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Soldering Nightmare

R/C Submarine modelers

Soldering Nightmare

Postby Ahab79 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:31 pm

Yes me again. I'm soldering my dive planes and rudder to the brass dowel. So. Rudder solder went off without a single problem. THE DIVE PLANES ARE ANOTHER MATTER. I've tried three different types of solder. I've used flux....sparringly to coppious. If heated and re heated. I've scratched up the surface enough and I've made sure the brass is spottless. THE ONLY THING I CAN THINK OF IS i NEED A HOTTTER IRON. Maybe even a torch. I'm at a loss. I'm ready to epoxy these things on with the marine epoxy I've come to love.

Am I missing something? the only thing to add is one of the dive planes took some solder as it ran. And I had to litterally leave the dive plane on a heated stove element to re-heat it to melting to remove it. That tells me my iron might be crap. Or have just crapped out on me.

Any suggestions?

Going on day 4 here of this nightmare. Getting son back in two days for another week. soldering and 3 year old boy don't mix.
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Re: Soldering Nightmare

Postby JWLaRue » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:49 pm

What kind of solder are you using? And perhaps more importantly, are you using a flux to prep the metal?

I am a big fan of StayBrite Silver solder. Folks like MicroMark carry it....some local hobby stores also stock it.

-Jeff
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Re: Soldering Nightmare

Postby Giovanni » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:31 pm

Myself having used hundreds of pounds of solder in my profession, I find it unusual for small soldering jobs to use anything more than solder paste. Solder paste comes in syringes and when used properly, the soldered joint requires very little cleanup. You can find solder paste at Home Depot, in the plumbing section of the store and put some in your own syringe. I always use flux, even though the paste has flux mixed into it. One of the best investments is a good thermostat digital led screen built into the soldering iron controller for adjusting the ideal soldering melt point. These digital readout thermostatic controllers can be purchased at Fry's Electronics online store for under $100.00.
This is an important bench tool. Spend the money and do yourself a favor.
I only use a torch when I am soldering large pieces or silver soldering pieces together. I own a multitude of special torches, down to the MiniFlam torch. These are laser-like in flame size, but most of the time I use a soldering iron with paste. Soldering paste comes in many flavors, silver solder, gold solder, tin solder, etc.
Go to YouTube and watch some soldering tutorials. That is your best bet, for now.

The soldering iron:

http://findnsave.sacbee.com/Product/823 ... er-Station
Kind regards,
Giovanni

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Re: Soldering Nightmare

Postby JWLaRue » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:46 pm

From my experience, practice is more important than spending lots of money on a thermostat. (not saying this is the only way, but this is what worked for me) A big part of successful soldering is knowing where and how to apply the iron.

The liquid flux that comes with the StayBrite solder does a very good job of cleaning the metal and ensuring a good bond.

-Jeff
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Re: Soldering Nightmare

Postby Jure George » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:41 am

Hello

After 20+ years in the Electronics Field, soldering is second hand to me. The main things to remember: 1. Clean parts to be soldered, No tarnish or oxidation. 2. Use flux paste, Home depot plumber`s Department, adds heat build up to material and also cleans material. 3. Use a high enough heat source, soldering iron, butane torch whatever. 4. Apply heat evenly to both parts to be soldered, when flux bubbles apply lttile bit of solder, if it melts quick, apply more till you get a liquid flow of solder where you want it. 5. Let part cool on it`s own then use old tooth brush or modified stiff short hair paint brush with lacquer thinner, Home depot paint departmant, as cleaner, it removes all Flux paste residue, stinks while using but leaves you with a clean shinny finish.

NO NEED for Special digital soldering iron temperature control soldering station UNLESS you solder heat sensitive electronic components.

Recap : Even heat to both parts, CLEAN BOTH PARTS, Use solder flux. PRACTICE !

Do this with ventilation, don`t want to breath these fumes in. Not Good.

Happy Soldering

George
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Re: Soldering Nightmare

Postby Sub culture » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:31 am

Defintiely sounds like not enough heat to me. I use an acid based flux for soldering up non electrical parts, the type plumbers use for soldering up copper pipe. The residue from that cleans off with simple soap and water. This really gets 'into' the metal, and pretty much guarantees a good joint. I tend to use scotchbrite pads for cleaning up brass, although wire wool or abrasive paper will also do. I find you don't need surgical levels of cleanliness when using the acid based fluxes, but it's best to be over clean than not enough.

