grinding the welds: stones, burrs, single or double-cut?

Discussion in 'Painting, Welding, Bending and Gas Tanks' started by augidog, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. augidog

    augidog Banned

    using a 1/4" shank die-grinder...

    what's the most (overall) cost effective accessories to buy for finishing welds?

    or burrs

  2. mabman

    mabman Member

    The best way to finish welds is to start with ones you don't need to finish. ;) If you are brazing you can use dremel tools, files, sandpaper etc.
  3. ENO

    ENO Member

    Bad welds

    Talking about "bad welds"..Check out mine on ENO albums..Should I use a
    stone to clean it up and will it effect the strength of the weld?
  4. augidog

    augidog Banned

    i'm gonna grind everything down to smooth fillets...i don't mind if i have to make a few passes until i get used to the materials & such, i have plenty of time.

    i know a quality stone will take a nice bite, but i know there's a lot of wear.

    a single-cut burr...are they really worth it, double-cut being not much more expensive? and speaking of expensive, burrs ARE! do they last long enuff to justify not just buying a big-lot of stones?
  5. iRide Customs

    iRide Customs Member

    Sometimes I use use round and half round hand files. Start with a mill b_a_s_t_a_r_d and finish with a mill smooth file. You'd be surprised how quickly welds can be filed down with hand files if used properly.
  6. augidog

    augidog Banned


    would it surprise you if i completely forgot i once knew that? thanks,'re absolutely correct, and files are always affordable. i'll just keep a selection of stones around for the work they can do. hand-finishing my work sounds like fun, too :cool2:
  7. graucho

    graucho Active Member

    Hi Augi.

    The stones will get "eaten up" in 2 minutes. The double burrs will be a better bet. I agree with iRide Customs about the files.

    If your open to some tips and tricks here's a few.

    Please! I don't want to get tagged at this site as a know it all. Believe me, I dont know **** about a lot of stuff. I have
    been very lucky as a kid growing up hanging out in the garages of some of the best. I'd like to share. Id like others to pipe up and feed my brain also. lots of different ways to do something.

    Come at it from another angle.
    * Do your welding to the best of your ability.
    * If your an average welder (like me most of the time) strength is better than looks.
    * Use a hand size grinder (4.5") for your first pass.
    * Touch up your welds "here and there" if need be.
    * Come back with a good quality double cut burr or hand files and make it look presentable.

    Then heres where the body work comes in. Believe me, its easier than you may think!
    Find somewhere in your area that sells automotive quality spot putty like this.
    * Use a dab on your finger and pull it around your joints/welds/scratches/pits in thin amounts/layers.
    * Dries in 20 min, sand dab, sand dab etc. It's not like applying bondo. This stuff sands down fast.
    * Keep it up until you start to smile at your weld dissapearing.
    * Spray with sandable primer to bring out imperfections. Repeat above if need-be.

    You can literally have all of your welds disappear in about 3 hrs. (Tops) Ready for full primer. (while drinking a few beers even)
    This is how I made all of my mini choppers look so pretty. LOL I'm in the stages of doing this on my fat tire build. If you want to
    take a "special build" to the next level its well worth it. If your a seasoned professional welder and want to show off your beads,
    ignore the above. LOL

    Attached Files:

  8. augidog

    augidog Banned

    and there it is...i'll be referring to that post time & again, graucho, thanks.

    i'm a middlin' welder who can get better, i know & can produce strength, but am usually too impatient for beauty...this will be a true test for me.
  9. uncle_punk13

    uncle_punk13 Guest

    I use a combination of the above (and agree the stones are just for 'kissing' the final dress-up, they get eaten away way to fast otherwise), but I also use my die grinder with sanding cones and drums, when my compressor isn't up and running, I put the mandrel in my 3/8" drill motor and it works just the same as the die grinder. This is after rough filing with my round b_a_s_t_a_r_d file, and medium mill round. Starting with the sanding cones is the same as the stones it just eats up the cones and drums, which is a waste of money... I use quick set JB weld to do the bodywork trick mentioned above. Lately (since I've acquired the brazing set-up) I use the wire feed to spot weld strategically, then braze the rest; dress the weld from there as needed.:D
  10. wcocc

    wcocc Guest

    great post!
    I was going to post a thread about the same issues with my crappy welds. Pictures will soon follow.

