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Author Topic: Couple of Questions Related To My First Build.  (Read 1660 times)
Prof. Alkane
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« on: May 16, 2012, 11:24:18 pm »

Ive just ticked over my first 5 hours of browsing this fantastic steam-site so i figured it would be a good point to ask some advice, i have only just stumbled upon the vast depth of knowledge available within the steamy community and it has inspired me to create. My thought process was that if i were to build anything big and dangerous i would first need some protective equiptment... i think you can all guess my project is something no self respecting steampunk could be without, goggles. Being less of the aristocratic persuasion and more of the eccentric experimental ilk, i have opted for fuction over form (with a little bit of form thrown in for good measure) wip pics will be included when i have something to show. Any advice would be much appreciated but my questions are as follows:

1) Will normal solder be enough to hold thin sheet copper together on the edges (butt weld formation)
2) Would brass wire from a mig braiser melt with a solering iron or small blowtorch
3) and finally will tarnished copper polish up well with the use of a buffing wheel and rosin (think that is the correct spelling)

thanks i wait eagerly for your replies

Prof. Alkane
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Mr Peter Harrow, Esq
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2012, 11:32:01 pm »

Brasso or other brass polishes will do for the copper
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Prof. Alkane
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2012, 11:40:42 pm »

Thankyou Mr Harrow i will set upon the purchase of that.
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Mr Peter Harrow, Esq
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2012, 11:51:38 pm »

Brasso is well worth having around in any event, I always have some, and use it for polishing copper tube and copper straight trumpet parts
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Prof. Alkane
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2012, 11:59:05 pm »

You say trumpet parts as if its a regular thing, do you know a cheap source of tumpet parts i need some for another porject in the pipeline??
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HR
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2012, 12:13:07 am »

Welcome.

1. yes it should, but a slight overlap of the edges will give you a stronger joint.
2. Not unless it is a high temp torch, brass melts between 900 and 1000 deggrese.
3. yes it will come up lovely, as it will with most abrsive polishes but it will tarnish again fairly quickly.
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Mr Peter Harrow, Esq
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2012, 12:24:02 am »

If you do the charity shops and bric a brac markets you can sometimes find former scouts straight trumpets, brass mouth pieces the rest copper, between 3 and 4 feet long.You can use the flared end for all sorts of projects requiring a small horn, and you have rest of the tapering tube again useful for different projects.

It's the type of thing you buy when you see it because you will use it on various projects, in my case the two I bought became part of two canes (fan and megaphone canes),my clairvoyant crystal set, and Iain Banks steampunk fountain pen, and I still have tapering copper tubes for other projects.
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Captain Quinlin Hopkins
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2012, 01:47:17 am »

Silver based solders are much stronger.  I personally use solder paste.  I forget the barnd but have a tube at home and can get you the name later.  You'll never use a roll of solder again.  Lap joints are a magnitude stronger, so use them whenever possible.  Don't get frustrated If it is not perfect.  Posr your results anyway as it helps encourage others.  Best of luck and feelfree to ask more along the way.

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robotmastern
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2012, 02:52:10 am »

I was tought to brase butt joins as little as possible as it is weaker than a lap
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Prof. Alkane
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2012, 08:56:59 am »

Thanks all, cheers for the advice Mr Harrow, ill begin my hunt at the weekend.

Thanks to you also HR that was a pretty comprehensive answer to all of my questions, luckly I've found that my gas powered soldering iron doubles up as a tiny blowtorch that burns at 1300•c, which is handy.

Cpt. Hopkins, if I could have the brand of that solder paste it would be much appreciated. And thanks for the advice about overlapped joints.

Thanks to everyone, I will be continuing with my construction tonight and I'll post some pics as soon as possible.

Cheers, Prof. A
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 10:07:09 am by Prof. Alkane » Logged
Narsil
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2012, 05:48:29 pm »


1) Soldered butt joints are far from ideal since the contact area will be very small and it's very difficult to get a really close fit which will further weaken the joint. IF it's just a case of sealing/filling a join you would probably get away with it but i wouldn't recommend it for anything structural. If 'normal' solder is plumbing or electrical solder then it's ok for sealing joints which don't see much load but, again, for anything structural hard solder is a much better option.

As previously mentioned lapp joints are much preferable to butt joints for soldering. The neatest way is to fold the sheet to make a small step (joggling). You can get special tools for this but for small pieces it should be easy enough to do with improvised tools. 

2) Probably not, even if the flame temperature is hot enough a gas torch, a small gas torch will struggle to get heat into the work fast enough to maintain the temperature. MIG brazing wire will be either silicon bronze or aluminium bronze, rather than brass, which melt at a much higher temperature than solder or brazing filler. Also  the alloys used for MIG brazing won't flow in the same way as solder.

