View Full Version : Soldering bench setup?

11-11-2007, 08:22 PM
Well, I finally got power to my lathe and mill. The DPO (Dreaded Previous Owner) of this place had some "interesting" ideas on wiring, but that's another story!

I want to set up part of my work bench to be used for soldering/silver brazing.
My first thought was to build a topless 3-sided box out of plywood and line it with transite, but I doubt it's readily available these days given the paranoia
over all things containing asbestos.

My projects for the foreseeable future are comparably small in size and scope; perhaps a small scale steam locomotive along the lines of the excellent Mr. Hiraoka's work in 3/4" scale, or perhaps 1:20 once I get comfortable with silver brazing process. At the moment I'm working with a propane torch but an acetelene is on the "wish list."

So - what say ye about this problem? Of course a selection of fire-bricks will be on-hand to use for props, etc., but I'd like some kind of setup to decrease the possibility of my burning down the house.

J Tiers
11-11-2007, 08:34 PM
Concrete board...... The stuff used to underlay tile. That should be unburnable, aside from the plastic net embedded, which I think can be neglected.

11-11-2007, 08:36 PM
don't uses firebrick, use insulating brick...its the very light stuff you can cut with a handsaw. Firebrick just absorbs heat, whereas the insulating reflects it. I want to build a small hearth, 1" square tubing, elevated a couple of inches over the bench, heavy gage sheet, maybe 1 brick high on back & sides open on the front.. right now i just make a corner out of three and it has done me well. you might do better to put the effort into a exhaust hood, cadmium is toxic.

propane is preferred for silver solder, unless its large, then us O/A (but you have to apply the heat to the joint indirectly

11-11-2007, 08:47 PM
The only thing to keep in mind when using the backer board for wet areas under tile and other flooring as
Concrete board...... The stuff used to underlay tile. That should be unburnable, aside from the plastic net embedded, which I think can be neglected.
Is the fact that it contains silica and shouldn't be ground down or cause the dust to be come airborne. It is considered a fire proof building material, but I had called the supplier to find out about using it for a soldering pad for a jewelry making class. The rep like to went nuts O, seems they frown on unauthorized uses and would not make any comment other than it it designed for the listed uses only. Seems liability issues are for front in the companies mind. I wonder what they know and us user don't.:D
But any ways it will work fine for that use as long as the plastic reinforcing net isn't exposed.

Forrest Addy
11-11-2007, 11:23 PM
My silver soldering bench consisted of a stack on firebrick assembled to lake in inside corner. If I need to focus heat I plop a hunk of ceramic fiber blanket across the top corner. Under the brick I use a piece of alum plate and for a work area I use the most convenient flat surface, usually the planer table. I do a lot of silver brazing but so far I've never needed a dedicated portion of my shop. You need good ventillation it's true but a blower and a hunk of aluminum flex dryer vent out the nearest window works well enough.

11-14-2007, 09:45 PM
I set up an old porcelin sink-cabinet.Mine is cast iron,but a stamped steel or SS one would also answer the question. I have a corner of my studio,set up for hot processes,a forge/casting/solder/annealing.The sink cabinet is steel,which gives me storage,for flux,pots,soldering jigs.My hood is an old french fry hood,modified to draft out fumes,it overhangs half of the sink,I set up a fume sucker,which with flex exhaust goes into main draft,it helps move the cool early fumes from hard coal fire. I cast brass,pewter,nickel silver and copper,mostly for gun stuff(single shot) and HO trains!I keep saying I will take pics,But I keep moving things,more efficient ways to store,Then again I keep acquirering? more good stuff!! Its a MESS! On the tile board,seal with water glass,Simonds Waterseal. Sodium Silaciate I believe the chem. term is.Let it dry/cure for a good long time-over night as the solvent is kerosene based. Pardon my spelling!