to become good enough pretty quickly. My local steel supplier has a scrap bin, free as long a you don't take a lot. I picked up a bunch of sheet metal in various gauges from 12 through 22 and started practicing. It is a bit nerve wracking when you transition to doing real work on the car, but after the first couple of welds it is no big deal. I used Harbor Freight spot weld cutters, not the best and I went through quite a few of them. Better quality spot weld cutters would be a recommendation.

All you will need is a good MIG welder, although I bought a multiprocess welder so that I could do DC TIG too. So when you consider a sale like the one below with a free welding helmet, maybe the 211 is closer to your budget. Don't go cheap on a welder like the Harbor Freight low end stuff, just a waist of money.

I had no real welding experience when I bought my welder. I have done quite a bit on my car now and I am glad I decided to be self sufficient and learn.

https://store.cyberweld.com/mi211migwewi.html

Alan
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 10:12 AM
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Welcome , Pics ?
I have a Hobart 140 works well for me


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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 10:28 AM
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Hobart 140 here. Redid the floor, cowl, firewall, floor supports, torque boxes and lots of little patches on mine. Nice little machine.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 10:48 AM
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For welders I had an old Italian made transformer mig welder. It was fine on thicker steel but on sheet metal it was a pain. I was at ye old Harbor freight one sunday morning and it was the tent sale weekend. I picked up their Titanium 170 mig welder for $125 out the door. Purple and orange tag items are half the sticker price on Sunday.
Got it home set it up and shortly after took pics of my old welder and sold it on craigslist. I prefer it to the Miller we bought for the shop (when the shop existed). I have no complaints about it. The ground clamp is strong and has big copper lugs on it, the cables are big beefy good quality rubber coated. The mig gun is a standard gun with a decent length leads. I would have no problem purchasing it at full price but would prefer the multiprocess as I would like to do tig at home. I have lots of monel, silicon bronze, stainless and a few steel rods but no tig at home.
FYI there is alto another in that range sold by Northern tool. Their Klutch brand and it uses the same guts as the HF for the most part but it is a little cheaper. The new HF stuff is really pretty good stuff. They have realized that they can get into the higher quality end and make a profit. Their Vulcan welders are their top ones and they have a one year return policy, if you don't like it within a year you can return it. I have heard nothing but good about the vulcan line and see several of their machines on welder trailers on job sites.

That said if I had the cash for a good welder I would be buying something like a Fronius or other high end european welder. The domestic ones are over hyped and overpriced because of the fanboy effect, there are many better machines out there for sometimes less.


As for blasting. I would really prefer to blast the car then put a coat of epoxy primer on it and then do the sheet metal work. It's much nicer to work on a clean bright body than a dark, dirty and rusty hulk and I hate the smell of rust which is another reason.
I like crushed glass for blasting. I know here where I am there is a market for blasting cars. One shop here charges 2-3K to blast a car. Yes 3 thousand....
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 11:23 AM
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I also had no welding experience & learned to weld when I purchased my welder. I did all the sheet metal replacement on my 69 Coupe including both torque boxes, l/s floor, both quarter skins, outer wheel houses, & did a cowl replacement on a 65 Fastback we had. I have a Lincoln Weld Pak 155 that was originally a flux core welder that I converted to a gas welder.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Boss5Oh View Post
A suggestion, consider doing the cowl replacement yourself and put the money saved into a better welder. I bought my welder through Cyberweld online, good prices and freebees when they have specials. I bought a ESAB smart welder and it came with a $100 rebate plus a free welding helmet. The Miller 211 is on a similar sale now, I know it is more than your budget, just an example to consider. I know people who use the 211 and they like it alot.

The hardest part of the cowl replacement is cutting out all the spot welds. I removed the cowl on my 70 Mach 1, yes it is a PITA but slow and steady gets it done. Plug welding with a good welder is pretty easy to learn. Just get scrap metal and start practicing. A quality welder like the 211 will allow you to become good enough pretty quickly. My local steel supplier has a scrap bin, free as long a you don't take a lot. I picked up a bunch of sheet metal in various gauges from 12 through 22 and started practicing. It is a bit nerve wracking when you transition to doing real work on the car, but after the first couple of welds it is no big deal. I used Harbor Freight spot weld cutters, not the best and I went through quite a few of them. Better quality spot weld cutters would be a recommendation.

