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Member postings for Chris TickTock

Here is a list of all the postings Chris TickTock has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Silver Soldering Brass
18/01/2020 22:07:42
Posted by fizzy on 18/01/2020 20:56:06:

Ive never met anyone using a generator for brazing, not saying there aent any, but I have seen them used on youtube. With an average flow rate of about 2 litres per minute (five max) at ambient pressureyou would not be able to burn with a decent flame for anything but the smallest of jobs. Fine for very small work but dont even think about using it on a boiler anything bigger than a mamod. Given that you can easily get the same and a lot more heat out of a b&q £20 prop torch the cost would be very prohibitive...But, for super fine/fiddly jobs you would have a lot more heat control and accuracy so it does have a place in some workshops.


Hi Fizzy,

When I first come across people advocating a oxy con I thought what a good idea. oxygen in a cylinder is around 99%. Howevever oxygen in a oxy con is nearer 90%. This effects the flame stability and temperature. Therefore i agree with you and have reverted to theidea of using a cylinder. Also as an occasional user the cost of maintenance of a oxy con as it inevitabely needs maintenance / replacement is not more attractive than the reliability of a cylinder.

I note Fizzy you are an advocate for oxygen / propane so any tips greatly appreciated.


Edited By Chris TickTock on 18/01/2020 22:17:51

18/01/2020 20:05:48
Posted by Paul Kemp on 18/01/2020 18:03:57:

Not sure about 'dials' with a 3.5 bar range if you are looking for less than 5 psi. 3.5 bar is around 50 psi so using a gauge to measure 1/10th of its range is not going to be terribly accurate? I know nothing of the Smiths torch or the bottles it will be combined with but usually oxygen and acetylene regulators have a gauge on either side, inlet will be high reading showing cylinder pressure and giving an idea of contents, outlet will be line pressure to the torch. Also be sure to understand you generally screw regulator control in to increase pressure and out to reduce.


Good to see you are awake and spotted my typo. 5 psi is .35 not 3.5 Paul ...well spotted


18/01/2020 16:01:20
Posted by JasonB on 18/01/2020 15:39:00:

I doubt that repair could have been rivited and look anything like original, you would have needed to add an additional "L" shaped piece and rivit the two broken bits to that.

Silver soldering is actually brazing but this is again were your visits to American sites can cause confusion as they oftehn refer to silver soldering as brazing where as in the UK it is generally regarded as using a higher melting point filler rod that in most cases won't melt with Propane alone.

Old Easy-flo is still called that anything you buy now will more than likely be Silverflo if made by JM. If you are able to buy Easy-flo then the seller is breaking the law and you are aiding and abetting. Flux still uses the Easy-flo name again if a JM product.

Enjoy your torch and just remember you now have a torch capable of completely melting brass parts so take it easy.


Hi Jason,

Yes I have an angled piece of brass and will look at riveting this or not in time. The site I got the information about the differences between Silver soldering and brazing actually was not the clock forum but thewelderswarehouse, it basically stated the difference between welding where the metal itself is melted and joined and soldering and brazing where only the filler metal is melted. You know all this so I see no point teaching you to suck eggs. Your right there is some jargon confusion but I get that.


At the moment I am nearly there but have to understand a bit more over gas pressures. You can get suitable oxygen regulators for a different range i.e 0 - 3.5 and 0 - 10 bar but what do I need?/ Also apparently if you connect a propane cylinder all you need is a camping type regulator don't understand how pressure is maintained, is that a property of the cylinder being compressed if so surely it diminishes at some point?

update I now think I should fit regulators with dials having the 0 to 3.5 Bar range  as the Smith little torch uses under 5 psi. (watched a Cookson gold video, very helpful)


Edited By Chris TickTock on 18/01/2020 16:04:24

Edited By Chris TickTock on 18/01/2020 16:39:53

18/01/2020 14:54:45

Just a post to state my thanks for the many helpful posts to date.

I decided to go with the Smith Little Torch due to its stable gas delivery and quality. I have learned much todate about silver soldering.

On my clock forum it is suggested I attend a demonstration of the Smith Little torch using both acetylene and propane so I can evaluate which is better. I am minded this is not likely to be easy to find especially as my interests are only with clocks and therefore mostly brass. Unless there is someone with a Smith little torch who can either demonstrate or advise I feel it's one of those occasions that I will just have to get on with life. Thanks to Noel for offering to demonstrate his range of silver soldering burners but I have decided it has to be the Smiths for me so spending several hours on a different torch seems upon reflection a bit pointless. Nonethe less a big thank you for noel's offer.

