The Best Way to Prepare Sheet Metal For Welding

Posted: January 5, 2021 By: MattM

Possibly the hardest part of automotive repair and restoration is sheet metal repair. It’s a known fact that the better your patch panel fits the easier it is to weld. We have found that the time you spend to make a panel fit will take much less time than to weld and finish out a poorly fitting panel. But sometimes a file fit finish isn’t needed and you may be taking on your first project or just want to get a panel mounted securely without issues. That is where a flange fit comes in place. In the past we’ve offered locking pliers or crimpers that flanged a panel and worked well to create a flange to lap panels together but it was slow and left room for error if you didn’t grab the panel exactly the same each time.

This is where the Perfect Panel Prep Tool comes into play. We used pneumatic power to help make the job easier (especially on long runs) and also made it almost fool proof for making the same flange every time! The Eastwood Pneumatic Perfect Panel Prep Tool easily provides a perfectly beveled 45° weld-prepped edge in 20 or 18 Gauge sheet metal to achieve solid, full-penetration welds with little distortion. Each pull of the trigger will create an .062″ flange with a 45 degree flange that will give you flush lap joint when laying 20 or 18 gauge over top of the flange. On the flip side of the tool you can create .19″ holes that can be used to plug weld joints together as well.

The Perfect Panel Prep Tool is a must for the beginning welder and professional alike. It minimizes blow through and warpage when joining panels. Great for patch panels or full quarter panel replacement. Simply cut patch or full panel. Overlay panel over repair area, scribe and cut panel on vehicle and use the Pneumatic Weld-Prep tool to create the “perfect weld edge”. The formed edge of both panels is now created that will accept the full penetration MIG or TIG bead with almost no post grinding or leveling minimizing warpage and crack potential around your repair. Find the Perfect Panel Prep tool and all of our Metal Fab Tools HERE.

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