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Author Topic: Soldering question  (Read 1168 times)
Deimos
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aka Countess Millicent Addlewood


« on: August 19, 2018, 12:35:35 am »

Has anyone ever soldered piano wire? (Piano wire aka as "music wire")
It's made of high carbon [spring] steel.

I want to solder 1mm piano wire to copper wire.

K&S Engineering sells short pieces in diameters from .015" to .047" ( ~.4mm- 1.2mm).
Product info says it can be soldered.

I just want to know (before I order the stuff) if anyone has soldered it and how it worked out; and, if so, I would very much appreciate any hints/advice/warnings in working with it. 

(I am comfortable using a soldering iron...wielded one for my job my whole adult life.)   
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2018, 01:23:50 am »

Has anyone ever soldered piano wire? (Piano wire aka as "music wire")
It's made of high carbon [spring] steel.

I want to solder 1mm piano wire to copper wire.

K&S Engineering sells short pieces in diameters from .015" to .047" ( ~.4mm- 1.2mm).
Product info says it can be soldered.

I just want to know (before I order the stuff) if anyone has soldered it and how it worked out; and, if so, I would very much appreciate any hints/advice/warnings in working with it. 

(I am comfortable using a soldering iron...wielded one for my job my whole adult life.)   


Most people will have a hard time soldering stainless steel according to train model websites. The joint needs to be treated with a flux formulated for steel and people recommend silver bearing Solder. The reason is that "stainless" actually means that the metal surface is so reactive with oxygen that it constantly forms a patina protecting the metal from further oxidation. So the flux (acid type) needs to be pretty aggressive. Otherwise you can solder almost anything. Usually when you have hard to solder metals, the problem is the rapid formation of impurities like oxides with the high temperatures or the metal is so reactive, it's constantly covered in a patina, like aluminium. Sometimes you even need to remove/replace oxygen in the environment, like blowing an inert gas over the piece to be processed (I've seen that not in soldering, but welding).
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Deimos
Gunner
**
United States United States


aka Countess Millicent Addlewood


« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2018, 02:06:26 am »

 Thanks for the info Wilhelm, most of which was new to me.
However (comma), I was referring to spring steel, not stainless steel.

Spring steel is high carbon (like stainless) but lacks the Chromium element that gives SS its [more or less] rustproof characteristic. 

Spring steel is very hard (high carbon content) and is used to make ... springs!
But it is also used to make swords (real ones, not wallhangers) and is really used in pianos, hence the name "piano wire"
And all those things rust if not properly treated (oiled), unlike things made of SS.

I fully get your answer about soldering anything but I want to know if anyone on the forums has actually soldered spring steel/piano and wire, and if they can tell me anything to do/not do to get  optimum results.   
 
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2018, 02:11:11 am »

Thanks for the info Wilhelm, most of which was new to me.
However (comma), I was referring to spring steel, not stainless steel.

Spring steel is high carbon (like stainless) but lacks the Chromium element that gives SS its [more or less] rustproof characteristic.  

Spring steel is very hard (high carbon content) and is used to make ... springs!
But it is also used to make swords (real ones, not wallhangers) and is really used in pianos, hence the name "piano wire"
And all those things rust if not properly treated (oiled), unlike things made of SS.

I fully get your answer about soldering anything but I want to know if anyone on the forums has actually soldered spring steel/piano and wire, and if they can tell me anything to do/not do to get  optimum results.  
 

My bad. I need to learn how to read patiently. Anyhow, the same websites have an answer for that too. You still need an aggressive flux. They recommend "Bakers Fluid " flux (I can't give you more details since I have never used it). Same theory applies to the the patina though. Steel is still pretty reactive with oxygen, high carbon or not. The problem with spring steel is that the heat anneals the metal and it becomes soft and loses its springy qualities.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 02:16:49 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Deimos
Gunner
**
United States United States


aka Countess Millicent Addlewood


« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2018, 07:42:56 am »

OK...thanks again for the info  Smiley.... I'll just have to try it and see what happens.
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