i recommend min of 1.6 gauge ( just makes tac's easier and you can lap from the patch onto the thinner car steel)
I would also just head to the local scrap yard or 2nd hand steel dealer and pick up and assortment of sizes for next to nothing. As you are going to want to cut them anyway a few oddball sized offcuts will do as good of a job as a complete sheet
i wouldnt be buying a full sheet if youre just using it for patching pillars etc.
a sheet is usually around 2400mm x 1200mm so thats a bit much for patching pillars...
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if i understand what your saying then yes it probably will. but being thin metal, when you weld it (without the flange and gap) it should bite all the way through anyway. but id do it as you said to...least you know its gonna hold.
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btw when i practised welding up a hole patch panels etc all the welder was doing was making all this bird shit style welding and it wouldnt tack weld. i was doing it without gas. would gas welding be better then gasless right. btw its a mig
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