3" Flute Build

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3" Flute Build

Postby The Yeasty Boyz » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:36 pm

Well I scored a some free 3" copper from a friend a few months ago and it is now time to put it to use.

Huge thank you to all members. There is such a wealth of information here. I am teaching myself to silver solder so this will not be a clean and flawless process. I have been reading relentlessly and will continue to do so until everything clicks... Then I'll read some more.


I am going to base the build around NCHoochs 3" column build. I will be doing the sight glasses differently (ferrule+tri clamp) and hope to make the main column, dephleg and condenser connected via SS ferrule and tri clamps so that I can change things around later should I desire.

The goal is to make good whiskey, make good use of the 3" copper I now have and shorten my runtime down. I have been using a 1.5" 15.5 gal potstill that I built a while ago and am wanting a higher proof, shorter runtimes and more control. I currently can only hit 140 proof with a runtime of 12 hrs and feel as though my cuts are more blended than I would like.


Here is the plan as of now...
I ordered a 3" SS ferrule that I will tig weld to a SS keg.
Tri clamp the ferrule to another that will be attached to the 3" column.
19" Column will have 4 plates
Ferrules on column and dephleg
ferrule/tri clam connecting 4.75" dephlegmator ot 3" to 1.5" reducer
1.5" 90 degree bend to 1.5" pipe to 1.5" 90 degree bend
19" shotgun condensor
1.5" down to .5" then off to a parrot

So far I have used a propane torch for soldering. I should have just bought a MAPP torch but I have recently acquired an oxy acetylene rig that is one pressure valve away from being functional. It is in the mail headed my way but the past two nights my patience ran short and I used the propane torch to build the condenser and dephlegmator. I can see that I am using way too much solder. This is the first thing I have soldered aside from a parrot so I am not sure what else I am doing wrong.

3%22 Copper .jpg
3" Copper

dephlegmator.jpg

shotgun dephlegmator top.jpg

shotgun dephlegmator bottom.jpg

Shotgun condenser.jpg

Shotgun condenser.jpg
Shotgun Condenser Bottom




Please let me know what I am doing wrong, how I can improve or general thoughts.

Cheers,
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby Swedish Pride » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:36 pm

looks really tidy to me, much nicer than anything I ever soldered
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby still_stirrin » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:25 am

I'd suggest some baffles in the product shotgun. It reduces "channeling" in the water jacket, improving efficiency.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby Saltbush Bill » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:03 am

still_stirrin wrote:I'd suggest some baffles in the product shotgun. It reduces "channeling" in the water jacket, improving efficiency.
ss

Baffles in a shot gun product condenser of that size are completely unnecessary unless your planning on using the still to strip at a extreme speed. No need to make them more complex than they need to be to do the job.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby The Yeasty Boyz » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:58 pm

Thanks Swedish Pride. I hope having a fine tip will help as much as I expect. I am also hopeful I can pick up brazing SS to copper smoothly. I forgot to order an extra ferrule to practice on.

SS I did see baffels in some other designs on the site. I wasn't aware of their name but I did suspect they disrupted the flow of the water increasing efficiency. The ones I saw were on 3" shotguns so I assumed they were more beneficial for larger diameter and shorter length shotguns. I would have likely put them in hearing your advice but given its soldered up Ill leave it be.

Saltbush Bill, I am glad to hear you do not think it is necessary for this application. NChooch seemed happy with his results so I decided to run with his design. If I end up wanting to run extremely fast stripping runs I can simply build a special condenser for that application.

HDD1.jpg


I picked up a foot of 2" to make the sight glass housing. I will have to go buy a 3" hole saw as well. I guess I should make them just long enough to fit the ferrule and have a quarter inch(ish) separation. l'll research more before I cut.

I also picked up two feet of 1". I will open up a little over 13" and flatten them to use for the plates. I made two plates last night but had a hard time getting them perfectly flat so I annealed them. Well now I got them flat but the are very malleable.

I am worried that If I anneal the plates they may bend when inserting/removing them into the flute given the tolerance between the ID of the column and OD of the plates is around .005". Would this likely be an issue? NChooch bought copper discs. I kinda wish I had done that but I do not want to wait or spend more money. Would quenching flattened plates boost the hardness like other metals? I would prefer to not solder the tree into place should I need to adjust the number and diameter of holes in each plate.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby Saltbush Bill » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:16 pm

The Yeasty Boyz wrote:NChooch seemed happy with his results so I decided to run with his design. If I end up wanting to run extremely fast stripping runs I can simply build a special condenser for that application.

