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Flux update

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  • Flux update

    A couple of weeks ago I posted about not being able to find Metal bearing soldering/tinning flux. Lots of companies make it but it has been hard to find.

    Eastman tinning butter is probably closest to what I have been using but I found Oateys # 95 tinning flux on various store websites. HD, Lowes and most others didn't have any, they would order but you have to but a case. Wednesday I looked at the TSC website and they too show it (Oateys # 95) in their catalog. I tried calling them, to see if they had any in stock and surprise, surprise, no one would answer the phone. I had to drive to the BIG city, 30 miles, (72,000 and shrinking) anyway so I stopped in to have a look. It must have been a Christmas miracle, they had two left. Not any more. After that I had to go to HD and Lowes for some other items and I was almost tripping over the stuff. It's everywhere now, it may be staking me.

    Gave it a try and it works fairly well, the flux isn't as reactive as the older stuff I have but adequate and it worked on steel. 50/50 solder also took to it very well, it advertised as a lead free solder flux only.

    If you do any soldering it pays to tin the work first and this product will do the job well enough. No, Oateys isn't paying me to sell this stuff but I would if they wanted to pay me. I can always use the money.
    Last edited by loose nut; 01-03-2014, 08:21 PM.
    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

    Bluewater Model Engineering Society at

    Southwestern Ontario. Canada

  • #2
    I use 60/40 or true eutectic rosin core electronic solder to
    tin steel, then use 50/50 for the filler. I soldered some
    galvanized trim flashing I broke up for my garage with
    60/40 and my Weller soldering gun. It was 26ga and it
    soldered real easy. Nothing like real bent and soldered seams
    for trim flashing.



    • #3
      Loosenut, I made some "silver bearing hard solder" just to try it. it works VERY well. I took 950 grams of tin, (scrounged from old distilled water piping in a lab,) and dissolved 50 grams of pre-1967 dimes in it. Our old coinage was 80/20 silver/copper. The net result is 95/5/1 tin/silver/copper, a recognised silver bearing solder alloy. I think that I used 22 dimes, so my total investment was $2.20 and I have a kilo of really good solder. It wets copper alloys well, flows well and is much stronger than 60/40. I have yet to try it on steel. By the way, silver coinage is not ,strictly speaking, legal tender and in any case I would be prepared to spend a while in the Crowbar Hotel, just to p!ss off the Govt!
      Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec


      • #4
        Duffy, the down side to that is the silver content of the old dimes was probably worth more then the $2.20.

        If I need a stronger joint I use silver solder, I stock piled at a good price but for lead solder I prefer using the tinning compound, the flux seems to be more active. I used to use the rosin or acid core solder for tinning years ago. A lot of the solder jobs I have are finicky and whatever helps gets used. Most of the lead less solder I have found are 95/5 tin/silver, it must need the silver to flow properly but the higher tin levels make it stronger then the lead bearing solder.

        I have been stock piling different grades of lead based solder before the gov'mint decides that we aren't competent to have that either. I have to solder different parts close together at times and the different remelt temperatures help with that.

        FYI - We had a type of brazing rod where I worked that had 15% silver in it. It flowed much nicer into joints then regular brazing alloys and had a higher tensile strength also. Made by Xergon out of Texas (they make good products$$$$$) if that helps anyone.
        The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

        Bluewater Model Engineering Society at

        Southwestern Ontario. Canada