3) Yes a buffing wheel should clean an polish copper no problem. If you aren't familiar with the use of buffing wheels then there are certain safety precautions which need to be taken as they can be quite dangerous pieces of kit if not used properly, all the more so because they look benignly soft and fluffy.
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robotmastern
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2012, 06:21:12 pm »

If you aren't familiar with the use of buffing wheels then there are certain safety precautions which need to be taken as they can be quite dangerous pieces of kit if not used properly, all the more so because they look benignly soft and fluffy.
a can attest to that, if the wheel catches a hole just right it will throw the piece very fast, hopefully to the floor, possibly denting or deforming the piece, or you.
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Prof. Alkane
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Great Scot!! A Steam Powered Drummer!


« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2012, 10:55:56 pm »

Again cheers for all the advice, struggling with photos at the moment, but just to let people know, the googles are well on there way to being finished, some dremmel work to do and some polishing. When I do get the photos up please bear in mind it was my first attempt to make something like this... So some sniggering and chortles should be posted with some constructive criticisms.

Will update soon.

Prf. A
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Prof. Alkane
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


Great Scot!! A Steam Powered Drummer!


« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2012, 12:19:13 am »

Finally some pics. still a wip. but its almost there, i think. needs a strap and some dremmeling and polishing. again keep in mind this was my first attempt at something like this and the soldering is abit... rough shall we say.

http://i1073.photobucket.com/albums/w389/alkane99/IMG-20120518-00146.jpg

http://i1073.photobucket.com/albums/w389/alkane99/IMG-20120518-00147.jpg

http://i1073.photobucket.com/albums/w389/alkane99/IMG-20120518-00148.jpg

let me know what you think any suggestions grately recieved, oh and ignore the copper sheet beneath it, that is mearly to get it sitting right.
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Captain Quinlin Hopkins
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« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2012, 02:09:39 am »

My wife recently organized for me so I can't find mine.  For some reason I don't think it was Wahl brand. But a tube should cost around $5
http://www.altex.com/Wahl-Solder-IT-Silver-Bearing-Solder-7459-P143942.aspx
Iso-Tip seems to be another brand, might or might not be it.  either should work wonders though compared to a roll.  

as far as the cosmetics, you now have to decide it you want it to look proper and polished, or rough and bit cobbled together from parts. Either is completely acceptable, but much easier to decide to leave part of the cobbled together look before you poslish it up.  harder to add it back later, but not impossible.  Not trying to sway you either way, just stating think before you polish.   
« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 02:13:16 am by Captain Quinlin Hopkins » Logged
Dr cornelius quack
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« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2012, 09:23:07 am »

Your soldering displays the standard form for someone who is just starting to do it.

Too much solder applied and not much of it doing the job of holding things together.

No criticism there, everyone does the same to begin with.

As with any manual skill, practice makes perfect and you'll be surprised how quickly things get better and neater.

I think what happens is that people are too anxious to get some solder onto the job  and start to feed the wire in too early.
There is a lot of metal in that eyepiece, and it will all need to be heated up to a temperature at which the solder will wet the surface.  Solder can be hot enough to melt in the flame of a torch but will just solidify in lumps when it touches the surface.
It does mean that you need a heat source that can supply the heat fast enough to keep up with the rate at which the work piece is trying to get rid of it to it's surroundings.
Don't be afraid to let the workpiece heat up for quite some time before you apply the solder.
A good exercise to develop a feel for when things are hot enough and how much solder to put on is to line up a number of items and 'tin' the surface. Just coat the joint surface with a thin layer of solder. If you do this on pieces that are waiting to go into a build, then the actual soldering together is made easier as the surface is already primed to accept more metal if needed and it's simpler to just lay down a pad of solder onto a large block of metal as a separate operation, rather than trying to keep an eye on both components at once.
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Mr. Boltneck
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« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2012, 04:10:30 pm »

Also, if you use hard solder (the silver alloys used for jewelry and such), it is quite possible to make strong joins in 18ga. or 20ga. sheet brass, even with butt joints. The tricky part is making the edges flat and parallel, and then using a small amount of solder, which should flow neatly into the join. Silver solder doesn't really fill gaps, and works best with closely-fit parts.
Some things which are good to keep in mind for any type of soldering, from goggles to circuits: make sure parts are clean and well fitted; use a flux appropriate to the parts and solder; always heat the parts so that the areas joined are at the fusing-point of the solder, and let the solder flow in, to assure proper wetting.
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Prof. Alkane
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Great Scot!! A Steam Powered Drummer!


« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2012, 10:48:02 am »

sorry havent been on for a bit, but thanks for all the advice, im slowly getting better at soldering, thanks to you guys. im looking forward to creating more stuff to share with you soon. thanks again.
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