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jr45acp
12-13-2014, 08:24 AM
I was reading a short book detailing events at the Alamo during Texas' early actions to beak away from Mexico. One section had a brief overview of Jim Bowies knife, which has become legendary.

According to historical sources Bowie's knife had a channel shaped piece of brass on the spine, the purpose of which was to trap and opponent knife. That piece of brass was stated to have been "sweated" on. I'm familiar with the useage of sweating as applied to copper piping. What has me confused is how, in a day where the forge and anvil were the predominant tools for knife making is how they might have went about "sweating" the brass to the spine?

Any and all thoughts are appreciated.

BTW, to each and everyone of you I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy, Prosperous New Year.

flylo
12-13-2014, 08:51 AM
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you & yours also!

lynnl
12-13-2014, 08:54 AM
Metal joining processes, via melting a softer metal with a lower melting point, had been around a long time when Jim Bowie's knife was made.

http://www.ersa.com/soldering-history-en.html

Today's use of the term "sweating," has never made much sense to me as a descriptive term. But I imagine at some point in soldering's evolutionary past it made more sense.

CCWKen
12-13-2014, 09:16 AM
What a crock of BS. Jim Bowie's knife didn't have the addition of the brass. Perhaps on copies but not the original that came to be known as a "Bowie Knife". There are hundreds of variations to the design both pre-Alamo and post-Alamo but only one "Bowie Knife".

Seastar
12-13-2014, 09:30 AM
I have no idea wether or not Bowies knife had an added brass spine but ----
Way back in the 40s when I took plumbing shop in high school the teacher told us that it was called "sweating" because the little beads of solder that oozed out of the pipe junction looked like sweat.
But then I am not a plumber and don't play one on TV.
Bill

RussZHC
12-13-2014, 10:34 AM
I thought it was "sweating" because that was when the flux went clear, dripped off like sweat it was the correct temperature...when thinking about it though, while that might make sense, it means that nearly every thing can be "sweated" since flux varies etc. etc.

J Tiers
12-13-2014, 10:35 AM
My understanding:

Soldering as I do it involves heating and adding solder, which is drawn into the joint.

"Sweating" as I know it involves "tinning" both sides of the joint, applying solder to them, then putting them together with flux and heating, using the solder already present from tinning to complete the joint. Can make a thinner joint with little external marking by the solder.

Others use the term almost generically for soldering.

sarge41
12-13-2014, 10:46 AM
As I have always understood it, J Teirs has it right. Maybe it's a Midwest thing.

Sarge

boslab
12-13-2014, 11:49 AM
It's a common term for soldering either hard or soft over here, I still refer to it as that
Mark

MaxHeadRoom
12-13-2014, 12:10 PM
In the old days plumbers wiped a lead (Fr: Plomb) joint a skill pretty much lost.

from the old manual:
.... The strength of a wiped joint depends not only upon the amount of solder used, but upon the quality of the solder. A joint may be well wiped and of symmetrical shape, and still be a poor joint, owing to its being porous. When porous, the joint will "sweat" as it is termed, that is, drops of water will ooze through the solder. This is caused by the poor condition of the solder, due usually to a lack of the proper amount of tin. Solder when made of the proper proportions of lead and tin is much stronger than the lead, and it is the tin that gives the solder its strength by cementing the mass of metal together.

Max.

dp
12-13-2014, 01:14 PM
The OP is describing the common "Spanish notch" which was a feature on knives used for fighting. Not likely used on every blade made, of course, but definitely used on some. Making it of brass also allows it to be serviceable.

Paul Alciatore
12-13-2014, 02:38 PM
Drops of water would ooze through the solder? I don't care what alloy of solder you use, if it is solid it will not allow any water to pass through it. Only if there are voids can anything "ooze" through. And voids would usually indicate either too little solder in the joint or areas where it did not wet one or both of the surfaces being joined.

I have seen poorly soldered joints in an air system burst apart. They were originally holding with flux only, no solder had penetrated the joint. Fun to watch everybody jump and run when a 150 psi air line lets go.

Bad technique, nothing oozing through the solder. Same thing for water lines or almost any other fluid.




