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Thread: Soldering steel FYI

  1. #61
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by goodsteel View Post
    Finally, I got on Craigslist and searched till I found a HVAC feller that was retiring, and I bought his little portable torch.
    I'm here to tell ya! That'll make the 'ol eyebrow peek out over the 'ol brazing goggles!
    Done, and done. The torch and bottles are in the car, for exactly the price point you suggested HVAC guys unload their little Victor torches for. Even told the guy (he asked) it was for sights on a safari gun barrel, and even in CA his reaction was "I'm glad they're going to a good home!"

    So you use pretty soft solders (max 15% Ag) rather than the 50% Ag solders. are you hearing rumblings from the safari rifle makers to use softer solders for crack resistance under recoil? Or do you simply plan on using the softer solders and less heat because the barrel is gonna be pretty thin (big hole down the middle and all).

    I bought the silvalloy and flux, but I'm not married to using it per-se. but my barrel is gonna be substantial at about .25" thick walls, so it should be able to tolerate some pretty good heat without annealing it. (if an hour per inch to anneal is right, I can torch my barrel for 15 minutes without worrying about softening it..... Shouldn't need anywhere near that much time under the torch...)

  2. #62
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    The reason for using the "soft solders" HighForce44 specifically, is that when you heat the side of a pipe, it warps the pipe if you go past blue color, which will be hard on you're barrel. If you did the fitting right, then you should be in high cotton with the HF44 no problem. If you didn't get a perfect fit on the sights, then you are going to get a few shots and then go crawling on the ground looking for the piece that went flying off! LOL!
    Tim Malcolm
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  3. #63
    Boolit Master

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    well that's good to know. I'm goofing around with the high temp solders right now and they are hard to work. Only works well if the part is cherry red. And only flows if the flame is currently on the part. No wiping like in your tutorial. The moment the flame is gone, the solder is solid again. not easy to work with at all.

  4. #64
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    Next step in my odyssey of buying the wrong solder for the job. This time not my fault. Asked for 96/4-94/6 Tin/Silver solder, and was sold a product not even close. not even close.

    But I'm left wondering about the flux. Was sold this flux:

    http://www.weldcotemetals.com/dataFi...WhitePaste.pdf

    Not sure if it will be an appropriate flux for actual tin/silver solder. The MSDS specifies different chemicals, and the usage guide says its good for silver/copper alloys rather than silver/tin, but where I would expect such a flux to begin working at 1000F, this one starts working at 540F. Would you return it too? I don't want to return it if it will work well.

  5. #65
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    That stuff has an active range of 1000F - 1600F. You need to use it with silver solder that melts somewhere in the middle there. Figure that steel is just starting to glow a little in a dark room at 1000F. At 1600F the steel will be glowing bright red and starting to turn shades of yellow a little around the edges etc. That's the temperature you will be using that flux in, and that's why I said MAP gas has a hard time, and why I said that it will warp your barrel, if you use the high silver alloy solders.
    If this is the same project that you wrote up over yonder where you milled the sight bases, you are in good shape to use HighForce44 which is what I used in this tutorial.
    You followed the instructions perfectly, and the fit of the parts looks superb, so buy the HF44 and do exactly what I show at the beginning of this thread. I'm sure you will be surprised at the results, and you don't need anything but a standard propane torch to make it happen.
    You got this by the tail WR.
    Now, if you are simply trying to get several options together for future projects, just in case, etc etc etc, then I would keep that flux you got.
    I use two fluxes in my shop, one is the standard low temp Nocorode that I mention at the beginning of this thread, and the other is a white, water based, high temp paste similar to what you have up yonder. If the right one don't getcha then the left one will.

