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Spot weld cutter recommendation
#1
I am going to start the replacement process for my 1973 Mustang cowl. In the past, I have been a real cheapskate and just used the grinder and cutoff wheel to free up those spot welds. This is time consumming and sometimes very difficult to reach tight areas. But it suited me well. However, looking at the cowl and reviewing what others have shown, there is hundreds of spot welds on this part.

I have looked at Eastwood and Harbor Freight and found various spot wled cutters from cheap to expensive. I am leaning toward the hardened cutters that are more expensive. But what I also noticed is that some drill a pilot hole, some have a point cutter, and some look like a small hole saw.

Which one is best? What do you guys recommend?
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#2
Blair makes a rotobroach style. CudaK888 reviewed the Blair 11096 in the product review section. I bought it from AutoBodyNow.com. It shipped in a day, and arrived in the mail about 2 days later. It has the pilot bit built in and drills a small 1/8" hole in the panel underneath.

I should have gotten the Blair 11082, with a spring loaded pin to keep it centered. Then I could drill start 1/8" holes partially throught the upper panel to center the pin, and wouldn't have to fill the little holes left by the drill bit in the 11096. With that being said, though, the cutter part of it works great!

Ron
Rusty, a 1973 Mach 1, needs a lot of work.
Billy, a 1976 Ford Bronco, also needs a lot of work.
El Guapo, a 1986 F150, frame-off Resto-Mod.
Bubba, my 1994 F150, daily driver
Formerly, a 1973 Ford Mustang Coupe - a work in progress, then a car-b-qued banana.
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#3
73MustangCoupe;186251 Wrote:Blair makes a rotobroach style. CudaK888 reviewed the Blair 11096 in the product review section. I bought it from AutoBodyNow.com. It shipped in a day, and arrived in the mail about 2 days later. It has the pilot bit built in and drills a small 1/8" hole in the panel underneath.

I should have gotten the Blair 11082, with a spring loaded pin to keep it centered. Then I could drill start 1/8" holes partially throught the upper panel to center the pin, and wouldn't have to fill the little holes left by the drill bit in the 11096. With that being said, though, the cutter part of it works great!

Thanks, this is what I wanted feedback on. I do not want the extra hole. I will check on the 11082 for sure.
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#4
And way down on the other end of the scale: I used a couple of these from Harbor Freight:

http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsear...eld+cutter

The first one, I had pretty much destroyed just a few spot welds shy of getting the unneeded scraps removed from the "new" front clip I went with. The spring-loaded pilot tip was not very helpful at first, but I later discovered that drilling the small pilot hole helped immensely. By then, it was too late for the first tip, as I'd pretty much wasted any of the spring-loaded ability while I was making friends with it. "Tapping" a dimple with a punch was pretty much useless for me early on (since I didn't have a 'technique' of any kind figured out), and the cutter would walk off the at first contact. Boy, was I frustrated - ready to just get out the torch... but I stuck with it and learned how to make it work satisfactorily.

Using the pilot hole technique, I wound up never having to buy a third one, and it still works even though I no longer need it. The key is to make sure the cutter engages the surface as flat and evenly as possible, and to let the cutter do the work (don't lean on it). You can usually hear a subtle 'thump' when the spot weld releases, but not always, so it's good to be mindful of how deep you're cutting - you're removing the top piece(s) after all, not just drilling big holes.

Like I said, totally the other side of the spectrum as we all know how much of a difference the right tools, and the right quality of tools, can make. I'm here to say that my experience with this tool was that I achieved satisfactory results and suffered no injuries... after I finally made friends with it. But I honestly believe I would've had the same issues (learning the technique) with any version of this type of tool. What I do know is that the ones without the pilot shaft (springloaded or otherwise) would not have worked for me without a lot more of a learning curve.

Hope that helps!

Eric

[Image: mach1sig2.gif]
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#5
Here are a few of the previous threads concerning spot weld cutters:

http://www.google.com/cse?cx=00795775707...t&gsc.sort=

Good reading and should help you a lot. I believe there are some videos too concerning the same.

Ray

1971 Boss 351  
1972 Q code 4 speed convertible 
1971 Mustang Sportsroof  351-2V FMX 
1973 Mach 1 (parts car)
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#6
Kent automotive spot weld bits. Hands down the best ive ever used.I hate the rotabroach style. I work In classic restoration everyday and its all I want to use.I think the ones I use are around $95 for 5. But if you run them slow to medium speed they last a long time.
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#7
I've used the harbor freight and blair with the spring loaded center, My blair kit came with a center punch. I've also used the wivco bits in years past. I really like the blair, "Q" the master turned me on to them and I'm glad I purchased them, I like them a lot. I have never used Kent so I cant review them. Get the Lube for the blair I helps them last longer.
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#8
73MustangCoupe;186251 Wrote:Blair makes a rotobroach style. CudaK888 reviewed the Blair 11096 in the product review section. I bought it from AutoBodyNow.com. It shipped in a day, and arrived in the mail about 2 days later. It has the pilot bit built in and drills a small 1/8" hole in the panel underneath.

I should have gotten the Blair 11082, with a spring loaded pin to keep it centered. Then I could drill start 1/8" holes partially throught the upper panel to center the pin, and wouldn't have to fill the little holes left by the drill bit in the 11096. With that being said, though, the cutter part of it works great!

Hmm? I thought the 11096 was the spring-loaded unit, because that's what I have - I wouldn't have settled for making 1/8" holes all over the place, that only means more welding. (Rule #1: Welding is like getting a girlfriend: You're really keen on the idea at first, but once you're stuck with it, you're sick of it. Rule #2: Refer to Rule #1). What's the best part of welding? When you're done). I'll have to check the box now.

That said, always have a hammer and punch on hand. Unless that spring-loaded centering bit has something to center it, you will not be able to center the bit over the slightest raised imperfection (such as uneven warpage from a factory spot weld).

These cutters do NOT like high-RPM; use them in conjunction with a low-speed, high-torque drill. I use mine with a 1/2" #0234-1 Milwaukee Magnum Hole Shooter. Any equivalent should do just as well (but you'll never be able to brag about the tool's name in the same way!).

-Kurt

[Image: satellite-valiant-mustang-license-tags-signature.png]
How to buy a '71-73 Mustang:
Rule #1: Assume all classic car sellers are guilty until proven innocent.
Rule #2: No classic car dealer is ever innocent; thus, they are all guilty.
Rule #3: Buy from trustworthy people: Fellow forum members. Visit 7173Mustang's For Sale forum.
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#9
My best luck was using the cutter in my Ridgid impact driver, of all things. Big Grin But yeah, low speed works best. thumb

Eric

[Image: mach1sig2.gif]
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#10
Mister 4x4;186338 Wrote:My best luck was using the cutter in my Ridgid impact driver, of all things. Big Grin But yeah, low speed works best. thumb

That can't be good for the cutting blades.

I'll have to try that that when I have a worthless panel to take out and a dull blade.

-Kurt

[Image: satellite-valiant-mustang-license-tags-signature.png]
How to buy a '71-73 Mustang:
Rule #1: Assume all classic car sellers are guilty until proven innocent.
Rule #2: No classic car dealer is ever innocent; thus, they are all guilty.
Rule #3: Buy from trustworthy people: Fellow forum members. Visit 7173Mustang's For Sale forum.
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