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I know there are lots of great fabricators and body guys on this site, none of which would ever need any advice from a guy like me, but I thought I would share a tip a discovered today,all because I was lazy the other day.

This is for anyone who had a hole in a panel that they needed to fill in with more sheet metal. I'm sure a lot of us have sat there cutting and testing, cutting and testing until finally the filler piece is the right size. Sometimes it may take several attempts, but eventually we make it. Today I was doing some more work on smoothing my firewall now that I now I will be using a drive by wire throttle. I cut out the area I wanted to smooth and started looking at the hole I had to fill trying to figure out the best way to make a template. I happened to look over on the floor and saw a roll of masking tape that I was too lazy to pick up the other day and it gave me this idea.

I thought of taking pics after I had the tape on, but you'll get the point.

The area I wanted to fill in was the pedal holes to the left of the steering column hole.



Once you have the hole cut, cover the entire hole with masking tape.



I used an exacto knife to cut along the sides of the hole



I then stuck the newly cut piece of tape to some sheet metal giving me my template



If you cut it along the side of the tape, it will be the about the same size of the hole. Since I wanted to butt weld it, I cut a little smaller than the tape



Take the tape off and you have your patch



Tack it into place. The nice thing about trimming a bit smaller than the tape was it left me nice gap to fill in with weld



Finish your welding



And finally after some clean up

 

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very nice work. thank you for the tutorial. couple questions;

1. what guage sheet metal do you use?
2. what did you use to weld you the patch?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
very nice work. thank you for the tutorial. couple questions;

1. what guage sheet metal do you use?
2. what did you use to weld you the patch?
I believe the sheet metal is 20 guage. I used 18 guage on the main area of the firewall, but on the smaller areas I used 20 as it's easier to work with.

I have a Miller 180 for a welder. Anyone who's looking to get a welder, I would highly recommend the 180..great welder.

This is the type of tip that may seem simple to some but extremely helpful to the rest of us. Thanks for passing it on.
That's the ironic thing...it's a very simple thing but some of the most simple things are the things we never think of.

Did you use a angle grinder to smooth that out? Which disc if so.
I used a grinder with a 4" grinding disc on. I think it's a 80 grit. I used that until it's taken down the welds most of the way and then I used a die grinder with 2" sanding discs which are 80 grit. Don't use either on too long or will heat up the metal too long. With the grinder, I find that sometimes it works better using the end of the grinding disc instead of the face part of it.
 

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My dad has a lincon 140 and wonder if that is too small to take a quarter panel replacement task. Im thinking of giving it a try. I have to replace the pass. qtr panel and rear light housing. do you think my little lincon can handle the task?
 

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Thats a great idea!!!!! Thanks abunch. Im gonna be using that in the future for flat panels.. I make my curved panels from pretty heavy construction paper templates cause I can use the plasma with the paper. But this would work just the same for flat panels. I would just stick the tape template on the heavy paper and cut. Thanks buddy!!!! JR
 

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great tip!

I like it. Looks like a great way to do it for smaller pieces. I use poster board for all of my patterns.

I will be trying the tape method next time I fabricate any small stuff.

Thanks for posting this.

EarlyIIs
 

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I've found that the cardboard from pop/soda can boxes is great for using when making templates for patches, brackets, gussets, etc. It's flat, easy to cut, easy to mark (on the non-printed side), and the sides are usually large enough for most any size patch.
 

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I believe the sheet metal is 20 guage. I used 18 guage on the main area of the firewall, but on the smaller areas I used 20 as it's easier to work with.

I have a Miller 180 for a welder. Anyone who's looking to get a welder, I would highly recommend the 180..great welder.



That's the ironic thing...it's a very simple thing but some of the most simple things are the things we never think of.



I used a grinder with a 4" grinding disc on. I think it's a 80 grit. I used that until it's taken down the welds most of the way and then I used a die grinder with 2" sanding discs which are 80 grit. Don't use either on too long or will heat up the metal too long. With the grinder, I find that sometimes it works better using the end of the grinding disc instead of the face part of it.
What were your welder settings? I am using 75/25 gas and have it set at 2.5 and 50 and it does pretty well.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My dad has a lincon 140 and wonder if that is too small to take a quarter panel replacement task. Im thinking of giving it a try. I have to replace the pass. qtr panel and rear light housing. do you think my little lincon can handle the task?
I don't see why it wouldn't handle it, you're only welding 20 guage sheet metal. I think it would do the job fine. If anyone disagrees, please chime in.

What were your welder settings? I am using 75/25 gas and have it set at 2.5 and 50 and it does pretty well.
I run mine at about 2 - 2.5 voltage and about 20 - 30 for speed. I just used the recommended settings that are on the side of the welder and they seem to be pretty accurate.
 
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