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1961 Studebaker Champ, restoration

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  • Mike, I am also new to welding and got rid of my Flux only welder and bought a MIG. Gas welding is soon much cleaner and go down to the .023" wire, argon/CO2 mix. I turned my welder down to the lowest and work up to try not blowing holes which is really easy on our old cars. Get an auto darkening helmet and I recommend getting one with "Tru-vue". I find it easier to see with the more natural colors than the green tint. I spent a decent amount on a Lincoln helmet, but wish I bought the Eastwood Panoramic. It has a bigger screen and much cheaper. Wear ear plugs when welding! I've had a piece of slag bounce into the bowl of my ear and thankfully didn't go down the canal. I've made plenty of mistakes and you can see them in my thread, but I think it's good practice on a car that probably should have been parted out. If you are feeling discouraged, check out my thread and have a laugh, it'll make you fell better at least.

    I think this guy has a few tips on getting started. There are many videos out there.

    https://youtu.be/MfKlNQF-o4I

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    • Originally posted by sweetolbob View Post
      I'd also recommend the mixed gas as you are just getting started and need to make it as easy as you can. The cost isn't bad on a small tank and you'll probably just need the one. Some thoughts on why mixed.

      I'm not a welder by trade so there are a lot of folks that are more qualified but I'll share my experience.

      In unseen areas and floors, I tend to us 16 ga sheet. It's not much harder to bend in small sections and is slightly thicker than the original metal. You can then favor the new/thicker metal side and keep burnouts to a minimum. I like to butt weld but I've been doing bodies for 50+ years and have a good Mig.


      I've been following this thread and really admire the effort you and your wife are investing in the project.

      Good luck, Bob
      Thanks for the advise and links. All very helpful.

      I tried my friend's auto darkening hood, I can see why folks like them.

      Thanks again,
      Mike
      Mike and Dawn

      '61 Champ

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      • Originally posted by Milaca View Post
        When Bob said "always spot weld", I believe he meant stitch weld. For example, weld a 1/2" long bead, then skip an inch or two and then weld another 1/2" long bead as this will keep the metal cooler.
        Also in regards to butt welding, you can purchase copper-metal backers, which is essentially used as a form that is held tight to the back of the seam to keep molten steel in place (prevents burn-through).
        You can purchase hand-held copper backers or magnetic-held copper backers like these from Eastwood:

        A less expensive alternative would be to purchase some basic copper plate and C-clamp them into place.

        If you do any plug welding, this plug welding plier works great as it clamps the two pieces tightly together and it has a copper back-pad to prevent burn through: ]
        I appreciate the information and links you provided. This helping me alot.

        Mike
        Mike and Dawn

        '61 Champ

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        • Originally posted by Topper2011 View Post
          Mike, I am also new to welding and got rid of my Flux only welder and bought a MIG. Gas welding is soon much cleaner and go down to the .023" wire, argon/CO2 mix. I turned my welder down to the lowest and work up to try not blowing holes which is really easy on our old cars. Get an auto darkening helmet and I recommend getting one with "Tru-vue". I find it easier to see with the more natural colors than the green tint. I spent a decent amount on a Lincoln helmet, but wish I bought the Eastwood Panoramic. It has a bigger screen and much cheaper. Wear ear plugs when welding! I've had a piece of slag bounce into the bowl of my ear and thankfully didn't go down the canal. I've made plenty of mistakes and you can see them in my thread, but I think it's good practice on a car that probably should have been parted out. If you are feeling discouraged, check out my thread and have a laugh, it'll make you fell better at least.
          I'm hoping to get into town this week, to get a gas bottle, as I have bought the conversion kit to make my welder MIG. And the smaller sounds like a good idea too.

          Thanks for the suggestions, and I will check out your thread.

          They should have a reality tv program about the trials, tribulations and all the drama involved with restoring Studebakers!

          Mike
          Mike and Dawn

          '61 Champ

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