help...welding warp

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by laplante0081989, May 13, 2010.

  1. I am building my first smoker, first time ever welding too...and have created a problem. I was adding the door trim to my firebox and turned out pretty well, but I went to go and place it on the box itself and found out it warped excessively obviously during the welding process. Just looking around on the site before I remember someone having this same problem and someone posted back giving him a solution for that if someone could give me a hand that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  2. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    You need to slow down and spread out the heat. Depending on material thickness, don't start at one end and weld it all the way to the end. Weld a little here then stop and weld a little somewhere else along the line then go back and weld a little more where you started and repeat till you're done.

    Like when you weld sheet metal for car body work it's a series of little tack welds that eventually come together to form a continious seam.
  3. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What Dick said is pretty much right on. Its sure easy to mess up and make just one more 1 1/2" bead and wa-la you have a bad warp. On the real thin stuff I like to turn it up hot and run fast, just gota watch for a gap that shows a bare edge, you'll blow right thru it on the thin stuff.

    Its far different then cooking, low and slow makes wonderful warps.

    You might post up where you are located, I am sure there are others as well as myself that would be glad to help ya out. The little tips and tricks are easily learned watching someone over reading it and trying it an hour later.

    Good Luck
  4. diesel

    diesel Smoking Fanatic

    I agree,
    I find it easy to keep going and get it too hot. I try to count the loops I make like 6-10. And get in a habit of repeating it.

    Oh, and thanks Tom37! I am going to try the Never heard of doing that. Being new to welding also.
  5. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    back stich will help do a stich weld 1" or so then start on the cold side & do it again this will keep warpage to a min[​IMG]
  6. rio_grande

    rio_grande Smoking Fanatic

    Depending on how much warp you have and how thick you material is you may be able to straighten what you have by heating it and then using a wet towel on the tall spot to shrink it down,

    I agree stitching is the way to go. I keep my heat as low as possble and still get good welds.

  7. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    Ditto on the stitch welding.
  8. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I apologize for not asking which process you are using. I am going to assume you are using a wire welder, either flux wire or gas with solid wire.

    Also I guess I really didn't answer what you were asking for. Here is a quick picture that may help solve your problem with the piece that is already warpped.


    If your door is curved like this one lay it on a 2x4 and use a 2 lb hammer in the direction of the arrow. Doing this a little bit at a time across the whole radius will tighten the curve. The same goes for a flat door, if the door is humped up hammer on the high side against a 2x4 or something similar. If you will tell us what material you are using. A pic would be the best, I am sure we can help you get it fixed. I have warped plenty of stuff and its easy from a pic to tell if it can be saved.
  9. I came up with an idea that might work, just would like some feedback...
    I grabbed a couple of pipe clamps and clamped them so that it was squeezing the two sides together...seems to have given some of the shape back. My question is what do you guys think if I were to tack weld the back side of the door so that it would hold the shape it has while it is in the pipe clamps?
  10. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    The warp is due to metal shrinkage where it was heated so just clamping may help it some it probably won't fix it all the way. You can streach the metal with peening however. Say lots of little randomlly placed taps with the peen end of a ball peen hammer will streach the metal. More taps closer to the weld where the heat was.

    It's really hard to say without a pic of what you're working on though. Someone else mentioned heating with a torch and cooling with a wet towel. That technique is used all the time too but again it's hard to say what or how without pics.
  11. Depending on what your working with this might work...If you do try it, still use the stitch method as posted above, and let the assembly cool down before removing from the clamps. This will help reduce any deformation from heat.
  12. smoke_chef

    smoke_chef Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I have no clue how to help. However, as a future smoker builder and amateur welder... I wish you all the best of luck and hope that you will continue to post with successes and hang-ups. We all learn from each other and I'm really glad you made this post. Please be sure to continue to update us as the build goes along. And as mentioned before... please post pics.

    Best wishes...

  13. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I haven't done alot of welding in recent years, but do some on occasion. I have been involved with some sizable projects over the years, and I learned to weld @ about 10 years of age on a farm...(if you broke it, you better learn how to fix it).

    One method which helps prevent warping is to tack-weld on each side of your lap joints prior to making a hot pass (similar to the stitch weld already mentioned). Using staggered positions of the tacks on each side first, and then, match all tack welds for the opposing side. This will partially bond the work pieces so that movement can be minimized before the heavier welds are applied to the metal. Tubing and right angles can warp from the high heat of welding as well, so keep this in mind when building smoker frames, legs, etc. Clamping the pieces (when Possible) can help, but is not a 100% cure for the problem.

    One thing to remember is that when you apply a weld to one side of a piece, the weld bead can pull as it cools and shrinks. If you have a tack weld on the opposite side of the weld first, you can counter-act the shrinkage/pulling from the hot pass weld. This doesn't guarantee the metal will not warp, but can reduce it's effect/severity. Also, as your welding progresses, take a few moments to eyeball or measure, fit check, etc...this is especially important when fit is a high priority. By doing this, you will know if things are going to get out of control before correcting it will become a major issue. If things start to look out of wack, then, a good smack with a hammer will break the tack welds loose so you can get things back into shape...just remember what happened and if you need to do something different to prevent it. Think of it as low & slow cooking...take your time and watch the results of your efforts...give yourself time to react to unwanted conditions, so you can more easily take positive action.

    If you just can't find an effective method to remove the warpage, you may need to grind out quite a bit (or most) of the welds with an angle disc grinder, reshape it to the form you need, assure proper fit, and then start with the tack weld method.

    Believe me, I know what you're going doesn't exactly put a smile on your face when you discover it, and it's not fun to fix at all. What ever happens, be patient and in time you will be rewarded for your efforts.

    Best of luck!

  14. hogwart

    hogwart Fire Starter

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