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Time for some solder

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  • Time for some solder

    I finally got myself a suitable soldering iron, variable up to 60 watts. It was a Christmas present to me from me, you always get what you want that way. So her for your entertainment is my first soldering attempts. Front bushings on an EJs brass chassis. The first one is really ugly but solid, second is a little ugly and also solid. I used paste flux because I has it, would the liquid flux make a better joint? And practice too, that will make a better joint.
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  • #2
    I probably should have put this in the scratch builders shop, oh well. When I build something I’ll put it there.

    Comment


    • #3
      did you clean the soldering areas before you soldered?
      THE other Vancouver aka Vancouver Washington across the river from keep Portland weird....
      Member NASTE (Northwest Association of Slot Track Enthusiasts)

      Comment


      • Michael Squier
        Michael Squier commented
        Editing a comment
        Sort of, but not well enough. I quickly scuffed them up then wiped off with alcohol . I’m a bit hasty sometimes, wanted to test out the new iron.

    • #4
      Your picture does not show the tip of the iron, a chisel tip is better for chassis work. A pencil tip will cool off before the solder gets a chance to flow. The brass in the area to be soldered should have been polished using fine sandpaper or a Dremel with a wire brush. I use liquid acid flux for chassis work. The tip of the iron needs to be clean and shiny, I use acid core silver solder. It is best to tin the area where the bearing will go before you insert the bearing and solder it in place. When you use acid flux you will need to wash that off and quickly dry your work when all of the soldering is done. Chances are that the bearings are not perfectly aligned. You will have to be sure that an axle will turn freely.
      Last edited by RichD; January 8, 2022, 10:54 AM.

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      • Michael Squier
        Michael Squier commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you great tips. The tip is a chisel, I should have shown it in the picture. The rest of your tips will be helpful next time. As for the alignment, it’s spot on. Axel turns fine and drops right thru. That part I paid attention too. I’ll clean the parts better on the rear bushings.

    • #5
      Rich is right chisel tip and this cleaner will make you bettor overnite. Wash your work with baking soda or at least scrub it with water and soap when done to remove the acid.
      Click image for larger version

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      Matt B
      So. In
      Crashers

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      • Michael Squier
        Michael Squier commented
        Editing a comment
        My local hardware store has a good selection of soldering stuff, except for the iron, got that at a Home Depot. I’ll have to see if they have that cleaner/flux.

    • #6
      The rules of soldering I was taught were use acid on any joint that has steel or iron, use a rosin flux on any all brass joint. Acid flux also works on brass too. I have Stay-Clean acid & a bottle of liquid rosin flux from Sears. There are other sources too. Mike, a good substitute for the Stay-Clean is Oatey #11 Liquid Flux in your hardware store's plumbing department. Kester sells liquid rosin flux. The paste flux you used probably contained some acid in it, but the stuff does have a useful shelf life. The use of a liquid flux won't improve the looks of your soldering, but more practice will. Your initial bushing joints don't look bad in your photos.

      Comment


      • #7
        Yes those joints don’t look too bad
        One thing I was told is when soldiering bushings the heat boils the oil out so when the joint is done dripping a couple of drops of oil on them to cool let’s the oil soak back in a little then clean up your joint and recoil again
        Dave
        Peterborough Ont
        CANADA

        Comment


        • #8
          Yes, do use acid flux. Stay-Clean is a great liquid acid flux. Kester makes a paste acid flux. Both are worth having. I would definitely use acid flux for the work you're doing.

          When using an acid flux you should wear eye protection. The flux can boil and spray droplets into the air. Protect your eyes!

          This job is a great application for solder pre-forms. Wrap a short length of solder around the base of the bushing. Add flux. Then heat the joint with a propane torch. When the joint reaches temperature the solder will flow into the joint. That's it! Let things cool, then clean up. Your solder joint will look bright and professional.

          Yes, you do need a propane torch. Chassis work takes a lot of heat, and a 60 Watt iron just isn't enough. Fact is, if you apply some acid flux to those joints you made and re-heat them with propane the solder already on them will flow and make a much better and better-looking joint.

          I have three soldering tools. An adjustable 100 Watt iron, a 100-200 Watt soldering gun, and a propane torch. Each is the right tool for a particular type of soldering job. The iron is used for electronic/electrical soldering, the torch for structural soldering, and the gun for jobs in-between. It is simply a matter of how much power is needed to get the work up to temperature.

          Ed Bianchi

          Ed Bianchi
          York Pennsylvania USA

          Comment


          • chrisguyw
            chrisguyw commented
            Editing a comment
            Over the years, more chassis (pro and novice) have been built with a 45 watt Unger/Weller iron than all other irons/torches combined.

        • #9
          I have successfully used a 45 watt Ungar chisel tip soldering iron to do heavy brass plate. The trick is to get good heat transfer and to tin the individual parts before you join them.