In the old days plumbers wiped a lead (Fr: Plomb) joint a skill pretty much lost.

from the old manual:
.... The strength of a wiped joint depends not only upon the amount of solder used, but upon the quality of the solder. A joint may be well wiped and of symmetrical shape, and still be a poor joint, owing to its being porous. When porous, the joint will "sweat" as it is termed, that is, drops of water will ooze through the solder. This is caused by the poor condition of the solder, due usually to a lack of the proper amount of tin. Solder when made of the proper proportions of lead and tin is much stronger than the lead, and it is the tin that gives the solder its strength by cementing the mass of metal together.

Max.

From J Tiers,
"Sweating" as I know it involves "tinning" both sides of the joint, applying solder to them, then putting them together with flux and heating, using the solder already present from tinning to complete the joint. Can make a thinner joint with little external marking by the solder.

If a pipe joint were made in this way I would say it would be a recipe for a leak. If the two sides of the joint have so little solder that they can be assembled, then they do not have enough to fill the space between them and voids are almost certain. Only by luck would a good, 360 degree seal be accomplished. If you are sweating pipe, adding more solder is a must.

I would think that adding a brass strip to a knife would be somewhat simpler and the pre-tinned technique may work there. But even here, adding more solder after heating would probably be beneficial to prevent voids. You wouldn't want your knife to fall apart in the middle of a knife fight.

Surface mount devices can be reliably soldered to PCBs with a similar technique, but this is not the common technique (solder paste and heat) used for them.

MaxHeadRoom
12-13-2014, 03:22 PM
Drops of water would ooze through the solder? I don't care what alloy of solder you use, if it is solid it will not allow any water to pass through it. Only if there are voids can anything "ooze" through. And voids would usually indicate either too little solder in the joint or areas where it did not wet one or both of the surfaces being joined.


This was a quote from a treatise on plumbing published in 1910.

What did they know! :rolleyes:
Max.

dp
12-13-2014, 03:25 PM
Drops of water would ooze through the solder?

Read carefully - the solder joint described is porous, so yes, water could weep through porous solder.

ironmonger
12-13-2014, 03:36 PM
Drops of water would ooze through the solder? I don't care what alloy of solder you use, if it is solid it will not allow any water to pass through it. Only if there are voids can anything "ooze" through. And voids would usually indicate either too little solder in the joint or areas where it did not wet one or both of the surfaces being joined.

I have seen poorly soldered joints in an air system burst apart. They were originally holding with flux only, no solder had penetrated the joint. Fun to watch everybody jump and run when a 150 psi air line lets go.

Bad technique, nothing oozing through the solder. Same thing for water lines or almost any other fluid.

Lets not mix processes.
The 'wiped joints' that were used on lead pipe were closer to body solder in alloy, 70/30 if I recall, and were a mechanically built up ball of solder that would indeed leak if not properly executed. The solder was applied at a temperature just above the melting point, and when it reached the plastic stage it was formed y hand into a ball around the ends of the pipe. I was in the last plumbing class in 1968 that was taught this process. It is thankfully no longer in use. The only others that I was aware of that practice this method were telephone linemen that maintained the underground lead sheathed cables. Bet they donít miss it either...

see:
http://www.plumbing-geek.com/lead-pipe.html






From J Tiers,

If a pipe joint were made in this way I would say it would be a recipe for a leak. If the two sides of the joint have so little solder that they can be assembled, then they do not have enough to fill the space between them and voids are almost certain. Only by luck would a good, 360 degree seal be accomplished. If you are sweating pipe, adding more solder is a must. <<snip>>


As far as pipe is concerned JT, you are spot on. You are correct about PIPE joints requiring the addition of solder, but many joints may be successfully made with only the residual solder if the fit is good before the parts are tinned.

Shotgun barrels are assembled by tinning both surfaces and then reheating them with no more solder than the tinning left behind. I have a barrel weight that I fashioned and applied to a High Standard pistol barrel 30 years ago that is still in place.

paul

MaxHeadRoom
12-13-2014, 04:02 PM
I was in the last plumbing class in 1968 that was taught this process. It is thankfully no longer in use.

Early on in my career we had to install a high voltage Lead sheathed armored cable that required a wiped joint flange for the termination point, traditionally we got the plumbers to do it, I had one of them give me a couple of day crash course on it at the end I could wipe a fairly good cable.
Max.

