Rat Rod Authority’s Tip of the Week – Welding

Posted by at 1 January 2015, at 22 : 05 PM

Rat Rod Authority’s Tip of the Week – Welding

If you plan on building your Rat Rod or at least plan on doing some customizing with metal, some welding skills are necessary. Although it might appear to be difficult, welding is actually very easy. Welding correctly takes experience, and making metal repairs on a Rat Rod will give you lots of practice.

The bottom line with welding is clean, clean, clean! What we are saying is that whenever you are welding on your Rat Rod, you must grind all metal down past all paint and surface rust in order to get a clean weld without spitting or stuttering.

You will need to get associated with your welder to find out your settings. The easy rule of thumb here is more heat, more wire. The welder of choice that is the easiest to use is a MIG welder. It is a wire fed welder that is very user friendly and allows you dial in your settings. Most Rat Rodders love Mig welders because of their ease and affordability. You can purchase one for around 500 dollars to start.

TIG welding is a gas nozzle that heats and melts a rod that you must feed manually. As this sounds more difficult, you have far better control, and the end result is a better looking weld. But if all you have is a MIG welder, you can easily make due.

Penetration is key. In order to have a strong weld that will last, the voltage or heat must be set correctly. You don’t want to burn the metal of your Rat Rod, you want to melt it in a controlled way where you melt all of the metals being joined together at the same time, so when it cools, it makes a new, stronger piece of metal.

Aluminum welding is much more difficult because of a lower melting temperature. This means burning or overheating of the aluminum will occur. Although most of the parts of your Rat Rod are steel, it is not a bad thing to be able to weld aluminum. If any doubt, have a professional TIG weld aluminum for you.

To sum it all up, welding is something that should not be taken lightly. But it also something that you should not be scared of. In order to really customize your Rat Rod, The skills of welding are essential and will open up many doors for you. You can do everything from sheet metal repair to making your own motor mounts.

General Automotive Articles