Further to the constructive comments by other forum members. Here are some other thoughts to consider. BTw I have posted this before but I do think some of my thoughts below may be of some help to you.
1. Always check what lies behind your proposed patch panel ie will it burn!!!!! Is there a fuel line or electrical wiring looms.
2. Prepare the joints to ensure that you are welding clean metal, Any contaminants in the weld pool will either weaken the joint or blow out while you are welding like a mini volcano!
3. Keep the joint width between 0.5 to 1mm
4. Use 0.6/0.8mm dia wire with your smaller Mig welders. Having said that my thoughts on MIG welders are the bigger the better. Small MIG welders are fine but the bigger welders have more OOMPH!
5. If possible try to avoid using flux cored wire.
6. With patch panels don't try and weld in continuous seams, spot here then move away and place a spot there. Continue staggering your spotting until the join is filled-This takes more time but will help dissipate the heat and minimise your patch panel and parent metal from heat distortion. Remember HEAT is your enemy. A good cup of Coffee can be enjoyed many times
7. Use heavier gauge metal ie 1.2mm or at a pinch 1.6mm (than your parent metal)to make your patch from. This will help you to start your weld without blowing a hole in the joint. Once welded, the patch looks no different on the outside.
8. Use sunscreen on exposed parts of your skin as MIG welders have a tendency to burn your skin with excellent results.
Better still try to cover all exposed parts of your body.
9. I know it is hard but try to weld with elbow length gauntlets (Leather gloves). I am sure experienced welders at some time in the past have grabbed a hot bit of metal with their bare hands by mistake. OUCH!
10. If you can borrow an auto darkening helmet, do so. Good for tak/spot welding.
11. Buy yourself an angle grinder but always use good quality cutting and grinding discs. Use the very thin section cutting discs to prepare patch panels and the parent metal that the patch panel is offered up to. As always use PPE (Eye protection and hearing defenders)
12. When grinding off the finished welds try not to use excessive force to speed up the removal of excess weld. All you will do is create heat with the end result being metal distortion. Once you have levelled the ground surface, get hold of a flapper disc to further smooth the surface.
13. Paint/prime the exposed metal as soon as possible to prevent corrosion.
14. The point of a screw driver is a very good tool for probing around the affected area to try and determine the extent of rust damage. Once you have cut the rust out of a particular area, then and only then is when you will know where to start your repairs.
Anyway I hope this will give you something to work with.
Don't rush the job