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Spot Welders


M29
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Hi Everyone

I am going to be starting restoration on my T15 hull soon (hopefully) and like the concept of a spot welder for welding hat channels etc. Now I understand that certain areas may not be accessible for using a spot welder because of tong reach. I have a Lenco  single side machine that works ok for lighter sheet metal but would not trust it for 16 gauge if I remember correctly the T15 hull is 16ga? Anyway been looking at a used Hirane 140 that I can buy pretty cheap. It has both single side capability plus two side pressure clamp capability.  It  has 9200 Amp max output comes with 24" tongs plus many smaller sizes and shapes. The thought of all those mig plug welds and the associated grinding and cleanup that comes with that type of weld does not excite me.Can anyone clue me in about spot welders amperages need for welding a weasel hull etc. I know others have looked into this but never hear much about it. 

Dan

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Following Dan.  I have a Lenco too...but I plug welded my hull.  I think spot welders are great for new metal - the Lenco would likely do the trick, but once you get any age/corrosion etc....they just don't work for me...even when I feel like I have things super clean.

Patrick

 

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Hi Patrick

appreciate your input. I can understand the clean metal requirement for sure. I have to replace a good portion of the hull on one side so some of it would be new steel. I wonder if when welding new steel that mill scale on the new steel would interfere as well? Did you only try the Lenco Pat?? I thought you were investigating a more serious machine? My Lenco works well on 20 gauge but not so much on thicker. FYI I bought the Lenco in the early 80s and used it in my autobody shop for years welding automotive rear 1/4 panels even did some roof reskinning. I never had a problem. It was recommended that a special pair of vise grips be used to pre dimple the panel prior to welding. They were only good for 3/4" or the center of the lip of an automotive panel lip. By the way Pat your videos are awesome. I am always amazed at the parts and weasels you find out on the east coast.

Dan

 

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I used my SIP spot welder pictured below to fabricate a set of sponsons for a T24 hull repair. This hand held spot welder is good for 2 x 2mm thick sheet metal and handled the 1.6mm thick sponsons with ease. Only encountered two problems, time; had to let the machine cool down frequently when doing a lot of spots and metal cleanliness:; the sheet metal had to be scrupulously clean to get a good spot. The electrode tips also need to be dressed regularly with a reshaping tool as well. This work was done on new metal. Not sure how you would go with original sheet?

Spot welder.jpg

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Hi John

That looks like a nice compact unit, It looks like you used a combo of spot welds and plug welds. It appears you did the spot welding on the hat channels before you did the sides? In just analyzing the picture it seems maybe doing several plug welds for good measure and spots in between would cut down on the grinding/ cleanup work on the plug welds. How much reach did you get with the tongs? From the picture it looks like 12" or so?

Dan

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This is the spot welder I use.

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It's an Wieländer+Shill InvertaSpot ATM H2O. It's water cooled and has electronic weld time, amp control and clamping pressure so setting it up is very easy. You just choose which type of handle to use; single side/stud gun or the pinch, double side, handle. Set the type of steel; plain, coated or stainless. And then just choose the thickness of the material you like to weld. Like all welding the cleaner the metal is the better the weld will be, even with this machine.

I bought this machine second hand and luckily it came with lots of extra arms and accessories. But I mostly use the longest arms which have a reach of about 60 cm.

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One slight nuisance with the InvetraSpot is that the cable between the machine and the handle is very heavy. So using it for longer periods of time is exhausting, that is why it is hanging in the crane☺️

I also have the type that John has. I use it when I need to just do one or two spots. The only problem with that one, is like John says, you have to wait for the electrode tips to cool between welds. Otherwise it is very easy to overheat the electrodes and get brittle welds.

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Hi Alexander

That is a nice unit. How much of the weasel hull can you reach? I am looking at an older Hirane auto spotter 140. I have included a picture. it has a long reach tong  that I thought would be good for reaching some of the harder to reach areas of the weasel body. I think it has air cooled tips. I know some are water cooled. Any thoughts are appreciated.

Dan

AS140.jpg

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Dan - if you are going to replace the whole side, I would try and install all of the hat channels and the 45 degree gussets before installing the side.  It is a little extra work, but sure give you a lot of control and is a much more comfortable way to work.  The other reason I plug welded is because I wanted to try and give some corrosion protection inside of the hat channels.  I really don't think you can spot weld with any type of primer - even the so called "weldable" primers.  It is a mess with a MIG welder. 

One option that I considered was using a cavity spray (some type of wax I believe) after spot welding.
 

Like all engineering problems/solutions....there are always compromises...

Patrick

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Posted (edited)
On 5/23/2021 at 11:30 PM, M29 said:

Hi John

That looks like a nice compact unit, It looks like you used a combo of spot welds and plug welds. It appears you did the spot welding on the hat channels before you did the sides? In just analyzing the picture it seems maybe doing several plug welds for good measure and spots in between would cut down on the grinding/ cleanup work on the plug welds. How much reach did you get with the tongs? From the picture it looks like 12" or so?

Dan

Dan @M29 The three plug weld you see at the bottom of the picture are to join a triple layer of sheet metal. The sponson, the angle brace and the hat section. The overlap is too great for my spot welder. I did indeed do the spot welding first before I did the general welding. Another hull I repaired, I just used plug welds (from the bottom) as the sheet metal I was using was Zinc Annealed and my spot welder would not spot weld it. There are lots of options available nowadays.

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Edited by OZM29C
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Hi John and Pat

That looks like a slick way of welding the hat channels. As always John you do amazing work.  Pat I am including a portion of an article from Data Welder website regarding spot welding through a zinc rich coating called an "e" coating. apparently it is an electrical conductive counting that is weld through see link for full info. I knew nothing about this but found it very interesting as I had thought any type of coating between the metal layers would cause issues but according to the article the coating actually enhances the weld>

http://datawelder.com/spotwelders/FAQ/faq.html

 

 

data Welser FAQ.jpg

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On 5/24/2021 at 2:42 PM, M29 said:

Hi Alexander

That is a nice unit. How much of the weasel hull can you reach? I am looking at an older Hirane auto spotter 140. I have included a picture. it has a long reach tong  that I thought would be good for reaching some of the harder to reach areas of the weasel body. I think it has air cooled tips. I know some are water cooled. Any thoughts are appreciated.

Dan

AS140.jpg

@M29By installing the hat channels and floors before the sides, I managed, with the longest arms, to reach almost everywhere I needed. The only place I could not reach with the was in the front upper corner on the drivers side side panel.

I also sprayed all the areas that where going to be welded with weldable primer and my spot welder handled it perfectly. The areas that where not going to be welded, inside of the hat channels, etc., got two coats of epoxy primer and one coat of Ardrox AV100D. AV100 is a cavity wax.

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Alexander

that spot welder you have is awesome state of the art machine. I appreciate any info you can share regarding spot welding and associated coatings.  The cavity wax is interesting. Since starting this post I have been reading on different websites about weld through primers. What I have read is that mig welding and weld through primers are where problems arise and that spot welding works well with weld through primers?? I think the automotive industry where spot welding repairs are done in collision shops have perfected products just for spot welding. Any thoughts?

Dan

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