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Jan 07, 2017, 08:15 PM
Modeling Retread
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Question

JB Weld as a soldering fixture aide?


I need to bring three pieces of music wire together as part of a landing gear assembly. It's a vintage AC. There will be two 3/16 main legs and a 5/32 cross piece that will also be the axles. I read recently that you could use thick CA to glue the pieces together before soldering. I was wondering if you could use JB Weld to do the same thing.
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Jan 07, 2017, 08:33 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
CA has the dubious characteristic of burning away from the heat of the soldering iron. But as it does so it creates really nasty smoke/fumes. So I would not do that trick in any event.

JBWeld aside from taking a lot longer to cure won't burn away at all. So using it where the solder has to go is going to be a problem.

A good joint for landing gear like this almost always implies wrapping the joint with a suitable size of fine copper wire and soldering the whole thing into a nice clean looking lump. The copper wire wrap ensures a snug joint and holds the pieces with a nice light friction fit. It also fills up and holds the solder and makes for a very sturdy joint. So that's what I use and I've never felt any need to alter that method.

For really light wire I'll strip open a piece of stranded wire and use one strand. For heavier gauges I use #22 buss wire to wrap the joints.
Jan 07, 2017, 09:42 PM
Neophyte hacker
portablevcb's Avatar
Yep, wire wrap.

The biggest thing for me is to make a jig for soldering it. Make sure it holds all the parts in the right position and all are bent correctly. It can be as simple as a couple of sticks and clothespins or it can be a finely made ply structure.

Even more important is to clean the joint area very well.

charlie
Jan 08, 2017, 01:48 AM
Registered User
Ive always liked StayBright flux even if only using electronic solder for non-electrical soldering. I use a 60 watt iron, not a torch. Haven't found a better flux yet. (It is not for electrical repairs)
Jan 08, 2017, 01:49 AM
Registered User
+1 for getting the steel really clean.

I found copper wire in the craft section at Hobby Lobby recently and it worked as expected (seemed to actually be copper and not just copper plated). It's on spools like sewing thread and they had it in a variety of gauges. The gear I was soldering was 3 pieces of 5/32" and the 20 ga. was a good size.
Jan 08, 2017, 03:07 AM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by David2011 View Post
+1 for getting the steel really clean.

I found copper wire in the craft section at Hobby Lobby recently and it worked as expected (seemed to actually be copper and not just copper plated). It's on spools like sewing thread and they had it in a variety of gauges. The gear I was soldering was 3 pieces of 5/32" and the 20 ga. was a good size.
Copper plated steel wire might actually be excellent for a little additional strength in the wrap. That's assuming it isn't finished with something to keep the copper plating looking nice and bright. They do that in a lot of cases with that decorative stuff. Doubles the cleaning job needed.

Those places also tend to have brass wire as well. Brass would be a touch stronger than the copper wire.

Mind you I've yet to rip a copper wire wrapped joint apart in anything other than a "death dive". And the results were such that the landing gear joints were the least of my worries....
Jan 08, 2017, 08:54 AM
Neophyte hacker
portablevcb's Avatar
LOL, yeah I've 'tried' to break a soldered joint as well. It was much stronger than the hardwood block it was mounted on

PS do not use the nice colored wire sold for fly fishing tying, or magnet wire. They are coated with a very tough substance that does not come off easily and it really messed up a solder joint.
Jan 08, 2017, 12:57 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Quote:
PS do not use the nice colored wire sold for fly fishing tying, or magnet wire. They are coated with a very tough substance that does not come off easily and it really messed up a solder joint.
I've resorted to using magnet wire when I was REALLY desperate. And yes, it's a total pain in the you know what to clean it completely so that it would solder well.

If you're really desperate buy some Cat5 data wire or the four strand telephone wire or some 6 strand thermostat wire from the local building hardware store. Then strip it down to the conductors. A couple of feet of any of those will provide you with enough copper wire of suitable size for a half dozen models at least.

But if you have a little more time and were to get online and buy a couple of spools of tinned buss wire in 24 or 26 Gauge for small stuff and 22 Gauge for bigger stuff you'd have enough wire to last your life time from two spools of 100 feet each.

No one so far suggested how many turns to use. To start the winding I run a short length of the copper laid in the "V" between two of the wires. Then turn it cross ways and wind back over this starting tail. Wind with good tension to hold tightly but not enough to risk drawing out and breaking the copper. To finish the winding and retain the tension go with two or three turns around only one of the wires. Cut off and press down smoothly.

I like these wire wound "cuffs" to have enough turns that they are about 1.5 to 2 times as long as the diameter of the overall bundle you are making. So two pieces of 1/8" music wire would get a copper wound cuff that is about 3/8" long. That seems to give lots of strength to the joint to resist all but an actual "earth mover" arrival that results in a crater in the landscape. A couple or three pieces of 3/32 music wire would get a wound cuff that is 5/16" or so long.

Clearly there's some give and take here. But for durable landing gear joints this is about right. For a lower stress joint you can make the wound cuffs a touch shorter if you prefer. But I'd suggest that to get good strength that you don't want them much shorter than "square" for any given wire bundle. That is the length should not be much, if any, shorter than the overall bundle diameter.
Jan 08, 2017, 02:45 PM
supreme being of leisure
ZAGNUT's Avatar
i've always wrapped music wire joints with kevlar thread and then soaked with thin CA.
Jan 08, 2017, 03:07 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Clearly you're younger than some of us. I was copper wrapping and soldering my LG's before Kevlar and CA glue were introduced to the hobby market....
Jan 11, 2017, 05:34 AM
Registered User
DeeBee1's Avatar
+1 for using wire wrapping and +1 for using some kind of jig.

