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pugfrank

Learning to do restore car body work....

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pugfrank

HI all,

 

I'm looking into to tackling the crusty bits on the body of my 205.  The car looks all pretty original and not that bad compared to some of the stuff you see on here.  But I'm under no illusion that once you start to strip bits off and poke around I'm sure the project will grow in size.  

 

My previous classic that I had before the wife, house and a child, I had paid some one to do the work, young and impatient! I was.  But this time I'm in it for the long game and want the satisfaction of learning and achieving the skills to restore a car. 

 

I would like to tackle the striping and new metal work my self, while I feel I have the skills I'm new too bodywork and welding.  So my question to you all, can you recommend some good guides to car body work? particularly metal works and welding.  Maybe some good videos on you tube or alike that you can recommend. 

 

I will need to build a good tool kit and want to get practising eventually with a mig welder.  So any useful guides and tips would be appreciated.  I'm sure I will start a project thread in the coming months. 

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

 

James 

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DamirGTI

As always , if there's a will .. doing that in practice you'll sooner or later gain skill .

 

Practice makes perfect .. buy the equipment and pile up some scrap sheet metal of the same/similar thickness on which you plan on working , and "fire up" !

 

leave you're project car alone until you do the practice and gain some experience , otherwise things tend to get messy (and you don't want that on you're restoration/project car)  

 

Lots of how-to videos on youtube , some good books to read too ... and bodywork/restoration projects here on the forum .

 

https://www.mig-welding.co.uk/

 

 

D

Edited by DamirGTI

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pugfrank

Great thanks, yes that's the plan, pick up some second hand tools over the next few months. Do some reading on welding.  not touch my car wioth a welder until I have done a fait bit of practice. 

 

Where's the best place to pick up sheet metal the same thickness as car body panels?  My work means I will have to mail order stuff to home. 

 

What thickness sheet metal do I need to repair my pug?

 

Thanks for the advice. :)

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Archie's mid life crisis

Hi James,

 

I was in the same situation as yourself about 2 years ago as I set out to restore my 205. That is very good advice from Damir. The migwelding website is an excellent resource. It really is all about practising, practising, and practising again before going anywhere near your car. The 205 is made from pretty thin stuff so I used 0.9mm thick mild steel sheet. If you are learning to weld from scratch the best bit of advice I can give is to get a half decent mig welder.Trying to learn with a cheap, poor quality welder (and there are an awful lot of them out there!) makes trying to learn doubly difficult. Also, get yourself fully kitted out with ppe and fire extinguisher.

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pugfrank

Thanks yes had a little look at the migwelding website last night, full of useful information, some good reading over the next couple of weeks for myself.   Thanks for the tip on gauge off metal required for practice.  Just need to find an online supplier now so I can order.  I will start to surf marketplace for some basic metal working tools and of course read up on the PPE side as well.

Thanks again for your reply, its nice to hear from like minded ppl, who offer there experiences to better others. 

 

James

 

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pugfrank

Ok so writing a shopping list of beginner kit to get for welding repairs to my pug.  Anything I've missed or should add to the wish list?  I already have a Clarke Pro90 MIG welder (hope its up to the job)

 

Leather Welding Gauntlets

Fire Extinguisher CO2

Arc Activated welding shield

Welding Clamps 3pc kit

Panel beating hammers

80mm wire cup brush for grinder

25mm de carbonising brush for drill

Aluminium oxide flap discs

1mm Metal cutting discs

Tin snips

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series111

I would also include gas i use a c02 pub gas bottle ( bought the bottle outright) refills cost me £15, you will also need to buy a regulator for the bottle around £30 on ebay

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ian010778

You might find that your local college does a six week evening course or similar in bodywork repair.

 

 

Ian.

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pugfrank
On 1/23/2021 at 7:43 PM, series111 said:

I would also include gas i use a c02 pub gas bottle ( bought the bottle outright) refills cost me £15, you will also need to buy a regulator for the bottle around £30 on ebay

Thanks yes I have gas for the welder. 

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pugfrank
4 hours ago, ian010778 said:

You might find that your local college does a six week evening course or similar in bodywork repair.

 

 

Ian.

Hello Ian, 

 

Yes I have had some intro into MIG welding at college back in the day, I know the principals!  Its worked well when working on a nice bench in a warm work shop!! Lol  

Its probably the construction and metal work fabrication I'm more nervous about, I'm fine templating and measuring etc its just going to be a challenge replicating all the manufactures machine details in the repair panels, to a neat standard.  

 

 

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Leslie green

Think about where you are cutting and try not to cut out difficult to repair detail in a panel if it can be avoided  and cardboard templates from cereal packets are you new friends .There are lots of little fabrication type videos on car repair on youtube to get an understanding of how it works and butt welding thin steel is not really practical far better to have a lap joint which you will need a "joggler" for (it put a 1mm step in the panel round the repair you the top sits flush after welding and grinding.

      For welding a pulse welding technique where you do say 3x1sec pulses  one behind the other then cool it with compressed air or a damp cloth to stop heat build up after its been tacked up at each corner , the pause will help to reduce burn thru and minimise distortion. 

Practice makes better !!!

 

 

    

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Canadian dave

After doing a ton of welding at work and on my projects, like has already been said practised is key. You can hear a good weld believe it or not. Also my rule of thumb, if it looks right, it probably is right. If it looks like crap it probably is.

My tip wud also be to avoid lap joints. They are much easier to do, but in my opinion you run the risk of trapping or creating a moisture trap between the two pieces. Practise making good butt joints and you will be way happier with the end result. And do not be afraid to blow some holes in stuff, it is going to happen. You wud be amazed at what a mig can bridge if you are slow and steady and really manage your heat well.

Also tack weld on opposite sides of what you are welding in. As a weld on one side of a repair cools it will contract and pull your pannel in odd directions, tack it on all sides and this will help to prevent it from warping.

I cud probably go on all day. Best way is to just do it and dont be afraid of it. If it all goes wrong you will just have to cut it out a bit bigger and start again. Not a big deal.

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Canadian dave

Also zinc rich weld through primer is essential for anything you will not be able to access later to rust proof/paint.

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pugfrank

great thanks for the information guys. 

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