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Soldering brass



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 17th 09, 06:36 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 1,843
Default Soldering brass

I want to make some brass boxes, about 65x45mm, with hinged lids.
I thought I'd use 2mm brass plate, and solder the bottom on with
silver solder. They need to be oil-tight!
I've not soldered brass before. Any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old October 17th 09, 07:22 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 210
Default Soldering brass

Cleanliness, Easiflow No 2 and a good heat should do it.

  #3  
Old October 17th 09, 07:47 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 9,361
Default Soldering brass

On Fri, 16 Oct 2009 22:36:18 -0700 (PDT), Matty F wrote:

... solder the bottom on with silver solder. They need to be oil-tight!


2mm sounds a bit thick for some thing quite small. Think I would use
thinner plate and fold the sides up so that you have a mechanicaly
stable box with minimal gaps at the corners then just solder the
seams.

A loose base and sides I can envisage being a nightmare to solder
unless you can hold all the bits in place and do it almost in one
hit. Even with folded loop sides and loose base might be fun.

I've not soldered brass before. Any suggestions?


Just like soldering copper. Not a problem.

--
Cheers
Dave.



  #4  
Old October 17th 09, 09:26 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 18,200
Default Soldering brass

Matty F wrote:
I want to make some brass boxes, about 65x45mm, with hinged lids.
I thought I'd use 2mm brass plate, and solder the bottom on with
silver solder. They need to be oil-tight!
I've not soldered brass before. Any suggestions?


Its fine. Use plumbers flux and a BIG iron or small blowlamp.
  #5  
Old October 17th 09, 10:10 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 1,843
Default Soldering brass

On Oct 17, 7:47 pm, "Dave Liquorice"
wrote:
On Fri, 16 Oct 2009 22:36:18 -0700 (PDT), Matty F wrote:
... solder the bottom on with silver solder. They need to be oil-tight!


2mm sounds a bit thick for some thing quite small. Think I would use
thinner plate and fold the sides up so that you have a mechanicaly
stable box with minimal gaps at the corners then just solder the
seams.

A loose base and sides I can envisage being a nightmare to solder
unless you can hold all the bits in place and do it almost in one
hit. Even with folded loop sides and loose base might be fun.

I've not soldered brass before. Any suggestions?


Just like soldering copper. Not a problem.


The original is cast brass and is 3 to 4 mm thick:
http://i37.tinypic.com/23lftd2.jpg
No it's not a toilet cistern!
It has to withstand quite a lot of vibration and being kicked by heavy
boots.

I thought I would have the base and back in one piece and the other
three sides as another piece.



  #6  
Old October 17th 09, 11:18 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 9,361
Default Soldering brass

On Sat, 17 Oct 2009 02:10:24 -0700 (PDT), Matty F wrote:

The original is cast brass and is 3 to 4 mm thick:
http://i37.tinypic.com/23lftd2.jpg


Apart from the missing nut that looks in perfect condition. Is yours
a duplicate for some where else?

I thought I would have the base and back in one piece and the other
three sides as another piece.


Makes the folding easier if nothing else. You can probably tack
solder that those two peices into a mechanicaly stable object then
solder along the join in a single pass with a small blow torch. Or
you could try brazing it, which would be stronger than soft
soldering.

--
Cheers
Dave.



  #7  
Old October 17th 09, 01:45 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 307
Default Soldering brass

Stephen Howard wrote:

If you're canny you can use a couple of sticks of solder with
different melt points ( use high/low with adjacent joints ).


When I was about 11 or 12 we did silver soldering for jewelery at school
(no precious metals or stones involved though :-) ). ISTR having three
or four different grades of solder so you could start with the highest
and work down to do several joints without melting the previous one.

Wouldn't be allowed now, of course, and I'm only 27.

Pete
  #8  
Old October 17th 09, 02:18 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 461
Default Soldering brass

On Sat, 17 Oct 2009 02:10:24 -0700 (PDT), Matty F
wrote:

On Oct 17, 7:47 pm, "Dave Liquorice"
wrote:
On Fri, 16 Oct 2009 22:36:18 -0700 (PDT), Matty F wrote:
... solder the bottom on with silver solder. They need to be oil-tight!


2mm sounds a bit thick for some thing quite small. Think I would use
thinner plate and fold the sides up so that you have a mechanicaly
stable box with minimal gaps at the corners then just solder the
seams.

A loose base and sides I can envisage being a nightmare to solder
unless you can hold all the bits in place and do it almost in one
hit. Even with folded loop sides and loose base might be fun.

I've not soldered brass before. Any suggestions?


