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Torch for silver solder.

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Iampappabear

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Planning ahead on my "Farm Boy" build, I plan on using silver solder to assemble the crankshaft, will I be able to do this with a regular propane torch or move up to something larger? Oxy acetylene would obviously best but I don't really want to go there. I will be procuring some fire bricks to build some sort of partial enclosure to keep the heat confined to a smaller area.

Thanking you in advance.

Colin
 

kwoodhands

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Victor torch is a good investment. The hose connects to a propane tank used for barbecues. Lowes among others offers a $19.00 fill up. I do not recall what the initial cost of the tank is. You get two torch heads, the smaller one is about the same size as a Bernzomatic torch .The larger head is about 1" or more in diameter and is good for heavy duty hard soldering ( silver solder).
Actual fire bricks are a heat sink. They are fine for a base but what you need are insulating brick. These brick reflect the heat back on the part. They are very light in weight white in color and break easily.
Broken bricks can be cemented together with a special cement used to make molds of refractory cement.
I would buy 6 fire bricks and 6 insulating ( refractory) bricks. I bought my firebricks at a brickyard, the refractory bricks I bought online as there was not a single supplier in my area.
mike
 

Steamchick

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I have used fire-bricks (Broken pieces from a coal fire back) without any problems for making a local hearth around the part. These sit in a larger hearth which is simply a few old bricks from electric storage heaters sat on the bench. (They have been there 30 years or so!). 2 make the base and 4 make walls around the outside. Great for small jobs with a single 2kW blowlamp. DO NOT USE HOUSE BRICKS _ THEY CAN EXPLODE WITH HEAT!
In fact I have another 10 storage-heater bricks that I use on a "temporary" bench for larger jobs. (model boilers mostly), where I have the space to use up to 4 blowlamps to develop a decent heat for the silver soldering of larger heavier items. I also have some large tins for filling with sand around 3/4 of a boiler for insulation. That also holds the job very securely. pieces of firebrick are used to localise the heat around the working part of the job.
I use 2 or 3 Paraffin blowlamps for "warming" the job, and a second-hand Sievert Blow-torch for larger jobs - from a 7Kg. Propane cylinder with regulator to 20psi. I also have a decent sized Swedish petrol blowlamp, as storing petrol safely is easy in my motorcycle... and Petrol is relatively cheap for fuel. (Paraffin ~£2/litre, Petrol £1.20/litre, Propane £3/litre! Disposable Canisters of Butane ~£7/litre).
I know the storage heater bricks "soak" a lot of heat, but the dense refractory seems to get hot on the surface and does not appear to penetrate far. For my boiler work, I like to cover the whole job in the hearth after doing some silver soldering, to allow the heat to soak and de-stress the job with slow cooling. Otherwise the huge contraction forces can break the job just joined.
the most important things I would stress:
  • Ensure you have a safe work-place - free from other flammable materials, etc.
  • Have a fire extinguisher to hand. I heard of a guy that "did a quickey" without his regular safety checks in place, dropped a red-hot lump of metal from the tongs onto his foot, and while he attended to his burnt ankle (much hopping and cursing!), the metal ignited the wooden floor - and it cost the whole garage/workshop!
  • Check ventilation (soldering flux fumes are toxic!) and free access/egress from the hot-work zone.
  • WEAR WELDERS' Leather protection. - I have an apron, gauntlets, and even a sleeve if I think I may need it. A job in a hearth gives off a lot of infra-red heat as well as a lot of gas exhaust heat. - 8kw into the job means you have the equivalent of 3 domestic room heaters within arm's reach while you are working. You will get hot! Even use aluminium foil to reflect heat from fingers of gauntlets, etc. - the backs of you fingers holding the flux applicator, solder and blow-lamp will over-heat and stop you from finishing the job properly otherwise.
  • Wear safety glasses! Occasionally a speck of dirt or something can "pop" and send very hot particles into you eye otherwise. Can be VERY painful.. I know someone who lost an eye that way once.
  • You need more heat than you think. If you get the job hot, but not quite hot enough, you have to stop and start again. Very frustrating. So use the biggest and best heating arrangement, as you can turn down the heat input, but can't turn it up more when working. Butane can be frustrating as the pressure drops noticeably with gas container temperature below 10 degrees C. It may be OK at the start of a job, then when you try to get the "red" heat, it just fails to get hot enough for silver solder to flow, because the canister has cooled itself! - So I use that gas blow-lamp to light the petrol blow-lamp for a proper job. Flame is slightly bigger, hotter and much more reliable. The large Propane blow-lamp is for use when I need to get the cylinder out of storage for a multi-lamp job. (Quick to turn ON or OFF and adjust when in use, while the paraffin lamps do the pre-heating.).
  • Ensure you have a sensible secure set-up. Nothing worse than finishing a job to find it has slipped in joining, so you have a crooked crank or something! Often a vertical set-up will point gravity in a direction that holds the job right, without sag when red-hot and everything is loose. I use spare lumps of cast iron as "steadies", to wedge smaller lighter jobs to keep them from moving while soldering.
  • Oh, and "Cleanliness, cleanliness, cleanliness" in the joint. (Plenty of flux - it washes off afterwards).
  • Correct selection of fits (0.002~0.004" clearance for silver solder, NOT a close fit!), selection of solder grade and flux for the job and materials.
Conclusion: Done properly, this is a very satisfying process, and one I enjoy. Hope you do too!
K2
 

