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Looked Easy But....

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  • Looked Easy But....

    Hand cranked grass seeder. Metal bin about 12" dia X 16" tall, geared up pinwheel on the bottom. Plastic pinwheel got brittle after ages and broke. Replacement needed a 6" square, 3/4" high vanes and a hub. Had some 12 ga brass and 1" round brass. Might as well make an heirloom. Turned a hub, tapped for a set screw, sawed out the flat parts. Tried to solder it together. Round stock wouldn't take 60 - 40 solder. Mystery brass - sure - but brass anyway. Had to drill and tap the end and attach the plate with 8 - 32 screws.

    Any ideas why the soldering problem. Rosin flux as always but didn't help.

  • #2
    Not hot enough!

    I have tools I don't know how to use!!


    • #3
      Assuming the brass was cleaned well (fine steel wool works for this) I've had good luck with an antique tin of Nokorode flux. Not sure whether the modern EPA approved version of Nokorode works as well but the version used for stained glass might be similar.
      Location: Newtown, CT USA


      • #4
        I have to go with Peter. I have soldered or tinned iron, steel and many different brasses and bronzes with soft solder and never had a problem. If the vanes took the solder and the hub didn't then you needed more heat.


        • #5
          Had the heat. O/A torch.
          After several tries I tried to tin the clean brass round and solder just rolled around on it.


          • #6
            too much heat maybe. The temps O/A produce are not good for soldering, even silver soldering, burns off the flux. If you're using O/A for silver soldering you have to use it indirectly, ie not right at the joint. You'd have to exercise that much more caution with soft solder; the application of which is done with much lower temps. I almost always use propane for soft or silver solder

            ....either that or the piece was coated with something, maybe a clear coat, but presumably you did the basics like clean it etc
            in Toronto Ontario - where are you?


            • #7
              Its going to be tough getting the right amount of heat to both parts...just saying, a 1" diameter lump, unless it was quite a thin cross section, compared to 12 gauge...I just have visions of a 1" diameter piece 1.5"or 2" long, that is going to take way more heat than the 12 gauge sheet (I am almost surprised it was not the other way...would not "stick" to the 1" and just rolled off the sheet due to heat disparity).

              On a different tact, is there any chance it was bronze instead of brass?

              If so, if it was old bronze there could be quite a bit/layer on top that could need to be "broken" first OR, and I don't have enough experience with this, could it be some formulation of bronze with aluminum or some other additive that may not "take" the solder?

              For me, with silver, it always took a bit of experimentation and great care the various points (flux liquid, rod soft,melt, flow etc.) can be so small a range of heat...