View Full Version : MAPP gas & Safety-Silv 45
I'm limited to a basic Bernzomatic for soldering brass. Do you have a single preferred solder and source?
How about brass half oval? Got a less pricey supplier than the "museum" one?
02-17-2011, 12:24 PM
I used to use a Bernzomatic with a high lead solder because it never seemed to get quite hot enough for solder with a higher silver content. The problem was the joints weren't properly brazed and were very weak. In some tests I did, I actually had failure which would be very bad if it happened during an earthquake on an actual object.
That was enough for me to upgrade to a "B" type acetylene tank and torch, which was relatively cheap considering how much use we get out of it. The tank itself was $160 and refills are around $35 and the torch outfit was about $150.
I use Safety-Silv 56 for the brazing and Stay-silv white brazing flux and the joints have been perfect. No failures and I'm told they are as strong, if not stronger, than the brass itself. Since then I have never looked back.
As for the half round brass, I've never used it. In some cases where it would be needed (and as long as the mount was small enough) I would use bar stock and round over one side on my 1" upright sander. So much cheaper that way. I get all our brass from McMaster-Carr. Hope this is useful.
02-18-2011, 06:52 AM
I was a mountmaker in private practice for 12 years and used a pair of Bernzomatic trigger start torches for all my brazing. I found no trouble doing joints in fairly heavy brass (1/4"x1") or even in steel. You can use the two torches pointed from opposite directions to create a zone of very intense heat. As the flux reaches the water clear stage you can put one down and feed the brazing alloy in. I use mostly 56% silver but there should be no problem using 45% either. If you're only able to use one torch, you can put a fire brick or two adjacent to the work to form a corner where the heat can be contained and amplified.
If you're using the most basic type Bernzomatic torch, it may have a limit to how much heat it will produce. The trigger start type are the most convenient to use and are definitely up to the job. In looking for pricing, I just found a Harris branded torch on Amazon that's going for $29.00. For that kind of money you can get two and be brazing in no time. The other advantage of this type of torch is that it is perfect for off site work as you can travel on a plane with the head and you can buy the gas at any hardware store.
As far as half oval brass, I always got mine from Alaskan Copper and Brass in Seattle, but since you're on the East coast, you should check with Jamestown Distributors or other marine industry suppliers, as well as checking into industrial copper and brass suppliers. It can't be cheap anywhere at this time but those should be a bit less than the place you're looking.
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