View Full Version : Joining Copper to Steel
I need some help in determining what type of silver solder I need to join copper to steel. I did find the JW Harris website and it recommends using their Safety-Silv 56 along with their Safety-Silv white brazing flux. The problem is that I can't locate a dealer in my area, and have not received a reply to my e-mail to JW Harris inquiring where to buy their products.......I must be too small of fish. I have been brazing these craft items, but I now have some pretty small thin copper and steel parts that sometimes burn up before the brazing rod begins to melt. Any suggestions on where I might be able to purchase the Harris products, or other brans/types would be greatly appreciated...........thanks
02-04-2004, 08:51 PM
Pat, it soundslike you're trying to use too hard of a brass alloy, witch requires higher temperatures, and causing your own problem. Brass rod comes in a large temperature range. This site has a ton of information on both brass and silver solders.
Silver also covers a range of temperatures, and silver has a higher remelt temperature than initial melt, so you either need to nail it the first time, or add heat to move it.
Without having a better idea of what you're trying to put together, it's impossible to advise on exact alloy and procedure.
Thanks for the Handy-Harman link. I had the link www. lucas-milhaupt.com which is apparently a subsiderary of Handy-Harman, but dose not have near as much usefull information as the one you provided. To get a better idea of what I am trying to accomplish please go to www.store.yahoo.com/ponypeople/index.html and click on "Horses" at the upper left. This is about what I am trying to accomplish. The horseshoe nails are coated with a silver colored substance that I must grind off before heating or it turns to a whitish-yellow powder and contaminates the joint. I am going to look for some lower temperature brazing rod as you suggested and see how this works out. Boy, now if I could only come up with a way to get these parts clamped together so I don't need six extra hands...............thanks again.
02-05-2004, 04:44 AM
Pat, do you happen to know where you can get used horseshoes? I agree with Franz.
I come across old used ones every now and then, usually someone has them nailed to a wall or something. I did notice that at the store (Farm & Fleet) where I get the horseshoe nails they had bins of new shoes in various sizes. I would guess that a reliable source for used ones would be from a farrier (I think this is what horseshoers are called).........hope this helps.
02-05-2004, 12:05 PM
02-05-2004, 12:12 PM
"Boy, now if I could only come up with a way to get these parts clamped together so I don't need six extra hands"
OK, remember back to the days of high school chemistry, and those ring stands that held all that handy glasswork in place over the bunsenburner. Start with that concept. Make up some 3/16 rods with alligator clips at one end to hold the nail you're trying to braze in place. The rest is just a puzzle problem.
That wonderful coating on the nails is probably cheap galvanize or cadnium coating, so grind it off well. If you really get into this hobby, consider an Amalgumatic fume exhauster.
02-05-2004, 10:22 PM
Pat Lucas-Milhaupt is located in the Cudahy area and will have what you need. They also have a technical number for info. If you want I can get that for you. If you were told to use a .56% silver braze rod, I have this at my shop along with the flux, which I could sell you. Keep in mind that the 56% silver is quite pricey and usually around $13.00 a troy ounce.
Thanks for the reply and ideas on making a fixture. As soon as I get done plowing and back from the physical therapist appointment (frozen shoulder) today I will embark on a design mission and hopefully get something slapped together using the 3/16" rod and alligator clips.
Another idea I have is to make a name plate using 1/8" thick by 1 1/2" long by 1" wide copper strip. What I want to do is use my 1/8" stamps and stamp in a name on the copper, then fill the letters in with silver solder, then sand the copper strip down to remove the excess silver solder which should reveal an inlaid appearance......I hope. Do you think this is feasible, or is there a better method to go about achieving this.
The reason I am doing this is because I want to give the Doctor, Nurses, and physical therapists that have been treating me a thank you gift for taking the ball and curing my shoulder condition that the previous managed care group took 5 months, then gave up telling me I would not get better, and just to live with it. I think that these people deserve some recognition when they do a good job, instead of just hearing about the negative results. Thanks again for all your help,
Thanks for the info and offer. I contacted the local welders supply and they are going to get me some samples of the silver solder and assorted brazing rods to try out. I think the silver solder will be from Lucas-Milhaupt. You are right when you stated this stuff is pricey........wow. I just hope I won't have to use very much..........thanks again.
