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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I love the expertise on this forum. Where else can you go for such esoteric information?

I am building an alcohol tank for #18 out of .032" brass. I am having issues with heat distortion when silver soldering (45ag). Anyone have thoughts on using a silver bearing solder for this application? I have used Bernzomatic silver bearing lead free solder on the water tank.

royce
 

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For an alcohol tank, is it necessary to silver solder?
Not that I have ever built one, but I would have thought just regular soft solder would be fine unless perhaps on a tank loco where there might be risk of a fire at which point the solder might melt.
You photo seems to suggest that it is on a tender and somewhat protected from risk of fire.
Certainly silver solder, or silver bearing solder, with a higher temperature than soft solder might make you feel safer.
Cheers,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your thoughts David. Another alternative was to obtain a kiln or oven and heat the whole tank until the silver solder melts. A slow cooling would minimize the distortion I think. And I do have the boiler coming up to silver solder. Any thoughts on using oven heating?

royce
 

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Hi Royce,
I have only ever silver soldered 'little' parts together.
A torch is enough to get everything red hot.
So, unless it is a kiln to melt gold or something, I don't think that an oven will get hot enough for a boiler.
I was just looking at the instructions for the G1MRA 'Project' locomotive fuel tank, and they have you use copper rivets to assemble it before soldering.
Maybe you can use something like that to keep everything in alignment.
Cheers,
David
 

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1/32 brass will buckle even under soft solder heat if you are not careful
I make my cabs and tenders from 1/32 and am careful not to get them too hot.
I use Staybrite solder and flux which is very strong and has a low melting point.
For tanks, I usually go with 1/16" material and silver solder them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Royce,
I have only ever silver soldered 'little' parts together.
A torch is enough to get everything red hot.
So, unless it is a kiln to melt gold or something, I don't think that an oven will get hot enough for a boiler.
I was just looking at the instructions for the G1MRA 'Project' locomotive fuel tank, and they have you use copper rivets to assemble it before soldering.
Maybe you can use something like that to keep everything in alignment.
Cheers,
David
I'm using 0-80 screws where thickness permits (longitudinal spreaders) for alignment. I'm going to use a toaster oven to bring to 450deg F and then a torch to solder. Then back into the toaster oven to cool slowly.
The kilns I was looking at go up to 2200deg F. I'm guessing 1500 is more than enough. And with the digital models you can cool slowly.
And thank you for your interest in answering my questions. I hope to be able to run this loco for you someday. I've been working on it since the mid 90's.

royce
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
1/32 brass will buckle even under soft solder heat if you are not careful
I make my cabs and tenders from 1/32 and am careful not to get them too hot.
I use Staybrite solder and flux which is very strong and has a low melting point.
For tanks, I usually go with 1/16" material and silver solder them.
Thanks for your thoughts on this. I am going to use the staybrite as you suggested and preheat in an oven before torching to final temp. Hope that works. Nice thing about scratch building is that you can always start over.

royce
 

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I made a soft soldered meth tank to replace the original one that JVR did on the NORD Atlantic; because it had been made of tinplate and was rusted through and leaked causing a bad meth fire. It works fine although it has a risk of overheating if there is a fire underneath it. It has worked for about ten years now. Theoretically though they should be silver soldered. Its just that at the time I had no silver solder experience but a great deal of soft solder experience. One advantage of soft solder is that it will fill the cracks more easily than silver solder will. Well Happy new year folks,
Simon
 
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