Cup alloys have been very helpful and rang me with advise.

Next stage is to source all;l equipment and practice. As a sid enote I learned my initial failure at silver soldering was lacking any real knowledge and that the job would be more suited to brazing or even riveting.

I believe all Easy Flo solder is now cadmium free so at least there is one less issue there.

On a final point are there any draw backs to getting a used Oxy concentrator in place of a cylinder and I believe I am right an oxy concentrator does not need the regulators / arrestors as the cylinder does, but still investigating this.



Edited By Chris TickTock on 18/01/2020 14:58:06

16/01/2020 19:45:51
Posted by Bill Phinn on 16/01/2020 17:23:43:
Posted by Chris TickTock on 16/01/2020 16:46:06:
I have decided for better or worse to go with the Smith little Torch. That is now decided but before ordering it I have to look at the acetylene v propanr routes. my usage will be mostly silver soldering so anyone who can add some value here is more than welcome.


I'd say acetylene is unnecessary for your purposes.

Be careful where you buy your Little Torch. There is a wide variation on price* and many non-genuine and downright dangerous impostors are being offered for sale in certain marketplaces.

*even on the genuine item.

Edited By Bill Phinn on 16/01/2020 17:24:33

Thanks for this, I agree many dodgy copies in genuine boxes apparantely...will go with CooksonGold.


16/01/2020 17:02:06
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 16/01/2020 16:56:19:
Posted by CuP Alloys 1 on 16/01/2020 16:26:56:

Hi Chris,

Do not use borax flux with silver solder. It does not start to work until you have overheated the joint and alloy.


But put that borax in the bin unless your filler metal is brass.




I hope you will forgive me the impudence of adding a footnote [*] to your excellent advice.

... especially as I am straying from the specifics of this thread.

[*] Although unsuitable for the materials under discussion; Borax is widely and successfully used when Silver-Soldering Silver.


Thanks Michael, that is useful to know.


16/01/2020 16:46:06
Posted by CuP Alloys 1 on 16/01/2020 16:26:56:

Hi Chris,

Do not use borax flux with silver solder. It does not start to work until you have overheated the joint and alloy.

If using easiflo you will certainly be boiling cadmium from the alloy. These fumes can,a eventually wil, kill you. It was this hoo-haw that led to the banning of the sale of easiflo and other cadmium bearing alloys.

Ring CuP Alloys on 01623 707955 for more information. To get specific information on your problem ask them for the contact details to enable you to set up a video link via Skype or WhatsApp.

Alternatively go speak to them at Ally pally over the weekend.

But put that borax in the bin unless your filler metal is brass.


Thanks Keith I will do that. I have decided for better or worse to go with the Smith little Torch. That is now decided but before ordering it I have to look at the acetylene v propanr routes. my usage will be mostly silver soldering so anyone who can add some value here is more than welcome.


15/01/2020 22:18:35
Posted by roy entwistle on 15/01/2020 21:43:18:

I've been repairing clocks for nearly 70 years and I've not found a need to silver solder. A proper soft soldered joint has always worked including main spring barrels


Hi Roy,

Yes many clock repairers would agree with you and all I can add is that silver solder may be viewd as an alternative repair method in certain cases.


15/01/2020 20:23:57

I am still weighing up the pros and cons. My usage will be in clock repairs. For example if for any reason I needed to repair (solder) a tooth into a large brass wheel I would I feel be constrained to using soft solder as the heat would be dissipated with a propane torch / or would effectively anneal the wheel in the process. Likewise with a longcase plate if I had to solder it. with an oxy / propane it could be silver soldered in seconds with only localised annealing.

Admittedly this is hypothetical as who knows what I may need to repair but the way I am looking at this is if £200 ish buys a oxy / propane kit that will keep the heat localised I can see the attraction. Buying the Sievert torch is I think about £90.

Having said all this I still think using soft solder on some clock repairs can be fine but there are jobs when silver solder may give a stronger result.

So I am looking for a oxy / propane kit. Does anyone out there have any kit other than the Smith Little Torch they would recommend for silver soldering baring in mind my horological interests.