On a still of that size on a normal spirit run that condenser has to knock down enough vapor to produce no more than 2 to 2 1/2 L an hour. We ain't trying to cool a nuclear reactor here.

The Yeasty Boyz wrote:I guess I should make them just long enough to fit the ferrule and have a quarter inch(ish) separation. l'll research more before I cut.

Sight Glass's are best kept as close to the column as possible ...the closer they are the more you can see.

For what its worth I cut my four plates from 4 inch copper tube, I had to annealed then to get them perfectly flat before doing anything else to them.
The process of cutting them to shape, grinding / filing or what ever you choose to do to get them perfectly round, centre punching and drilling all the holes will work harden the copper again..or at least it did with mine.
The Yeasty Boyz wrote:Would quenching flattened plates boost the hardness like other metals?

Quenching very hot copper softens it.

There are a few photos here of my build and how I did my sight glass mounts which may be of interest to you.
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=63514
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby The Yeasty Boyz » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:16 pm

the closer they are the more you can see.

Awesome. Thank you for confirming this.

The process of cutting them to shape, grinding / filing or what ever you choose to do to get them perfectly round, centre punching and drilling all the holes will work harden the copper again..or at least it did with mine.

I am happy to hear this. I did not even consider what the process of drilling and shaping the plates would do to the harness. This makes sense and relieves my worries about the ductility.

Quenching very hot copper softens it.

Very interesting. I did not expect this by any means but this is undoubtedly beneficial to know. Reminds me of the material properties of rubber with the temp and expanding/contracting.

Your build progress pics are excellent. I will be using these tomorrow as I begin the tree build. At 216 holes/plate, did you drill each plate individually or simultaneously? I believe i see your score grid marks on multiple plates so that tells me you drilled each separately. Don't feel the need to walk me through this process/answer all questions by any means. I do greatly appreciate your advice/wisdom. Props on the internal dephleg. Im sure it was a pain in the ass.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby Saltbush Bill » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:33 pm

The Yeasty Boyz wrote:did you drill each plate individually

Yes mainly because Id heard horror story's of people breaking multiple drill bits when trying to drill more than one plate at a time. I managed to drill all the holes in all plates using just one drill bit. It helps if you clamp the plate to a block of soft wood when you are drilling. I'm sure there are ways to drill all of the plates at the same time, Ive just never tried.
Ive heard of people tacking the plates together with a little solder and them drilling them all at once.That may or may not work.
If you do size the plates to your column and then center punch them you will need to resize again after drilling.
The center punching will spread the plate just enough so it wont fit the column again, least that's how it worked for me.
Happy to help where I can with any other questions you might have.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby The Yeasty Boyz » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:50 pm

Got some work done today on the tree. I roughed out the plates together using the drill press and a flap wheel on a 4" grinder. I got them within .1" of the final diameter then drilled. I chose to drill them all at once. I went through 5 drill bits and had to run to the hardware store twice... :evil:
I believe I could have done the job with only two bits had I drilled each plate separately but at 192 holes/plate I decided to go for it. Did it save time? I think so.... Would I do it again the same way? Yes. I also made an extra plate in case I was not happy with how the required 4 turned out.

Each plate ended up with 192 holes at a diameter of 1/16" / 1.5mm ( Thank you for your link Saltbush Bill, I copied your grid patern/drill bit size). I scored the gird first then tried to drill but the bit wandered so I gently punched in some points with a hammer and a screw to give the bit something to point towards.
Roughing Out Plates.jpg
Roughing Out Plates

Downcomer hole.jpg
downcomer hole

Plates plus 1.jpg
Plates Plus 1

Punching Pre Drill.jpg
Punch Pre Drill

That makes an area of .003067. x 192 = .588 in2 for holes. Total area of plate excluding holes = 6.834 in2 So the % open area of each plate vs closed area comes to 8.6% From what I have read the standard ratio is 7-8% … Good enough for me.

Saltbush was right in that the drilling hardened the previously soft plates ( from annealing .) Unfortunately for me I still don't have the patience to wait for the valve I need to get my oxy acetylene rig running/didn't buy a maap tank. Using the propane torch I have annealed the whole plate when soldering the downcomer and the plate so they both are now soft again. I think it will be just fine with some final shaping. I am also very happy with the minimal gap between the plates and the column.