Just like soldering copper. Not a problem.


The original is cast brass and is 3 to 4 mm thick:
http://i37.tinypic.com/23lftd2.jpg
No it's not a toilet cistern!
It has to withstand quite a lot of vibration and being kicked by heavy
boots.

I thought I would have the base and back in one piece and the other
three sides as another piece.


Soldering small brass boxes can be problematic in that the joint
you're working on ideally needs to be horizontal. Sooner or later
it'll be sod's law that there'll be an adjacent vertical soldered
joint - and before you know it all your solder will run out of it
unless you have a very good gas gun that delivers an accurate flame
and you're very quick with your hands.
I'd use a paste flux, such as La-Co, as it offers some slight cooling
over previously soldered joints and won't contaminate the joint you're
working on if it runs down.

If the box has to withstand a hefty kick I'd be inclined to silver
solder it - 2mm brass isn't going to give you enough surface area to
ensure the joints won't give way if one of the sides cops a whack
straight on.
You'll need to get the brass up to red heat, but as silver solder
doesn't flow as freely as soft solder you won't have quite so many
problems with unsoldering joints.
If you're canny you can use a couple of sticks of solder with
different melt points ( use high/low with adjacent joints ).
A small tub of JM tenacity No6 powdered flux will last you almost a
lifetime.

Regards,




--
Steve ( out in the sticks )
Email: Take time to reply: timefrom_usenet{at}gmx.net
  #9  
Old October 17th 09, 02:28 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 2,746
Default Soldering brass

Matty F submitted this idea :
I want to make some brass boxes, about 65x45mm, with hinged lids.
I thought I'd use 2mm brass plate, and solder the bottom on with
silver solder. They need to be oil-tight!
I've not soldered brass before. Any suggestions?


Brass is easy to solder, but you might be in bother holding the corners
in place. 2mm in such small pieces might be impossible to fold to
provide an overlap, so could you use some thin ready made brass angle
in the corners? Model supplies type places would have the angle in
stock.

--
Regards,
Harry (M1BYT) (L)
http://www.ukradioamateur.co.uk


  #10  
Old October 17th 09, 04:30 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 5,146
Default Soldering brass

On 17 Oct, 06:36, Matty F wrote:
I want to make some brass boxes, about 65x45mm, with hinged lids.
I thought I'd use 2mm brass plate, and solder the bottom on with
silver solder. They need to be oil-tight!


First of all, soft or silver? You'll have a pig of a job soft-
soldering lubricators like this, because of the thickness of the brass
and the amount of heat you'd need to apply.

If you do go for soft, forget irons, forget torches, and go for
sweating them together.

This is basically heavy tinning in the joining areas, assembling cold,
dribbling liquid flux in (Baker's fluid) and then heating slowly in a
furnace (or best approximation with a few firebricks and a broad torch
flame), until the solder runs together. You're reliant on capillary
action here, and no amount of faffing about with an iron or individual
jointing with a torch will give you a reliable leak-proof joint in
thick brass.

Mechanical fit is important. It's too thick to fold and yet get a
square edge, so you're building up from flat sheets. I'd leave the
front, back and base over-long, then file them down into your cuboid
afterwards. I'd also use a tiny chisel to raise a few tiny burrs on
the inside of the base as a backstop for the sides, then wire the box
up with soft iron wire before heating. You can even use iron
toolmaker's clamps inside (whitewashed to stop them sticking), or even
(easiest for bulk runs) make up a welded or ground steel inner
scaffold block (with big chamfers) so that you can clamp the brass
plates easily into place onto it.

Personally I'd silver solder it. Viscosity is lower and capillary
attraction greater, so it just loves to flow nicely and give a well-
sealed joint. Again, pre-build the load and furnace it, rather than
taking a torch around inch by inch. Silver solder is expensive (but so
is time), so make the parts fit well. Again, I'd make the edges
straight, stack the box up with overlaps, solder and then trim
afterwards.

Brazing is possible, looks good (colour match), but hard work. You
have a tiny (if any!) difference in melting point between a hard sheet
brass and a soft spelter.

Cleanliness beforehand is important. If you have any lead solder
around, stick with using lead, as silver soldering over old lead
residue is a right old pain.

Silver solder used to (and bought via eBay still does) contain
cadmium, which makes it easier to work with and the fumes toxic.
Silver soldering flux (Easyflow) is fluorides, so that's pretty nasty
when heated too. Ventilate!

You need a firebrick hearth and plenty of bricks around it before you
do any of this stuff. Firebricks are cheaper than bigger torches and
encourage more even heating, with less distortion.
 




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