Soldering steel rail.

Suggest or recommend suitable tools for use in constructing your model railway.
Tricky Dicky
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Re: Soldering steel rail.

#11

Post by Tricky Dicky » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:34 am

Puddles wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:09 pm
I have put on another sight that my first job when I left school was as a sheet metal worker.
Back in those days all the metal we used was lead coated 20 and 22 gauge steel so every thing we made had to be soldered together. We used really heavy soldering irons. Wooden handles and solid copper tips so large you could file them into any shape you needed, they were stuck into a gas flame on your bench keeping them hot all the time and each time you used them you plunged them into a pot of liquid soldering flux to keep them clean. Keeping every thing clean was the secret of a good soldered joint we pulled the solder through a sheet of very fine sand paper before using it to keep it bright and shiny we also wire brushed over the lead coated steel to brighten it. So keep your solder clean, your material clean and your ion clean with plenty of flux and you should be able to make a decent joint.
When soldering wire always tin it first and also putting some solder on the item you are fixing it to first will also make a good joint.

Puddles
By heck Puddles that takes me back. I remember using those types of soldering irons and stoves in school doing tinplate work. The flux we used was “ killed spirits”, zinc chloride which was produced by dissolving zinc in hydrochloric acid. It really cleared your sinuses and made your eyes smart, no goggles or face masks in those days H&S was not a big concern then. Being an acid based flux though zinc chloride is unsuitable for electrical work.

Richard

Puddles
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Re: Soldering steel rail.

#12

Post by Puddles » Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:03 am

Yes Richard we had gallon cans of the stuff and almost bathed in it, i can still taste it as I write Yuk.

Bob
It does not take me long to do five minutes work.

Forfarian
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Re: Soldering steel rail.

#13

Post by Forfarian » Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:54 pm

Tricky Dicky wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:34 am
Puddles wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:09 pm
I have put on another sight that my first job when I left school was as a sheet metal worker.
Back in those days all the metal we used was lead coated 20 and 22 gauge steel so every thing we made had to be soldered together. We used really heavy soldering irons. Wooden handles and solid copper tips so large you could file them into any shape you needed, they were stuck into a gas flame on your bench keeping them hot all the time and each time you used them you plunged them into a pot of liquid soldering flux to keep them clean. Keeping every thing clean was the secret of a good soldered joint we pulled the solder through a sheet of very fine sand paper before using it to keep it bright and shiny we also wire brushed over the lead coated steel to brighten it. So keep your solder clean, your material clean and your ion clean with plenty of flux and you should be able to make a decent joint.
When soldering wire always tin it first and also putting some solder on the item you are fixing it to first will also make a good joint.

Puddles
By heck Puddles that takes me back. I remember using those types of soldering irons and stoves in school doing tinplate work. The flux we used was “ killed spirits”, zinc chloride which was produced by dissolving zinc in hydrochloric acid. It really cleared your sinuses and made your eyes smart, no goggles or face masks in those days H&S was not a big concern then. Being an acid based flux though zinc chloride is unsuitable for electrical work.

Richard
I served my time as a Coppersmith in heavy engineering, my first job as a shoplad was tinning fridge tubes with a 4" square soldering irons with wooden handles, heated by gas furnace. Soldering any type of metal is second nature after 70 odd years!!!,but some people struggle, we can only advise and pass on our knowledge. as Puddles wrote cleanliness of the material, Iron tip, heat and patience, never try to force cold solder, it will never give a sound joint. One of the secrets of soldering is watch the metal you are heating just before the solder "runs" you will see a slight change in colour and you will see the "heat" rings around the TIP only then apply solder and remove the tip as soon as the solder runs. I have been soldering rails to 1.5 mm x 12 mm copper strip today and that only takes a minute, with experience ;)
Forfarian aka Tim
Of course I talk to myself, I sometimes need expert advice!

Tricky Dicky
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Re: Soldering steel rail.

#14

Post by Tricky Dicky » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:11 am

Forfarian wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:54 pm


I served my time as a Coppersmith in heavy engineering, my first job as a shoplad was tinning fridge tubes with a 4" square soldering irons with wooden handles, heated by gas furnace. Soldering any type of metal is second nature after 70 odd years!!!,but some people struggle, we can only advise and pass on our knowledge. as Puddles wrote cleanliness of the material, Iron tip, heat and patience, never try to force cold solder, it will never give a sound joint. One of the secrets of soldering is watch the metal you are heating just before the solder "runs" you will see a slight change in colour and you will see the "heat" rings around the TIP only then apply solder and remove the tip as soon as the solder runs. I have been soldering rails to 1.5 mm x 12 mm copper strip today and that only takes a minute, with experience ;)
Hi Tim
That’s interesting, my experience with those types of irons goes back to metalwork classes at age 14. There were pointed irons for getting in corners and general soldering and hatchet shaped ones for seams. I do not remember how many pastry cutters, scoops and tinplate boats I made at the time but recently came across my very first tinplate box I made at my mothers flat, still used for holding odds and sods. Was there a reason for using an iron for tinning the tubes, I would have thought using a torch would have been a more appropriate industrial process and quicker. Was it a case of getting experience with an iron or as in those days make the apprentice do it the hard way?