MotorradMike
12-13-2014, 04:21 PM
I thought "sweating" meant 'heating a part without a direct flame'.
When soldering a copper fitting, one applies heat to the fitting, and the part of the pipe protruding from the fitting.
The part of the pipe inside the fitting gets conducted heat, not direct heat.

boslab
12-13-2014, 04:45 PM
Lead pipe was very common in the U.K., up to the 70s, after a cold spell you could count on some income as the lead pipes in the outside, yes outside toilets, the ice would stretch the lead 1/2" into a big embolism, split but the water wouldn't start pissing out till thawing, then the door would get knocked!
Little terraced houses in streets, you could start one end of the street in the morning and still have leaks to do as it got dark.
A lot of them were previous repairs where they had done a "taffy" joint, shove some 1/2" copper into the lead bore and solder with 60/40 solder, a bad start as corrosion would result.
The best way was to cut out, knock a turn pin into the bore and scarf the other end and insert, tallow was the flux and the wiping solder was 70/30 I think, it was in stick form, the solder was applied and torched till pasty, just like metal loading sheet metal, and wiped with a cloth or fibre thing that was called a plumbers moleskin, you could use a wooden mould too to shape the joint.
A dressing stick or lead dresser was handy too.
The moleskin was damped to stop it burning, I suppose the steam and water on the surface is something like sweat!
The joint isn't porous, otherwise it would leak under mains pressure.
The flush pipe from the cistern, mounted on the wall, to the WC was lead too, usually with a pile of stockings painted over to stop the leaks at the bowl joint!
Talk about primitive.
Lead was made illegal in water installations and government grants were given to remove the lead pipe work, I have even seen lead in hot water systems!, no wonder the residents of the village were all mad!
There was a standing joke that there was a mad house in the town but they took that away and left all the residents!
Fascinating remembering all the bog houses I spent time in with a blow lamp, btw the lamp was a parafin pump up thing, made of brass, the gas ones are a bit too fierce I find for wiping lead joints, oddly being able to do a wiped lead pipe came in handy working in a lab as some of the waste pipes were lead in some labs, others were glass, there were different pipes for different chemicals, plastic vulcathene for HF acid as it eat the glass, regularly.
Lead burning as we lot call it is another lost art, if you like gas welding and TIG it's worth learning, it's actually pretty simple but is really good for hand coordination. Do it outside!!
They still wipe cable joints on lead covered distribution cables, there are still lead ones out there!
Usual safety to be taken with lead btw
Mark

Kiwi
12-13-2014, 05:31 PM
boslab that is my understanding also in panel beating the panel was tinned then wiped with the moleskin for the tinning process ie smooth and clean of excess flux and contaminants of the skin of the the solder stick can't remember the ratio then we changed to a harder lead ratio the stick of solder sticks end was heated with an acetylene air torch until it sweated and so was the tined panel the with both sweating the stick was pushed into the panel twisted off leaving a dollop of lead on the panel (keeping the as much of the heat out of the panel) when the repair area was covered in in dollops of lead the dollops were then heated and wiped into one another with a wiping block this was then filled down for finishing

Forrest Addy
12-13-2014, 05:48 PM
I detect a couple of self appointed experts among the humble seekers of truth.

I can't really add to the fund of knowledge but I can make a few points and add a couple of questions that may lead to clarification:

Jim Bowie has grown from a historical figure to a ledegndary character. There may be a large BS factor attached to his deeds and equipment. Whether his knofe was furnished wioth a brass edge catcher may be true. Steel and brass solder well. I don;t know if his origianl knife was so equipped but it could havee been.

Lead and tin of yore are not the metallurgical quality of metals sold today. They were pretty much as-smelted and contained uncontrolled percentages of (in the case of lead) zinc, antimony, copper, silver, arsenic, etc and tin, similarly. The quality of the solder in days of yore depended on the skills of the compounder and his powers of deduction in assessing his product in process. For example, melting poit which canbe assessed by the feel transmitted by a stick plunged into the melt, color, appearance of a tinned surface, or how it "sugars" when stirred as it solidifies.

My suggestion is do not make assumptions that conflates present day knowledge with historicaal materials and processes. The masters of the day did very well without today's off the shelf materials and scientific certainty. For example where would an iron puddler find employment today? A spelter? Indespensible people in their day.

My questions: What effect does arcenic have on solder? Zinc? Antimony? And how do they affect the triple point and wetting, the strength of the bond?

Kiwi
12-13-2014, 06:23 PM
I know that Arsenic was used in the separation of gold from it's ore

ironmonger
12-13-2014, 06:26 PM
<<snip>>

My questions: What effect does arcenic have on solder? Zinc? Antimony? And how do they affect the triple point and wetting, the strength of the bond?

