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  1. #11
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,390
    Location
    western NC
    Tractor
    Ventrac, Steiner

    Default Re: Thinnest steel that can be neatly stick welded

    I have welded car fenders together with 1/8-7018. It worked better with the 1/16 rods. One thing I have discovered welding sheet metal with stick is you need to make sure your rods are very dry. Wet rods stick and splatter and fluff off. I usually will place my rods ontop of the wood stove over night and let them cook. I have had good luck with this method drying out rain soaked rods, unless the rods are rusty of course. Rusty rods get chunked in the trash. Turn the welder down low and stich weld the piece, letting the metal cool between welds. Then come back and back stich to fill the gaps. As soon as you see the puddle start to drupe, stop and let the metal cool. Its hard to run a complete bead in one pass, but with patience, you can do the thin stuff. I loss patience years ago and bought a mig. I recently bought a tig, but havent played with it as much as i need to to get good at it.

  2. #12
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    106
    Location
    Canberra ACT Australia
    Tractor
    Yanmar EA2400

    Default Re: Thinnest steel that can be neatly stick welded

    I am going to re-acquaint myself with TIG although I suspect that it might be a very slow process for garden gates - but it will be good practice. In Australia you cannot buy the bottles outright - you can only lease them at $200 per year. Apparently it's about safety - to regularly check the condition of bottles - and weigh them to ensure they haven't been tampered with (and some might say to gouge the poor customer).

    Muddstopper's response about using 1/8th rod over 1/16th for thin steel is interesting. I too have found that 1/8th is easier - better control, less blow holes. Maybe the thinner rods aren't throwing out the weld metal fast enough to spread the heat over the weld joint. I'm not good enough to do car fenders though - at least not with the Japanese cars that are prevalent here.

  3. #13
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    498

    Default Re: Thinnest steel that can be neatly stick welded

    When I was a kid, I welded up the holes left in the sheet metal from removing the trim, on the first truck I bought (for $100) with a stick welder.

    With a TIG you can (no pun intended) go really thin.


  4. #14
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    498

    Default Re: Thinnest steel that can be neatly stick welded

    For something that won't distort, like sheet metal, exhaust tubing for example or anything with "structure", I used Oxy/act and filler. Again, before a TIG.

  5. #15
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    5,851
    Location
    Wylie, Texas
    Tractor
    JCB165HF

    Default Re: Thinnest steel that can be neatly stick welded

    I weld sixteen gauge metal all the time. If you want to have some real fun weld sixteen gauge galvanized fence tubing like in a gate. I use 5P+ 3/32 when I can. Otherwise I will use 6011.

    You can get nice welds but don't expect to consistently get stacked welds like you can on thicker material. Building with sixteen gauge the way you are discussing is done easy and can look really good with a small mig flux core set up.

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