Learning to MIG weld

Two steps forward and one step back. In order to sort out the rust issues on the car (and those that may appear in the future) I decided to learn how to weld. I mean, how hard can it be 😉

I did a fair bit of reading/investigating before I settled on a SIP T166 which I purchased from Jebbtools along with all the necessary safety gear. I watched countless youtube videos before hooking it up for the first time.

I took some steel that was left over from the garage build and ground it down to ensure a good ground and weld surface. I’m running in gasless mode which seems to be considered a really bad configuration. I’ll keep practicing to see if I can get a better result than below.

I signed up to a mig welding forum and I was advised to replace the wire that came with the machine with better quality. I had actually purchased some extra wire when I brought the welder so popped that in. I was amazed to see the difference! I was able to run a bead of sorts. I found that increasing the wire speed made a difference also. I’m relieved as it looks like, with lots and lots of practice, I’ll be able to do what I need on the car.

I now need to start practicing butt & plug welds using the same gauge steel that’s on the car. Thankfully I can use the seat platform steel that I just cut out of the car.

16th October 2021 – I was able to do a bit more practice today. I tried some butt & plug welds. The welds seem strong but I still need loads of practice.

30th October 2021 – Whilst cutting out the drivers side floor I found a small area of rust in the inner fender. I decided to use this for welding practice because it won’t be visible once the new floor, torque box & outer fender are back on the car.

6th Nov 2021 – I had a few hours by myself so I started cleaning up the inner rocker in readiness for the new driver side floor. I found a small rust hole so cut it out and prepped some scrap steel to fit before welding it in place. This looks better than my previous attempts so I must be getting better 🙂

13th Nov 2021 – A bit more welding today, this time on the transmission tunnel. I’m really pleased with how its going. Hope to finish it off tomorrow.

I finally decided to heed advise and splashed out for a gas bottle & regulator. I had to change the internal wiring of the MIG welder but my first attempt at a weld was actually really good. I’m now a convert and can see what everyone was talking about. It’s a lot cooler and less splatter. I even tried some spot welds which worked out ok.

Well, I feel I have made progress. Here are some pictures of the frame patch panel being welded to the new floor support.

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