When you are using an arc welding machine, you will need to understand what its duty cycle is as it will help you preserve the life and quality of your tool. On this page, you will learn about what a duty cycle is and how it is relevant to MIG welders, specifically.
The MIG Welding Duty Cycle
When you purchase a MIG welder, you will notice a specification on the packaging or in the manual called the duty cycle. This refers to the amount of welding that can be achieved in a given amount of time. The reason this specification is important is it informs the user of how long the MIG welder can work at its optimum level, since MIG welders, or any other welders, do not perform continuously as opposed to some other automotive tools that do.
A perfect example of a duty cycle can be found in the Eastwood MIG 175 Amp Welder. The MIG 175 has a rated duty cycle of 30% at 130 amps. This means that the power signal of the MIG 175 should remain on for 30% of the time and off 70% of the time at 130 amps of power. If you look at your welding time in increments of 10 minutes, the duty cycle is a percentage of that 10 minute increment. In other words, with a 30% duty cycle at 130 amps, you can weld for three solid minutes and should let the welder cool off for seven minutes. You can increase the duty cycle percentage by turning down the amperage output, but going above the amp output (in this case, 130 amps) will yield a lower duty cycle. If you exceed the duty cycle and the breaker is tripped, allow the MIG welder to cool down for at least 15 minutes. A rated duty cycle on any MIG welding machine is there to protect you and your welder from any long-lasting damage.
To learn more about MIG welding and for more automotive articles, be sure to visit Eastwood.com.
The crew at Honesty Charley and Street Rodder Magazine have been doing a great job of keeping the 2013 Road Tour car under wraps. We've been bugging them for a while for some teasers and they finally shot us a few photos to keep us enticed.
As we mentioned in previous posts, this car has had a lot of rust repair done already and equally as much custom work done. The work continues as they are whipping up some panels for the car using their Eastwood Shrinker Stretcher Set and Plastic Metal Shaping Mallets to build some panels that needed some shape built into them. Who can guess what part they're building in the photos below?!
While some of the guys are working on some final metal fabrication, the rest of the team are starting on the body work in the areas they customized and repaired already. The tedious job of block sanding the car has been made a little easier with the use of Soft Sander Sanding Blocks and the Adjustable Flexible Sanding Blocks. The car is moving along quickly and we hear it should be getting some primer and color any day now. As soon as we smuggle some pics of the car in color you'll be the first to see it! Stay tuned!
In the last update I was working on cutting out metal to make the firewall and mocking up my new brake pedal setup from Speedway. Since then I've been pretty busy making something from nothing. I had to initially tackle how I was going to mount the brake booster and pedal assembly under the cab. The first problem was that where the pedal bracket needed to live the S10 chassis started to pinch in and put the pedal on a weird angle. This kit was made for an earlier frame that's mostly straight/flat and like anything with a custom build, I had to get creative.
I first used some jack stands to hold the brake assembly in place and eyeball up the position it needed to be in. I then traced out the area that the mounting pad for the pedal bracket needed to sit. I decided I could make a "cheese wedge" shaped mounting box that I could sink into the frame rail so that the pedal bracket would sit straight and everything would jive. I used 1/4" plate and copied the mounting holes to the base plate and welded the mounting bolts to the plate since they'd be hidden once the box was built. I used our Small Magnetic Welding Jig Set to square up the pieces and welded them together with the TIG200 DC Welder. The result was a strong mounting box I could sink into the frame and mount to the pedal box. I made my cuts in the chassis and mounted the box into the frame. Once I was sure it was square, I tack welded it into place with the MIG175 Welder.
Now that I had the shiny Right Stuff Brake Parts mounted in place I dropped the air suspension and checked my clearance when aired out. The booster sits a couple inches below the chassis, but even when the body is sitting on the ground the booster has 4 inches or more of clearance. I'd probably rip the front end off before the brake parts were touched. That would be a BAD section of road even here on the east coast!
My celebration of having a brake setup was cut short when I slide the Speedway brake pedal on and found that the brake pedal landed where my throttle pedal should be. I like to heel-toe my brake and throttle when driving.. but this was unacceptable! I decided to cut apart the brake pedal arm, shorten it, brace it and move the pedal over a few inches so that it sat where a brake pedal should. I also had to "clock" the mounting tab for the linkage under the pedal so that the pedal sits up high enough that it won't contact the chassis when I am pushing the pedal. I again used 1/4" steel plate and the TIG200 DC to box and brace the pedal to handle the force of pressing the brake pedal. Don't mind the rough floor in the photos, we just welded that in temporarily to keep the cab from flopping around while we worked on the roof chop and the firewall.
