[Noisebridge-discuss] soldering copper sheet metal

Adam adam at aperture.systems
Fri Nov 6 22:17:19 UTC 2015


You need proper tools. My iron has no problem soldering copper pennies
in seconds.

Get a metcal RFGx rf generator:
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=metcal+sts&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR1.TRC0.A0.H0.Xmetcal+rfg.TRS0&_nkw=metcal+rfg&_sacat=0
A wand for it: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Metcal-OKI-MX-RM3E-Solder-Wand-with-Accessories-/111765721508?hash=item1a05c191a4:g:gSoAAOSwEetV7dh3
And this beefy tip:
http://www.amazon.com/Metcal-STTC-117-Soldering-Applications-Temperature/dp/B005T6WLY8/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1446848122&sr=8-11&keywords=metcal

Use kester solder, and you'll be up and running in a hurry.
-^-^-^-^-^-
Adam Munich - Builder of wild things (and organizations)
Website | Linkedin | Twitter | Tel: +1-650-452-0554

The key to mastering any skill is nothing more than passion and persistence.



On Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 1:07 PM, Henner Zeller <h.zeller at acm.org> wrote:
> On 6 November 2015 at 13:01, Henner Zeller <h.zeller at acm.org> wrote:
>> On 6 November 2015 at 11:57, jim <jim at well.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>     I've uploaded photos of my failed attempts to
>>> solder copper sheet metal :
>>>
>>> http://www.systemateka.com/Copper/
>>>
>>>
>>>     Each of the three jpg files shows the same things
>>> from different camera POVs.
>>>
>>>     The longest copper strip separates the foreground
>>> attempts, tried various types of glues from the
>>> background attempts, tries with various types of
>>> solder and flux.
>>>
>>>     The soldering iron advertised 950 degrees F; the
>>> (blue) propane advertised 2000 degrees F; the (yellow)
>>> MAP advertised about 3000 degrees F.
>>>     Each got the copper (30 gauge and 24 gauge) hot
>>> enough to melt the solder. The propane was hot enough
>>> to get the copper bright rid. The MAP was hot enough
>>> to vaporize the copper and let a little drop of
>>> molton copper fall.
>>
>> Too hot! For soldering, you actually don't want to go much higher than
>> what needs to be done to melt the solder. Which means any torch based
>> attempt is probably too hard to control.
>>
>> If things are too hot, then you burn the flux, and if even hotter, you
>> evaporate part of the solder which will change the composition of the
>> alloy, making it work worse.
>>
>> For best results (I guess you already tried that), the copper needs to
>> be at the place of soldering; this is what flux is good for (in your
>
> This should read "needs to be _clean_ at the place of soldering"
>
>> case, with no electronic parts, even acid flux is ok; you get it for
>> copper-pipe buidling supplies).
>> The rosin is good flux while soldering, but for these big parts
>> pre-cleaning it with some acid-based flux is good.
>> Of course, mechanical means (steel wool?) might as well to get you started.
>>
>> What I often do when I have to solder something that sucks off a lot
>> of heat (such as: huge pieces of copper that are very good in
>> conducting heat away from where you want it :) ), put it on an (old)
>> electric stove (with a solid platter, not this spiral thing rubbish)
>> to get up to temperature or close to temperature. Then whatever you do
>> with the soldering iron gets you much further.
>>
>> It is not the final temperature of the iron that counts, but if it can
>> keep going in putting enough energy in when the material (here:
>> copper) sucks away the heat.
>> An iron with at least 100W is probably needed for your task (can't
>> read it on the image).
>> (950F is actually too hot, you want to be not much more than 600-700F
>> on the material). The additional heating with the stove platter helps
>> you getting better overall even heating and less premature cooling
>> with a smallish iron.
>>
>> Also it avoids avoiding (too hot) solutions such as propane/MAP.
>>
>>>
>>>     My interpretation of the dark brown residue on
>>> the pieces in back is that is cooked rosin.
>>
>> yep, that is probably a fair assessment. Things were too hot.
>>
>>>     I've tried various glues: goop, water weld,
>>> super glue, krazy glue, liquid nails.... None of
>>> them hold enough to resist being pulled apart (with
>>> mild force).
>>>
>>>     I believe it'll be best for us to find someone
>>> who can do the work: we have various models to show.
>>>
>>>     Anybody interested in taking this project on? My
>>> guess is four to eight hours total, flexible time.
>>>
>>> Hopefully, with thanks,
>>> jim
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On 11/01/2015 03:34 AM, jim wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>     oh: yes, I want to solder the pieces together.
>>> I've tried with clamping--no dice.
>>>
>>>
>>> On 11/01/2015 03:28 AM, jim wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>     yes. I've cut small pieces of 30 gauge and also 24
>>> gauge and have tried to tin them (tin 'em first, then
>>> solder them together, yes?) with horrid results: a dark
>>> brown crust develops that shows little round pin-head
>>> sized circles and the solder just sits in a ball and
>>> then rolls off.
>>>     I've used two different types of flux and various
>>> types of solder (tin-lead, silver...).
>>>     I've gotten the copper bright red with a propane
>>> torch. I've used a soldering iron.
>>>     I've washed them with alcohol, paint thinner, and
>>> muriatic acid; I've also washed them with a solution
>>> of lye and sodium carbonate and borax. I've sanded
>>> them with fine and with coarse paper, by hand and
>>> with an orbital sander.
>>>
>>>     In the past I've soldered electronic circuits and
>>> copper pipe successfully.
>>>     A couple of experienced people say it sounds like
>>> the surface of the copper sheets is contaminated, but
>>> golly! After all that scrubbing and washing and flux
>>> and heating?
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On 11/01/2015 03:08 AM, Cere Davis wrote:
>>>
>>> So ur just trying to solder copper to copper?
>>>
>>> On Oct 25, 2015 4:37 PM, "jim" <jim at well.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>     I've soldered electronics and plumbing and
>>>> am stuck trying to solder copper sheet metal.
>>>> I've used a soldering iron and a propane torch.
>>>> I've used alcohol, acetone, and paint thinner
>>>> to clean the copper as well as fine and coarse
>>>> sandpaper to clean the surfaces. I'm using
>>>> electronic flux (haven't yet tried plumbing
>>>> flux).
>>>>     The soldering is not working: solder does
>>>> not flow or adhere to the copper, and there's
>>>> a brown residue that appears after heating.
>>>> Using a torch for forty or fifty seconds
>>>> results in flame that does not immediately
>>>> expire.
>>>>
>>>>     Anybody got tips?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
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>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
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