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solder question

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  • solder question

    I am trying to make a special tool to remove a Phillips head screw that is in a tough location to get at. I am going to use a speedometer to make a flex shaft and try to solder the screwdriver tip to the cable. I made a brass sleeve to couple the Phillips tip to the speedometer cable but I am not sure which solder would work to join the hardened Phillips bit and the speedometer cable to the brass sleeve. If silver solder is recommended where is the best place to purchase such solder.
    Mark Hockett

  • #2
    Mark I usually get mine at the local welding products supplier.
    Another thought is to use a commercially available flex drive, I have several and have to admit they do come in handy. Big issue of course is hopefully the screw is not too tight...I'm sure you know how hard it is to apply a lot of torque to a phillips screw.
    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

    Location: British Columbia


    • #3
      this is order of magnitude stuff.....soft solder tensile strength is about 5000 psi and silver solder about 50,000 i said, roughly.

      if both sides of the joint is sleeved, you increased the surface area dramatically, I can't see why soft solder wouldn't work. otoh, if it was the very small surface area of the two ends, silver solder would be in order.

      I expect there'd be a lot of torsion movement in the cable; that that would be the challenge. how long do you need to reach? I've got a small quarter inch driver, kind of the size and shape of a longish nut driver where the shaft is a heavy might need to find one of those (it was cheap irrc), either than or come on over and borrow mine


      • #4
        The sad part of this is: by the time you buy the smallest amount of silver solder and the smallest bottle of flux, your still going to be into it about $30. Take your parts to a weld shop and get it done for $10.

        I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.
        Oregon Coast


        • #5
          Can you use something like this?,43417&ap=2

          edit: or this:

          If the local HF has one I can drop it by your shop today.
          Last edited by dp; 10-22-2008, 03:11 PM.


          • #6
            The tip needs to be really small. All of the available tools I have found are way to big to fit in the area I have to get to. I checked with Snap On, Mac, Matco and some other tool stores and no one makes a very small flex drive. The screw is about the size of a 4-40 screw. This is to remove the ignition switch from a VW Eurovan. I just finished the job by brazing a Phillips tip on to the speedo cable. It worked but looks ugly, I used vise grips to turn it. Now that I know the dimensions that work I would like to make a nice tool as I see this job about every two months. The other option to make this repair is to spend 3 hours removing half the dash, with this tool the job took less than 30 minutes.

            Thanks for all the replies,
            Mark Hockett


            • #7
              Well heck - I'll have to find another excuse to get out of tiling the bathroom floor today Glad you found a solution - I'm familiar with that screw, BTW, and it's a tough one to get to.


              • #8
                I found that I could cross drill those driver bits, some of them at least, so I made up a special tool for tight spaces. One of them is just a short driver bit, cross drilled just back from the point where the hex starts, and a piece of music wire pressed in to act as a handle. Sort of like an allen wrench where the long part is the handle. Anyway, I made two- the holes are drilled in different facets of the hex so the handle has a different relationship to the flutes. Using both alternately, you can get the tip inserted into a screw head and get by with only a 45 degree range in which to swing the handle. Most of the time I got by with using just one of them. Cut the bit off just behind the hole for an even shorter tool.

                An alternative, which I haven't tried but will soon, is to cross drill the driver bit as described, but then turn the hex off the body of the bit past where the hole is. Then a flat bar holder would be made with a hole very near the end of it for the now round shank of the driver bit to fit into. Since this holder does little more than hold the bit, it needn't be any more meaty than required for the size hole to fit the modified bit into. The music wire remains as the way to turn the bit.
                Last edited by darryl; 10-23-2008, 11:05 PM.
                I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                • #9
                  Harris has a good range of silver braze supplies and anyone who sells their welding products should be able to get it for you. On South Whidbey maybe Double R, In Seattle RDS on Industrial Way stocks it and Johnstone Supply on Airport Way should also, but you could certainly get some somewhere in Everett. It's not cheap but good to have some on hand, I also like the stay-silv white flux but haven't yet tried the black stuff.


                  • #10
                    Mark - I plan on visiting Langley in about a month, coming from Lewiston, Idaho. Let me know if you will still need silver solder at that time. I have a roll of it and various fluxes that will work. Ralph