With the brake parts mounted in place I could finally turn my attention back to the firewall and engine/transmission tunnel. I started by making the back side of the firewall setback. I used one of our Adjustable Profile Gauges to transfer the radius of the top of the TCI Auto Transmission to the panel. After tracing out my pattern I cut the rough shape out of 16 gauge steel with our Electric Metal Shears. Now the electric shears work really great for cutting laser straight lines and gentle curves, but when you need to make a tighter radius cut those shears are out of their element. I decided to mount up one of our Throatless Shears to make the cuts I needed. The nice thing about the "throatless" shear is that you can go as slow or fast as you want so that you can make some really clean, accurate cuts. I cut out the top curves to match the top panel I made on the english wheel, then cut the transmission tunnel radius and I had my second panel of the firewall made.
Now with the back panel of the firewall channel made, I decided that I wanted to ditch the panel I made on the english wheel and form the panel out of one piece. I decided to use 18 gauge steel and form the piece using our Shrinker Stretcher Kit to make the panel match the radius of the main portion of the firewall we had made already. I cut a piece of 18 gauge a little longer than I needed and broke a 1/2" bend on each side of the panel. These edges will allow me to work them with the stretcher to get the radius I need on the panel. This panel was a little more difficult to make as I had to evenly stretch each side little by little as I went to get the shape the same on the entire panel. I actually went a little far when initially stretching the shape I needed and I had to work backwards with the shrinker in a few spots to get the panel back into shape to match the panel. That's the nice thing with metal is that you can always undo what you've done if you stretched or bent the metal a little too much. Once I got the shape close, I used the hammer and dolly to match the rolled edge we made earlier match with this new panel. Then I used Cleco Clamps to hold the pieces together.
Now that I have the pieces in place I can start to see everything taking shape. I need to tackle making the wheel tubs for the front wheels and the transmission tunnel next. I'm hoping I'll be able to start melting all of this metal together with an Eastwood Welder shortly! Thanks for watching!
We recently held a live tech demo on the basics to buffing metal. I gave some insight on the basics, tips, tricks, and safety when buffing. We had a great response for the Q&A and ran out of time to answer all of the questions. I wanted to answer all questions we missed live, so below are the answers for any we missed. Thanks for watching and drop us a line if you have an idea for another live tech demo! -Matt/EW
Datest41- How do you take pits out of chrome plated pot metal?
worker9270- How d you take pits out of chrome?
We had a lot of questions about this. The short answer to this is that you can't remove pits or rust or major imperfections in chrome. Chrome is a coating and much like paint once the rust or pitting is coming up from under the coating it can't be fixed without removing the coating and treating the surface. Minor spotting can be polished out of chrome, but major defects like pits, rust, flaking, etc can not be fixed with out stripping and chroming the part again.
alanbarclay73- Any tips for cleaning and protecting a rusty cast exhaust manifold?
swayman007- Can you use any of these to polish out scratches in glass?
The blue "plastic" compound may help with some hazing, but scratches (especially if you can feel them with your fingernail) are tough to get out of glass. Our Pro Glass Polishing Kit for Deep Scratches will be the best bet in that situation.
xplodee- Do you ever cheat on super soft metals by starting with emory compound rather than sanding?
I'd be a liar if I said I haven't! The only thing you have to be careful with is that it is easy to take too much material away when using the buff motor and a heavier compound or more aggressive buff wheel than suggested for that metal. Just be VERY careful when doing that and check your progress often.
wildfire02- Wouldn't it be better to polish really small parts in a vibratory polisher?
A vibratory polisher or tumbler works GREAT for small parts, but admittedly it does take quite a long time to get parts mirror polished with a tumbler. If you have a big pile of small parts to polish, I'd definitely say use the tumbler, but if you just have a handful or just a couple small items, it might be quicker/easier to use a buff wheel. It really depends on the situation.
swayman007- Can you use these wheels on a polisher sander for like polishing diamond plate?
It could be possible, but you have to make sure that the buff wheels can safely mount to your polisher and that the polisher rotates at the correct RPM range.
Datest41- What sort of wheel is used for step 1, 2, 3 and step 4?
I covered that in the video, but it's also laid out in a chart in a tech article on or site here: HERE
mimiof6- Does is matter what rpm the motor is?
It depends on what you're buffing and the size of the wheel and motor you're using. We recommend 3600 for most metals (lower is acceptable for plated parts and softer metals) and 1800 for plastics with a 10" buff wheel.
kennyredman- How often do you use a sisal wheel- would it have been appropriate on that rough sandcast?
The sisal wheel is used for heavy cutting and smoothing metal. It works well for smoothing rough metal when coupled with our greaseless compounds.
xplodee- the brass parts i polish are antique fans sitting inside?