Still working on the J hook for the bottom downcomer to be made smooth and will need to solder in the cups to finish the tree. I did drill in a small hole on each of the downcomers to allow vapor flow should the downcomer connect with the cup.
bottom holes in downcomers.jpg
downcomer holes

Tight fit.jpg
Happy with the fit


Fortunately I will be too busy with watching the eclipse and working to tackle much more on the project for a few days. In those few days I am hoping the ferrules and downcomer I ordered will arrive ( and the valve for the oxy acetyalene rig!).
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby googe » Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:02 am

Nice build mate :thumbup: , that shotty will cope easy as sbb says, would easily handle 10lph or.more stripping without baffles. One thing I've noticed about heating and cooling copper is, if you let it self cool, it's easier to clean, the dirty parts kind of flake off. Awesome advice from sbb yeasty boyz he knows his stuff :thumbup:
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby Saltbush Bill » Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:42 am

Yeasty it looks to me like you are using 1/2 inch downcommers , is that correct?
If you are you I would change them to 3/4 inch as you will suffer flooding in my opinion.
Make sure the cup ends of them has plenty of room to make let them flow to.

Edit
The Yeasty Boyz wrote:I did drill in a small hole on each of the downcomers to allow vapor flow should the downcomer connect with the cup.

Restrictive downcommers are or can be a major source of frustration when running a bubbler, They can be the main bottle neck that restricts the amount of heat you can throw at the still.
Rather than drilling a small hole its better to make the bottom of the downcommer where it fits into the cap look like the top of the castle wall. Make the high points thin and the gaps wide and deep, that way even if the downcommer bottoms in the cup when you assemble the plate tree you will still have plenty of clearance.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby The Yeasty Boyz » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:57 pm

googe wrote:if you let it self cool, it's easier to clean, the dirty parts kind of flake off. Awesome advice from sbb yeasty boyz he knows his stuff :thumbup:


Thanks. I did notice this the other night. I let the copper cool naturally as opposed to quenching (as I had done before) because of sbbs advice on the hardness. I put the plate/downcomer in font of a fan and watched the black fly right off.

Saltbush Bill wrote:Yeasty it looks to me like you are using 1/2 inch downcommers , is that correct?
If you are you I would change them to 3/4 inch as you will suffer flooding in my opinion.
Make sure the cup ends of them has plenty of room to make let them flow to.

The downcomers are 3/8" because that is what I saw NChooch use in his build. The size difference did strike me as off when comparing to SBBs build. I actually took a pic of SBBs tree into illustrator and scaled in order to measure his downcomer diameter. He uses the 3/4" you recommend.
I will change this up. Thank you for the heads up!
Saltbush Bill wrote:Rather than drilling a small hole its better to make the bottom of the downcommer where it fits into the cap look like the top of the castle wall. Make the high points thin and the gaps wide and deep, that way even if the downcommer bottoms in the cup when you assemble the plate tree you will still have plenty of clearance.

This makes sense as well. I felt relying on the SS nuts to hold the position of the downcomer off the cup would be a bit dicey. Making the castle shape would certainly eliminate any possibility of it preventing flow. I will do this. Thank you very much for the advice.
SS FERRULES.jpg
SS Ferrules/thermometer

The 2" SS ferrules for the sight glasses arrived today with the thermometer. I have seen most people place the thermometer right above the dephleg. I am leaning towards that but considering at the top between the two 90s. I'll research more.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby Saltbush Bill » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:55 pm

You will probably find that in the end you wont use the thermometer anyway, it wont tell you anything your nose or tongue cant tell you better.
The boiler might be a better place for it , at least then it can tell you how much alcohol is still in the wash.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby The Yeasty Boyz » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:45 am

Saltbush, I believe you are right.

I have gone a year without one and don't really see a need. Its just a fun feature, not much more. Putting it in the boiler is a good idea tho.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby Oldvine Zin » Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:38 pm

Looking good :thumbup: :thumbup:

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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby The Yeasty Boyz » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:08 pm

Thanks OVZ

Pretty stoked to have had time today to work. The pressure valve I needed for the oxygen regulator arrived so I am now learning how to use Oxy Acetylene. The fine tip was working great soldering smaller stuff. I did try and solder the 3" dephleg to the step down and had a hard time getting it up to temp. I will be researching oxy acetylene technique and tips. Here is what I have for tips.
oxy acetylene tips.jpg
Oxy Acetylene tips