Steamchick

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There are some sensible Blow-lamps on e#@y, etc. not too pricey.



But I use: something like this: T3 NEW HEATING TORCH SET PROPANE GAS BLOW PLUMBER ROOFING SOLDERING REGULATOR | eBay
etc.
K2
 

terryd

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Planning ahead on my "Farm Boy" build, I plan on using silver solder to assemble the crankshaft, will I be able to do this with a regular propane torch or move up to something larger? Oxy acetylene would obviously best but I don't really want to go there. I will be procuring some fire bricks to build some sort of partial enclosure to keep the heat confined to a smaller area.

Thanking you in advance.

Colin
Hi Colin,

The best torch depends on where you live, here in the UK sievert are thought to be the Rolls Royce of propane torches. I wouldn't touch oxy/gas torches as they can provide far too much heat unless you are making large boilers needing 3mm copper and above, and then use a large setup which allows a 'soft 'flame. In over 50 years of silver soldering I've never needed anything bigger than a propane torch, occasionally with forced air, I've only ever used oxy/gas when welding steel and grey cast iron.

I personally wouldn't use 'fire' bricks as they are designed to absorb heat whereas specialist refractory bricks are intended to reflect heat which increases the heat back on to the job in hand, bricks such as those in space heaters are intended to absorb heat for later use, this means that less heat is available for the silver soldering and you use more gas. I had this discussion on a forum some years ago and was supported by a specialist supplier of materials and hardware for silver soldering. It is much better to make the relatively small investment in proper refractories than using any old 'fire' bricks.

TerryD
 

Steamchick

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Thanks Terry. While I have used old firebrick from scrap fireplaces, and ex-storage heater bricks (and never had a problem), I can see the point of the expert advice. When I manage to get some proper refractories I'll consign my old stuff to the hardcore tip!
Do you have any names or re fences for the correct refractories? I'll be scrapping an old electric muffle furnace soon. Does that have the right stuff? The rectangular chamber brick would become red hot when in use. It is surrounded by small blocks of refractory brick.
K2
 

terryd

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Hi K2,

As you are in the UK there is a company who sell vermiculite blocks for this purpose which I have used in the past (a friends brazing hearth) called CuP alloys but there are lots of jewellers suppliers who have similar., I've soldered small jobs on a specialist compressed charcoal block. I use the white refractories which I recovered from an old professional brazing hearth which was scrapped and they have lasted me many years. I suspect that your furnace refractory is the same type of stuff, they do glow red hot as that is the heat being reflected.

Once you have the blocks from your muffle furnace a good test is is to heat one end and carefully feel the other end, you should be able to pick it up while the hot end is red as the proper materials are poor conductors of heat unlike firebricks which absorb heat throughout - but do be careful of course.

Start here: - Shop All Products | CuP Alloys | www.cupalloys.co.uk

But do research for the best deal.

Stay safe and healthy,

TerryD
 

kuhncw

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You might consider an air/fuel torch such as the Smith Air/Acetylene Handi-Heet Outfit NE835A. You have to deal with acetylene, but not oxygen.

I've found this torch and an array of tips to be very well suited to silver brazing over a wide range of part sizes. The torch can give a very soft and quite flame, unlike the roar of my propane Turbo Torch.

