I posted a thread yesterday about my Kemtron GP 20 rebuild/repair.

i asked in that post about what solder and heat everyone recommended. Well today I have done some of my own research and it’s now clear as mud.

i am not a novice at soldering, I have done electrical, electronic metal repair etc but I have not worked much with brass.

Many people recommend stay brite solder and flux. I am assuming the liquid flux however I could also see the need for the paste.

heat source is where it gets murky for me. Several people said a small torch. Others say iron.

Stay brite says use an iron on brass because a torch can soften the brass by anealing it.

I am turning you you guys, the ones with hands on experience working on brass trains.

Help me obe wan, you’re my only hope

my next question is about method,

my plan is to clean all parts with denatured alcohol, and then tin both surfaces to be connected. My hope is to use the minimum amount of solder to get the best connection. 

Is this the best method. Also what type of clamps and or heat sinks do you use?

this is the main solder station I use, it has hot air and several different tips, the heat for the iron and air are adjustable as well as the amount of air flow.

i also have several regular irons in different wattages and tip configuration.

i have small butane torches as well as regular propane, mapp gas and mapp oxy combo

AF20B236-CEF6-418C-B05D-C7486D7EF693

I think my wife is onto me, She was walking around singing

”Honey you can’t hide your Lionels”

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Wow... I wish I had a solder station like that!

I just have a small 50 watt iron. 

You may be over thinking this. Take a step back. What are you soldering? Different assembly steps / technics are needed for different types of parts.

I use an acid core flux paste and then CLEAN the parts when finished after my steps, Acid core offers a better etchant that will give you a quick clean joint.

Too much heat WILL ruin your work so work part by part and let it cool then go to the next step. 

Watch this video... it will help

TCA Number 16-71884

I have not been very successful with irons or guns on brass models.    I have been most successful with brass repairs with electric resistance soldering.    This concentrates the heat at the joint.    I have learned that both surfaces need to be clean before the attempt.

Your plan to clean well and tin sounds very good.    I am not real experienced with this so my lack of success with irons  is probably not a good qualifier.   

You do need to be careful not overheat the surrouinding surfaces and distort the brass panels.    so the hard part is getting enough heat to melt/join the solder without getting so much as to damage the parts.   And both parts have to get hot enough to melt the solder.

Why do I feel setup.  On the other thread you asked about soldering a specific model.  That model is made of fairly heavy brass.  Far heavier than most anything else you're going to come across except maybe an old brass cast door stop.  I provided you an answer for the specific model.  To use the information provided to speak to general repairs is apples and oranges.

What to use for general brass modeling is a loaded question.  I use large & small torches, a good resistance soldering machine, a digital hot air machine, soldering irons, and guns.  No one tool is correct for every task.  I like Stay-Brite solder and flux but I also use plain 60/40 and No-Korode flux.  Shoot, I still use solder paint sometimes.  Sometime I braze, sometimes I soft solder.

Why do I feel I'm wasting my time here?

Jay

First suggestion is that you might want to practice with some scrap pieces. The more you do, the more "feel" you gain. Solder will flow toward the heat source. For example, if you are soldering copper pipe, put the flame on one side of the pipe and the solder opposite. The solder will melt and flow around the pipe toward the torch.

Obviously not the same as soldering brass, but an excellent illustration how solder flows toward the heat.

Simon

prrjim posted:

I have not been very successful with irons or guns on brass models.    I have been most successful with brass repairs with electric resistance soldering.    This concentrates the heat at the joint.    ....

^^^ the best advice... the biggest problem you will have is keeping heat away from other parts.  this is the hallmark of resistance soldering.

I used a 300 watt Weller, a propane torch, and a pencil flame butane torch for a long time.  Then I got a 1800 watt resistance unit.  Wow, some serious advantages to using that in many cases.  And some disadvantages as well when you smoke something and half of it disappears. Silver solder and a torch for things you will solder other stuff to later. Resistance, a torch, or soldering iron with regular solder and paste flux for most other things. Resistance or soldering iron and Tix flux and Tix solder for fine detail works for me.  Soldering is really an art that you learn over time.  Resistance soldering without destroying stuff is too.

Anyone who has been doing this or any craft for that matter uses tools he is comfortable with. For one person I know these are the only tools he uses. I think he took affront when I suggested using resistance soldering.

T_Tools

With these tools he produces these and dozens more.

Tak_ShayTak_shay

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Jay C posted:

Why do I feel setup.  On the other thread you asked about soldering a specific model.  That model is made of fairly heavy brass.  Far heavier than most anything else you're going to come across except maybe an old brass cast door stop.  I provided you an answer for the specific model.  To use the information provided to speak to general repairs is apples and oranges.

What to use for general brass modeling is a loaded question.  I use large & small torches, a good resistance soldering machine, a digital hot air machine, soldering irons, and guns.  No one tool is correct for every task.  I like Stay-Brite solder and flux but I also use plain 60/40 and No-Korode flux.  Shoot, I still use solder paint sometimes.  Sometime I braze, sometimes I soft solder.

Why do I feel I'm wasting my time here?

Jay

Your not wasting your time in my view, some of us like or need to here stuff either a few times or  like a 2x4 in the head 

Dennis Holler If its old and broke, I like it

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