Zinc alloy solder I never heard of or used to my knowledge, but it in small amounts zinc is supposed to screw up bullet metal, which ranges from 5% tin in lead to 10% tin in lead.

Zinc is used as a component in some of the magic low temp aluminium solders.

Antimony is a component of 95/5 solder in which the 95% is tin, so that's cleared for duty. Also used in bullet metals.

Arsenic is used to harden lead plates in batteries, as is calcium. I think it used to be used to harden lead shot too.

Having soldered galvanized steel with 95/5 solder I can tell you that there is no negative effect from a practical standpoint with zinc. Intergranular grain corrosion is always a consideration, but if there is no contact with water those effects are not much of a problem. I have personal knowledge of copper to galvanized joints that are 50 years old and still in great shape. I made it when I was a kid... if it lasts a few years longer I surer won't give a rip how much longer it lasts :>)

The common joint failure mechanism is poor practice or faulty execution. When one of my guys had a joint leak in copper piping, I would require that the joint to be dissembled, re cleaned and re soldered. The practice of 'repairing' or 'capping' a leaking joint is a fools errand, and not tolerated by reputable contractors or craftsmen. Joint leaks by skilled plumbers, the ones that actually served an apprenticeship and were granted a licence from the state after testing for both practical and code knowledge, were not very common.

paul

loose nut
12-13-2014, 06:47 PM
When ever I solder it is usually me that is doing the sweating.

J Tiers
12-13-2014, 07:28 PM
From J Tiers,

If a pipe joint were made in this way I would say it would be a recipe for a leak. If the two sides of the joint have so little solder that they can be assembled, then they do not have enough to fill the space between them and voids are almost certain. Only by luck would a good, 360 degree seal be accomplished. If you are sweating pipe, adding more solder is a must.

I would think that adding a brass strip to a knife would be somewhat simpler and the pre-tinned technique may work there. But even here, adding more solder after heating would probably be beneficial to prevent voids. You wouldn't want your knife to fall apart in the middle of a knife fight.

Surface mount devices can be reliably soldered to PCBs with a similar technique, but this is not the common technique (solder paste and heat) used for them.

Paul:

Look back at the post.... "sweating" seems also to be used as an alternate name for soldering in the normal way, by some people (some folks right here, in fact, and maybe you yourself). Don't ass-u-me that everyone means the same thing, or that some particular person means what some other person thinks when they use a word.

For instance... if pipe were assembled with the solder that is "tinned on", it *could not* fill the joint, because it would have been assembled first and then heated. If there were space to put together the rough tinned surfaces, it obviously wouldn't fill the void. Only if the one were heated and the other, *with an excess of solder*, were pushed-in after melting, could it work.

pipes have to get more solder. Not a surprise to me, I've been soldering things for probably at least 50 years.

As you correctly suspect, for an open joint, the "sweating" technique would work, and if the surfaces are well-fitting, it will fill nicely. In many cases, a thin layer of solder could be stronger, because the solder is soft, and any significant thickness might be too ductile.

I don't know the origin of the term "sweating", but it seems to fill the bill for the tin and heat system, since you "make it sweat" by heating, and the solder may seem to "sweat out of" the tinned metal, even though it is actually a coating.

boslab
12-13-2014, 07:30 PM
I really don't have a clue about the effect of As in the tin lead equilibrium diagram, I read a paper once from Johnson mathey about antimony in there to increase UTS and there was a mention that it was an impurity that affects the eutectic, or melting point.
All good stuff, always been impressed with lead loaders skill
Mark

MaxHeadRoom
12-13-2014, 07:33 PM
Lead pipe was very common in the U.K., up to the 70s, tallow was the flux and moleskin, They still wipe cable joints on lead covered distribution cables, there are still lead ones out there!
Mark

Don't forget the electrical conversion from gas lamp systems, which were all lead, removing the pipe was a usual source of revenue for the electrician!.
Moleskin was considered the best wiping cloth, together with tallow or lard oil.
I did my share of H.V. cable glands.
Max.

cameron
12-13-2014, 08:24 PM
It must've been a hell of a job chasing down all those moles.

MaxHeadRoom
12-13-2014, 10:18 PM
It must've been a hell of a job chasing down all those moles.