Chuck
 

peterfalm

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I have used fire-bricks (Broken pieces from a coal fire back) without any problems for making a local hearth around the part. These sit in a larger hearth which is simply a few old bricks from electric storage heaters sat on the bench. (They have been there 30 years or so!). 2 make the base and 4 make walls around the outside. Great for small jobs with a single 2kW blowlamp. DO NOT USE HOUSE BRICKS _ THEY CAN EXPLODE WITH HEAT!
In fact I have another 10 storage-heater bricks that I use on a "temporary" bench for larger jobs. (model boilers mostly), where I have the space to use up to 4 blowlamps to develop a decent heat for the silver soldering of larger heavier items. I also have some large tins for filling with sand around 3/4 of a boiler for insulation. That also holds the job very securely. pieces of firebrick are used to localise the heat around the working part of the job.
I use 2 or 3 Paraffin blowlamps for "warming" the job, and a second-hand Sievert Blow-torch for larger jobs - from a 7Kg. Propane cylinder with regulator to 20psi. I also have a decent sized Swedish petrol blowlamp, as storing petrol safely is easy in my motorcycle... and Petrol is relatively cheap for fuel. (Paraffin ~£2/litre, Petrol £1.20/litre, Propane £3/litre! Disposable Canisters of Butane ~£7/litre).
I know the storage heater bricks "soak" a lot of heat, but the dense refractory seems to get hot on the surface and does not appear to penetrate far. For my boiler work, I like to cover the whole job in the hearth after doing some silver soldering, to allow the heat to soak and de-stress the job with slow cooling. Otherwise the huge contraction forces can break the job just joined.
the most important things I would stress:
  • Ensure you have a safe work-place - free from other flammable materials, etc.
  • Have a fire extinguisher to hand. I heard of a guy that "did a quickey" without his regular safety checks in place, dropped a red-hot lump of metal from the tongs onto his foot, and while he attended to his burnt ankle (much hopping and cursing!), the metal ignited the wooden floor - and it cost the whole garage/workshop!
  • Check ventilation (soldering flux fumes are toxic!) and free access/egress from the hot-work zone.
  • WEAR WELDERS' Leather protection. - I have an apron, gauntlets, and even a sleeve if I think I may need it. A job in a hearth gives off a lot of infra-red heat as well as a lot of gas exhaust heat. - 8kw into the job means you have the equivalent of 3 domestic room heaters within arm's reach while you are working. You will get hot! Even use aluminium foil to reflect heat from fingers of gauntlets, etc. - the backs of you fingers holding the flux applicator, solder and blow-lamp will over-heat and stop you from finishing the job properly otherwise.
  • Wear safety glasses! Occasionally a speck of dirt or something can "pop" and send very hot particles into you eye otherwise. Can be VERY painful.. I know someone who lost an eye that way once.
  • You need more heat than you think. If you get the job hot, but not quite hot enough, you have to stop and start again. Very frustrating. So use the biggest and best heating arrangement, as you can turn down the heat input, but can't turn it up more when working. Butane can be frustrating as the pressure drops noticeably with gas container temperature below 10 degrees C. It may be OK at the start of a job, then when you try to get the "red" heat, it just fails to get hot enough for silver solder to flow, because the canister has cooled itself! - So I use that gas blow-lamp to light the petrol blow-lamp for a proper job. Flame is slightly bigger, hotter and much more reliable. The large Propane blow-lamp is for use when I need to get the cylinder out of storage for a multi-lamp job. (Quick to turn ON or OFF and adjust when in use, while the paraffin lamps do the pre-heating.).
  • Ensure you have a sensible secure set-up. Nothing worse than finishing a job to find it has slipped in joining, so you have a crooked crank or something! Often a vertical set-up will point gravity in a direction that holds the job right, without sag when red-hot and everything is loose. I use spare lumps of cast iron as "steadies", to wedge smaller lighter jobs to keep them from moving while soldering.
  • Oh, and "Cleanliness, cleanliness, cleanliness" in the joint. (Plenty of flux - it washes off afterwards).
  • Correct selection of fits (0.002~0.004" clearance for silver solder, NOT a close fit!), selection of solder grade and flux for the job and materials.
Conclusion: Done properly, this is a very satisfying process, and one I enjoy. Hope you do too!
K2
Very useful info thank you. Just going through the trials and tribulations of getting enough heat to solder my boiler.
 

goldstar31

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Very useful info thank you. Just going through the trials and tribulations of getting enough heat to solder my boiler.
In the years when Dodos existed, I qualified as a Certified Welder and it is so long ago that I would not dare to tell people how to suck eggs now.
One thing did emerge was the use of preparing the joints with silver solder paste.
Hope this helps