All you will need is a good MIG welder, although I bought a multiprocess welder so that I could do DC TIG too. So when you consider a sale like the one below with a free welding helmet, maybe the 211 is closer to your budget. Don't go cheap on a welder like the Harbor Freight low end stuff, just a waist of money.

I had no real welding experience when I bought my welder. I have done quite a bit on my car now and I am glad I decided to be self sufficient and learn.

https://store.cyberweld.com/mi211migwewi.html
Thanks Boss. Plan on taking the bodywork one step at a time, starting with the floor panels and a few minor things and going from there. I was hoping to do the cowling too but didn't want to get my hopes. I have a friend with a small engine repair shop and can get all the scrap I need to practice on.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by elcam84 View Post
As for blasting. I would really prefer to blast the car then put a coat of epoxy primer on it and then do the sheet metal work. It's much nicer to work on a clean bright body than a dark, dirty and rusty hulk and I hate the smell of rust which is another reason. I like crushed glass for blasting. I know here where I am there is a market for blasting cars. One shop here charges 2-3K to blast a car. Yes 3 thousand....
Thanks elcam84. I was thinking along the exact same lines. Did you apply any sort of oxidizing agent after the blast and before priming?

Probably a crazy question, but has anyone ever done a whole car with POR-15? Sounds like it is some good stuff, but pricey for a large application. I don't think it would work on the exterior, but the chassis and interior may work. Might be overkill, but I hate rust and want to do everything I can now so I never have to do it again
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 03:50 PM
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Thanks elcam84. I was thinking along the exact same lines. Did you apply any sort of oxidizing agent after the blast and before priming?

Probably a crazy question, but has anyone ever done a whole car with POR-15? Sounds like it is some good stuff, but pricey for a large application. I don't think it would work on the exterior, but the chassis and interior may work. Might be overkill, but I hate rust and want to do everything I can now so I never have to do it again

The current car project did not get blasted. The shop I did the last truck at we had room etc. We blasted it outside the shop then cleaned it off rolled it into the shop and cleaned it more and epoxy primed it. Unfortunatly the shop and the 5 acres was sold and closing was last teusday. So I don't have the use of it anymore.


POR 15 is for rusty metal not for clean metal. I see it as a bandaid when you want to slow the rust by treating areas without blasting or other abrasive removal. Epoxy primer is the best thing next to galvanizing and adheres to blasted steel really well. Don't use it on smooth un sanded steel as it needs the hook to stick to it.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 04:30 PM
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tl;dr You'll be fine with the HF Titanium but there are machines that are long term better values.

In terms of DIY bang for buck in the 200 amp and under range the HF Titanium ranks well. I haven't used it but people I trust have and they say it performs well for the money. In the lower end MIG welders the technology is basically commodity electronics, nothing new in years and easy to copy. The differences are in the guns and ability to upgrade or change. That's one place where the HF welders come up short. That's not going to matter for most hobbyists. Other features to look at are duty cycle and quality of the drive mechanism.

The downside of the HF welders are the duty cycles. The duty cycle rating is the amount of time you can use the machine at a particular power before it auto shuts to "rest". Higher is better. Near full power on an HF can only be 25% or so depending on the machine. On a name brand it can be 60% or so though typically around 40%. On a high end industrial machine like the Fronius or Cebora it can be 100%. For a beginner the duty cycle probably isn't going to be an issue. It could be for an advanced hobby or pro shop that is doing day long projects regularly. Welding sheet it's unlikely you'll never come close to hitting the duty cycle limit.

It's easier to get service on the US based company welders after the warranty runs out and the warranties are longer. HF is 90 days unless you buy the extension. Big brands are usually 3-5 years depending on the part and model.

I've got older Lincoln MIG and an AC/DC TIG. Were I buying a new MIG I'd look at either a Lincoln or a Miller. ESAB is good as well as is Hobart. Hobart is owned by the same people that own Miller with most of the machines assembled in the same plant in Appleton with globally sourced parts. The US market Lincolns are assembled in either the US or Mexico with globally source parts. Virtually all the electronics for any brand are from the Pearl River Delta.