Richard

Forfarian
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Re: Soldering steel rail.

#15

Post by Forfarian » Sat Feb 22, 2020 4:52 pm

Tricky Dicky wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:11 am
Forfarian wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:54 pm


I served my time as a Coppersmith in heavy engineering, my first job as a shoplad was tinning fridge tubes with a 4" square soldering irons with wooden handles, heated by gas furnace. Soldering any type of metal is second nature after 70 odd years!!!,but some people struggle, we can only advise and pass on our knowledge. as Puddles wrote cleanliness of the material, Iron tip, heat and patience, never try to force cold solder, it will never give a sound joint. One of the secrets of soldering is watch the metal you are heating just before the solder "runs" you will see a slight change in colour and you will see the "heat" rings around the TIP only then apply solder and remove the tip as soon as the solder runs. I have been soldering rails to 1.5 mm x 12 mm copper strip today and that only takes a minute, with experience ;)
Hi Tim
That’s interesting, my experience with those types of irons goes back to metalwork classes at age 14. There were pointed irons for getting in corners and general soldering and hatchet shaped ones for seams. I do not remember how many pastry cutters, scoops and tinplate boats I made at the time but recently came across my very first tinplate box I made at my mothers flat, still used for holding odds and sods. Was there a reason for using an iron for tinning the tubes, I would have thought using a torch would have been a more appropriate industrial process and quicker. Was it a case of getting experience with an iron or as in those days make the apprentice do it the hard way?

Richard
Richard
The tubes were "D" shaped 10ft long with shoulders batches of 100, they were laid back to back in sixes top and bottom and soldered together in a jig and then assembled in racks to make a cooler, water inside beer outside, just like the old ones used on farms to cool milk.
So i had to tin the flats with an iron, raw spirit, toe and 56/44 solder which i had to make in my spare time in 100 lb batches + make the tea 3 times a day and run out with a gallon jar for the beer for the smiths on the forge in the big coppershop!!!!!! the joys of apprenticeship and a steel 2ft rule across yer ass if you were cheeky!!!

Image
Forfarian aka Tim
Of course I talk to myself, I sometimes need expert advice!

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IanS
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Re: Soldering steel rail.

#16

Post by IanS » Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:01 pm

Richard
The tubes were "D" shaped 10ft long with shoulders batches of 100, they were laid back to back in sixes top and bottom and soldered together in a jig and then assembled in racks to make a cooler, water inside beer outside, just like the old ones used on farms to cool milk.
So i had to tin the flats with an iron, raw spirit, toe and 56/44 solder which i had to make in my spare time in 100 lb batches + make the tea 3 times a day and run out with a gallon jar for the beer for the smiths on the forge in the big coppershop!!!!!! the joys of apprenticeship and a steel 2ft rule across yer ass if you were cheeky!!!

Image
Imagine a 'modern apprentice' under those conditions. H&S and physical abuse violations, the workshop would be closed and the 'masters' locked up!

Forfarian
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Re: Soldering steel rail.

#17

Post by Forfarian » Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:37 pm

IanS wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:01 pm
Richard
The tubes were "D" shaped 10ft long with shoulders batches of 100, they were laid back to back in sixes top and bottom and soldered together in a jig and then assembled in racks to make a cooler, water inside beer outside, just like the old ones used on farms to cool milk.
So i had to tin the flats with an iron, raw spirit, toe and 56/44 solder which i had to make in my spare time in 100 lb batches + make the tea 3 times a day and run out with a gallon jar for the beer for the smiths on the forge in the big coppershop!!!!!! the joys of apprenticeship and a steel 2ft rule across yer ass if you were cheeky!!!

Image
Imagine a 'modern apprentice' under those conditions. H&S and physical abuse violations, the workshop would be closed and the 'masters' locked up!
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: I didn't do me any harm at all!!!
I enjoyed every minute of it and then cycled 5 miles home.
Forfarian aka Tim
Of course I talk to myself, I sometimes need expert advice!

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RSR Engineer
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Re: Soldering steel rail.

#18

Post by RSR Engineer » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:15 pm

Hmm, quite a lot's been going on since I was last at the Forum. Baker's fluid nostaliga etc. Those were the days.

Many thanks again for Tricky Dicky's advice, and Forfarian's. I'm clearly going to have to look for another soldering iron, one that has its own good store of heat. I fear my pointy one is only, or mainly, for fine wiring and electronics assembly.

Cheers,
Artur

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