Metalworking FAQs & Dictionary of Terms

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Torch Fittings

What is the difference between A and B torch fittings?

Alumaloy vs. Rods and Flux

I have some 4043 aluminum rods in 1/16th and 1/8th with no flux...

Welding Aircraft Sheet

This correspondence is from Kent to Tom, the owner of a Spartan Executive which needs a cabin topskin...

Classic Car Body Work

I very much enjoy working on classic cars. Real body work, not filling voids with plastic, has always interested me...

TIG Welding .060 Stainless

We have been attempting to Tig weld .060 stainless. The material is 2 inches wide rolled into a circle, where it is butt welded. I do not want to see an ugly weld...

1961 Piper Colt

I have a 1961 Piper Colt. There are a few small cracks in the cowling that I need to repair...

Welding Bike Frame

I was hoping you could steer me in the right direction of welding a mountain bike frame of 4130...

First Welded Aircraft Fuselage

Kent, when was the first aircraft fuselage made of welded tubing?

Welding Certification

How does one become a certified welder?

The Big Question

I am interested in knowing why gas is preferred over T.I.G. when welding aluminum. I'm a T.I.G welder by trade and outside of hobby, airplane restoration, etc. I have never heard of gas welding aluminum, except in the old days...

Welding Problems

I spent most of yesterday on a Square Wave Tig, just doing practice work on 6061 stock. I was not very successful; I could get a puddle going, but it had no penetration at all; the parts would simply fall away once I un-clamped them. Or they would mix, but then crack down the seam when they cooled. Or....

Gas Welding Birmabright

Is it possible to gas weld the Birmabright, the proprietary alloy used in Land Rover bodies?

Welding Dirty Metal

I need to weld up some parts ... that's been in an engine compartment of a round motor for 56 years and impregnated with oil...

Gas Welding Stainless Pipe in the Field

I have been asked to fabricate an SS exhaust piping system for an engine test cell. (Not a header)...

Silver Braze vs. Tig Welding

Hello, Could you explain the difference in silver braze vs. Tig. welding, such as in boiler manufacture...

6-G Code Weld

Could you please describe a 6-G Code Weld?

Welding: TIG vs. Gas

What are the pros and cons of welding 4130 with tig or gas?

Aluminum Kiln Steel

The question is about aluminum kiln steel. We are curious if it welds any different...

How to Butt Weld Stainless Tube

Do you have any training material that would help me with stainless gas welding?

Copper Welding vs. Soldering

Presently I solder all my copperwork pieces but I am very interested in the welding process if possible...

Aluminum Welding Limits

I just read your article on welding aluminum with gas..... The article said it was only practicle to weld .05 inch material...

Welding Lens Safety

I've got a friend who has had both of his lens (eyes) replaced and I suspect his extensive welding was the cause...

Process for Welding Railroad Rail

What is the process for welding rail - the torch, tip sizes, fillers, pre-and postheats? Answer by special guest, Tom Koehler.

Welding Railroad Rails

More from Tom Koehler on welding railroad rails...

Stainless Torch Welding

I am working on a project using #316 (not #136L) stainless tube; 1" dia. X .035" wall, and would like to learn how to butt weld the material...

Welding: TM2000 Glasses

Tinman, ...And why are your lens prices so expensive?

Welding: Cast Iron to Mild Steel

I'm welding some mild steel shims to an old cast iron frame...

Welding- Motorcycle Frame

I have a 1930's frame for an Ariel Red Hunter motorcycle...

Welding Aluminum

Is a Victor 100 torch ok to use for welding aluminum when I buy your kit or do I need to buy the torch also?

Welding Design - Perpendicular Tubes

I have two types of joints...

Welding Design - Tool to Weld Chrome Moly and Aluminum

We are looking for the perfect tool to weld .058 chromolly and/or aluminum tubing...

4130 Welding Certification

I work for a small company that builds giant puppets for themeparks (disneyland, etc)....

TIG Welding -- Pros & Cons:

"I'm considering a Hatz as my next project, so I'm interested in melting pieces of metal together....In the Sport Aviation I received today, there was a lengthy article pushing TIG welding. What are the advantages/disadvantages..?

