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Eastwood Auto Restoration Blog - Free How-to Automotive Tech Advice for Everything DIY Automotive

  • TIG Welding Cast Aluminum Elbows- A Beginners Journey.

    TIG Welding Training

    As I've mentioned in other posts, I am a beginner in the world of TIG welding. I really began tackling TIG welding about a year ago after we offered a crash-course internally here at Eastwood. With the launch of our Eastwood TIG 200 it made it easier than ever for me to finally start learning.

    Learning how to TIG Weld on Steel

    I soon caught the TIG welding bug, and I found myself spending lunch breaks and free time trying to pick up the basics of TIG welding. I started with steel since it was less intimidating than learning to TIG weld aluminum. Above is a picture of my progress, and although my pace and steady hand hasn't fully developed yet, I was starting to get the hang of it. Ultimately I wanted to be able to weld thin gauge aluminum tubing for a custom intake project I had in the works. As soon as I started to feel comfortable welding steel I jumped right into learning to TIG weld aluminum (albeit too quickly). It was frustrating at first, but as they say "practice makes perfect"... or at least practice makes "better" in this case. Below you can see me practicing on some plate aluminum by welding bead after bead.

    Learning to TIG weld aluminum

    Practing TIG Welding Aluminum

    Fast forward to January, and I am ready to begin my custom intake project. I ordered up some 6061 .065 tubing and a pair of cast tight radius 90's. The first job in this process is to cut and weld the 90's together to create as tight of a 180 degree radius as possible. This was a bit daunting since 3" cast 90's aren't very cheap if I messed it up!

    After I cut the pieces down and beveled the edges, I cleaned the weld area with a stainless brush, and Pre. I dropped the helmet down, took a deep breath, and began welding. Above you can see the results. I am satisfied with how it came out, I just need to keep practicing to get that consistent "stack of dimes" look. As I was welding, I did notice that the bevel I made was a bit wide at some points and made it difficult to keep the puddle consistent. I was also getting a lot of contaminants coming to the surface as I was welding, and I couldn't figure out why. After some thought today, it hit me that I prepped the immediate area around the joint, but I probably didn't clean a large enough area. That probably caused all of the contaminants I saw popping up in the leading edge of the puddle. Since I have to weld aother piece to this elbow, I decided to media blast the entire elbow and follow it up with our After Weld to get the surface etched clean. Now that I've taken those extra steps, I really can see how much cleaner the metal is. I'm pretty confident that's where the contaminants were coming from. Next time I can hit the joint with the stainless brush to remove any minuscule corrosion and enjoy a clean weld puddle!

    With anything like this, I'll always be perfecting my skills. I have a long way to go, but I can assure you, that I am hooked on the art of TIG welding!

  • Eastwood Daily News

    • The boss has lost his mind AGAIN! Check out some of the insane bargains! The sale lasts until he finds his sanity... #
    • In this blog entry we came across one of the most incredible classic car rescues! #
  • Parking Lot Gems- 40's Truck Find

    This parking lot gem was spotted by Randy our videographer on his drive into work. He mentioned that it has been sitting at this small auto repair shop since fall, but it seems to move parking spots from time to time. We'd guess it still runs (or they really like pushing!). It seems to be in unrestored condition, still wearing it's traditional green paint. Anyone care to guess the year, make, and model? It's obviously truck from the 40's, but that's all we'll give you!

    Respond with your guesses!

  • Eastwood Daily News

    • Check out what our forum members are powder coating this week! Join the forum and start sharing your powder... #
  • The Ultimate Woods Find - A Classic Saved By A Helicopter

    How far would you go to save a rare classic you love? I've gone to pretty great lengths to obtain a car, or even parts for a car. I remember climbing piles of cars just to get a tiny little interior piece and thinking "man this would suck if these cars fell". Needless to say, in the heat of the moment we don't always use our better judgement!

    Some may remember the early VW Rabbit pictured above that I obtained this past fall. It was saved from a 40 foot high scrap pile and had to be lifted off with a crane! Now it is sitting safely in my garage rolling, stopping, rot free, and almost ready to run! My friends and family all think I'm crazy, but there is just something about saving a car that was so close to death. I'd almost prefer to own a project that has an interesting back story, over one that is slightly cleaner but just bought off of Ebay!

    After reading a blog entry by the guys over at Rod Authority about a remarkable junkyard that was forced to close in Switzerland. I was given a suggestion on Youtube to watch another video by a German fellow that saved an early "Barn Door" VW Bus high up in the mountains. The video starts off like a few "woods-find" videos, deep in the woods, and digging it out of the ground. That alone is pretty cool, but as the video continues, you see they are in the mountains (note the ski lifts in the background), and a helicopter flies in to help. I'll leave the rest of the video for you to watch. But I can assure you there is some great shots in this video!

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