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Old 02-07-2010, 08:38 PM   #91
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I'm still kind of confused. Is this an alternative to have the pieced TIG welded on? I realize it wouldn't be as strong but what is the draw back when this seems far less labor and tool intensive?

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Old 02-07-2010, 08:57 PM   #92
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It is an alternative, but you hit the nail on the head. It is definitely not as strong. Soldering melts a dissimilar metal in between the two pieces, welding "melts/fuses" them in to the same piece of metal.

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Old 02-08-2010, 01:37 AM   #93
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It is an alternative, but you hit the nail on the head. It is definitely not as strong. Soldering melts a dissimilar metal in between the two pieces, welding "melts/fuses" them in to the same piece of metal.
So is soldering strong enough for our typical application or is it kind of a gray area? Do we need to worry about a propane/NG burner softening the solder on something like a kettle drain?

I only ask because this is something I can do where as TIG welding I cannot.
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:13 AM   #94
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From my personal experience it is strong enough. It helps to have a tight fitting hole. If you are using a very thin kettle then you can always solder in some washer(s) to beef up the hole a bit.

The flame could melt the solder if you dry fire the kettle. You should not do that anyway as it can melt the seals in your valve.

EDIT: Guess I was just a little slow. BrewBeemer beat me by a minute


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Old 02-08-2010, 02:16 AM   #95
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If it's fired dry by gas the joint may get hot enough to melt soft solder, silver solder would be the minimum I would use. With electric you'll never get the soft solder joint hot enough to melt the solder. If you backup both sides of the keg with soldering a washer it will strengthen this coupling or pipe stub thru this soft solder joint.
Years ago in a hurry to brew I soft soldered nipples thru kegs (leaded solder no less back in 78) and a couple times the nipples with valves did break loose being lifted or banged on the valves caused these joint failures.
Do it once right not cutting corners or costs and you'll be rewarded with many trouble free years of brewing.

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Old 02-08-2010, 02:48 AM   #96
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I can definitely see that happening. I managed to crack the solder joint on my kettle. I shimmed it with a washer and all is well.

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Old 02-08-2010, 03:25 AM   #97
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I shimmed it with a washer and all is well.
How can you solder a fitting on a washer soldered on a kettle without melting the solder...

I know it sound weird but I just don't get how you solidify your kettle without damaging your previous solder.

Hope it make sense!
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:51 AM   #98
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So it sounds like as long as you aren't heating up a keggle dry or whacking the fittings off something they are relatively the same as a welded fitting. I think I may have to give this a shot someday when I decide to put a drain on my keggle. Thanks for bringing this idea forward.

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Old 02-08-2010, 05:11 AM   #99
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Quote:
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How can you solder a fitting on a washer soldered on a kettle without melting the solder...

I know it sound weird but I just don't get how you solidify your kettle without damaging your previous solder.

Hope it make sense!
Scut; no solder joint can match a Tig welded joint, silver solder would be way stronger than soft solder.

First I would add a curve to the washers to match the radius of the keg which is a 7 7/8" radius or 15.75" diameter, kegs vary in diameter by manufacture. The thinner the solder joint layer the the stronger the joint will be. Clean the washers, keg, nipple or coupling (your choice) with 80 grit sandpaper allows for more tooth for the solder to adhere. Brush all surfaces to be soldered with stainless acid flux, assemble with applied pressure clamping the washers to each other one inside one outside the keg with the nipple or coupling aligned. Apply heat, when it's hot enough the solder will be pulled into the fitting and washer by capillary action. Using two washers will increase the nipple or coupling strength vs just thru the keg alone. I would silver solder if Tig is out of the question or budget.
Dry firing a keg with gas it can happen i've done it a one of those Oh Chit monents with the fitting hanging from the keg. This is the reason why silver solder is the minimum I would ever use on a fitting with Tig the first choice.

Scut; what you doing up this late your right coast i'm left coast?
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:43 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludo View Post
How can you solder a fitting on a washer soldered on a kettle without melting the solder...

I know it sound weird but I just don't get how you solidify your kettle without damaging your previous solder.

Hope it make sense!

I cleaned the joint up, refluxed everything and soldered on the washer.

I have to agree with Brewbeemer on the possibility of it melting with gas and dry fire of the keg / kettle.
Weldless fittings do not have this problem either. Of course you could melt the o-rings by dry firing a kettle.

In a perfect world we would all live next door to a master tig welder or have our own tig equipment!
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