I started by replacing the 3/8" downcomers I previously had on with 3/4" and I cut out the bottoms to a castle shape as recommended. I soldered on a 1 1/4" cup and scrapped the idea of making a J hook for the bottom after reading more in the Flute talk thread. I decided to attach the cups to the downcomer instead of the plate because I feel the cup would cover precious space on the plates. Each downcomer extends 3/4" above each plate. (I was reading that .75" - 1" is ideal.)
Plates, downcomer, cups.jpg
plates, downcomer, cups

Couldn't resist stacking them up on the SS 1/20 rod for a dry fit. Plates aren't perfectly flat but they are better than I thought and the fit in the column is tight... almost scary tight,
I may sand them down a bit more.
TREE1.jpg
Tree
Tree 2 .75%22downcomer.jpg
Tree, .75" downcomer, 1.25" cup

Nchoochs build has the plates seperated at 4". I have read for a 3" column at the very least the height between plates should be a bit larger than the diameter of the column and that i the plates are too spread out you are just wasting space. Considering this I am gonna give them a bit extra room to ensure the bottom of the downcomer cup does not impede flooding. Plates have 4.75" between them and the cups have 1/4" between them and the plate. The bottom of the cups have 1/8" to 1/4" gap to the bottom of the downcomers.

I was able to cut the 2" copper for the sight glass housing on my shitty harbor freight 8" drill press. Thank god. They didnt turn out perfect but I have a 3" spindle sander which spiffed them up for a nice fit. I could certainly take off another 1/4"-1/2" off the copper to get a shorter window without the ferrule interfering with the plates.
Sight glass housing.jpg
2" sight glass housing

I soldered on the hose fittings for the dephleg and shotgun. I gotta figure out how I want to run pluming. Once I do I will pressure test them so that I can move on.

I ended up laying everything out to get things a little more solidified in my mind. Here is the plan so far. Always open to improve/change.
Mockup.jpg
Mock up

Its a lot of ferrules/clamps but I want to be able to add on to the build later. I have the connection between the column and the dephleg so that I can add another tree or packed column later if I want. I want to have the ferrules between the dephleg and the step down so that If I want to make a gin basket it could go there. ( although I do not drink gin, or have researched how to make it, I think the process would be fun) Lastly there are ferrules between the last 90 and the shotgun so that if I need to make a bigger shotgun or try a different type of condenser I can. The main column is still not cut to length and after I finalize the position of the plates I will cut the 3", add a base for the SS rod to rest on and braze the ferrules on.

Still gotta buy flux for the SS to Copper. I read Harris Staybrite flux is good. I have 15% silver solder. I hope I don't need a higher % solder $$$. The bottom ferrule will be welded via TIG to the keg so all the places i need to braze SS to copper will not need to be done so for structural integrity. Just a good seal.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby zapata » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:56 pm

15% is plenty silver content assuming the rest of the blend is good for cu/ss. I think the last stuff I used for cu/ss was low as 7-8%.

A tip when I've worked with large pipe is to heat up the whole thing. If you don't have other joints to worry about, a heat gun, oven, or barbecue grill works great. You don't need to scorch it, but heat it up. For example I've heated my grill up to 250-300 degrees, set the pipe in it with the lid closed for a few minutes then worked right on the grill surface using the torch to bring it up to solder temps without the heat sinking to the rest of the pipe. Even if there are other joints you need to worry about, you can prewarm the piece with say a hair dryer or low power heat gun. Oxy is great and hot, and the fine tips allow for precision, but with large pipe you still have to overcome the heat flowing to the rest of the pipe. Several times I've gotten frustrated with how long it took to heat up and ended up scorching something or burning my flux off, although patience and persistence would have probably worked fine.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby The Yeasty Boyz » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:25 pm

Glad to hear 15% is sufficient. I'll check the other elements.

Thanks for the info. This makes sense. The hunk of copper I go for free was soldered to various fittings. I was able to separate them with two propane torches but it took a shitload of heat to get it red given the heat dissipation your talking abut. I have a heat gun and a propane torch. I'll set it up so that I can evenly heat he entire piece before I focus on the joint. I may pick up a broader head for the torch. I'm pretty sure the one I am using is intended for cutting. I haven't used flux yet so this will be new to me as well.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby Saltbush Bill » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:36 pm

Looking good :thumbup:
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby zapata » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:02 pm

If you've never used flux before, have good ventilation. Esp with a liquid flux like harris (which is great btw). I only use it outside now after a case of chest pains which could only be attributed to chemical inhalation, and that was working in front of a fan and window. No damage done, but it was a bit scary and painful.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:02 pm

zapata wrote:If you've never used flux before, have good ventilation. Esp with a liquid flux like harris (which is great btw). I only use it outside now after a case of chest pains which could only be attributed to chemical inhalation, and that was working in front of a fan and window. No damage done, but it was a bit scary and painful.