02-06-2004, 11:50 AM
Pat, for the nameplates, you might want to try using a soft sliverbearing solder such as Staybrite (refridgeration silver) and run it into the detents with a soldering iron. You can then remove the excess with a buffing wheel and rouge. I've played with a similar idea where I engraved brass and then used Birchwood Casey Brass Black in the cuts.
Normally, silver is inlaid into a dovetail by hammering the silver into the cut.
When doing silver onto copper by soldering it in, you may anneal and discolor the copper, so some experimentation will be necessary. There are also enamels for copper that come in powder form that bake onto the copper at lo temperature and don't discolor the copper.
02-06-2004, 02:03 PM
I have been making horseshoe art for about a month now just do a search for horseshoe art lots of ideas for projects i got my horseshoes from a farrier i found by going to the stable and asking questions I went to this guy about an hours drive thrue the country and he gave me two five gallon buckets gave him $20 he told me not to pay but i insisted he said call him in a month and he'd have a ton more for himthe hardest part is cleaning the shoes i use a braided wire brush on the 4 1/2 grinder
02-06-2004, 02:04 PM
mike w let me know how you do
02-06-2004, 02:35 PM
Thanks Trevor, I saw some horseshoe art some time ago and thought it would be fun to do. :)
02-06-2004, 02:41 PM
It is alot of fun and really easy to do I'm thinking of makeing a bunch of stuff and taking the kids to some craft sales teach em how to make a dollor or two I've been giving them to friends and family and telling them if they want more for there friends its $4 per shoe used let me know what you come up with i'm gonna make some projects this weekend I'll post some pics for ya
02-06-2004, 03:51 PM
Thanks, I saw a catus made out of them that was quite impressive. :)
02-06-2004, 04:42 PM
ELECTROLYTIC CLEANING & DERUSTING!
Of cours if you need to work up a sweat, use the wire brush.
02-06-2004, 05:53 PM
Franz, I have done that using about 3 amps. How much current could you use to make it go faster?
02-06-2004, 08:12 PM
heres a bunch of em
http://search.netscape.com/ns/boomframe.jsp?query=horseshoe+art&page=1&offset=0&result_url=redir%3Fsrc%3Dwebsearch%26amp%3Brequest Id%3De1522e9d9d3bc2c0%26amp%3BclickedItemRank%3D8% 26amp%3BuserQuery%3Dhorseshoe%2Bart%26amp%3Bclicke dItemURN%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Ffishiron.com%252F%26 amp%3BinvocationType%3D-%26amp%3BfromPage%3DnsBrowserRoll&remove_url=http%3A%2F%2Ffishiron.com%2F
02-06-2004, 08:21 PM
oops didnt work try
02-06-2004, 09:45 PM
The key to increasing speed in electrolosys is anode surface area.
The surface of the anode should be equal to the area of the item being derusted, if not greater. If your anode material accumulates crap, anything other than carbon, your current will drop off porportionally as the crap accumulates.
Also you need to consider the process as line of sight. While some action will occurr regardless of anode to object placement, the maximum is acheived when both objects are facing each other across the solution.
02-07-2004, 04:34 AM
Hmmmn......how about using a stainless steel tub? I also came up with using a 20 to 1 solution of water to Muriatic acid to speed things along.
02-07-2004, 05:59 AM
how about sand blasting them horeshoes
02-07-2004, 02:37 PM
That would be the fast way to do it. :)
02-07-2004, 03:47 PM
Well, if ya want to do it the lazy way, just throw em in a cement mixer with some sand some stone and let it run.
Then, you get a kid to untangle them all for you. If no kid is available, and you can convince the wife it's artsy-fartsy, she might do the untangling.
02-07-2004, 04:03 PM
Originally posted by Mike W
Pat, do you happen to know where you can get used horseshoes? I agree with Franz.
When ever i have a need for horseshoes i go see the friendly neighborhood dead stock hauler....he has to take them off before they drop them in the grinder...usualy has a 55 gal drum of them free to pick thru...some might have a piece of hoof still on it but hell the price is right....only think about them is the road cleats they put on them are a bitch to get off sometimes
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