Norman
 

Steamchick

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Very useful info thank you. Just going through the trials and tribulations of getting enough heat to solder my boiler.
Hi Peter: For a 4" diameter Cornish boiler, 8inches long, I use this set-up:
Set the boiler on at least 1 inch of sand, in a steel container so I can fill with at least 1 inch on sand all around, an d only 1/4 of the boiler is sticking-out for working-on. Then some bits of fire-brick around 1/2 of the exposed boiler to act as a shield / heat-reflector. 2 wet-fuel blow-lamps (about 2kW each) on the exposed sides, with flames wrapping around the curve of the boiler from front to sides - one lamp each side. These flames finally imping on the firebrick at the back. This whole is inside a 3-sided hearth made from the large firebricks I use. Actually touching the large steel sand-tin. These walls come about 2 or 3 inches above the top surface of the boiler. I then use the large propane burner (another 2 or 3 kW?) on the top exposed face to heat and do the silver soldering. You have to be careful that the exhaust from one flame does not affect another burner. All 3 need fresh air to breath! - As do I.
It may seem a lot of clart to some, but it is a formula that means I don't need someone else's hands holding blow-lamps, as the paraffin lamps give me a half-hour or so of flame from something I can set in place and it won't be dragged-off by hoses, or risk overheating the fuel canister! I keep the brass pressure vessels polished to help them reflect the heat and keep the paraffin cool. (Sometimes "Old" technology is really good!). I'll try and get a photo next time If I can find my third hand... Must have put it somewhere...
When the silver solder has flowed as it should, I stop and put a cover (metal saucepan lid) over the whole hot assembly to reflect heat back down and keep the job from cooling rapidly. Actually, I'll leave it for at least 1/2 hour as there is a lot of heat to dissipate - slowly - so as not to stress anything and crack newly made joints. Just a final word, the hand-held blow-lamp needs to play inside the flue tubes so they get nearly as hot as the outside, otherwise differential heating of flue tubes versus outer-shell can cause cracking of joints when cooled. I did this a few time when quenching a "hot" job! - Before I learned from the bad experience!
Because of the heat radiated from the hottest jobs, I use a leather welders apron, welders leather gloves, sometimes with aluminium foil wrapped around fingers - especially on the hand with the blow-lamp where the back of the gloves get very hot from the hand close to the job and not moving. It is a nuisance to have to stop and remove a hot glove because the fingers holding the blow-lamp are getting burning hot, usually just when the solder is about to flow... so you have to re-set foil on the gloves and start again!
I also wear safety glasses. - Wear for 10 minutes or so to warm them "in situ" before starting as otherwise they may fog with the moisture from the flames' exhaust. Embarrassing when you can't see the job or flames!
Enjoy!
K2
 

wazrus

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Planning ahead on my "Farm Boy" build, I plan on using silver solder to assemble the crankshaft, will I be able to do this with a regular propane torch or move up to something larger? Oxy acetylene would obviously best but I don't really want to go there. I will be procuring some fire bricks to build some sort of partial enclosure to keep the heat confined to a smaller area.

Thanking you in advance.

Colin
Silver solder with LP gas torches is fine with LPG-air torches as sort of ancillary heat sources. For many years, I have always had an oxygen supply and used oxy-propane as my main heating source at point of application. Oxy-propane is often the choice in industry for cutting and indeed I have flame-cut many steel wheel blanks from mild steel, usually of 20-25mm thickness. Of course, thicker steel can be cut and I have cut up to 50mm on odd occasions.
The extra heat of the oxy-propane flame I find indispensable when soldering copper. Standard oxy-acetylene brazing tips can be used and they may be little bit difficult to light, but there are specialised tips, which seem to differ from the oxy-acetylene tips by having a small recess, or counterbore at the tip.
Besides the usual tips, I also use an oxy-propane heating tip, which has a flame of around 25mm diameter and a stem around 300mm long. very handy when working close to a very hot lump of copper. I have also 'made my own' heating tips, with still longer stems, primarily, of course, to keep my distance from that very hot surface. I have also made some long -stem air-LPG torches for the same reason and these often have very large flames, with enormous gas consumption, but also have very high heating capacity and sound like a 747 at takeoff. As others have mentioned, the answer is heat, heat, heat and I do use three or four or so 'stationary' LPG torches around the job, with another in my left hand, keeping the right hand for the oxy-propane torch. It's a noisy, hot, job!
By the way, my oxy supply is from an 'E' size cylinder: plenty for more than one or two biggish jobs. Refills are years apart.
Some will say that the type of flame is unsuited to some tasks and this is quite true if you contemplate bronze welding of steel. The bronze weld will be brittle and easily cracked, but for silver brazing, the oxy-propane flame is the ants' pants.
Good luck with it all and heat, heat, heat!

