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Silver Soldering Brass

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noel shelley15/01/2020 20:16:24
90 forum posts

Forget the costs ! Cambridge ? Then come up to hunstanton and play ! I have propane in all sizes and also oxy propane. Try my gear and so how you get on. Then buy what you need, or just do the job. Pm me . Noel

Former Member15/01/2020 20:17:13

[This posting has been removed]

Chris TickTock15/01/2020 20:23:57
361 forum posts
25 photos

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.

Chris

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

Michael Gilligan15/01/2020 20:40:05
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15425 forum posts
665 photos
Posted by noel shelley on 15/01/2020 20:16:24:

Forget the costs ! Cambridge ? Then come up to hunstanton and play ! I have propane in all sizes and also oxy propane. Try my gear and so how you get on. Then buy what you need, or just do the job. Pm me . Noel

.

You couldn’t ask for a better offer than that ^^^

MichaelG.

Bill Phinn15/01/2020 20:52:03
310 forum posts
63 photos

Chris, I've got the Smith Little Torch, which I use with an oxycon.

Even with the optional rosebud tip attached, it's not big enough for silver-soldering what I would class as medium to large projects. That's why I have a bigger oxy-propane rig-out and also the propane-only Sievert with a range of burners, of which the 7.7KW one is currently my third biggest.

Basically you need the right torch with the right burner turned up to the right setting for each job; depending on the range of work you do, that might mean having a range of torches, burner sizes and even fuelling systems.

You don't say how big the two pieces of brass are that you were trying to join, but it's quite likely your two mini torches weren't getting enough heat into enough of the work fast enough. I'm assuming the joint characteristics, including fluxing and cleanliness, were good, as was your way of directing what heat you had at your disposal on to the work.

I I were you I'd snap Noel's generous hand off, and be hesitant at this stage about buying the all-in-one kit you linked to; you may well find yourself starved of oxygen breathtakingly quickly.

Old School15/01/2020 21:10:25
323 forum posts
26 photos

My father was a clock maker made a living making clocks from scratch everything was done in the workshop at home . He used a Sievert type torch with a couple of different sized burners. I have it now and still use it. Not into clocks but still have most of his hand tools.

Paul Kemp15/01/2020 21:19:19
422 forum posts
18 photos

A propane torch with a range of burner sizes is all you need. I have a caravan size propane cylinder and a Micky Mouse Clarke propane torch kit with an adjustable reg, no idea of the Kw sizes of the burners but they range in diameter from about 3/8" to probably 3" it also has a gas soldering iron for soft solder comprising a copper bit with integral torch which I used quite succesfully to soft solder 1/2 round brass beading to my 4" traction engine steel tender. Last weekend I silver soldered a steel bush for the oiler 5/8" diameter onto a steel fabrication comprising a 2" length of 1 1/4 round bar previously welded to legs of 2" wide 1/4" thick steel flat bar so a fair old lump of steel. All done in what is essentially a CuP brazing hearth with HP5 flux using the 1 1/2" burner. No problem at all. I don't profess to apply any science to the choice of burner for any given job outside "that looks big enough"! For small jobs I use a self contained plumbers style torch with a propane aerosol size cylinder and the small nozzle of the pair it came with. As others have said if you can contain / reflect back the heat loss with some decent insulating bricks or mineral blanket, Charlies your aunt! I very much doubt you will find any clock bits barring one from the cathedral that sort of rig won't manage. I doubt the whole set up over the years has cost me more than £70 and I even used it in conjunction with a wood burning basket to harden and temper the front spring for my 6" TE. You can spend a fortune on kit but if you haven't developed the technique the job will be no better!

Paul.

Michael Gilligan15/01/2020 21:36:07
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15425 forum posts
665 photos

Posted by Chris TickTock on 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 […]

.

... That would be the safer option anyway; particularly on 18th Century Brass

[ there was another recent thread here, on that very topic ]

MichaelG.

roy entwistle15/01/2020 21:43:18
1145 forum posts

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

Roy

Chris TickTock15/01/2020 22:18:35
361 forum posts
25 photos
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

Roy

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.

Chris

Former Member16/01/2020 08:19:19

[This posting has been removed]

CuP Alloys 116/01/2020 09:08:39
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234 forum posts

Hi Chris

Save yourself a lot of time and money, frustration and poor joints by getting to understand the process.

Silver soldering is a very simple process as long as you understand what you are doing and why. Then do it.

BUT IF YOU DEVIATE FROM THE BASICS OR TAKE SHORTCUTS (and there are lots of them on the forums!) YOU WILL RUN INTO DIFFICULTIES.

CuP Alloys have a good book (I wrote it!) that will definitely point you in the right direction.

Taking a little bit of time now will reap great rewards in the future.

Regards

Keith

Former Member16/01/2020 09:19:45

[This posting has been removed]

CuP Alloys 116/01/2020 16:26:56
avatar
234 forum posts

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.

Keith

Chris TickTock16/01/2020 16:46:06
361 forum posts
25 photos
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.

Keith

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.

Chris

Michael Gilligan16/01/2020 16:56:19
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15425 forum posts
665 photos
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.

Keith

.

Keith,

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.

MichaelG.

Chris TickTock16/01/2020 17:02:06
361 forum posts
25 photos
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.

Keith

.

Keith,

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.

MichaelG.

Thanks Michael, that is useful to know.

Chris

Bill Phinn16/01/2020 17:23:43
310 forum posts
63 photos
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.

Chris

 

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

Chris TickTock16/01/2020 19:45:51
361 forum posts
25 photos
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.

Chris

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.

Chris

Chris TickTock18/01/2020 14:54:45
361 forum posts
25 photos

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.

Chris

 

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

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