It depends on the conditions they are exposed to, but we guarantee at least 3 months, but probably longer if they're inside a climate controlled situation.
wildfire02- do you have to change wheels with different compounds because of contamination or not mix?
It's a best practice because it is difficult to get ALL of the traces of old compound off of the wheel and it could be counter-active to the polishing procedure.
dreamboat77- don't you mean white compound? Rouge is red?
The white compound is referred to as "White Rouge" throughout the industry. Not sure who started that or why, but there is white AND red rogue compound. Red is generally the final coloring compound and a bit more delicate than the white rouge.
Datest41- what color is step 2?!?
It depends on the material that you're buffing or polishing. We have a good breakdown of the steps in the tech article on our site. You can see that here: Here
swayman007- how do you determine what size wheels to use 6", 8", or 10"?
It depends on the buff motor that you're using. Check your motor for details on which is best. We have a chart in our buffing tech article on the site. You can see it Here.
xplodee- What does everyone do to collect the dust from their buffer?
One idea I didn't hit on during the live feed was that you could let a shop vac run during the buffing process to pick up the dust thrown by the wheel. It isn't as good as a air filtration system, but it is a similar concept.
JorgeCardoso- I want to see how to work with the expander wheel, do you have any video?
We do not currently have a video on using the expander wheel. We'll work on getting one put up ASAP!
bamadio- You sell a 2 speed buffer motor. In what situations do you use each speed?
The higher speed is used for metal and the lower speed is normally used for plastics and delicate metals or plated parts.
I must admit that when it comes to my projects I have A.D.D, especially one as large as Pile House. Sometimes life gets in the way or we have other projects going at Eastwood (like our Project Resolution Mustang), that I can only devote small amounts of time or maybe a day here and there on the truck. When that's the case, it's tough to start or finish projects that take a big chunk of time to accomplish. One of MY resolutions for this year is to finish all the half-done and partially finished projects on Pile House.
One project I had started a while ago was the custom front bumper build for the truck. I did what many hotrodders have done throughout the years, and hit the junkyard to find a suitable part to modify and retrofit to my truck. The result was a bumper bar that looked close to original.
Since then I've done a lot to the truck and the bumper has sat under a layer of dust in the bed. The other day I had a spare afternoon to tackle the rest of the bumper project. The biggest task left was how I was going to mount the bumper to the truck. With it being winter here I decided to opt out of another junkyard trip (removing rusty bumper brackets in the snow is NOT my idea of fun). Instead, I took some flat steel and made up a set of mounts. These mounts needed to be strong enough to help support the weight of the front end of the truck when I lowered the airbags down. I didn't want the sheet metal taking the weight every time I aired the truck out, especially if someday the truck will have nice paint on it!
So I started by cutting some 5/16" steel plate to length. I planned to make a triangulated mount that would help hold the weight when transferred across the front bumper.
The first piece we needed to make was an "L" shape out of the flat bar stock. In order to get a nice bend in this I used the oxy-acetylene torch to heat up where I wanted the bend, then I used some leverage with some pipe to make the 90 degree bend I needed in the bar. The key is to get the metal "cherry red" hot where you want the metal to bend. With the bends made in the bars, I cut some more 5/16" plate and triangulated and braced the pieces I bent. This will add rigidity to the bracket. In order to get a better fit-up of the cross brace, I sanded an angle into the ends of the brace with the Belt/Disc Sander and finally tack welded it together with the MIG 175 welder.
With the bracket starting to take the basic shape I wanted, I cut another piece of 5/16" flat bar that I could weld to the backside of the bumper and the bracket. In the end I want to shave the bumper and have no visible mounting holes, so the bracket must be welded to the bumper bar itself.
Finally, I test fit the bumper and drilled my mounting holes to attach the bumper to the S10 chassis under the body. Once I was happy with the fitment of the bumper, I took it off and finished welding all of the seams on the brackets and the bumper bar with the MIG 175. I then decided to add some additional bracing to the bracket to help combat any bending or flexing of the bracket when the bumper is laid on the ground.
This left me with a bumper bracket that resembled a jungle gym and I wanted to box it all in so it looked a little more "finished". I decided to take some 18 gauge steel and cut pieces to the shape of the sides of the brackets. Since I was covering the inside of the bracket, I decided to seal up the soon-to-be-hidden areas with some Gray Self Etching Primer. From there I used the Eastwood TIG 200 DC to weld the panels on. Once all of the seams were welded I blended them all together with a flap disc
Now that the bumper is mounted it really makes the front end look more complete AND I'm not lowering the truck down on the front sheet metal anymore. When it comes time to disassemble for paint I'll blast the inside of the bumper with some rust encapsulator and chassis black to keep them corrosion-free for the life of the truck. With that old project finished, I can now move on to all the other loose ends I have on the truck!