Welding Tip Pressure:

"I have one question about the Smith outfit. Most of the other outfits ( non Smith) I have used say to use a Acetylene and oxygen pressure of 2 to 6 psi depending on the size material and size of the tip. ..

What is the best welding flux removal technique for aluminum tanks?

I am interested in the flux, lens and booklets on aluminum welding. Regarding the flux:

Is it corrosive and required to be removed?
Aircraft 4130 Chromemoly welding:

Dr. Majic and Dr. Young recommend RG45 for welding of 4130 tubes...

Eyewear and Gas Welding:

I have been a fabricator for 20 years in aircraft, racecar tubs and structures. I Tig everything except aluminum tanks and turbo intake plenums. I have have both cobalt and Burtweld lenses.

Does 3003 weld to 6061?

My problem is I can only seem to find solid wire in 6061. how does 6061 and 3003 weld?

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Meco Aviator Jet Adaptor

Allows you to fit all Meco Midget Tips to Meco Aviator Jet. DISCONTINUED ITEM

Redrilling Torch Tips

Saw your note about the hole in the victor tip progression...

Meco Torch Line

Do you carry the entire meco line? I am interested in the cost of the torch that is comperable to the smith airline series...

Meco Torch: Tips

I have a N-1 and N-2 tip but would like more FIRE out of this bad little puppy...

Meco Torch: Flame Polishing

I have a specific need to flame polish a cellulose acetate rod about 1/8" in dia. at about 300 per minute in an automatic machine...

Meco Midget Torch

I'm at ground zero on oxyacet. welding...

Meco Midget for Gas Welding

You suggest using the Meco Midget for gas welding, is this torch large enough to weld the tubing and fittings required on a aircraft frame...?

Meco Torch:

I'm in the market to buy a torch for welded sculpture...

Meco Torch:

How does the Meco Midget compare with the very lightweight torch made by Smith?

Meco Torch:

I have a 6 yr old Meco torch and am having trouble with the valves properly closing...

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Home Remedies

..if you could tell me some chemicals that can be used to remove rust. The formulas don't have to be from the products you sell, but just the general chemicals that can remove rust...

MP-7 Must for Rust

I was wondering about the MP-7 product you sell. I have a 36 Ford Coupe that I'm working on...

MP-7 Must for Rust 2

I have a motorcycle gas tank has rust on the inside of it...

Rust Remover Products for Large Projects

Restoration of a large group of commercial equipment which would require approx. 100 gallon of rust remover product.

Rust Remover for underside of a truck

Kent, would the rust remover that you sell be a good product to use on the underside of my truck?

Rust Remover safe for chromium plated surfaces

Is your rust remover safe for chromium plated surfaces with tiny pinhole rust spots?

Rust Remover/Inhibitor:

I have a 1982 Pontiac TransAm that is suffering from some rust and I need your help...

Rust Remover Products for Existing Metal Building

Would the Must For Rust , mp-7 product be fesiable in an applicatation to an existing metal building?

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Brazing and Soldering FAQs

Silver Braze It

I have a 2 gallon professional hand pump insecticide sprayer (B&G) which has developed a small pinhole in an area not near a seam....

Soldering Aluminum Foil

I would like to solder Al foil (Ordinary Al foil you find at the supermarket) for perfect electrical and mechanical contact with an ordinary soldering iron...

Brazing versus Soldering:

Welding Challenged asks: "Are both soldering processes? Silver soldering being a specific process, where brazing is a more generic term? Isn't brazing normally a melted bronze soldering process?...

Brazing vs. Soldering, Technical:

I recently reviewed your response regarding the difference between soldering and brazing. Having worked for a manufacturer of brazing and soldering products for 16 years I would like to provide a more accurate explanation of these processes....

Brazing Tank Fittings:

The skins of the tanks are made of .025 thick 6061-T6 as per plans. However, the aluminum fuel fittings are very large (.100 to .120 thick) in comparison to the skin. Question - Should I braze the fittings into the skin?

