View Full Version : Soldering question
12-11-02, 01:03 PM
One of the biggest problems I have found (ok, after finding supplies) is that most of the information available is American. Most of the time I have no trouble translating (actually, perhaps I should start a list?), but one that has been puzzling me is "silver soldering" which seems to be used as a generic term - is this a silver bearing solder, a lead free solder, a brazing alloy or what?
Guess who has chickened out of soldering guards hitherto? My fondness for Araldite borders on the pathological.
Hi Peter and welcome. As far as I know, it's literally silver solder, not lead free solder, but solder with a high silver content. I bought some from texas knife supplies ages ago, but like you have chickened out of using it.
You might be interested to know that Halfords (the big superstores, not the little high street ones) stock JB Weld, which is what an awful lot of the 'mericans' use to fix the guard onto the blade. It's good stuff.
12-11-02, 03:51 PM
Yeah, but JB shows up wonderfully against the bright brass when you haven't quite got the hairline fit hairline enough...
Nice stuff when hidden, however.
12-11-02, 10:46 PM
I once toyed with clear epoxy & brass dust with acceptable results, maybe you could try something like that, or use nickel silver & a lower temp solder (easier to clean off with a copper stick)
Try taking more time with the guard (do it last (this encourages you to treat the whole experience very gently )) & getting the fit right & you may find less need for any epoxy or solder
I am glad I am not the only one who cannot solder. People tell me its easy, yet in my experience it is the one sure thing I can do to that ruins my knife. I cannot for the life of me get that solder to flow. I end up with blobs all over the place and end up over heating the blade and ruining the tempering.
Like many, I now use JB weld, but my fitting sometimes isnt all that great (gaps!), so I make the JB look even all around and quite neat by waiting for it to set a liitle, then wet my finger and wipe it around the joint to smooth it out. It can be seen if using a mirror finish, but if etching the blade then it hides pretty well.
At the moment, I am making my guards out of mild steel. Its easy to work with....If the gap is too small, then I heat it , and hammer it down onto the shoulders (using a piece of pipe) then it shrinks when cools and makes a very tight fit. If I file too much away, I heat it up and place it on the shoulders then give it a slight tap on the sides to close the gap.....Works well on the style of knives I am making at the moment (period style)...dont know if heating and shrinking would work for brass and stainless though....maybe I need to give it a try.
13-11-02, 10:36 AM
TBH, I don't tend to have much of a problem soldering - in the case of components, that is. I've just been leary of trying to solder quite such dissimilar metals in large chunks.
Fair point on the time taken, Colin - although in my defence, I hadn't realised until it was too late that the tang was wider halfway down than it was at the base of the blade. Should have miked it, really.
I tried spreading the brass slightly using a centre punch, which helped, but didn't take it all the way.
I've been wondering about mixing clear epoxy with pearlescent/iridescent powders for use in mosaic pins, not sure how well it would work. Just got some sintered bronze powder (for casting a replacement clock foot) that might have to be tried out too.
Wow, some great tips there Mike, thanks - it "almost" makes me want to try soldering ;)
Maybe I will, on my next one perhaps.
A quick question about FeCl though, does anyone know if JB Weld is adversly affected by FeCl? Could I assemble a damascus blade and damascus guard and *then* etch them together?
Well, what I was going to do was assemble the knife, grind the guard flush with the handle, then mask off the wood and blade using a resist and dip in FeCl to give the guard an etch. I was hoping the seam would not be affected. :(
BTW Mike, mind if I use your soldering tip to post on the "tutorials page here....
Better stiil you could copy it yourself and post it into this forum... (http://www.britishblades.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=19) and it should automatically appear on the tutorials page mentioned above, but credited to you ;)
Done, thanks Mike.
Hint for anyone with a cool tip like this to post, by posting it in the "tutorials forum" (http://www.britishblades.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=19).....
The content will also automatically show up on the main tutorials web page here:
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