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          • #10
            My iron has a digital controller to maintain heat while in use
            I have no idea how many watts it is without looking it up but I set the controller to 750degees and it has soldered any I threw at it
            Dave
            Peterborough Ont
            CANADA

            Comment


            • #11
              Originally posted by RichD View Post
              I have successfully used a 45 watt Ungar chisel tip soldering iron to do heavy brass plate. The trick is to get good heat transfer and to tin the individual parts before you join them.
              I too use an Ungar, with, I think, a 50 watt chisel tip. I've been building with them since 1970 & have never needed the additional heat of a micro torch, of which own three. Kester sells rosin flux filled pens, I have two. A tip I use for installing chassis bushings is to first put them on an old Ungar tip & let them smoke until it stops. This burns out the dirty cutting oils used in manufacturing. When they are cool. I brush them clean with a Dremel, & solder them in dry. Dry bushings solder easier than oil-filled bushings. While warm from the soldering, I hit them with new clean oil which they soak up, I think it was the late John Ford of TX & AR who first published this procedure years ago. When motor building, I use the same process for the can bushing. Endbell bushings are installed differently & are glued in.

              Comment


              • #12
                I use a 200w Weller soldering gun and silver solder for heavy work like building a chassis. I just use a soldering iron for things like soldering wires.

                Comment


                • #13
                  Cleaning and flux is pretty hard to muff. Those are cold joints. Earmarked by the the lack of flow into and around the joint. Likely caused by not maintaining steady heat. Insufficient heat isnt necessarily a lack of wattage. Often, it's simply a lack of steady, firm, contact for the duration. A technique thing.

                  A good way to ensure correct or full heating of a joint is to have the iron on one side, and strike the solder from the other. This requires patience. When hot enough the flux will smoke a little indicating that it's time to try and feed. Liquefied solder will wick naturally around the joint flowing towards the heat source. One has to maintain uninterrupted firm contact with the work piece throughout the cycle.

                  Neither you or the work piece can be jittering around or moving. The trick is to be relaxed and wait for the heat to build. The solder does it's thing automatically when the correct temp is reached. I make sure the work is firmly clamped, and then lean on it steadily with the iron. Your iron hand must be firm, and your solder hand must be relaxed, ready to feed and move as needed.

                  Patience practice and persistence. In no time you'll have solder leaping off the roll and running around your joints like old hat.

                  Good luck!

                  Bill

                  Comment


                  • Michael Squier
                    Michael Squier commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks that’s great advice, and yes I didn’t hold the tip still or long enough in one place. Thanks. And I should have known better because I’ve used your suggestion of heating from the back side on some electrical connections on antique outboard ignitions. Sometimes I forget what I already know.
                    I think getting the piece I’m soldering held steady is often the hardest part. But I’ll get it.practice practice.

                  • dinglebery
                    dinglebery commented
                    Editing a comment
                    This is precisely the correct way to solder, in words! Great explanation Bill!

                • #14
                  While, Bill, you are absolutely right, when making a joint with a soldering iron, more power can be substituted for patience.

                  A propane torch can heat up heavy material quickly and, importantly, locally. With acid flux and a solder preform proper flow and and penetration can be achieved in seconds. I have even used it on lighter material to make several joints simultaneously.

                  That locality bit is indeed important. With skill you can avoid reheating joints you have already made. Applying heat sinks makes this even less touchy.

                  Having a selection of soldering tools spanning a range of powers allows you to select the right tool for the right job. Sometimes it is necessary to experiment. I will never use a torch to do electronic soldering. And sometimes I'll opt for my soldering gun. But when things just aren't going well the torch usually carries the day.

                  I'll add a word here about silver solder. While 'Stay-Brite' solder contains a scant amount of actual silver it is still a major step up from ordinary solders in terms of strength. Also its ability to solder stainless steel. I've used hard-drawn precision stainless steel tubing in slotcar chassis with great success. Light, stiff, strong and precisely dimensioned. Couldn't do it without 'Stay-Brite' silver solder and 'Stay-Clean' acid flux. Great stuff. Go to mcmaster.com for that tubing.
                  Last edited by HO RacePro; January 9, 2022, 06:52 AM.
                  Ed Bianchi
                  York Pennsylvania USA

                  Comment


                  • Michael Squier
                    Michael Squier commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Ed, what are you suggesting for a torch? I have a big bernzomatic style torch but that seems to big for such a small piece to me.

                  • Bill from NH
                    Bill from NH commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Stay-Brite is 4% silver. It's way stronger than 60/40 but stiffens up the solder joints. I've built entire commercial racing chassis using silver, but it takes 2 or 3 races for the chassis to break-in for optimal handling. The Harris Company also produces other solders with a higher silver content.

                • #15
                  I'm not good at soldering. I use a lot of thick brass and that takes a lot of heat. I brush acid flux on all of it, tin the large pieces, try to clamp or have a perfect fit at the joint. I hit it with butane to heat and let solder flow (evenly with acid flux). I use my Hakko after it is all heated and flowing to smooth out the solder.

                  Once the big joints are made, the rest is done with the Hakko. You can't use a torch for small connections, it just puts too much heat out too quick. The chisel point as Rich recommends is the best way for smaller joints. It provides a great amount of heat in a small area and if you have cleaned and tinned, that heat penetrates the small area fast and your joint is done before heat spreads to areas where you don't want it.

                  I can't stress how much better my work has been since using the acid. I used to wire brush, sandpaper, I did lots of cleaning and still sometimes had a spotty joint. With the flux, the solder flows evenly on the the whole piece. Most slot tracks sell Lucky Bob's flux and I used it at first and saw this big improvement. I am pretty sure LB is just repackaged StayClean.
                  Matt B
                  So. In
                  Crashers

                  Comment


                  • Bill from NH
                    Bill from NH commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I don't buy LB flux, but I have worked with it a bit. My impression of it was it wasn't as strong as Stay Clean. Who knows?
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