Wazrus
 

mecanotrain

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salutous,
J'ai travaillé 40 ans à Motorola - Toulouse (France). La sécurité des personnes était une priorité pour l'entreprise.
Aujourd'hui à la retraite, je continue à l'appliquer chez moi dans mon atelier.
 

goldstar31

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salutous,
J'ai travaillé 40 ans à Motorola - Toulouse (France). La sécurité des personnes était une priorité pour l'entreprise.
Aujourd'hui à la retraite, je continue à l'appliquer chez moi dans mon atelier.
Thank you for your greeting and we or I note that you worked for 40 years at Motorola in Toulouse until you retired.
I guess that you knew about 'Soudure' in the course of your work.:)

Sadly, I have lost most of my French but my son studied French in Bescancon on the Jura but occupied out pied a terre in the Savoie and then went on as a stagiare in Momtlelier until he came back to Englang after buying house in the Dordogne.
Like yourself, I am in 'lockdown' depuis 13mois:(
 

peterfalm

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Hi Peter: For a 4" diameter Cornish boiler, 8inches long, I use this set-up:
Set the boiler on at least 1 inch of sand, in a steel container so I can fill with at least 1 inch on sand all around, an d only 1/4 of the boiler is sticking-out for working-on. Then some bits of fire-brick around 1/2 of the exposed boiler to act as a shield / heat-reflector. 2 wet-fuel blow-lamps (about 2kW each) on the exposed sides, with flames wrapping around the curve of the boiler from front to sides - one lamp each side. These flames finally imping on the firebrick at the back. This whole is inside a 3-sided hearth made from the large firebricks I use. Actually touching the large steel sand-tin. These walls come about 2 or 3 inches above the top surface of the boiler. I then use the large propane burner (another 2 or 3 kW?) on the top exposed face to heat and do the silver soldering. You have to be careful that the exhaust from one flame does not affect another burner. All 3 need fresh air to breath! - As do I.
It may seem a lot of clart to some, but it is a formula that means I don't need someone else's hands holding blow-lamps, as the paraffin lamps give me a half-hour or so of flame from something I can set in place and it won't be dragged-off by hoses, or risk overheating the fuel canister! I keep the brass pressure vessels polished to help them reflect the heat and keep the paraffin cool. (Sometimes "Old" technology is really good!). I'll try and get a photo next time If I can find my third hand... Must have put it somewhere...
When the silver solder has flowed as it should, I stop and put a cover (metal saucepan lid) over the whole hot assembly to reflect heat back down and keep the job from cooling rapidly. Actually, I'll leave it for at least 1/2 hour as there is a lot of heat to dissipate - slowly - so as not to stress anything and crack newly made joints. Just a final word, the hand-held blow-lamp needs to play inside the flue tubes so they get nearly as hot as the outside, otherwise differential heating of flue tubes versus outer-shell can cause cracking of joints when cooled. I did this a few time when quenching a "hot" job! - Before I learned from the bad experience!
Because of the heat radiated from the hottest jobs, I use a leather welders apron, welders leather gloves, sometimes with aluminium foil wrapped around fingers - especially on the hand with the blow-lamp where the back of the gloves get very hot from the hand close to the job and not moving. It is a nuisance to have to stop and remove a hot glove because the fingers holding the blow-lamp are getting burning hot, usually just when the solder is about to flow... so you have to re-set foil on the gloves and start again!
I also wear safety glasses. - Wear for 10 minutes or so to warm them "in situ" before starting as otherwise they may fog with the moisture from the flames' exhaust. Embarrassing when you can't see the job or flames!
Enjoy!
K2
Very many thanks for that info
Hi Peter: For a 4" diameter Cornish boiler, 8inches long, I use this set-up:
Set the boiler on at least 1 inch of sand, in a steel container so I can fill with at least 1 inch on sand all around, an d only 1/4 of the boiler is sticking-out for working-on. Then some bits of fire-brick around 1/2 of the exposed boiler to act as a shield / heat-reflector. 2 wet-fuel blow-lamps (about 2kW each) on the exposed sides, with flames wrapping around the curve of the boiler from front to sides - one lamp each side. These flames finally imping on the firebrick at the back. This whole is inside a 3-sided hearth made from the large firebricks I use. Actually touching the large steel sand-tin. These walls come about 2 or 3 inches above the top surface of the boiler. I then use the large propane burner (another 2 or 3 kW?) on the top exposed face to heat and do the silver soldering. You have to be careful that the exhaust from one flame does not affect another burner. All 3 need fresh air to breath! - As do I.
It may seem a lot of clart to some, but it is a formula that means I don't need someone else's hands holding blow-lamps, as the paraffin lamps give me a half-hour or so of flame from something I can set in place and it won't be dragged-off by hoses, or risk overheating the fuel canister! I keep the brass pressure vessels polished to help them reflect the heat and keep the paraffin cool. (Sometimes "Old" technology is really good!). I'll try and get a photo next time If I can find my third hand... Must have put it somewhere...
When the silver solder has flowed as it should, I stop and put a cover (metal saucepan lid) over the whole hot assembly to reflect heat back down and keep the job from cooling rapidly. Actually, I'll leave it for at least 1/2 hour as there is a lot of heat to dissipate - slowly - so as not to stress anything and crack newly made joints. Just a final word, the hand-held blow-lamp needs to play inside the flue tubes so they get nearly as hot as the outside, otherwise differential heating of flue tubes versus outer-shell can cause cracking of joints when cooled. I did this a few time when quenching a "hot" job! - Before I learned from the bad experience!
Because of the heat radiated from the hottest jobs, I use a leather welders apron, welders leather gloves, sometimes with aluminium foil wrapped around fingers - especially on the hand with the blow-lamp where the back of the gloves get very hot from the hand close to the job and not moving. It is a nuisance to have to stop and remove a hot glove because the fingers holding the blow-lamp are getting burning hot, usually just when the solder is about to flow... so you have to re-set foil on the gloves and start again!
I also wear safety glasses. - Wear for 10 minutes or so to warm them "in situ" before starting as otherwise they may fog with the moisture from the flames' exhaust. Embarrassing when you can't see the job or flames!
Enjoy!
K2
Very many thanks Steamchick. Interesting about the sand and paraffin blow lamps. I have a few of those including a huge one if I can get them working. 😀👍
 