Not really, they make their presence very well known!:)
Max.

ulav8r
12-13-2014, 10:20 PM
Bullet metal can have more variation but any tin over 2% is wasted. Arsenic in bullet metal allows for heat treating after molding to increase hardness.

Any antimony in 95/5 is a contaminant that should not be there. 95%lead and 5% tin is 95/5. Antimony increases hardness in any lead based alloy. It forms crystals inside the alloy that tend to stick out from the surface. Antimony is what makes babbit a good bearing material. The antimony supports the bearing surface of the shaft and reduces contact between the lead in the babbit alloy. It also allows room for lubrication in the bearing area. Tin in a lead antimony alloy will coat the antimony, thereby allowing the lead to cover the antimony better. Bullet alloy containing lead/antimony/tin allows a bullet to be hard but nit wear the bore like lead/antimony only would. The tin also allows for better fill when the molten metal is poured into the mold.



Zinc alloy solder I never heard of or used to my knowledge, but it in small amounts zinc is supposed to screw up bullet metal, which ranges from 5% tin in lead to 10% tin in lead.

Zinc is used as a component in some of the magic low temp aluminium solders.

Antimony is a component of 95/5 solder in which the 95% is tin, so that's cleared for duty. Also used in bullet metals.

Arsenic is used to harden lead plates in batteries, as is calcium. I think it used to be used to harden lead shot too.

Having soldered galvanized steel with 95/5 solder I can tell you that there is no negative effect from a practical standpoint with zinc. Intergranular grain corrosion is always a consideration, but if there is no contact with water those effects are not much of a problem. I have personal knowledge of copper to galvanized joints that are 50 years old and still in great shape. I made it when I was a kid... if it lasts a few years longer I surer won't give a rip how much longer it lasts :>)

The common joint failure mechanism is poor practice or faulty execution. When one of my guys had a joint leak in copper piping, I would require that the joint to be dissembled, re cleaned and re soldered. The practice of 'repairing' or 'capping' a leaking joint is a fools errand, and not tolerated by reputable contractors or craftsmen. Joint leaks by skilled plumbers, the ones that actually served an apprenticeship and were granted a licence from the state after testing for both practical and code knowledge, were not very common.

paul

ironmonger
12-14-2014, 01:47 AM
Bullet metal can have more variation but any tin over 2% is wasted. Arsenic in bullet metal allows for heat treating after molding to increase hardness.

Any antimony in 95/5 is a contaminant that should not be there. 95%lead and 5% tin is 95/5. Antimony increases hardness in any lead based alloy. It forms crystals inside the alloy that tend to stick out from the surface. Antimony is what makes babbit a good bearing material. The antimony supports the bearing surface of the shaft and reduces contact between the lead in the babbit alloy. It also allows room for lubrication in the bearing area. Tin in a lead antimony alloy will coat the antimony, thereby allowing the lead to cover the antimony better. Bullet alloy containing lead/antimony/tin allows a bullet to be hard but nit wear the bore like lead/antimony only would. The tin also allows for better fill when the molten metal is poured into the mold.

The following information is not my opinion...

Not my idea of an alloy either, it's Lyman's idea.
See this supplier for instance.
http://www.leadandbrass.com/lyman2/lyman2.html

They say
"The Lyman #2 you buy from us is not some random home brew made by melting down who knows what. Our Lyman #2 is produced right here in Cleveland in an ISO 9002 certified foundry. Every bar we sell is stamped with the foundry mark indicating what it is. In this case, 5% Tin (Sn) and 5% Antimony (Sb). You'll always remember what you've got as it's clearly marked."

As for the solder, 95/5 is LEAD FREE and is 95% tin and 5% antimony.
http://www.oatey.com/products/copper-installation/lead-free-wire-solder/955-lead-free-plumbing-wire-solder

paul

boslab
12-14-2014, 02:05 AM
Haven't looked into it much but the Antimony may well explain the "tin whisker" thing, I saw a photo of them once and remember thinking that they looked like the meteorite I had to section polish( by hand) etch and photograph in college to reveal the "widmanstaten" structures identified by this guy the same way, the W is pronounced V as he was German, this spikey structure or acular is a common thing in meteorites, they say a result of solidification without the influence of gravity, but the tin whiskers look the same as this without the matrix of metal surrounding it, which is to me odd, perhaps the tin whiskers are growing better when the current flows?, electromagnetic perhaps.
It was interesting to note that if you section any metal, binary alloy that is at eutectic they all look the same, the photo of lead/tin, and copper/zinc unless you have the sample are hard to tell apart, even ferrous alloys at eutectic look alike unless you know what other things to look for like dislocation twins and other bits and bobs you won't tell any of them apart.

