Nickel/Silver alloy TIG ?
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  1. #1
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    Nickel/Silver alloy TIG ?

    I have a friend that repairs guitars and he has a guitar that he is working on that has frets that are difficult to make from scratch (which is what he usually does) so he was wondering if it would be possible to TIG in some filler on the old frets (which he will remove). He called the fret wire nickel silver so I looked up what its made out of and there is no silver, just brass and some nickel to give it that silver look. My question is, what could I use for the filler? I tryed looking it up but all I could find is allot of rod # that was used for welding cast iron and pipe. I was hoping maybe someone could steer me in the right direction.
    Thanks
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  2. #2
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    Re: Nickel/Silver alloy TIG ?

    Silver brazing rod from a refrigeration/ heating&air conditioning supply house. Usually a 15% silver content will do the job. You're brazing, so the heat is LOW on the torch, and you're not even making a full puddle on the steel. Just enough so you see the swirling start, then add some filler.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Nickel/Silver alloy TIG ?

    Thanks Rojodiablo for the quick response, I will see if I can find a heating/cooling supply place around town in the morning, basically one fret has a couple of low spots and just need to be filled in then he can file it down and prep for polish. I was also just curious if I could roll out some of his stock fret wire thin enough to use it for a filler........without making a mess of it.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Nickel/Silver alloy TIG ?

    I was also just curious if I could roll out some of his stock fret wire thin enough to use it for a filler........without making a mess of it.
    If you use a brazing alloy with a lower melting point than the base metal, it should be much easier to preserve the original shape of the fret. Sorry, but I don't know exactly what they look like or how big they are.
    I also think a local welding supply might be a better place to get the alloy, assuming it's a good one with really knowledgeable people---mine is, but the smaller, independently-owned ones are getting rare.

  5. #5
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    Re: Nickel/Silver alloy TIG ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldiron2 View Post
    If you use a brazing alloy with a lower melting point than the base metal, it should be much easier to preserve the original shape of the fret. Sorry, but I don't know exactly what they look like or how big they are.
    I also think a local welding supply might be a better place to get the alloy, assuming it's a good one with really knowledgeable people---mine is, but the smaller, independently-owned ones are getting rare.
    Yes, some of the better supply shops will have various low temp silver solders, and you might need to try a couple on test pieces before you get the right one. Good luck!
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  6. #6
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    Re: Nickel/Silver alloy TIG ?

    I dont really have a LWS, manley gas suppliers but I will check with them and see what they have. They usually dont want to mess much with individuals, im not sure why but they get this look on there face when you walk in,..........like you just broke wind and they dont want the displeasure of possibly getting a whiff.
    Maybe ill just call instead.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Nickel/Silver alloy TIG ?

    You might want to look at a jewler supply catalog. My wife makes Navajo jewelry and uses different silver solders when fabricating rings and other things. The solder comes in 3 different melting points---i don't remember exactly what they are called, but they melt at progressively higher or lower temps so you can solder one piece to another, then another piece to that one without melting the original solder on the first piece. You can get different compounds for different materials. She uses small pieces called "snipetts", they look like just little pieces of a thin sheet cut up in about 1/8" X 1/8" pieces, or you can get rods or rolls of it as well
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  8. #8
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    Re: Nickel/Silver alloy TIG ?

    Here is some of the silver solder she uses. I think she gets it from Rio Grande--The easy is the lowest melting point.---I think

    Form Chip
    Metal type Silver
    Melt temperature 1240ºF (671°C)
    Flow temperature 1325ºF (718°C)
    Density Easy
    Country of origin USA
    Catalog page 2010 Tools and Equipment Catalog p.181


    Select Density: Easy Hard Medium
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  9. #9
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    Re: Nickel/Silver alloy TIG ?

    yah as mentioned I would look up jewelry supplies, as they would have matching solder. Also I would consider gas welding as opposed to tig. Not all Tig machines have the capability to go low enough for very small brazing jobs. unless I'm picturing this wrong in my head and it's a beefy joint. Probably be easier to do with a gas torch and a small tip, or even a propane torch.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Nickel/Silver alloy TIG ?

    Good call Metarinka, the piece is way to small for the lowest setting on my TIG (5 amps), as soon as I struck the arc........BLAM.......it blew apart!!! good thing I was using a piece of his old stock as a test piece lol. I have a small jewels torch and all the necessary equipment, just dont have my oxy cylinder filled. I guess i will have to make a trip to praxair and git it filled, I have another friend that is a jeweler but I dont know if the shop he works in does any silver repair. I will have to swing by his way and see, maybe I can get him to do it on his company time lol.
    Thanks for all the suggestions
    they were much appreciated
    SQUARE WAVE 175 TIG
    DUAL MIG 151

  11. #11
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    Re: Nickel/Silver alloy TIG ?

    Sorry, it repeated my post so I had to delete this one and type in at least 5 characters
    Last edited by Spar-X; 05-21-2010 at 12:46 AM.
    SQUARE WAVE 175 TIG
    DUAL MIG 151

  12. #12
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    Re: Nickel/Silver alloy TIG ?

    Soldering is the best method and a plain LPG/propane gas/air torch will do it. The silver brazing alloy (15%silver) melts a little lower than 'easy' jewelery silver solder. If you are filling dents then the colour match will be a problem. I think the 15% alloy will be a little yellower, and the jewelery solder will be whiter than nickle silver. When they are polished it's hard to see any difference, but they will all get different patinas when they age.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Nickel/Silver alloy TIG ?

    If you havent' already, look up warlock.com. Guitar parts supplier. They might have something. Maybe even the right fret wire.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Nickel/Silver alloy TIG ?

    gizzly has a lot of guitar stuff

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