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Old Cars & Auto body Guys – Is Welding an Art or Science

Updated August 24, 2013

Sure it can be said that in 2012 cars are mainly pieces of plastic. Secondly experienced auto insurance adjustors will tell you that “basically all cars and trucks are made the same way now”.  That is with a lot of plastic. It’s not like the old days where bumpers were solid metal with chrome on them. Yet the highest majority of any automobile and automobile products are still made of steel and other metals. Hence welding soldering and brazing skills and knowledge is still of vital importance to the training of auto body collision repair technicians and mechanics. It’s not only those “old body guys” who need to know these basic auto-body repair skills.

Definition of Welding:

“Welding can be described as a metal working process in which metals are joined by heating them to the melting point , and allowing the molten portions to “fuse “ or flow together.

Soldering & Brazing: An Example Soldering Copper Metal to Steel.

Two other metal joining processes which are often confused with welding are “soldering” and “brazing”.  When two metals, which are not melted are joined by a third metal which has a melting point below 800 degrees Fahrenheit ( equivalent to 426 degrees Celsius), this process is referred or called “soldering”.  An example of soldering is the joining of copper to steel using lead-tin alloy.

Brazing: An Example is Brazing Two Pieces of Steel with Silver Alloy:

Brazing, on the other hand, is done when two metals, which are not melted, are joined with a third metal which melts at temperatures above that mythical 800 degrees F. An example of brazing is the joining of two pieces of steel with silver alloy.

Manual Welding:

Manual welding can be defined as an art. The skill to weld and solder metals together can really only solidly obtained after a diligent study of the methods and after much repeated, careful and correct practice. It’s really a case in point of the advice of “old body guys” that’s it book learning, theory and then practice, practice and more practice. In true classification welding can be said to be almost and art-form by its serious practitioners. Some people seem to get the hang of it and be pros in a snap whereas others focus and practice just to get to acceptable levels of auto body collision repair standards. True some trades people seem to pick up the hang of welding better than others, because of a seemingly natural intrinsic gift. Yet the experience of more than one experienced auto-body and welding trade’s instructor at community colleges is that any regular run of the mill person can, under good instruction, and by following correct procedures can in time be a successful and competent welder.

Manual Welding Although an Art – Can Be Learned by Most:

Yet by stating that manual welding is an art and “art form”, it is further meant that continuous practice is necessary in order to maintain a high standard of skill in this kind of work. Thus it is therefore a good case in point that only “proper” equipment in good stead be used when learning to weld and the art of welding. Add to this that only proper metals be used for this practice and learning.  Thorough fundamental procedures must be adhered to and followed along with full and comprehensive supervision in educational facilities for reasons of safety and to correct early mistakes along the way.  After that its practice, practice and still more practice to the road of welding competency.

 

Samuel Nepon brings to his blog years and years of both experience in the automotive trades as well as insight. Raised in the Manitoba interlake “Steamboat” as he is known affectioniativly by his friends and customers lives to tell tall tales . He is a one man google of the Winnipeg North End.  Indeed on top of his autobody shop are the slogans “Welcome to the North End (of Wpg)”  as well as “People before profit”.  Nepon says both slogans go back to Winnipeg’s socialist past click here to download open office

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Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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