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Old March 30th, 2006, 12:00 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Surrey, BC (Canada)
Posts: 7,648

Decided to start articles on basics of welding/fabrications to help others out. So here's my 1st one. Let's say you want to chop a top or something similar. This will require you to remove a section of the pillars then weld them back together. But the pillars aren't always square and flat nor the same thickness. WHat you'll run into is one end of the pillar maybe an inch or so thicker then the other end you're trying to weld onto. That's where pie-cuts help.

Let's take this bus hatch for example. Stock:

Once I removed roughly 5" to the length of the pillars, they no longer allign. Always align from the glass/rubbber lip, then work everything around that. Or else the glass and/or rubber may not fit properly anymore. As you can see on the picture below, the top part of the right section is taller at top but thinner at the bottom. We can fix this be either making the left section thicker at top or make the right section thinner at top, then make the bottom left section thinner or bottom right section thicker. Or do both and have them meet in the middle somewhere.

What I decided to do it to make the top part of the right section thinner (move it down) and mke the bottom of the right section thicker (move it down). I cut slits into the sides, the longer the less obvious the curve will be. So I made my cuts about 6-8" or so. On the top part since I wanted to make it thinner, I hade to remove more materials from the middle of the cut so it can be moved down. So really I cut a pie-shaped cut (the color red in picture below)

So now bend the metal into shape and weld them flush. I jammed a screwdriver in between the cuts and forced one sie up or down until it's flush with each other then spot welded them together. Now both parts have alligned glass lips and pillars are the same level again. Just finish up the welds as normal and you;'re done.

Here's the bottom part where I made the pillar thicker. Just push it outwards instead of inwards.

Sometimes the post maybe a different shape in all 4 corners. To me the easies to re-allign these is to cut 4 slits in the middle on all 4 sides, then tack weld the corners together once alligned then weld the slits back up.

So now you have a chopped window section (or whatever it is you're modifying). Well of course I'm not done this yet but you know...

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