    I would start by buying HF44. I would keep the flux you have, but I would also buy a small jar of Nocorode.
    If anybody tries to sell you some "silver solder" that doesn't specifically list the silver content on the top of the spool, then you are probably not getting the deal you thought you were. I have a spool of "silver solder" here that got from somebody who assured me that it was "tough stuff and just perfect for gunsmithing." Well, if you think I'm going to stick that on a client's guns without being sure what's in it then you've got another think coming! I only took it because the guy was giving it to me out of the goodness of his heart. Anyway, I snipped off a piece and had it analized. Turns out it had just barely .25% silver in it, 5% copper, so much tin and so much lead. They aught to be horse whipped for calling it silver solder in the first place!
    SO, How can the average guy be sure that silver solder really is what it's supposed to be? Like the french guy said about wine: "By ze price!"
    Silver is a precious metal, and you pay out the ying yang for it. The good news is a little dab will do you if you know how to use it, and it will go a long way. For instance, I bought a single ounce of HF44 about 2 years ago, just to see what all the hype is about. Although I'm almost through all of it, it still lasted this long for me and has taken care of dozens (dare I say hundreds?) of jobs. I would love to buy a pound of the stuff, but at $202 I'm just going to buy another ounce and keep going LOL!

    Here's a few links:
    http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-to...r-prod711.aspx
    http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-to...r-prod584.aspx
    Tim Malcolm
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  6. #66
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    yeah, turns out HF44 is simply 96% tin, 4% silver. I THOUGHT that should be easy to find local. Right? Right??

    Wrong. Called 8-10 places, only one guy says he has it (I asked three times cause I couldn't believe it) then sells me BCuP-6. I should have known better up front.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodsteel View Post
    At 1600F the steel will be glowing bright red and starting to turn shades of yellow a little around the edges etc. That's the temperature you will be using that flux in, and that's why I said MAP gas has a hard time


    Just a bit more on the MAPP gas, real MAPP if any can be found burned as hot as 5300 deg IIRC while the new stuff that passes for MAPP and is actually called MAPP by some outfits burns at only about 3600 deg while Propane is around 3450 deg. I think most is sold as MAP-PRO these days, or something like that, but real MAPP has been gone for nearly 5 years now. It seems the main ingredients used to make the stuff was far more valuable in making plastics than the limited market for this gas, it was good stuff while it was around but unfortunately today's MAPP is little more than a gimmick playing on the reputation of the old stuff.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldred View Post
    Just a bit more on the MAPP gas, real MAPP if any can be found burned as hot as 5300 deg IIRC while the new stuff that passes for MAPP and is actually called MAPP by some outfits burns at only about 3600 deg while Propane is around 3450 deg. I think most is sold as MAP-PRO these days, or something like that, but real MAPP has been gone for nearly 5 years now. It seems the main ingredients used to make the stuff was far more valuable in making plastics than the limited market for this gas, it was good stuff while it was around but unfortunately today's MAPP is little more than a gimmick playing on the reputation of the old stuff.

    Duly noted the first time, but doesn't hurt to say it twice. I had no idea that was the case.
    The big question on my mind is if my big wizz bang $80 MAPP torch will work with standard propane.....Think I'll screw in a bottle and find out!
    Thanks Red.
    Tim Malcolm
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    "He who is enslaved by the compass has freedom of the seas"

  9. #69
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    Since I've been hunting this stuff down, just an FYI to all this price beats Brownells price for the Hi-Force-44:

    http://www.amazon.com/Dayton-Audio-S...+silver+solder

    haven't found it anywhere else cheaper than brownells, yet. For small quantities.

  10. #70
    Boolit Master

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    Thanks WR, that's an awesome price!
    Tim Malcolm
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    "He who is enslaved by the compass has freedom of the seas"

  11. #71
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    My Dad always said you couldn't braze with propane. We had cutting torches that use propane. They took much longer to reach cutting temp. Was the reason for not using it to braze due to the heat factor, or a chemical reason?

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLCTEX View Post
    My Dad always said you couldn't braze with propane. We had cutting torches that use propane. They took much longer to reach cutting temp. Was the reason for not using it to braze due to the heat factor, or a chemical reason?
    Using a standard propane torch that you get from the store, you'll have a real hard time brazing. If you have oxygen mix, you can probably git er did, but those rigs are much less common.
    Tim Malcolm
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    "He who is enslaved by the compass has freedom of the seas"

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLCTEX View Post
    My Dad always said you couldn't braze with propane. We had cutting torches that use propane. They took much longer to reach cutting temp. Was the reason for not using it to braze due to the heat factor, or a chemical reason?