With Harris Stay Clean, definitely have ventilation. Breathing in hydrochloric acid ain't good for ya.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby The Yeasty Boyz » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:27 pm

zapata wrote:If you've never used flux before, have good ventilation. Esp with a liquid flux like harris (which is great btw). I only use it outside now after a case of chest pains which could only be attributed to chemical inhalation, and that was working in front of a fan and window. No damage done, but it was a bit scary and painful.


Thanks for the heads up. I did not know it was dangerous to breath in. I worked right next to a 10" can fan that was pointing outdoors and wore a vapor mask.

So I got the bend soldered together, shortened the sight glasses, checked for leaks in the dephleg/condenser. I found leaks in both and with a couple laps I was able to get them sealed up. I am pressure testing by holding one part to my mouth and plugging the other. I wet the joint with spit and blow looking for bubbles. Is this sufficient?
Progress.jpg


I also picked up some flux. I could not find Harris stay bright but I found Radnor Stay Silv. This is the flux that is paired with the Stay Silv 15 solder I am using.
Last night and today I tried brazing and its giving me a really hard time. I believe all 4 joints I did are now sealed properly but they are ugly as hell and I am certain I am doing something wrong.

I have read a handful of posts on HD about brazing SS to copper and I did as instructed. The videos I have watched donnt resemble what I am doing.

. I sanded each joint very well with brand new sandpaper, I then used brand new scotch brite and cleaned each joint again. I applied flux to both mating pieces and then attached them. I rested the joints on top of a nail to prevent my steel table form sucking up all the heat. I heated the SS first until it was orange then heated the copper and then back to the SS intermittently touching the solder to the joint. Sometimes the solder would wet the stainless, sometimes it would run off the stainless to the copper, sometimes I could get it to suck up the joint.

The other method I did was to clean and flux both pieces, heat up the SS by itself and apply solder. Once it was wet and hot I heated up the copper and slid it onto the S then I kept putting more solder into the joint from both ends as before. Long story short I have a lot to learn. I picked up a broader head for the oxy acteylene and I like it much more than the one I was using before.
Shitty Soldering.jpg

SS to Copper.jpg

Any idea what I am doing wrong?
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby sltm1 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:11 pm

Looking at at the pic's, my recommendation would be a softer neutral flame as it seems you're overheating the metal and boiling off the flux. It's real easy to oxidise the copper (the black), and that makes the surface unsolderable. Typically, when the flux starts to boil, the metal is just about ready for the solder, that's why they have different fluxes for different metals, and don't heat the flux with direct flame, heat above or below the joint. Also, don't depend on direct flame to melt the solder, the metal will get hot enough to melt the solder and suck it into the joint and the flame should be used to draw the solder to the unsoldered metal right next to where it flowed previously. It takes a little practice, but once you've got it, you've got it for life....like riding a bike.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby zapata » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:34 pm

With the solders I've used for ss & cu (staybrite 8 ) it was not necessary to heat the ss to orange. What kind of solder do you have? Stay silv 15 brazing rod? It does have a much higher melting point but I thought it was just for copper and brass? I used something very similar on my crossflow (different brand, same comp) and found it nearly impossible to flow like solder. Was great for filling gaps, building fillets etc, but couldnt flow it for crap. Can anyone confirm it's good for ss?

Edit to add the staybrite 8 is pretty much as easy to use for cu-ss as any typical copper - copper joint.

Also, checked harris site, looks like you're using the wrong thing, page 33
http://www.harrisproductsgroup.com/~/me ... dering.pdf
For ss-cu its staybrites for soldering and safety-silvs for brazing.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby sltm1 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:51 pm

I'm using 46% silver, solder with Harris Stay brite flux.....proper flux removes most all problems with proper heat control.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby zapata » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:59 pm

Edit, nevermind this post, got op confused for a sec
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby The Yeasty Boyz » Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:02 am

sltm1 wrote:Looking at at the pic's, my recommendation would be a softer neutral flame as it seems you're overheating the metal and boiling off the flux. It's real easy to oxidise the copper (the black), and that makes the surface unsolderable. Typically, when the flux starts to boil, the metal is just about ready for the solder, that's why they have different fluxes for different metals, and don't heat the flux with direct flame, heat above or below the joint. Also, don't depend on direct flame to melt the solder, the metal will get hot enough to melt the solder and suck it into the joint and the flame should be used to draw the solder to the unsoldered metal right next to where it flowed previously. It takes a little practice, but once you've got it, you've got it for life....like riding a bike.