Mark

ironmonger
12-14-2014, 02:28 AM
Paul:

Look back at the post.... "sweating" seems also to be used as an alternate name for soldering in the normal way, by some people (some folks right here, in fact, and maybe you yourself). Don't ass-u-me that everyone means the same thing, or that some particular person means what some other person thinks when they use a word.

For instance... if pipe were assembled with the solder that is "tinned on", it *could not* fill the joint, because it would have been assembled first and then heated. If there were space to put together the rough tinned surfaces, it obviously wouldn't fill the void. Only if the one were heated and the other, *with an excess of solder*, were pushed-in after melting, could it work.

pipes have to get more solder. Not a surprise to me, I've been soldering things for probably at least 50 years.

As you correctly suspect, for an open joint, the "sweating" technique would work, and if the surfaces are well-fitting, it will fill nicely. In many cases, a thin layer of solder could be stronger, because the solder is soft, and any significant thickness might be too ductile.

I don't know the origin of the term "sweating", but it seems to fill the bill for the tin and heat system, since you "make it sweat" by heating, and the solder may seem to "sweat out of" the tinned metal, even though it is actually a coating.

Not even sure that we disagree, JT... Soldering is more than a coating, there is a molecular alloy created on the surface of both pieces with the solder in between. Some exchange of metals occurs in the process at a very small scale.

I don't know where the sweat soldering expression came from, or if it is limited to the joining of copper pipe.... but just google sweat soldering and you will see that most of the world calls the soldering process sweat soldering. It's what we have called the soft solder process here since I was a kid in the old man's plumbing shop back in the fifties. It's what I have always called it and what the instructors from the copper institute taught me when I became an soldering and brazing instructor.

The sweating part of the expression sweat soldering is not an important part of the process description. That part may be an industry wide euphemism for all I know.

It use to be a common practice to 'tin' larger sizes of fittings and some of them even came tinned. Not any more. Any solder joint requires an sufficient amount of solder to fill the void, and that may be supplied by two surfaces that are 'tinned' or precoated with solder then reheated or two surfaces trhat are only cleaned and fluxed and then the space is filled with solder by capillary action.

Soldering speaks more to the physics and chemistry than the process. There are many methods to effect the solder joint, but the resultant metal to metal bond is the same regardless how it was created.

paul

jr45acp
12-14-2014, 08:48 AM
Well I sincerely appreciate all the responses, much to learn. CCW Ken's response doesn't offend either. If I remember correctly he's a Texan, as am I and Texans are noted for saying what their thinking.

I'd truly like to know the real facts of Bowie's knife, but as with men of lore, the truth gets stretched a bit each time the story is repeated. Such is the way of man.

Paz con todos!

J Tiers
12-14-2014, 09:59 AM
Not even sure that we disagree, JT...

We don't. It was P Alciatore............ Who mentioned that the pipes would leak....

And as with many terms, they tend to be regional. "Sweat soldering" being one of those.

BigBoy1
12-14-2014, 03:24 PM
Back when I was taking shop classes in the mid-50's, we built a small electric motor. For the shaft and magnet, we drilled a hole in a flat tron bar and put a nail into the hole and we "Sweated" the two pieces together. I remember we used an alcohol fired blow torch to join the two iron pieces with lead solder. In thinking about it now, we soldered together two iron pieces with lead solder. I don't remember if we used any flux or not.

Can two iron pieces be joined together with lead solder or have I forgotten/not remembered correctly something?

J Tiers
12-14-2014, 04:39 PM
Can two iron pieces be joined together with lead solder or have I forgotten/not remembered correctly something?

