The Difference Between Welding Prepped & Un-Prepped Metal

When you get your first welder and are ready to go, you have to keep in mind your metal might not be. Here are a few scenarios you may run into underneath your rig. From rusty metal to greasy metal, to painted or even new metal depending on if you prep it all plays a part in how your weld turns out.

A piece of rusty frame or cross member is one of the most common things you’ll find under a rig. With all the oxygen in the metal from the rust, usually, without prepping it, the weld won’t be very strong.

Greasy or dirt metal typically doesn’t weld well, either. So using acetone or brake cleaner you can clean the metal up and get a strong, nice weld.

Painted metal obviously has a layer between the weld and bare steel which may or may not be able to be welded through. Usually, the paint will have to be sanded or ground down so there’s a nice clean surface.

Those are typical situations for under a rig but what about brand new metal? Even brand new steel has a protective coating on it so that it doesn’t rust before it gets to you. All you need to do is wipe it off with acetone or brake cleaner to get a smooth, even surface.

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