Welding panels: cutting and grinding supplies?

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I am putting new panels in the FJ40. they are the "patch" panels for the quarter panel. How do I cut for the patch? I got the replacement from Toyotafab (?) on ebay.

I also need to put a new sill in. I've seen Rzeppa's site.

How do I start cutting for the sill?

I don't have many tools. I have a grinder. Will this work for cutting the panels to put the patch in ?

What grinding and cutoff wheels do I need to do this (4.5" grinder)

The first pic is from the ad I bought the panels from.

The second pic is from this board. (IanB)

THe third is the clamps I am going to use to "butt weld" the panel in.

Thanks
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gladly

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just make sure that you get the thin cutting wheels, some stores sell 1/8 thick ones and they suck IMHO, 1/16 work great, and you can get ones called zip-cut disks that are even thinner (3/64), and work great, but wear quicker and may break a bit easier if you manage to jam the grinder, but that probably isn't likely to be a concern for you since it looks like you are just making straight cuts. they cut nice!
as far as brand, I don't think it really matters, hardware store ones might be a bit lower quality than welding store ones, but probably not enough better to make a difference if you are just using them occasionally for small projects the zip cut ones are made by Walter, and sold at most welding supply stores.
clamps look like they should work fine, I've never used them, but it seems like they could be helpful if you have them.
grinding disks, I usually use the ones that just look like a thicker version of the cutting disk, but lots of folks on here are saying that the flap sanding ones are good, so I bought one, but have yet to try it out.
good luck
 
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i've used the harbor freight cut off wheels, they wear out fairly quick but also cut fairly quick.... def, less expensive then getting one at a time from home depot at 2.xx a peice
 
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Save your money and buy an air saw. It is basically an air powered jig saw or skill saw depending on where you live. I f**ked around with trying to cut nice lines for patch panels with a cut off wheel and screwed them up everytime. Not enough level of detail or precision IMO. My bro is redoing a 70 Chevelle SS and turned me onto the saw method. You can cut a perfect straight line or arc with one. harbor freight carries them.

www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=113
 
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I use a few different tools, the Dewalt cut off discs Model: DW8061 listed below work well, a Dremel with reinforced cut off wheel for detailed work, and rarely a Sawzall. You'd be surprised how detailed you can get with a cut off wheel - I like to use the thin Dewalt disc to grind down my welds. If you elect to use the Sawzall - you better make damn sure you know exactly what and where you are going to cut as it can rip through a lot of material - very quickly. See my sig for some of the work I've managed to get done with these tools - I was in the same boat as you are and the repair is coming along nicely. Let me know if you have any questions.

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=178779-70-DW8061&lpage=none
 

gladly

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drawback to a sawzall is the stroke length, they need a lot of depth. jigsaw is better for shallow cuts. but a cutoff wheel is better.
here's the theory, using a straightedge, score the line that you want to cut with a utility knife,or a scriber, rusty nail or whatever. take your grinder with a (thin) cutting disk, trace the knife line, don't cut all the way through, just score it, then deeper, then through. not being able to cut a straight line is usually the result of sticking the cutoff wheel through the panel, then trying to aim it while it munches it's way through, which is fine for roughing stuff in, but not the best approach for fine bodywork
watch some of the fab shows on tv, american chopper/american hot rod/extreme4x4/trucks and you'll see how they do it. or just go start cutting stuff up
 
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take your grinder with a (thin) cutting disk, trace the knife line, don't cut all the way through, just score it, then deeper, then through.

Bingo - you would be surprised just how straight a cut you can make using this method. Another thing that makes it easier is using a smaller 4 1/2" grinder.
 

Jakes40

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I used all of the tools mentioned above to do my rear 1/4s. I wanted to do an over lap joint for the seams but the offset tool I had bent up and did not give me the offset I needed so I just but welded it like the pic above. Came out ok but I’m not building a show piece and the metal was free.
 
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There are countless cool toys you can use to cut body panels, if you are on a budget, angle grinder and very thin zip disks as mentioned above are a really good way. If anything, cut just below the line and use a sanding disk (regular looking disk with small sheets of sand paper attached to the bottom of it) to get closer to the lines you need. The air saw is great but you first want to have a starting point, if it is in the middle of the panel then use the grinder to pierce through the panel below the line and then use the saw to make the cut. I found this easier then trying to start a cut with the saw in the middle of a piece.
The clamps you have are great, they keep the perfect distance for welding, that way you get good penetration with the welds and not as much grinding involved after the fact. Also for grinding welds I would recommend the sanding disks (just don't get carried away). I don't know if you know this but just keep the weld beads short (1" or so at a time in one spot) so the metal does not warp.
I wish 60s had as many replacement panels as the 40s, would save me a hell of a lot of time in fabrication.
 

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