TIG welder - TIG welding is the preferred method of welding patch panels since it burns cooler, and distorts panels less often compare to a MIG welder. It also is less likely to burn through the metal.
|(Photo courtesy of Eastwood Company) You should already have most of the equipment you'll need for fabrication work on hand. New purchases will include items such as these electric metal shears.|
MIG welder - MIG welders can be used for thin sheet metal work if the employee is experienced with this work. Usually, MIG welder are too powerful to weld body panels without burning through the metal.
Clamps - Magnetic and mechanical clamps and holders keep fabricated patches in place. Intergrip panel clamps work best for butt welds.
Hammer and dolly - Still necessary for most metal shaping jobs, these tools require significant practice to master.
English wheel - Creates compound curved panels from flat pieces of metal. This tool also requires plenty of practice to master.
Sheet metal break - Creates boxes, brackets and other simple shapes using only straight edged bends.
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Bead rollers - These tools add strength to thin access panels, trunk floors, floor pans and other areas. They also can be used to make professional looking louvers for hoods and trunk lids and can form curved panels for things like roll pans.