White metal to brass soldering

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Toto, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    would somebody mind doing an idiots guide to this subject please. Preferably with plenty photographs ( even better a video ) demonstrating each step and the materials and order of application to achieve a solid job.

    I know it's a bit of an ask but I personally would benefit and I'm sure if it was clear enough, it would be a go to reference for others. An example could maybe be the popular act of soldering an axle box or suspension component to a brass section.

    Thanks in anticipation of somebody managing it.

    Toto
     
  2. Gary

    Gary Staff Member Administrator Golden Goat 2018

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    Toto, I found these videos for you... The 2nd video has a little on brass to white metal soldering.





    Cheers, Gary.
     
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  3. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Staff Member Administrator Feature Contributor

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    Hi Tom,

    There are 4 main ways of soldering whitemetal to brass that I know of (I have no doubt that there are other methods that I am not aware of):

    1. Tin the brass where the whitemetal part is to be placed, with 145 degree solder and then use 70 degree solder to solder the whitemetal part on to the tinned area.
    2. Solder the whitemetal part directly to the brass using 145 degree solder - you need a hot iron and to be very quick to prevent the whitemetal part from melting.
    3. Solder the whitemetal part directly to the brass using 100 degree solder. - a much better choice for the inexperienced than option 2.
    4. Solder the whitemetal part directly to the brass using 100 degree solder using a microflame instead of a conventional soldering iron - my preferred way of doing it these days.
    In any of the above (or indeed any soldering) both workpieces need to be clean and fluxed. I use a pair of small wire brushes for cleaning whitemetal castings, one steel and the other brass. Don't be too vigorous with the steel version or you may damage softer castings.

    Regarding flux, everyone has their own personal choice but I use the water based safety flux available from HERE (Building O Gauge Online) which I have used since 2010 or earlier. I use this flux for all my soldering, irrespective of what I am soldering and I have successfully soldered, brass, nickel silver, whitemetal and steel with it (the latter being a set of Slaters steel coupling rods). I apply it from a largish syringe which is fitted with a nozzle/needle sold for refilling inkjet ink cartridges.
     
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  4. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Thanks for the link Rob, I've just ordered the soldering kit, with the flux, 145 & 70 solder, @ £12, even adding the postage (£3) still came out cheaper than getting them as separate items.

    I feel Nellie may be starting to get worried.

    Paul
     
  5. 60019Bittern

    60019Bittern Full Member

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    Not as worried as my 3 Scotsman that have not seen any action at all over the past few years. That goes for Mallard as well. Still winter is now upon us and the birds aren't playing so I should have no excuse for a while.

    As for soldering white metal to brass, tin the brass first with 140 and then use 70 for the whitemetal. Works for me.
     
  6. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Ok 145 then 70 degree , I'll give that a bash. I'll get the various melting points scribes onto my variable temperature soldering iron and allow time to adjust the heat between tasks. :thumbs:
     
  7. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Staff Member Administrator Feature Contributor

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    Hi Tom,

    You don't really want to mix the lower temperature solders' with the higher temperature one's on the same soldering iron bit.
    Either use two separate irons (preferable) or change the bit between using 145 and 70 to keep the two from contaminating each other.

    You really don't want to add to your inexperience by struggling with solder contamination too.
     
  8. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    So from the video, am I correct that the preferred temps of 370c for the 145c solder, and 240c 100c/70c solders, or do you different temps ?
     
  9. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    When I did a small bit of white metal to brass as a try out I used my 40watt for tinning the brass with 145 degree, then my 25watt iron for the 70 degree solder to join the white metal. Don't linger with the 25 watt or the white metal will melt!!

    Cheer's, Pete.
     
  10. Kimbo

    Kimbo Staff Member Moderator

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    Robs option3 is the way I’ve always done it,works for me fine. iuse a high heat and a fine tip with plenty of flux.

    Kim
     
  11. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Staff Member Administrator Feature Contributor

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    Hi Paul,

    When using my iron, I have it set at 340 for both 145 and 180 degree solders. if you get the solder too hot it leaves a powdery residue which is hard to get rid of. - It's worth mentioning that my iron is 80 watt so its very good at retaining it's heat.


    I cannot honestly say what temp I use for 100/70 degree because my cheapo iron only has graduations on it and i set it at the 2nd mark which seems to melt the solder fine without damaging the castings. - I am not sure what wattage this one is because I have never checked as it's only ever used for low melt solder which it does with ease.

    When attempting to determine what setting your iron needs to be at for melting low melt but not the casting you need to allow plenty of time for the iron to warm up thoroughly before testing it (I would suggest allowing at least 3 or 4 minutes) you don't really need to try too hard to work out how I found this out....:facepalm::oops:
     
  12. TimberSurf

    TimberSurf Full Member

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    If anyone wants to get really anal, you could always measure tip temp/work temp with a "Digital Pyrometer", they can be had on fleabay for as little as £7!
     
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  13. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    A must for any self respecting pyromaniac. :avatar:
     
  14. Mr Porter

    Mr Porter Failure is always an option. Full Member

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    The trouble with pyromaniacs is there is too much arson about.
    :headbanger:
     
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  15. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    :facepalm: Oh someone always has to throw an iron on the fire :avatar:
     
  16. TimberSurf

    TimberSurf Full Member

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    Toto, should you have not started this thread BEFORE you ordered 99 brass kits? :avatar:
     

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