    Yes Propane/Oxygen will braze just fine but what can't be done is welding with it. While it does get hot enough to weld with (it takes a while but it will get there) the flame chemistry is all wrong, waaaay too much Hydrogen and the flame will also lack the Carbon Dioxide shielding of the weld puddle that Acetylene provides. The little Propane torches, as has already been pointed out, are not good for much other than low temp soft solder on small parts, add a small disposable O2 cylinder available and the appropriate hardware found at some hardware stores (I looked at them at Lowes a couple of weeks ago) and the Propane rig will then not only Silver Solder but will actually be capable of brazing. This rig works great BUT those little tanks drain quite fast, for firearm work however they should still be quite useful!


    Oxy/Propane torches, the large rigs, for cutting and brazing have become more popular in the last couple of years because of the obscene prices that is asked for Acetylene these days due to an explosion at the Union Carbide plant some time back, the Carbide used for Acetylene has to be imported now. While Acetylene works MUCH better and allows for steel welding (we always referred to it as a poor man's TIG) the fact is Propane/Oxygen will do most everything the Acetylene rig will do with the exception of welding and do it MUCH cheaper!
    Last edited by oldred; 05-30-2014 at 08:02 PM.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldred View Post
    Yes Propane/Oxygen will braze just fine but what can't be done is welding with it. While it does get hot enough to weld with (it takes a while but it will get there) the flame chemistry is all wrong, waaaay too much Hydrogen and the flame will also lack the Carbon Dioxide shielding of the weld puddle that Acetylene provides. The little Propane torches, as has already been pointed out, are not good for much other than low temp soft solder on small parts, add a small disposable O2 cylinder available and the appropriate hardware found at some hardware stores (I looked at them at Lowes a couple of weeks ago) and the Propane rig will then not only Silver Solder but will actually be capable of brazing. This rig works great BUT those little tanks drain quite fast, for firearm work however they should still be quite useful!


    Oxy/Propane torches, the large rigs, for cutting and brazing have become more popular in the last couple of years because of the obscene prices that is asked for Acetylene these days due to an explosion at the Union Carbide plant some time back, the Carbide used for Acetylene has to be imported now. While Acetylene works MUCH better and allows for steel welding (we always referred to it as a poor man's TIG) the fact is Propane/Oxygen will do most everything the Acetylene rig will do with the exception of welding and do it MUCH cheaper!
    Not arguing anything you've said oldred, but I would like to point out that I have a small acetalyne rig that was used by a heat and air technician. I paid $100 for it, true enough, but it only costs me $28 to exchange both tanks. That's a lot of power for not much money.
    Tim Malcolm
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  15. #75
    Boolit Master

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    To be honest I haven't bought any Acetylene in well over a year, I had both my tanks filled and do most of my cutting with LP/Propane to save the Acetylene for welding. Could be it has come down in price? I sure hope it's cheaper now than it was but the two tanks of the size I have could possibly last me for as long as I will need them if I save them only for welding/brazing.


    I didn't mean to make it sound as if Propane would work as good as acetylene, it's not even close, but it's cheaper and much easier to acquire (I just use the BBQ grill tanks that are widely available) and even those little outfits from the hardware will suffice for small occasional jobs, still I would feel quite lost without having Acetylene around for welding/brazing.

  16. #76
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    I sometimes use a carbon arc torch for brazing, silver soldering and welding small pieces. Does anyone else use a c a t?

  17. #77
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    this is an amazingly informative thread.
    i have a amazingly simple question.
    i want to attach an extension on my release lever on my mossberg shotgun
    can i silver solder using a simple,cheap propane torch? the kind i use to thaw frozen pipes?

  18. #78
    Boolit Master

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    Nope. Not silver solder. Need an oxygen tank

  19. #79
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    You can silver solder a part with a single gas mix. The plumbers propane tank will silver solder.Put the piece on a piece of wood, I use 2 X 4, or 2 X 6. The back heat is needed for the solder. Use Boraxo laundry soap for flux. It also puts out the flame on the 2 X 4 that will develop. Heat to red, and braze away. This is considering the part is clean, and ready to braze. Definately practice on small parts you do not need first.

  20. #80
    Boolit Master

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    That sounds like a neat trick, a simple propane torch flame will get hot enough to silver solder but the problem is getting that heat concentrated enough to get the part hot enough. I have never tried your method but I can see how it would work, I think I will try that sometime!

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