Edited By Chris TickTock on 15/01/2020 20:25:31

15/01/2020 17:18:55


I have found this product currently out of stock but would like your opinion on. The real advantage with the Smiths torch is localised and quick heating, the downside the outlay for a hobbyist / occasional user.

So is this a viable solution, it comes with 2 nossels;


15/01/2020 16:25:35

Thanks Guys, really helpful especially Jason & Bob's comments on flux and heat loss.


15/01/2020 14:15:55

Thanks guys and Jason I always respect your advise, just asking.. It is the way I am soldering and the lack of understanding that explains my failure.

I was directing the 2 torches at the joint but the heat would dissipate through the rest of the brass and the helping hand. yes a Sievert would with a larger nozzle through out more heat and heat up the object quicker and hopefully do the job.

Like most folk the expense and hassle of the Smiths little torch is a heavy down side for occasional usage but it does the job. I am minded to go the Sievert route but will chew it over and maybe even have a go properly with my little torches which if used in a better way may work. I had over the top expectations thinking 30 secs and the solder would flow but now know heat the whole thing, joint last and expect 10 to 15 mins.


15/01/2020 13:33:49
Posted by JasonB on 15/01/2020 12:33:08:

You don't need mixed gas just a reasonable size 7Kw+ burner on a propane bottle ONLY will do for anything clock size maybe even smaller.

Did you use any flux? though you probably did not get it hot enough with those small torches.

Edited By JasonB on 15/01/2020 12:33:30

Yes used Borax flux., I think too much heat was dissapating...chasing ones tale.

Jason have you actually silver soldered with a 7KW so can testify to it/


15/01/2020 12:30:24


I have tried in vain (my first attempt at silver soldering) to solver solder a2 pieces of brass together using 2 micro butane torches together and easy flo silver solder No chance I need as one or two people have advised a smith little torch 2 cylinder setup.

So anyone out there got some helpful tips as to gas / suppliers. Acetylene is hotter, will propane / oxygen do. Rental seems too expensive. Have i any viable alternatives?

i live in Cambridge area.



Edited By Chris TickTock on 15/01/2020 12:32:18

Thread: Bending brass
15/01/2020 08:53:54

Thanks for the posts, I will have a go at silver soldering and fabrication; will report back


14/01/2020 16:17:09

Great post Guys much for me to think about


14/01/2020 11:49:11


I need to repair / replace this brass part of a 18th century longcase clock. It is called a hour wheel / cannon pinion bridge. you can get a part that may or may not fit but just in case I would like to explore how easy it would be to make one.

The solder you can see is i think soft solder from a previous repairman. it obviously failed at some point.

The first issue is bending brass, how to do this and whether heat is used etc.

as always I appreciate all help.

chrisbroken brass.jpg

Edited By Chris TickTock on 14/01/2020 11:50:29

Thread: Does a particular thread hold better into brass
13/01/2020 13:35:55


My findings with specific use of screwing in a 1inch long stud into a 1/8th thicjk steel plate given a free hand (not trying to keep originality) and baring in mind the stud will be not under a lot of stress / tension:

A finer thread would be better in terms of getting more hold in the thin plate. downside is finer threads may be prone to galling between the steel and brass.

However generally coarse thread should be used on soft materials as the material may not be able to stand the strain. (so don't over tighten a fine thread on brass)


13/01/2020 12:45:25

Thanks Guys,

For what it is worth Cousins sell a replacement stud for longcase clocks. These have a 3BA thread. I am investigating still...and more to the point thinking and reflecting on all the posts.


13/01/2020 09:42:52
Posted by Bob Stevenson on 12/01/2020 18:57:02:

BA was only formulated In 1893 (I think?) so relatively recently in horological terms. It was designed at the behest of the GPO by Mr Lehman who set up it's production by his company Lehman, Archer & lane....horological use came later

Before BA, and in the great era of English clockmaking the individual clock makers made up their own 'thread plates' and taps, as did other 'techy' trades such as gunsmiths and silversmiths etc. to make a thread plate you first need to make the method is to wind wire around a carbon steel pin and then file the outline to give the thread pitch.....then you only need to cut the flutes and harden and temper. This method served the industrial revolution and up to the victorian era.

When engineering 'by the seat of your pants' like this you need to be an intuitive brass one needs to be aware of the softness and keep thread pitch large enough to give strength.....

Edited By Bob Stevenson on 12/01/2020 19:00:42

Thanks Bob, you have suggested what i thought might be the case.


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