Welcome to the cult of vulcan.

Put the hat on backwards, getto style to keep sparks from flying down your
collar. Wear welders gloves with long cuffs, and wear at least a denium
jacket to protect yourself from slag and UV flash.

You can get badly sunburned while welding if your skin is exposed. Eyes can
be sunburned as well.. doing perm damage if bad enough.

If you are getting burn through, your heat setting is to high, and your
wire feed speed is to low, and perhaps your pass speed is to slow.

Look for the weld puddle, color and size, that is where the actual weld
happens. Think of it as pouring liquid metal into the crack and moving the
"pour" along the crack seam. Stay to long with to much heat, and not enouch
metal, it "pours" through the crack.

Practice, practice, practice.. use scrap and learn. For sheet metal patch
repair.. a lap joint will serve you better than a butt weld. I use 1/4 inch
punch holes in the repair piece edge, 1/16th inch clecos to clamp the piece
in place at every other hole, then do a "spot weld" at the 1/4 inch punch
hole, pull the clecos one or two at a time and weld the rest of the panel
in place. Hammer and dolly to flatten the panel edges into the base metal.
Space the "spot welds" as you see fit.  If you feel you need more weld than
the spot welds, then weld the seam with the repair panel now held in place
by the spots. Makes the work much easier and quicker.

Cardboard will be your friend to make patterns for the repair panels. Cut
out the bad portions, use round corners, I like to use a baby food can to
make corners in a repair panel.. sharp 90 degree corners will always crack
out and are hard to hold in place. Hold the cardboard in place from the
bottom and mark the hole with a sharpie, then add 1/2 inch at the edge for
a lap joint all the way around.

Harbor Freight sells a nifty tool that will make a joggle offset for a
lapjoint.. it is a double duty tool because one side makes the joggle
offset, the other side punches 1/4 inch holes for spot welds.. it runs on
air, so you need an air compressor.. a small one will work good enough.

Measure twice, cut once, then hammer form the patch to fit the hole repair.
When it's just right, the lap joint lip will let you set the panel in place
from the inside, and it will lay in place supported by the lap joint
overlap. You will likely need to then do some more hammer and dolly work to
make the "lap" lay flat against the original panel. When it's all fitted
THEN use the joggle feature around the edge of the patch panel and trial
fit again. Once you are happy with that, while it's laying in place, use
your sharpie again to layout the "spot welds" and punch the 1/4 in holes in
the patch panel. Lay it back in place and put your sharpie to work again by
making a dot in the center of each of those 1/4 in holes to drill holes for
the Clecos clamps.

THEN.. clamp the "New" panel in place for welding. Spot welding with a wire
feed gun is simple.. aim the wire at the center of the spot, drop hood,
pull trigger, make a small circle to pour liquid metal into the hole
[visual image here] and back off to let it cool. Move to next hole.  What
you are doing, is putting a 1/4 inch bolt in each hole, in effect.

I like to work the panel repair from side to side so the weld doesn't draw
the panel out of position.. tack one side.. then the other.. to work around
the whole contact area.  Then pull the CLecos and do the same with those
holes.. don't worry, the weld will fill the 1/16 cleco hole just fine..

Keep a hammer and dolly handy to flatten the welds while they are still
cooling after each weld. it will give a much nicer finish.. ie.. weld,
hammer, weld, hammer.. etc etc etc..

When you have had enough fun..you should replenish your lost body fluids
with the adult beverage of choice... ;))

Hope this helps,

On Fri, Jun 5, 2015 at 11:28 AM, clay via Mercedes <mercedes@okiebenz.com>

> I hit the HF tool sale and got myself a low end gasless MIG welder to
> learn on.  Wire feed and the cheapo auto darkening mask.  I read the
> instructions to see what this thing can do.  Those instructions are big on
> safety, but not on actually how to run the rig.
> I went to the hardware store to get a hardi panel so I could have a
> welding table.  There were too many metal or wooden tables for me to use,
> but the manual was pretty adamant that I have concrete to set things on.
> So far it works fairly well.
> I have a few old computer cases that donated their covers for the day I am
> versed in welding enough to repair the floors in the 300D.  Today, I
> learned that I need a hat to keep the slag from jumping onto the back of my
> head.  I could not get a decent bead using the PC carcasses and was getting
> a bunch of blow through.  I moved up to old brake rotors and was able to
> get a decent enough bead, but it still looks like crap.   Sun was out and
> after 40 minutes or getting a hang for the machine, I had to head inside.
> I will be looking for a better set of welding wear so I can keep from
> setting myself on fire.
> clay
> 2002 s430 - Victor, a Stately & well tailored chap
> 1974 450sl -  Frosch - Two tone green
> 1976 300D - Blei Vanst - it looks silvery
> 1972 220D - Gump - She was green, simple and ran
> 1995 E300D - Gave her life to save me against a Dame in a SUV
> POS 1987 SDL - Beware Nigerian Scammers
> _______________________________________
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