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 04:58 PM
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I went to the local junior collage and took a welding class. It was easy to pick up. I have a Hobart 140 and love it. I've welded everything from 1/4" to sheet metal. I've replaced floor pans, rear fenders and frame rails. As for the blasting I used Dustless Blasting which is anything except dustless. They did a great job but what a mess. See my build thread for details.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 07:11 PM
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The Hobart 140 is still a very good machine and virtually identical to the Miller version.

I only bought the Titanuium welder because it was a really good price and worst case if it didn't work I could take it back. You can put any gun you want on it as it uses standard Tweco mig guns. The one on it is actually very nice for the price but a little on the heavy side and not as flexible as some but it is pretty durable. Also it has the inductance adjustment which is nice for thin sheet metal.
Yeah duty cycle is low but who cares if you are doing something that needs more you will get a bigger machine. They use the lego type wire feeder that others are using now however it is harder to get replacement drive rollers as you have to order from HF or Northern tool for around $10 or direct from China VIA the Philippines for $3 and a month wait. For the deal I got I'm super happy with it. It's much nicer than my old transformer unit.

If I was spending more $ I would go up to a Vulcan and past that a Lincoln or Everlast then onto the european machines. Every time I go to Cleveland (mentor) I drive by the Lincoln factory and their big windmill and wonder if they give out free samples on the tour...

Oh I forgot to mention spot weld cutters. I am using the Muller-kueps one. It works fairly well. The tip will need sharpening as it dulls not the flutes. It's around $14 made in germany. Keep it spinning slow. I wish they had a longer version of it. I cannot find my hole saw style one but it works better in some cases but wears quickly. I also use a carbide burr or just a cutoff wheel on an angle die grinder. Or in many cases I use my junk modified wood chisel and just cut through as I am splitting the steel. Seems about half the spot welds on my car either barely held or not at all. I pulled some pieces off by hand they were so bad.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 07:51 PM
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With dustless blasting you must treat the metal as soon as you can or surface rust will form. I used Ospho and treated about a 2 sq ft area at a time. The best way that I have found is to spray it on with a squirt bottle, let is sit for about 15 minutes then hose off with plenty of water followed by drying the treated area. I used a lief blower and plenty of cotton bath towels. Once the sheet metal is treated, if it is taken indoors it will be rust free for about a year. The only down side that I have found is I had my car on a rotisserie so the blaster could get the bottom side, and even after a year, when I would flip the car over, sand would fall out. I don't think I will ever get it all out.



Ospho sells at my local hardware store for about $35/gallon. Picklex20, which is slightly stronger than Ospho, sells for about $50/qt.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 08:14 PM
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They use the lego type wire feeder that others are using now however it is harder to get replacement drive rollers as you have to order from HF or Northern tool for around $10 or direct from China VIA the Philippines for $3 and a month wait. For the deal I got I'm super happy with it. It's much nicer than my old transformer unit.
For most hobby people it's a good choice. Those drive wheels you can get from Aliexpress as well. There are only a handful, as in 4-5, companies making that parts that become those machines. Eastwood, Everlast and pretty much all of the non brand name companies use those contractors. You can pick and choose from a variety of features, price points, etc. All you have to do is make a minimum order and they'll slap your name on them for you.

Even the cheaper inverter supplies strike a better arc than the olde tyme transformer machines. The technology has come a long way. The biggest issue I can see with the drive is not being able to push wire through a 20' whip. Most guys welding in the garage don't change the whip length but I'd go mad if I had to keep setting the machine inside the car to weld. I did one build like that then upgraded the whip. The consumables are interchangeable but the power and control connectors have to be matched to the machine. I doubt anyone getting the machine is going to change guns anyway. Even if the machine was never used after the project you'd still get your moneys worth.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 12:29 PM
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The day after Dustless Blasting was finished with my car I took my power washer and cleaned the car. I then used my leaf blower to dry the car and immediately primed it.

Steve
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