Well, I finally got a gas bottle, and got that little Hobart 140 set up. I ended up using .030 solid wire with C25, because the Hobart wouldn't run the .023. However, I'm going to see if I can get a drive wheel that will work with the smaller wire. I think it would be about perfect for much of this restoration work.
I got some practice by cleaning and cutting holes in some of the old exhaust pipe. You can see just how bad I am at this, but I think I'll get the hang of it. I wasn't able to ever run a bead, so I just tried the spot-welding method recommended for sheet metal.
Just make spot welds until you have the whole filled. Worked quite well, but you can see I'm a long way from making pretty welds. But I'm not too disappointed--it's really only the second time I've tried this. I think the thing that helped the most was getting the tip of the welder down to about 1/2 an inch or so from the material. It made a huge difference. You can see from the stray wire that it took me a few times to figure it out. Thank the good lord for flap disks.
After hacking away at the exhaust pipe for awhile, I grabbed one of the old body panels and cut some similar lines in it. The spot welding technique seemed to work perfectly, although you can see I was in a bit of a hurry, and there was some minor panel distortion. While doing the roof and quarter panels, I will take it much more slowly, and have a much larger seam to work with. That will really help when jumping around with the spots. I'm going to do some more practice welds, and then tackle that small patch on the dash panel. Should be interesting. . .
This is the backside of the welds on the sheet metal. . .
And after grinding a bit. I really want to give this a shot with the .023 wire and gas. I think with some more practice, I'll have this down.