The stove element you used could be pressed into service as a makeshift high powere iron. fFlux the parts, and position small bits of solder next to the join. Allow it to sweat together on the stove. When the solder flows, switch off the heat, allow to cool, and you should have a good join.

My personal preferenc is to use a small blowlamp (gas torch) for soldering up things like flat plate and rod. The high calorific value of propane is difficult to beat, and makes the work easy.
Last edited by Sub culture on Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Soldering Nightmare

Postby Ahab79 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:06 pm

O.k. So. I removed all the pieces. Cleaned them. Re-scuffed them with steal wool. Re-cleaned them. Dried. Put back together. Applied flux. Heated up silver core solder to melting point. Melted neatly and into place. DID NOT BOND WITH EITHER PIECES......

Sooooo I got two other piece of brass. and with out doing any prep work. Soldered the two joints for fun....WHAT THE THELL IS WRONG WITH MY DIVE PLANES?????????? THE ONLY OTHER THING i CAN DO AT THIS POINt. Is buy a mother good gun or torch and supper heat the stuff. Try that. But hesitant to waste the money right now.

I want to purchase my electronics.....not a nother soldering gun....

Any further ideas?
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With a face that was launched to sink.
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Re: Soldering Nightmare

Postby Rogue Sub » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:07 pm

I know exactly what you are talking about ahab.

My first time around with the Dumas akula and I just could not get the front planes to solder properly. The problem is indeed heat. I cleaned the crap out of them and tried different solder but could not get it to go. The issue is that big brass controll surface acts as a cooling fin and disipates t much of the heat.

I would consider two things.

1 what tip are you using on your solder iron and what wattage is it. Make sure you use a fat tip so you can transfer as much heat to it as possible. A skinny solder tip is not going to cut it.

2 Think about a blow torch. I eventually used a blowtorch to weld mine up. I took some very wet paper towels and placed them on the hull to keep the plastic from melting and then started heating the plane starting with the very tip and working my way in. A good way to make sure you dont over heat it is to cut a strip off solder and place it around the joint. It will melt st the right temperature and if you have the solid brass axil heated right the solder will flow into place. If it doesnt flow from one surface to the other the rod is not hot enough.

Good Luck... It takes practice. I melted the hull my first time around, but it is all repairable buddy!!
Kevin
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Re: Soldering Nightmare

Postby Rogue Sub » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:13 pm

forgot to add... the hardest place to clean is the slit where the part inserts into. Its so thin it gets neglected. A wire brush or some thin sandpaper is your friend here!
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Re: Soldering Nightmare

Postby Sub culture » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:55 am

What type of solder and flux are you using?

Some people like to silver solder parts (there are different types of silver solder BTW, with different melting points). For model submarine use, soft soldering is adequate for pretty much all jobs, and is the easeist to apply.

Some swear by silver soldering. It has some advantage for items that are small in cross section, but other than that, the higher heat required tends to soften (anneal) the material being joined, which can sometimes make fragile items weaker. A bit of a paradox.
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Re: Soldering Nightmare

Postby Rogue Sub » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:46 am

I've annealed the brass before aswell. I have been using silver bearing solder lately because I like the way it flows. When I did my akula the first go around I was using the lead free crap that comes with plumbing kits.


I remember how frustrating it was...
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Re: Soldering Nightmare

Postby Sub culture » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:01 pm

A lead/tin 60/40 soft solder works great, and is still readily available despite the ROHR guidelines (which tends to apply mostly to manufacturers) .

I use this with acid based fulx for brass or copper parts. Neatest results are obtained when you get the parts clean and also close fitting.
'Why are you staring at an empty pond?'

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Re: Soldering Nightmare

Postby Ahab79 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:23 pm

Well it was most definatly heat. I was ready to go buy a propane torch looking at the computer screen. Found amazing deal on a soldering torch. Building service guy asks why I'm looking. I explain. 1 hour later he shows up with a soldering torch. Says the hospital will "LOAN" it to me for weekend. Bring it back monday a.m. If it works. Go buy myself one. No use spending the mone on something I didn't need.

And man di dit work well. I wask carefull not to damage hull....but that didn't happen. I have a nice toasty brown ripple. Will be working on repairing that tonight.
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With a face that was launched to sink.
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Re: Soldering Nightmare

Postby Rogue Sub » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:06 pm

Ahh history repeats itself.


Glad you got it all hammered down.
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Re: Soldering Nightmare

Postby Sub culture » Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:52 am

I'm curious as to why you chaps are soldering the planes on with them fixed onto the hull. That sounds a bit loopy to me. Any hot work should be done with the item removed from the boat and well away from the plastic.
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