Brazing & Welding, Aluminum:

All the welding supply houses in my area want to sell me brazing fluxes and I found your products while surfing the web. If you could e-mail respond I will promptly order by mail. I have enjoyed your presentations at Oshkosh.

Silver Solder Closest in Color to Copper

I am making some copper chargers for table use (no food contact). I want to solder some decoration and...

Brazing - Joining Brass to Stainless Steel

My husband is making some barbecue tools where he is joining brass handles to stainless steel....

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Tools FAQs

Air Hammer Question

I would like to use your Air Power Hammer shrinking dies in my planishing hammer. I have a Proline Planishing Hammer, the lower dies are 13/16 where they fit into the hammer and so are the top. I know your top die is smaller but...

English Wheel Plans

I have a question concerning the blueprints for the big powerhouse 49" english wheel...

Utter Novice

What tools and instructional literature do you suggest for basic level learning? I don't want to break the bank buying Rolls Royce-quality tools when Chevrolet-quality will suffice...

Filing Aluminum

I'm having a heck of a time with my files "gumming up" with aluminum...

Tube Bending Question

I am building a Piel Emeraude, an "all wood" design. Anyway, your answer to bending 4130, in your Q/A section...

Lancaster Shrinker/Stretchers

I see you are selling shinker/stretcher for $138. How much is the extra die set and why would it drive me buggy?

Doming Dies

Never hear anybody talk about doming dies--they seem to work good...


I just saw an article in the Cessna owner magazine that featured some of your work...

Shot Bags- Lead or Steel?

When going to buy shot for the forming bags...

Shot Bags

Any specifics to look for in a leather shot bag for some REALLY basic practicing!?

Torch, Henrob:

Please send me some information on the Henrob welding torch and the cost.

Henrob 2000 Torch:

Saw this product (the Henrob 2000) demonstrated at a car show. I would like more info and the price. I really am interested in buying one.

Buy a Henrob?

Potential Henrob buyer asks: "The plans arrived last week, I am ready to start building but I haven't purchased the oxyacetylene torch yet. Big question is: "Is the *Henrob* (sp?) worth the dollars asked?...

Tool Source

I'm looking for a machine that will bend 1/4 thick X 3/4 wide flat metal into a 12 to 14' circle

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Miscellaneous FAQs

Zinc Repairs

I am running into some die cast zinc carbureter bodies and also a zinc model aircraft engine crankcase, all of them cracked to varying degrees. What process and materials would you reccomend I try on these?

White Compound and Stitched Buff

Is "white" compound the same stuff that you buy to compound your paint to remove oxide? and (2) what is a "stitched" buff?...

Bending Square Tubing

I'm looking to make a square tubing bender...

Thoriated Tungsten Danger?

I was reading an article by ron covell in the newest streetrodder mag. and he mentioned that using thoriated tungsten is dangerous for your health...

Cleaning Chrome Moly

Regarding cleaning of chrome-moly tubing, you mention using alcohol as opposed to acetone. What specific type of alcohol (isopropyl, denatured, ethyl) do you recommend or does it matter?

Fusing Copper

The thing we were curious about is if there is a way to fuse copper together so that it can be hammered and not crack.

Corrosion Between Metals

In your video "Edge those Panels" you use a piece of steel rod when you put a wire edge in the aluminum fender. Is there a possibility of corrosion between these two different metals. Again thank you for the great videos.

Fabricating Car Parts

I am planning to fabricate a frame that outlines the windshield opening of a '36 Ford Coupe out of 18 gauge steel angle...

Sharpening Files

Would appreciate any info on sharpening files.


"I am looking for stakes and hammers for sinking, raising and planishing silver bowls and trays..."

Source for Steel

I am looking for a source for small quantities (2-3 sheets) at a time of A-K/Deep drawing 18-20 guage sheet steel...

Making Decorative Surface 'Engine Turning' on Aluminum Sheet

I am looking for information on making the decorative surface "engine turning" on aluminum sheet, the swirling circles which overlap to make an interesting pattern...

Lead Coated Steel

What I am looking for is steel covered with a thin coat of lead on both sides sometimes referred to as turn plate...

Dissimilar Metal Corrosion

I recently purchased some of your videos. I want to tell you how pleased I am...


