Sheet metal, like car body panels, can be welded with a 115 volt mig welder like a Hobart Handler 140 IF you are willing to do these 5 things…
- Get a decent mig welding machine, preferably a good 115 volt mig welder like a Hobart Handler 140.
(Actually, 115 volt mig welders are often the best choice for welding sheet metal and a Hobart Handler 140 has all the features needed to weld thin sheet metal or even up to ¼” thick steel.)
- Get a gas conversion kit so you can run .023″ bare wire. ( the Hobart mig welder comes with gas conversion)
Don’t even think about trying to weld in an auto body patch with flux core wire. You need to get a mig welder that has a gas conversion kit so that you can use 75/25 gas and use .023″ bare wire like E70s6 or E70s3.
- Get some 75/25 gas (thats 75 argon and 25 c02)
Pure Co2 is not what you want. Its fine for welding thicker steel, but for thinner sheet metal, 75/25 argon/Co2 is the ticket. It is more versatile too.
- Get an auto darkening welding helmet…(Especially if you are a noob.)
Moving even slightly off the mark before you pull the trigger can make the difference between a good weld and a big blob of crap that will have to be ground off. Unless you love to grind, get yourself a decent auto darkening welding helmet. Being able to see exactly where the tip of your wire is when you pull the trigger on the mig gun makes a huge difference.
- Use a hammer and dolly often to spread out the contractile stresses.
Sheet metal warps when you weld it… period. You can’t stop it, all you can do is try to control it and then fix it. A hammer and dolly used intermittently between small stitch welds is what the pro’s do to keep metal from distorting too much.
Welding sheet metal takes a bit of patience and finesse. But if you are willing to follow the rules. You can do it.