Yes, even cast iron can be soldered, although it can be a problem with the carbon content. With CI you may have to heat and perhaps decarburise the surface a bit. Or maybe in my case it was just driving off oil, but it took several heatings to solder a brass strip ontio a block of CI to build it back up to correct thickness

Peter.
12-14-2014, 06:06 PM
Lead was made illegal in water installations and government grants were given to remove the lead pipe work, I have even seen lead in hot water systems!, no wonder the residents of the village were all mad!
Mark

Illegal in new installations or all installations? The cold water feed to my house is a lead pipe, it changes to copper after the stop-cock under the hallway floorboards.

loose nut
12-14-2014, 07:06 PM
Are you sure that it is lead or has the lead pipe leached enough metal into you that your brain is fried and you just think you have lead pipes.

boslab
12-14-2014, 07:08 PM
Illegal in new installations or all installations? The cold water feed to my house is a lead pipe, it changes to copper after the stop-cock under the hallway floorboards.
If you ring the water company you are served by, Welsh water in my case, and tell them you have a lead feed, they will come and replace it with 20mm blue polypropylene pipe from the main to your stopcock, replace the stopcock and do all the works free of charge, from the stopcock into your house is your responsibility but it's already 15mm copper by what you've said, the government picks up the bill for the removal of the lead pipe, I had mine done by them free, they also replaced the old iron section of pipe we dug up as well, even though it was for an outside tap, plus point is an instant increase in flow and pressure, and the water tastes better, and your less likely to go bonkers too, too late for me though!
Neurotoxin my arse, the men in white wellies can't catch me.
My father in law was a demolition burner at a local ship breaking yard (Wards Briton ferry), got lead poisoning several times, messed him up permanently, when we went to see a solicitor about it all his records mysteriously disappeared, including his medical ones!
Convenient
Mark

HWooldridge
12-14-2014, 08:58 PM
Re the brass spine cap: The original has never been found but Bowie's knife was most likely a large hunting blade (with or without a guard) and not originally designed as any type of exotic fighter - it's just that Bowie was adept in its use in an era of single shot, black powder firearms. I've only heard about brass caps for the last 10-15 years or so - seems to be a fad among period re-enactors and fashioned after a picture of a Sheffield blade made in the 1850's, long after Bowie was dead. I'm sure Bowie would have loved to own a nice British knife made in his image.

In addition, successful knife fighting is a very quick and violent game and I for one would be more focused on cutting the other fellow rather than trying to "trap" his blade - with the obvious danger of losing some of my digits in the process. A sharp knife has much to be feared in an up close confrontation and may trump a gun in the right hands.

Re the sweating: A big block of copper works well to heat in a coal forge and use as a soldering iron - but it's also a possibility the cap was crimped on. The reproduction I saw had a groove cut lengthwise along each side of the blade near the spine then the cap was swaged onto the blade.

dp
12-14-2014, 10:22 PM
What has me confused is how, in a day where the forge and anvil were the predominant tools for knife making is how they might have went about "sweating" the brass to the spine?

It is likely they did it very much like we do now. The knowledge has been around a very long time.

http://www.ersa.com/soldering-history-en.html

oldtiffie
12-15-2014, 12:34 AM
I was reading a short book detailing events at the Alamo during Texas' early actions to beak away from Mexico. One section had a brief overview of Jim Bowies knife, which has become legendary.

According to historical sources Bowie's knife had a channel shaped piece of brass on the spine, the purpose of which was to trap and opponent knife. That piece of brass was stated to have been "sweated" on. I'm familiar with the useage of sweating as applied to copper piping. What has me confused is how, in a day where the forge and anvil were the predominant tools for knife making is how they might have went about "sweating" the brass to the spine?

Any and all thoughts are appreciated.

BTW, to each and everyone of you I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy, Prosperous New Year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowie_knife

https://www.google.com.au/?gws_rd=ssl#q=bowie+knife

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=bowie+knife&biw=1920&bih=883&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=DXKOVLedLYf98AW2o4HwDg&ved=0CCgQsAQ

ulav8r
12-15-2014, 08:16 PM
Just because Lyman uses an alloy that is older than me it does not mean it is the best use of all the constituents. #2 is a good alloy but would probably be just as good with a little less tin. I won't claim to know what would be the best metal to replace 3% tin with.
Leadfree 95/5--OK


The following information is not my opinion...

Not my idea of an alloy either, it's Lyman's idea.
See this supplier for instance.
http://www.leadandbrass.com/lyman2/lyman2.html

They say
"The Lyman #2 you buy from us is not some random home brew made by melting down who knows what. Our Lyman #2 is produced right here in Cleveland in an ISO 9002 certified foundry. Every bar we sell is stamped with the foundry mark indicating what it is. In this case, 5% Tin (Sn) and 5% Antimony (Sb). You'll always remember what you've got as it's clearly marked."

