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Welded stainless trim.. Would you put this on your car?

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  • Welded stainless trim.. Would you put this on your car?

    I have a lot of rare/valuable stainless trim that has holes, missing ends, or beat to a pulp on one end and beyond repair. A lot of those pieces I have doubles to that have the opposite end damaged. Theoretically I could take the two good halves of two pieces, and weld them together and make one good piece.

    I decided I had to try, and here's the result. I cut a groove into a piece of trim and welded it up, a butt weld of two pieces would look the same. The weld joint can't be hidden. My question.. If you had a piece of stainless that was perfect save for the noticeable weld joint, would you put it on your car? If it's too awful looking to the casual car owner, I won't waste my time. But if the general consensus is that it doesn't look too bad and isn't highly noticeable, I'll start welding up some desirable stainless parts.

    This is a 56-58 side molding. It's a trashed sedan piece so you Golden Hawk owners need not worry.

    Ignore the discoloration. That will come out with more polishing.

    Last edited by mbstude; 07-20-2012, 03:22 PM.

  • #2
    To: mbstude,-------On a piece that's impossible to find, or would cost a fortune.....I would use Your alternative in a looks pretty darn good!
    Last edited by SN-60; 07-20-2012, 03:32 PM.


    • #3
      Originally posted by SN-60 View Post
      To: mbstude,-------On a piece that's impossible to find, or would cost a fortune.....I would use Your alternative in a looks pretty darn good!
      That's the goal. I have a right front Packard Hawk wheel well molding that is good in the front, but the back half is garbage. I could take a standard Hawk molding and weld the special Packard Hawk front to it and call it a day.


      • #4
        That is a very GOOD job Matt, I think one thing that might matter is the model they go to and location of the seam.
        On the side trim (like this one) as opposed to top trim like on top of a GT Hawk fender they would certainly be more than good on a nice looking driver and some showcars.
        Last edited by StudeRich; 07-20-2012, 03:32 PM.
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner


        • #5
          Couldn't look any worse than the "dog leg" fit on a GT Hawk quarter panel.


          • #6
            The answer's really VERY simple. What's the alternative??? If someone looked at a car of mine and had the temerity to point and protest at a hardly visible repair, that person would be a dolt!
            No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.


            • #7
              Matt, check the part for rusting before committing. The SS trim, if overheated will rust due to metallurgical change. I have some trim from a burnt Avanti that is very rusty!


              • #8
                Let me say this Matt... if I was missing a piece of trim, and wasn't able to source a replacement, yours would be at the very top of the list. Yours looks better than a rare piece that's beat to hell.
                Bez Auto Alchemy

                "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln


                • #9
                  To: WCP,------You may have a point. I wonder if a couple coats of urethane clear would take care of that? ('Seal' the trim piece from the atmosphere)
                  Last edited by SN-60; 07-20-2012, 04:45 PM.


                  • #10

                    What WCP said about rust is a good point. I work in the OEM stainless equipment bussiness in the pharmaceutical industry and have to deal with treating weldments after heating for corrosion resistance all the time. I could help with this if you stop messing with it long enough to finish straightening my trim first.

                    Jon Kammer


                    • #11
                      I have a piece of my 48 grille welded. I knew about the rust issue so I painted the back side with Plasti-Kote Bumper Chrome paint and keep the top side waxed and had not had a problem. And that was 12 years ago.
                      And I also paint the inside of my re chromed bumper with the same stuff.
                      Last edited by Carl Purdy; 07-20-2012, 04:58 PM.


                      • #12
                        I like it...most drivers have a dent or two in trim that looks much worse than the join.
                        I'd use the piece if I had to...or if the cost of a NOS piece was really stupid.
                        Nice work.
                        Last edited by JBOYLE; 07-20-2012, 08:51 PM.
                        63 Avanti R1 2788
                        1914 Stutz Bearcat
                        (George Barris replica)

                        Washington State


                        • #13
                          Once again, I feel compelled to comment on a subject that I am not formally educated in but have enough knowledge to get me in trouble and not enough knowledge to get out of the trouble. Having a degree in psychology, and spending a career in selling, demonstrating, and installing industrial equipment means a life spent in contradictions.

                          When selling conveyorized industrial finishing systems, we were not faced with too many demands for stainless steel pumps, manifolds, delivery tubing from the pump rooms out to the spray booths, etc. until manufacturing was beset with the demand to eliminate high VOC emissions. What had been solvent based fluids (paint)... began the move toward water based low VOC chemicals. That was when I learned that all stainless steel tubing and components were not created equal. Some stainless steel has impurities, tiny bits of carbon steel and other impurities that will cause corrosion and chemical reactions. (Installing a half million dollar run of tubing that turns your paint into snot is a big no-no!)That was when I learned a new ten-dollar word called PASSIVATION. It is a process and treatment that makes stainless steel more corrosive resistant.

                          That is about it for my knowledge of stainless. I learned that to have the best grade of stainless steel, I needed to specify that it be "passivated stainless."

                          I don't know if there is a way to perform "spot passivation" in a small shop after welding, but perhaps it would be worth a little research to see if it is possible. If so, that could be a way to make the repair less likely to rust. (Note:neither I or my spell checker are sure of the terms used in this post!)
                          John Clary
                          Greer, SC

                          SDC member since 1975


                          • #14
                            I don't think it looks terrible, but it wouldn't be for my car. I guess on a part such as that Packard Hawk wheel opening molding, it's rare and desirable enough that beggars can't be choosers. Once on a car I don't think it'd be that noticeable anyways.

                            I didn't think about the oxidation factor. I'll leave the trim I photographed out in the weather for a while and see what happens.

                            Thanks guys, that was a first attempt with little time spent to make it as nice as it could be. The next attempt won't be a practice run, and will hopefully turn out a bit better. You've all given me confidence to try a little harder with it.


                            • #15
                              Even if you make up pieces as "second grade" stuff, it helps those without much cash. Well done Matt. Better than wasting materials.
                              John Clements
                              Christchurch, New Zealand