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Soldering PE and brass strips?

Old 04-09-2016, 11:39 AM
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Panther F
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Question Soldering PE and brass strips?

I have done my fair share of electrical work... in the auto repair industry, but soldering photo etch or those K&S brass strips is I'm sure is a different story.

I know most PE work is done with CA, as I have used in the past but I am constructing a metal frame (like for the wooden jack block) and it needs to be pretty rigid.

So what do I need?


Will a 40 watt iron work?

Solid core solder?

Do I need paste to help with flow?


Any other suggestions?






Jeff
Old 04-09-2016, 12:25 PM
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bradgreene
 
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Jeff,

I am currently soldering brass angles and strips to fabricate my Stug III shurzen. I am using a soldering paste I bought from digikey and a butane soldering iron without the tip so it works like a butane torch. t have used solder wire before with a soldering gun and paste to solder PE but it is easier with the former. Here's a couple of pics
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Old 04-09-2016, 03:23 PM
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Liquid flux is your best friend.

Lead solder will be easier to work with but silver will be stronger. I've gone all silver at this point, for electronics or brass work.

I've used a resistance solderer on 1/48 PE clamps, but my plain 'ol Hakko works for everything.

One thing that people don't get is high heat applied fast is better than low and slow. I used to go as low as possible with fine solid core high lead solder on SMD LEDs and probably had a 50% success rate at best. If it did survive, the joint was weak. Then I started cranking the temps to 899 and just touching it with a lot of flux and it works like a charm.

Set the piece the way you want it (on a block of scrap wood), wet it with flux, get the iron on it and when it's bubbling away, tap it with solder. You should be able to float the solder from beneath and it'll creep into the void.

Last edited by ausf; 04-10-2016 at 06:55 PM.
Old 04-09-2016, 03:45 PM
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Hi, Jeff, I use a "Nimrod Solderpro butane torch" and "Fryolux paint"
You "Paint" the liquid (Which is a combination of solder and flux) on the area needing soldering then using the Butane torch apply heat and you get a permanent good looking join,
It is the easiest way to solder I have come upon.
WARNING the solder/flux mixture is very toxic, don't let the kids or the pets get to it!!!
Shaun.
Old 04-10-2016, 02:59 PM
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Yes it is pretty much the same with welding Hot and Fast. The shorter amount of time you have to heat a part the much better off you will be with the results so dont be afraid to have a good hot soldering iron. Tin the tip and flux the parts and get it hot fast and get it done.
Old 04-11-2016, 03:22 AM
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Panther F
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THANKS for everyones input!

I did do a lot of searching before posting this question, just to get an idea of how everyone here works with their items. Most of what I came up with were high dollar soldering stations and working with PE so thin that it was better off being epoxied or the use of CA than soldering.

I have a mini pen torch around here somewhere I've never used that might do the trick but a trip to the jewelry store or Hobby Lobby will get the stuff I need.




Jeff
Old 04-11-2016, 06:11 AM
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Although I use CA most of the time, I have seriously considered using one of those circuit board hot air solderers. I have seen one that is a combo. Just have to find it again....
Old 04-11-2016, 06:44 AM
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Here is my main hobby. 1/4 scale narrow gauge trains. These locos are old kits make in the 60s and 70s.
I learned rapid application of heat and rapid cool down is the best way to solder, especially when other parts are very close that can come loose and fall off.
I use radio shack silver bearing solder and a really old can of soldering paste that was my great grand fathers. Is nearly gone at this point.
Clean the brass until its very bright, or gently sand it, or scrape it at the joint with an exacto. Then flux it and if possible tin it, that is heat it and make the solder stick to the joint of each part, then let them cool, and then begin to attach.
I use a 60 and 85 watt iron, American beauty resistance unit with a foot switch I made, and several sizes of pencil torches that run on butane from harbor freight.
I have on occasion used a plubming torch kit for major parts like a cab of a locomotive.
Always have a wet rag pr sponge close by to cool down your work as soon as you pull your heat off the parts. I also use lots of metal clips like the black office ones to help pull heat away from other areas while soldering.

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Old 04-11-2016, 08:41 AM
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The American Beauty is the best thing that ever happened to PE. My friend made me a stainless grounding plate and special tungsten detail tips that I could solder 1/48 clamps. Unfortunately I lost interest in building 1/35 that was more brass that styrene and the thing just sat for years so I sold it. I wish I had it back.

Jeff, I'm in middle of making brass dive planes for the Revell Type VII conversion I'm doing if you want me to grab pics.
Old 04-12-2016, 05:55 AM
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Panther F
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So I thought I'd give it a try with what I had. A 40W iron and flux core solder and follow the simple rules of soldering.... clean, tin and clamp.

And most important, a heat sink. (YIKES)

All I need to do now is trim one of the curved pieces because I knew it was longer but it's easier to trim once it was attached and generally clean it up.



Now on to bend the jack block frame. That should easier to put together since there are NO curved areas to clamp.


(sorry for the poor images... a photographer I am not)




Jeff
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:20 AM
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Looks good. Fine work is always tough just from size.
Old 04-12-2016, 11:36 AM
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Panther F
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I really don't think of myself as a rivet counter, but if you're in the neighborhood it might as well be done right. Like the tow cable posts of both Tamiya and Heng Long... it's lacking and incomplete! So a simple addition, paint and problem solved.



Then I thought, add the retaining pins to the C-Hook posts. But they are not long enough and I didn't want to just sand down one side of the hook so I made new ones out of plastic. But they weren't good enough for me so I pulled the aluminum tubes out and got busy with the drill press. I need to finish two more.

This bracket is for the track repair cable (which is made of steel, not a rope) and on the Late Panthers it's mounted horizontally (vertically on earlier Panthers and Jagdpanthers) and then looking at the REAL THING, it's also lacking in detail. Heck even the 1/35th versions are better than this is.

So, anal me has to fix that and then suddenly you start finding more and more things to correct.

It all has to come to an end soon or I'll never start on something new.





Jeff
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