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Old Dec 08, 2011, 07:42 AM
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I've done BOTH types of "silver soldering" a lot in my RC past...

Dear Fatcat220 & Abu:

The PIPE Here again - I'm currently in the last week or so of my autumn 2011 semester at college with my online business classes, so with final tests coming up soon, I've got a little time to "detail" what my experiences have been in using "silver bearing" solder like the StayBrite, and doing "true silver brazing", in my own aeromodeling activities from the past.

The "StayBrite silver solder" is really a silver-BEARING "soft solder", and is also what is known as "plumbers' solder", as it has NO lead in it (which means it CAN legally be used for anything something a person's digestive system might touch, like the soldered joints in copper plumbing for drinking water) and uses a roughly 95% tin and 5% silver mix in it. Beacuse of the periodic table symbology for "tin" and "silver" being 'Sn' (from "stannum", the Latin for tin) and 'Ag' (from "argentum", the Latin for silver) the Stay-Brite solder COULD be called "SnAg" solder, and in fact, if one were to look for a roll of "plumbers' solder" in a well-stocked American hardware store, and it had the figures of "95/5 SnAg" or something very much like it on the roll's end-label, that's the exact same solder as the Stay-Brite package has. For that separate roll of SnAg solder, though, there's a LOT MORE on a roll like that than what comes in the Stay-Brite package. For a larger bottle of the Stay-Clean flux than what comes in the Stay-Brite package, you CAN get it separately from a place whose page for it is at http://www.knifeandgun.com/ProductDe...oductCode=SBS2 for a 4 oz. bottle of it, or at https://weldingsupply.securesites.co...F:OR:terms::PB for an even bigger 16 oz. (500 ml) small JUG of it...and with either the 4 or 16 oz. container of Stay-Clean flux, and a full roll of plumber's 95/5 SnAg solder from a hardware store, it's just like having a "jumbo-sized" version of what comes in the Stay-Brite solder package, if one needs to use that sort of "silver-bearing solder" a lot in their model building.

The higher temperature "silver brazing", which is usually done at the mentioned higher temperatures of 1150-1200F (620-650C), is also something I've used quite a bit in the past. In the early 1980s I got myself a Sears/Craftsman MAPP torch kit with two interchangeable burner tips, a 1/4th inch OD one for small things (like aeromodeling needs) and a larger 1/2 inch OD one for larger jobs. I've managed to find LOTS of links on how to do what's properly called "silver brazing", and Handy & Harman, one of the leading brands of brazing supply brands for decades, has an online manual to help people learn how to do it at http://www.brazingbook.com/ and "signing in" to access it for free.

The flux used for silver brazing is usually some sort of white colored, water-based slurry-like borax-base flux like Handy & Harman's "Handy-Flux", the 8 oz. (240 ml) plastic tub of which I've had for a generation, and only have to reactivate for use by moistening it with some tap water, if it's dried out over the years. For the brazing wire, soruces for it are at http://www.silvaloy.com/hiag.php and at http://www.bellmanmelcor.com/silvaloy_A56T.htm . Products at either of those pages can easily be used with the "Handy-Flux", and I've done silver brazing quite successfully on stainless steel quite a few times with my MAPP torch and the aforementioned silver brazing rod sources and the Handy-Flux.

Hope these links get people thinking about how to join metals better for the aeromodeling hobby, whenever there's a need to do it...!!!

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE....!!
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Last edited by The PIPE; Dec 08, 2011 at 08:04 AM.
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