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Attaching a tab to thin-wall steel tubing?

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  • Attaching a tab to thin-wall steel tubing?

    I'm wondering the best way to attach a tab the side of some thin wall steel tubing.
    Silver solder my best bet?

    The tubing is 6mm ID with a 1mm thick wall.

    The "tab" is a small block of 1018 steel, about .250" thick, .250" high and .750 wide.
    I'm going to take a 8m ball end mill and make a .125" deep vertical trough in the front face of this block near the edge to match the OD of the tubing.

    How to attach it? I have an O/A torch, but would need to buy a smaller tip for something like this.
    My concern is that I'm afraid the thin wall tubing would get all distorted in the process.
    I don't have any sort of welder.

    Would silver solder work well for something like this?
    I have a small micro-torch that might work?
    Last edited by T.Hoffman; 04-18-2012, 06:07 PM.

  • #2
    Silver is strongest in shear so it depends... For something like a tab, I would likely recommend a brass braze. You could probably use your same torch for that. Biggest issue will be getting the tab up to temp without unduly heating the tube. Various ways to do that from pre-heating it to hitting the torch only on the top of the extension until the foot of the tab gets to temp. The tube will only need a second to get to temp. Go too far and you'll "burn" the flux and weaken the joint. Two dissimilar thicknesses like this takes care. Just pay careful attention and you should be fine, though.


    • #3
      You ought to be able to silver braze (i.e. "silver solder") something that size without difficulty with a propane torch, and considerably reduce the chances of overheating or burning anything.
      You have 3/16 square inches of surface area, so taking the strength of silver solder at 50,000 psi you'll have a bond strength of a little over 9,000 pounds. I assume that will be more than adequate.
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      • #4
        I repaired a dipstick tube for an automatic transmission today. When I cleaned the paint off, I uncovered the brazed joint between the tube and the bracket that holds it in position. If it's good enough for GM, it's probably just good enough.
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