[Noisebridge-discuss] soldering copper sheet metal

Adam adam at aperture.systems
Fri Nov 6 22:18:27 UTC 2015


Also, clean the copper beforehand with muriatic acid (home depot) and
then rinse with water to ensure no acid is left behind.
-^-^-^-^-^-
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 2:17 PM, Adam <adam at aperture.systems> wrote:
> 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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>>>>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>>>>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
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>>>>
>>>>
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