If you happen to be a welder who works in the repair or restoration areas of auto body work you may be faced with the need to remove a spot weld. This may not be a huge problem if you have to do additional work to the body of the car — if that is the case simply drilling through the weld will remove it; but if the piece you are working on only requires work in the spot of the weld you may need to use a spot weld cutter. A spot weld cutter is used to cut around the area of the spot weld and not go all the way through. To help you through this process we have listed some helpful tips for the removal of a spot weld.
- To begin you will need to measure the diameter of the spot weld that is to be removed. If you are going to drill out the weld you should use a drill bit that's 1/8 to 1/4 inch larger than the spot weld. If the weld is in an area that needs to remain intact, you will need to use a spot weld cutter. Spot weld cutters come in a variety of sizes so it is important that you choose a size that is the closest to the size of the spot weld.
- When drilling to remove the spot weld you should make a small divot in the center of the weld using a metal punch. This is done to help the drill bit stay in place while you are drilling. A divot is also necessary when using a spot weld cutter, but instead of going through the weld the cutter will cut around the weld.
- Next you will want to place either the drill bit or spot weld cutter into the divot and begin to drill. Once the drill bit or cutter has cut through the metal you should continue to keep them spinning while you are removing it from the metal. When you have finished removing the spot weld you should use a vacuum to remove any debris or shavings that have accumulated during the process.
If the piece you are working on requires the removal of more than one spot weld, simply follow the steps again for each weld that must be removed. When choosing the process that you are going to use, keep in mind whether the base metal can be drilled completely through or if a less penetrating method of removal is necessary.
YouTube channel Restoration for Beginners made a comprehensive video breakdown of how to effectively remove spot welds. If you would like a visual explanation, click here to watch that video. They do an excellent job explaining, walking through technique, and giving pricing for tools they used.