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-   -   Use of a MIG welder for other purposes? (https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=284673)

PeteVS 07-27-2020 09:37 PM

Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

I wound up bolting the frame for my Model A project together because I just wasn't getting any luck with riveting. I was TOTALLY unable to do them cold and went to the oxy torch. That heated them up good but by the time I got them placed, they had cooled. Then, I tried heating them in place. Only the tip of the rivet got hot and there was no expansion down in the hole when we hammered on them. Now, I'm wondering if I could hold the rivet in place with a brass bolt with a ground connection and place the tip of the welder on the other end. Should I be able to get enough current through the rivet to heat it properly in place? Also, could a MIG welder be used to heat metal for shrinking? (I talking about not having any welding wire involved.)

JSeery 07-27-2020 09:52 PM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

Not sure I understand how a MIG would work without welding wire? There is no heat involved with the MIG handle, just wire and shielding gas. The heat is produced by the current flow from the welding wire to the surface being welded. It is the same principle as a stick arc welder, the wire replaces the stick. So the question (to me) sounds like can you use an arc welding to produce heat without a stick in it? Or can you use an arc welder to shrink metal if I don't use the stick? Just don't understand the question.

Bob C 07-27-2020 10:00 PM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

I did something similar with my TIG welder.

JSeery 07-27-2020 10:01 PM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob C (Post 1913758)
I did something similar with my TIG welder.

A TIG yes, but how would that work with a MIG?

deuce_roadster 07-27-2020 10:31 PM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

I think you could do it with 2 people. There is a company called "Big Flats Rivets" and at Hershey I bought rivets and bucking tools and different tools that go in an air hammer to either make a waffle or rounded rivet end. If you use oxy acetlyene and heat the rivet slowly in place you can get the entire rivet red hot, at this point, have your helper buck the already formed head and then with an air hammer form the other end and if the entire rivet was red hot, the center would swell too. Call Big Flats and ask for their advice, I am sure you won't be the first to ask. They are in NY Phone:
(607) 562-3501 Good luck, Maybe Google them, their website may have instructions

I just went to their website and they have good instructions...

uncle buck 07-27-2020 11:02 PM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

http://bigflatsrivet.com/

Smitty 07-28-2020 01:47 AM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

If doing frame rivets you need a 3x or 4x rivet gun, a friend holding a buck, an acetylene torch. I have riveted cross members in my Model A with excellent success. Yes see above post Big Flats Rivet will help you out.

Can buy used rivet gun (not air hammer, they are different) on the bay.

JWL 07-28-2020 05:10 AM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

I might like to try making a carbon rod "tip" to screw on the MIG gun in place of the contact tip. I'm sure it would work up to a point.

Tim Ayers 07-28-2020 05:27 AM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

I’ve read a few times that the rivets should be annealed first before setting them. The article suggested placing them in a fire wrapped up in tin foil.

PeteVS 07-28-2020 05:58 AM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

I was thinking that if I could get enough current (amps) to pass through the rivet, it would get hot by resistance, not by an arc. I think I'll have to dig up some info on resistance of steel and see what I can find.

Zeke3 07-28-2020 08:29 AM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

See post #29 in the attached link about using an arc welder to heat the rivet. I haven't tried it yet.

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...hlight=cutting

tubman 07-28-2020 08:41 AM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

I think this is a bad idea right from the start. It is completely outside of the function of a MIG welder and I don't see any easy way to make it work. Even if you could get it to work, I would thuink you would have a real good chance of doing permanent damage to you MIG welder. If you want to do something like this, get a stick welder (either a used transformer unit ot one of the new inverter units from China). I have one and it is a very well made unit. Then get a carbon arc torch; them suckers throw a lot of heat.

Pete 07-28-2020 03:52 PM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

I wouldn't try it with a MIG welder. They are a constant voltage type power supply.
It can and does work fine with a regular stick welder. They are a constant current type power supply. All you need is a way to positively connect to the rivet. The connection needs to be able to pass the required current WITHOUT arcing.

G.M. 07-28-2020 04:01 PM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

You have to be careful shorting out the contact tip of
a MIG welder. When shorted the amps go way up. How
high depends on the out put range the machine is set
at. This can burn out the transformer and possibly the
diodes. You can use as a power supply for chrome
platting, starting a car and other applications where a
DC power supply is required. G.M.

I made MIG welders in the 60's. I made the first ones
for body shops, it was called "Fender Mender" They were
sold by welding supply companies and didn't really catch
on until body and paint supplies started selling them. I
sold the company in 1980. They still make welders for
Snap-On. G.M.

woodiewagon46 07-28-2020 05:15 PM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

Pete, I replaced the front crossmember and all four running board brackets on my '29 coupe frame with everything purchased from Big Flats Rivet Co. With the proper tools and some oxyacetylene heat, it's really not a big deal. Your trying to reinvent the wheel using a MIG welder.

deuce_roadster 07-28-2020 05:57 PM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

Pete, did you read the instructions on the Big Flats website? The proper size rivet for the correct size hole is important.

Pete 07-28-2020 06:42 PM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by deuce_roadster (Post 1914003)
Pete, did you read the instructions on the Big Flats website? The proper size rivet for the correct size hole is important.

No, didn't read that but I have done steel riveting and am aware of the requirements.

The biggest job I was in on was riveting in a new fire box in a steam locomotive.
The rivets were 1 inch in diameter. It took 4 people to handle it.

PeteVS 07-28-2020 08:37 PM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zeke3 (Post 1913821)
See post #29 in the attached link about using an arc welder to heat the rivet. I haven't tried it yet.

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...hlight=cutting

That's post #22! Thanks! Looks like I have to see if a friend will loan me his stick welder.

Tinker 07-28-2020 09:03 PM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

Thinking a tig welder would be better for rivets. But I guess tig is closer to a oxyacetylene torch.

Tim Ayers 07-28-2020 10:56 PM

Re: Use of a MIG welder for other purposes?
 

What about one of the cheap spot welders from Harbor Freight?


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