As for the solder, 95/5 is LEAD FREE and is 95% tin and 5% antimony.
http://www.oatey.com/products/copper-installation/lead-free-wire-solder/955-lead-free-plumbing-wire-solder

paul

Peter.
12-17-2014, 02:51 PM
If you ring the water company you are served by, Welsh water in my case, and tell them you have a lead feed, they will come and replace it with 20mm blue polypropylene pipe from the main to your stopcock, replace the stopcock and do all the works free of charge, from the stopcock into your house is your responsibility but it's already 15mm copper by what you've said, the government picks up the bill for the removal of the lead pipe, I had mine done by them free, they also replaced the old iron section of pipe we dug up as well, even though it was for an outside tap, plus point is an instant increase in flow and pressure, and the water tastes better, and your less likely to go bonkers too, too late for me though!
Neurotoxin my arse, the men in white wellies can't catch me.


Hmm, I'll look into that, thanks Mark. For clarity, there is a stop-cock under a metal flap in the outside pavement (sidewalk) and I have one just inside the front door under the floor which is on the end of the lead. They are probably 15 feet apart. I have a sneaky suspicion that they will claim they are only responsible for up to 'their' valve under the path and removing the lead section between path and house is my responsibility. Worth a try though.

Just how much of a health hazard is it to have a lead feed into my house? I've lived here more than 20 yrs and I haven't started howling at the moon yet.

boslab
12-17-2014, 03:11 PM
When they mole the new pipe they will go all the way to the house, 15 foot only takes a minute or two
Mark

ironmonger
12-17-2014, 03:49 PM
Hmm, I'll look into that, thanks Mark. For clarity, there is a stop-cock under a metal flap in the outside pavement (sidewalk) and I have one just inside the front door under the floor which is on the end of the lead. They are probably 15 feet apart. I have a sneaky suspicion that they will claim they are only responsible for up to 'their' valve under the path and removing the lead section between path and house is my responsibility. Worth a try though.

Just how much of a health hazard is it to have a lead feed into my house? I've lived here more than 20 yrs and I haven't started howling at the moon yet.

The danger has a great deal to do with the pH of your water. In our area the water is neutral or slightly alkaline and heavily buffered by 'hardness' or calcium minerals. The lack of acidity and the saturated water make the take up of lead very small. The pipe becomes coated with calcium deposits over the years and this also shields the lead from the water. Areas that draw surface water are slight less alkaline and there for more prone to dissolve lead.

The only way to truly assess the danger is to draw a water sample and have it tested. Draw it preferably first thing in the morning, and of sufficient volume to allow the water that was in the lead service to be included... Drawing the water in the morning allows the maximum contact time with the lead service to arrive at the worst case condition. Once the lead service is flushed out, the clearer water in the mains would them be in your system, and would give a lower test reading.

The southeastern part of Wisconsin where I live has lead services in the older neighborhoods, which you can pretty much take as anything installed roughly up to WW2.

Here the valve on the main is called the corporation cock, the valve outside the house but on your property is called the curb stop and the valve in side is the meter valve followed by the main valve on the outlet of meter. If the mains in the street have been replaced the utility would surely be aware of the lead service... there's no way they could have connected your service to a a new main and not known about the lead.

Around here the utility has jurisdiction over the pipe all the way to the meter, but their financial responsibility ends at the street side of the curb stop, which I take to be the one under the sidewalk. Good thing it's only 15 feet...

paul

Peter.
12-19-2014, 02:11 PM
Aah well here in North Kent we're built on solid chalk so our water is quite hard. I'm guessing that the lead levels must be pretty low. I'll contact the water board for a test anyway. Thanks for the advice and sorry for the OT.

Jim Hubbell
12-20-2014, 06:33 PM
In the 1950s I sweat soldered ss fittings onto ss tube for use in the dairy where I was employed. The ferrel was tinned inside and the tube on the outer end. We used 95/5 solder. They were then heated and slid together. To finish it off a nice bead was run and the joint was polished inside and out.
The next iteration was rolled/expanded joints. Finally tig welded joints won out.
Progress

boslab
12-20-2014, 06:39 PM
Anvil welding and sweating aren't that dissimilar, in fire welding the same process of clean and flux with borax is used, I have seen sweating done over a forge, clean borax, bind the part with iron wire, heat touch a piece of brass rod, think the old man called it spelter, but that's probably a colloquial term, wait for the flash.
Same idea, I'm not sure how the tempering would work, just the cutting edge I suppose?
Mark