  11. Revorunner

    Revorunner Member

    Thanks Graucho for the tips and tricks.

    Very informative.Never thought about the show quality autobody trick before.:grin5::grin5:
  12. iRide Customs

    iRide Customs Member

    Tomorrow I get my new TIG welder. Hopefully now I will not have to grind or smooth another weld. A lot more chromoly frames will be rolling out of the iRide shop as well...maybe even some aluminum stuff.
  13. graucho

    graucho Active Member

    You guys already do beautiful work! Can't wait to see what you come up with next.
    Congrats on the new welder. There's nothing holding you back now. Thats also one
    of my dream tools. "Cats Meow" of frame welding. Enjoy.
  14. augidog

    augidog Banned

    wow, dan...that sounds like a giant leap forward...

    yaknow, the iRide shop & my time there is where a lot of our inspiration comes from for the center...i still dig up those old topics sometimes. you showed me how easy the basic theory behind framing is, and also how rewarding good detailing can be. now i hope i can put 'em together like i see 'em in my mind :cool2:
  15. augidog

    augidog Banned

    i hugged my welder, too!

    i spent some time playing around with the MIG today (i scored a solar auto-darkening helmet on the cheap) and it's amazing how much flux-core has advanced...i'm pleased as punch with my beads, & don't expect to be doing any extreme grinding.

    so, i'm going to rig up a coupla drop-out jigs out of axles on wooden blocks, mount them level and square on the table, and see what i can accomplish with the now retired & gutted "bluto" (just a big old diamondback) who's slated for a remake.

    here's a hint: whatever it's new name, it'll be EZM-powered ;)
  16. graucho

    graucho Active Member

    Augi, how do you go about picking a name for your bikes? On topic, what size wire do you use. .030......035? I ran out of my.035 stock a while back and I had 1 spool of .030 on hand. Its probably just me but I found it easier to handle. I wonder what others use/like? I almost don't want to go back to .035 for frames.
  17. augidog

    augidog Banned

    i'm using the included 1lb spool of .030, it seems ideal for the gauges we work with. but, i went with the more popular choice and bought 2 lbs of .035 and a card of tips for when this runs out. according to the attached heat-chart, the welder has a lowest setting that should be just right with it.

    "sabrina-2" is named for a dear friend's (deanna, read about her in our rally threads) greyhound (sabrina)...sleek and able to lope all day. "bluto" just seemed right for the gebe/curry hybrid, whizzer fork, vintage-drum...big and clunky, solid but clumsy.
  18. iRide Customs

    iRide Customs Member

    If I were you, I would try to make a jig out of metal. Yes you can get things pretty straight with wood but the accuracy and longgevity of the metal is worth it. Pictured below is the new jig I am using.

    I don't know if they make a flux core in a smaller wire might be a little better for thin wall tubing that is used in frame building. With the ssmaller wire, you might be able to run the welder a little hotter as well.

    Attached Files:

  19. graucho

    graucho Active Member

    WOW! That is just simply a beautiful set up! Only in my dreams. LOL
  20. augidog

    augidog Banned

    hey, wait a minute!

    that's not the rig i saw...that's sweet!

    i'd like to build one like you used to have, the telescoping rectangular steel...soon's the materials present themselves...meantime, i gotta get going on something, anything. so, using the simple method you showed me, i know i can build & lock down some jigs on a temporary basis.

    i'm thinking i agree about the smaller wire but i'll only know for sure after i try some different'll take .024/.030/.035 MIG, flux-core, or aluminum, reversable polarity, 4 heat settings, easy-setup for gas, napa just down the block has home-size looks like i'm in for some fun :cool2:
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009