I haven't found anyone here in Houston who knows what dom/crew tube is. Could you please elaborate...

Working Out Dents

I have used the lessons from the Nov 14-15 class and beat the daylights out of everything...

Aircraft Alloys

I am starting a project to build the various cowl and nose pieces for a 1949 J3 Cub...

Bugatti Pedal Car

I spent several springs there (in the mid 60's) working for a collector of classics name Alton Walker...


I'm doing a chemistry project on acetylene...

Airstream Trailer:

I have a 1958 Airstream trailer that has suffered serious damage to the front roof panels. I want to replace them myself...

Airstream Trailer, 'Bambi' Needs Panels:

I have a 1961 airstream trailer that a tree branch fell on the upper front panels of the trailer...

Stainless, working:

We are building the Joe-cell car. The steel tubing we've got is (at this point of knowledge) the correct dimensions according to the data we've seen on the video, but it is slightly magnetic. They've stated plainly that magnetism is a quality we must avoid...

Explosive Forming:

I am a student of the Luleå Techniska University (Sweden), and I am actually taking a course called "Sheet Metal Forming"...

Dents in Steel Gas Tanks:

I have a couple of old motorcycle tanks that have minor dents. I'm looking for advise on how to best remove them...

Torch- Flame Polishing:

I have a specific need to flame polish a cellulose acetate rod about 1/8" in dia. at about 300 per minute in an automatic machine. It does not need much heat...

Shrinking Question:

Just watched again an old video 1980 video of Myron Stevens hand forming the nose of a racer. His approach to shrinking is clear now...

Skinned Knuckles:

You referenced Skinned Knuckles in one of your videos, Is this a magazine or what?

Cutting Sheet Metal:

I have some used tin to put on top of a shed. I want to be able to cut it straight and keep it in line with the building.

Bending 4130 chrome-moly:

Well, its time to start bending tubing on the airplane project...

Bashed Nose on Karmann Ghia:

Hello, I was sent your web address by a Karmann Ghia Guru, Richard Troy. The nose on my 1968 Karmann Ghia met up with the rear end of a Pontiac, and the Pontiac won...

Crowning Doors for Morgan Drophead

I making door skins for...and need to roll them...

Too Much Crown?

Metal former asks: "I have one question about the metal forming and that would be "Can you take out too much crown if you have put too much into a panel without using a torch?"

Straighten a Brass Sphere:

Sputnik Man asks: "I found your site surfing trying to find a way to straighten a 6" diameter brass sphere with about .030 wall thickness from an old sputnik light. The sphere has a circular opening about 3" in diameter. I have no clue how this thing was manufactured, much less how to get it smooth again..."

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Dictionary of Terms


Weighs more
Takes longer
Burns better
Tough to repair, but easy to fix
Questionable longevity, (as ozone and ultraviolet love it)
Finish the job, lose the medical
Building anything with a spatula causes an instant loss of  self-respect.


- is that goofy term still hanging around?
- I use a torch to weld with, not my body hammer.
- I could never get my hammers hot enough to weld with.
- They never break, so I don't have to fix them.
- I tried to hammer the metal together but it never held.
- My blacksmith heats the metal to a white heat in the forge, and then
- hammers it tightly together,  and this is called "forge welding." ---(But Frank Turley calls it a "forge glue.")

Hammer welding is a "hotrod term", based on the mischief that if you hammer on hot glowing steel that has been previously welded with either torch or TIG, then you are "hammer welding" see the logic? Hammering on a hot weld means "hammer welding"?

I never have figured out what they label it when I hammer hot steel way far from a weld. Traditional metalmen label hotworking methods as, "hot planishing", where the metal is smoothed when hot. "Hot shrinking" where the metal is shrunk, and "hot stretching" guessed it...the metal is stretched. These terms are used professionally by many, but "hammer welding" is a cause for laughter amongst the true metalmen. Decades ago, some guy must have walked by a blacksmith's spreading chestnut tree and saw him forge-welding and then saw a body man heating and beating a fender and figured out the new term for both: "hammer welding." ...And both of those craftsmen must have laughed when they heard it. But it stuck.

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