I'm not an autobody guy (just a shade tree body guy), and always wondered about those flangers. The way I see it (right, wrong, indifferent), is that they make it easier to align two panels and take out the issue of getting a consistent weld gap. Fitup can be much less precise! They also allow you to spot/stitch weld the new panel to the old, instead of having to fully weld the seam. Heck, can't you use adhesive to make repairs with panels like that? Maybe I'm wrong?First, I would like to say, "Awesome!"
Second, as an autobody tech, I would recommend something like the flanging tool in the future, or to create a joint with another thin strip of metal. Basically butt the two parts together, then weld the reinforcing strip over the top (or bottom), bridging the seam. It makes it much stronger. We do this when splicing in a new sheet metal section like a quarter panel, and call it "sleeving". Ideally, you weld the sleeve on by punching or drilling 1/4" holes a few inches apart down the whole length of the weld.
EDIT: LOL, it would figure that my first ever post on Pirate would be for autobody advice...
I replaced some quarters in a body, and just butted the panels together. It took a lot of fitting, and was slow, but in the end I had a fairly consistent .02" or so gap all around. When I tack welded the panel with a 110V mig; the weld definitely fully penetrated and stuck the pieces together great. Given the curve of the panels I was working with, not sure the flanger would have worked well, and the strap of metal would have been impossible to fit down there tightly to both panels. I know they make those clamps that go between two butted sheets to help hold the parts in place and set-up a nice weld gap. What am I missing? Is a flange really the better way to do it? Always willing to learn.
Sorry for the interruption. The Duece is awesome!