I do think I am over heating the joint. The SS ends up oxidized after each session and I was told that is not how it should be done. The only times I have been able to get the solder to wet the copper was when it was well below orange and I was trying to heat another portion.


zapata wrote:What kind of solder do you have? Stay silv 15 brazing rod?
Edit to add the staybrite 8 is pretty much as easy to use for cu-ss as any typical copper - copper joint.

Also, checked harris site, looks like you're using the wrong thing, page 33
http://www.harrisproductsgroup.com/~/me ... dering.pdf
For ss-cu its staybrites for soldering and safety-silvs for brazing.


The solder I am using is Stay Silv 15 which in the guide to brazing/soldering it says : Designed primarily for copper to copper brazing application, it may also be used in brazing brass with the use of Stay-Silv® brazing flux.

I have tried two different types of flux,
the first being Stay Silve White Brazing Flux: All-purpose low temperature brazing flux used to braze most ferrous and non-ferrous metal, (exceptions are aluminum bronze, titanium, magnesium, and aluminum).
The second is Radnor Stay Silve White Brazing Flux: Radnor Stay-Silv White brazing flux is an all-purpose, low-temperature flux for use in silver brazing. Use with most ferrous and non ferrous metals, not recommended on aluminum, magnesium, and titanium.


So ya Zapata, you are right... Stay Silve solder is the wrong stuff for silver soldering ss-cu. The guide has says to use Stay Brite and Stay Brite 8 solder with stay clean liquid soldering flux or Stay slive 45/56 brazing filler with Stay silve white brazzing flux. Correct me if I am wrong but I have only really seen people on HD silver solder Cu-SS and that it is commonly called brazing but in the process of using flux and a straight filler rod it is technically soldering. Brazing is typically when you have a filler rod that is covered in a dry flux. I am really only comfortable using prodocts others here have used and that is why I have stuck to silver solder.

This other thread: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=46881 says to use Harris Stay Brite Kit and its solder is 4% silver 96% tin (so that would be what the guide recomended.) They sell the kits in small enough quantities that I could afford to pick some up and try it. The Stay SIlve 46% silver runs $46 for 4 x 1/32" (maybe 1/16") sticks and with how many cu-ss joints I have to do I think I would need like 3 cases which is way out of my budget.
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby zapata » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:12 am

Bummer on that, but at least it is sorted, and a subject I know a bit about. First off in case you run into it sometimes you will find the stay brite and stay clean flux kit branded by radnor, it is interchangeable, same exact thing just branded differently. My local welding shop had harris brand a few years ago, and radnor kits recently both worked fine for ss and cu. Local place didnt stock staybrite 8 in anything I could afford, but I have used this:
https://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/silversolder.htm
The benefit to that staybrite 8 kit is higher ag content, stronger joint and the solder diameter is thicker so it is a little easier to use. Either staybrite or staybrite 8 and stayclean flux will definitely work fine for what you are doing.

The stay silv 15 you have can probably be sold rather easily on ebay or craigslist if you dont want to hold onto it. It is useful if you ever have a lot of cu-cu joints close by since it melts at like triple the temp of other solders. It self brazes on cu and you don't need flux at all.

I hate all the stays cleans silvs bla bla branding. Can't they just call it "cu2cu15" or "cuss4"?
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby sltm1 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:01 pm

Just a quick set of definitions, soldering is when joining two pieces of metal using solder, brazing is using a lower melting point metal to connect two pieces of metal and welding is using similar metal to connect two pieces of metal by actually having a controlled melt of all three pieces.
Every new member should read this before doing anything else:
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Re: 3" Flute Build

Postby zapata » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:51 pm

It seems rather arbitrary but the only difference is solders melt below 840*F and brazes melt above 840*F but below the melting point of the base metals (if the base metal melts too it is indeed welding).
Staybrite and staybrite 8 are solders. Stay silv 15, saftey silv 45 and 56 are brazes.
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