The strength of the join is provided by the fine wire wrapping - the solder is really only there to hold the wire wrapping in place! I use copper wire or sometimes fine fuse wire, if you can still find it.

Like other have said, clean the joint and use flux. I use the water soluble flux available from home improvement stores and just rinse the assembly under the tap when I'm done to clean off any unused flux.
Jan 11, 2017, 02:20 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Ah, the flux.....

I've had pretty much ZERO good results with the new white paste style flux sold in the stores these days. For years I've relied on a small "Sucrets" size tin of Kester flux for my structural soldering. But I misplaced it and had to buy some of that white stuff. If that is the flux which you've used and had good results then I doff my hat in respect. For me it was a total disaster with poor leaking joints in the plumbing I was trying to do.

As a result I found a hardware store that sells Griffon brand S-39 liquid flux. This stuff is fantastic. I swear I could solder popcorn to a pop can with it ! ! ! ! It's not water soluble for cleanup but a little rubbing alcohol does the job just fine.

I've since found my original small tin of Kesters so I'm home free. I've "only" had the little shallow tin of Kesters for about 45 or 47 years now since I bought it in my teens. And it's still got about 1/3 of it left. So I figure I'm good for the rest of my life and will need to pass on the last 1/4 tin of it in my Will... .
Jan 11, 2017, 03:22 PM
Registered User
DeeBee1's Avatar
Hi Bruce, well I only ever solder undercarriage wire together so that particular flux hasn't given me any problems. I've not fabricated fuel tanks or done anything more demanding soldering. I don't usually look forward to making soldered undercarriages but I always end up enjoying it and being pleased with the results
Jan 11, 2017, 07:00 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
I'm sure there's different brands and formulations as well. It may be that I simply got the most useless one on the market. It sure did sour me against trying any others though.

If I ever run out of the new Griffon and my recently returned Kester I might be forced into trying some more of the other new fangled options. But given how much of the other style flux I've now got I seriously doubt I'll live long enough to need to go that way.... After all it's taken me 45 years to use up roughly 10cc's of the stuff....

The only white and water based flux I've got in my shop still is the stuff I use for high temperature silver soldering. But it's not effective for normal soldering. It needs to get hot enough that not only does the water fizzle away but the white powder actually melts.
Jan 12, 2017, 12:03 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMatthews View Post
Copper plated steel wire might actually be excellent for a little additional strength in the wrap. That's assuming it isn't finished with something to keep the copper plating looking nice and bright. They do that in a lot of cases with that decorative stuff. Doubles the cleaning job needed.

Those places also tend to have brass wire as well. Brass would be a touch stronger than the copper wire.

Mind you I've yet to rip a copper wire wrapped joint apart in anything other than a "death dive". And the results were such that the landing gear joints were the least of my worries....
I started wondering about the strength of copper plated steel about the time I submitted the comment. Hobby Lobby did have brass wire as well, but copper has never failed me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMatthews View Post
Ah, the flux.....

I've had pretty much ZERO good results with the new white paste style flux sold in the stores these days. For years I've relied on a small "Sucrets" size tin of Kester flux for my structural soldering. But I misplaced it and had to buy some of that white stuff. If that is the flux which you've used and had good results then I doff my hat in respect. For me it was a total disaster with poor leaking joints in the plumbing I was trying to do.

As a result I found a hardware store that sells Griffon brand S-39 liquid flux. This stuff is fantastic. I swear I could solder popcorn to a pop can with it ! ! ! ! It's not water soluble for cleanup but a little rubbing alcohol does the job just fine.

I've since found my original small tin of Kesters so I'm home free. I've "only" had the little shallow tin of Kesters for about 45 or 47 years now since I bought it in my teens. And it's still got about 1/3 of it left. So I figure I'm good for the rest of my life and will need to pass on the last 1/4 tin of it in my Will... .
Iíve been lucky enough to use that Kesters flux but ďwastedĒ it on copper plumbing. Iíve read about Griffon before; will have to look into it. Update: I searched for Griffon flux and came across another RCG discussion from last Summer that you and I posted in where you mentioned Griffon. I sent them a message asking for a retail source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy F View Post
Ive always liked StayBright flux even if only using electronic solder for non-electrical soldering. I use a 60 watt iron, not a torch. Haven't found a better flux yet. (It is not for electrical repairs)
Rudy, I agree with using StayBright (Stay Clean) flux. Itís the best Iíve used. I use electronic solder on music wire and solder-on clevises. I have found a suitable substitute. It may not be quite as good as Stay Clean but it does work for me. Itís called Rubyfluid, from the Ruby Chemical Co. I think I got it at either a home improvement or welding store. It comes in larger bottles than Stay Clean and doesnít have the nice dispensing tip of Stay Clean but itís way better than the white stuff or nothing at all.

I found some pencil type butane torches at Tractor Supply recently. They were on sale 2 for $4.00 (regular price 2/$5.00) so I gave them a chance and was pleasantly surprised. Theyíre small enough for jewelry work and easily refilled with lighter butane. The heat was adequate for soldering 3 pieces of 5/32Ē music wire bound by copper but not excessively hot like a general purpose propane torch.

OK, way off of the original JB Weld question but a good discussion.


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