bluejets

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At the risk of having missed it in all the above, I'll add another "must do" for a satisfactory finish.
Use cadmium bearing silver solder.
Still available in Aus at least in a range of differing melting point temperatures.
 

nealeb

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The world seems divided into two - those who insist that only the old and generally banned Cd-bearing solders ("the only way to get the stuff to flow into a joint properly") should be used and those who are happy with modern, widely-available, non-Cd silver solders. Personally, I've used Easiflo grades in the past (in a well-ventilated space) and although I still have the odd stick or two used for small jobs, I generally use non-Cd silver solders. Even as a fairly inexperienced silver-solderer, I have had no problems with the newer formulations except with one particular lump of phosphor-bronze from an unknown source and which might well have had some lead for free cutting - and leaded materials are notorious for being "difficult," not to say nigh-on impossible to silver-solder.

My only heating equipment is a Sievert propane-air torch with a range of interchangeable burners from "needle flame" to "small dragon" which have been sufficient to date. When I eventually get round to my 5" loco boiler, I suspect that I shall be calling on fellow club members to help me with the heating... The Sievert kit isn't cheap but it does work well.
 

terryd

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The world seems divided into two - those who insist that only the old and generally banned Cd-bearing solders ("the only way to get the stuff to flow into a joint properly") should be used and those who are happy with modern, widely-available, non-Cd silver solders. Personally, I've used Easiflo grades in the past (in a well-ventilated space) and although I still have the odd stick or two used for small jobs, I generally use non-Cd silver solders. Even as a fairly inexperienced silver-solderer, I have had no problems with the newer formulations except with one particular lump of phosphor-bronze from an unknown source and which might well have had some lead for free cutting - and leaded materials are notorious for being "difficult," not to say nigh-on impossible to silver-solder.

My only heating equipment is a Sievert propane-air torch with a range of interchangeable burners from "needle flame" to "small dragon" which have been sufficient to date. When I eventually get round to my 5" loco boiler, I suspect that I shall be calling on fellow club members to help me with the heating... The Sievert kit isn't cheap but it does work well.
Hi Nealeb,

I agree with your sentiments entirely. I have too few years left to mess about with heavy metals such as cadmium and the Sievert kit that I have has never let me down and well worth the investment.

Stay safe and healthy,

TerryD
 

bluejets

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All I can say is, when you get to the 5" boiler, you will find out the crappy non_-cadmium simply will not flow and you will find out at the worst possible time.
Phospher-bronze rods are an entirely different system.
 

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