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Old 01-16-2013, 05:36 PM   #1131
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Originally Posted by hockypunk View Post
I just wanted to thank everyone who posted to this thread. I learned a lot an was able to pull a dimple and solder two couplings yesterday. Great info for someone who has never done work like this before. Cheers.��

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Hockypuck,

for someone who has never done work like this before, those are damn nice-looking joints!!!

I'm hoping to follow in your footsteps soon (though I have some silver soldering of brass onto stainless 20 years ago

Looks like you did 1/2" full couplings - can I ask how long it took you to do both couplings as a 'virgin'?

Also, did you purchase the recommended concentric couplers to make your dimpling tool or do something different? I am thinking about trying the idea of using sockets that was posted a few pages back...

-fafrd

p.s. and one more question - I suspect that you probably purchased the recommended solder and flux, but since some have apparently been successful using standard unleaded plumbing solder, I just wanted to ask what solder and flux you used for these joints....

and while on the subject of additional details, what did you use to cut your holes (step bit or hole saw)?
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:05 PM   #1132
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My remaining question is whether there is an advantage (or a drawback) to dimpling a 1/4" half-coupling versus just letting the half-coupling sink down into a bed of solder on the outer surface of the vessel? Dimpling allows for a mechanical bond as well as the soldering bond that is created. It is stronger than just soldering the fitting on to the metal.

And also have an additional question after thinking things over last night: If the half-coupling can be effectively soldered onto the outer surface, is there any reason that the hole cannot be drilled after the half-coupling has been soldered? This would be for a temperature probe. You have a higher likelihood of marring your threads inside the coupler. JMO

Hope that helps.

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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:34 PM   #1133
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wyazz,

thanks for the feedback.

I know that dimpling makes the joint stronger mechanically, but for a temperature probe I don't think this extra mechanical strength would be needed. Unless there is a fear that the coupling would fall off, soldering down onto the surface should be strong enough (as several others have apparently done) - is there something more I am missing?

And as far as marring threads when drilling AFTER soldering, that would be my concern as well. On the other hand, the hole would only be drilled to the ID of the pips while the threads only extend in to the OD of the pipe. For example, with the 1/4" half-coupler I am planning to use, a 1/4" (0.25") hole would need to be drilled into the center of a coupling whose threads only extend to within about 0.460", so there would be close to 1/8" of clearance between the outside edge of a 1/4" drill bit and the threads of the coupling. Of course, you could not use a step bit and you would want to keep the 1/4" bit from rattling around, so starting with a good center punch would seem to be mandatory and it may also be a good idea to start with a small pilot hole... Thoughts?

There are two things I find attractive about both of these ideas:

1/ minimum disruption to sidewall of vessel - the hole is as small as possible and causes minimum deformation to the sidewall (versus dimpling, for example).

2/ self-aligning (no risk of the half-coupling soldering down off-center versus a pre-drilled hole).

I may make a practice joint like this on my keg top and see how well it works...

-fafrd

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Old 01-16-2013, 09:48 PM   #1134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fafrd

Hockypuck,

for someone who has never done work like this before, those are damn nice-looking joints!!!

I'm hoping to follow in your footsteps soon (though I have some silver soldering of brass onto stainless 20 years ago

Looks like you did 1/2" full couplings - can I ask how long it took you to do both couplings as a 'virgin'?

Also, did you purchase the recommended concentric couplers to make your dimpling tool or do something different? I am thinking about trying the idea of using sockets that was posted a few pages back...

-fafrd

p.s. and one more question - I suspect that you probably purchased the recommended solder and flux, but since some have apparently been successful using standard unleaded plumbing solder, I just wanted to ask what solder and flux you used for these joints....

and while on the subject of additional details, what did you use to cut your holes (step bit or hole saw)?
FAFRD,

Thanks for the response. I did use full couplings. The longest part of the process was drilling a hole. I used a self tapping step bit I got from amazon. The dimpling tool was the recommended tapered 3/4-1/2" coupling with the larger coupling. I did have to use a half inch bolt and a crap load of washers instead of the recommended 5/8" bolt and it worked just fine. One dimple took longer than the other. Be careful to check the size of your coupler against the size of your taper. The first time I did it I pulled the taper all the way through and it ended up being too large of a hole to hold the 1/2" coupler. I ended up using a hammer to pound the hold back down to where I could draw the coupling into it securely. The soldering took minutes. Overall I'd say it only took two hours total including sanding and filing. A dremel helps with the cleanup. I used a small kit of the Harris stay brite flux that came with small gauge solder.Found it at my local airgas for $12. I tried both making a ring of solder and just heating and touching and found the touching worked better than trying to rely on the ring of solder to spread properly on its own. The heat/touch allowed me more control. Have fun. I'm glad I finally did it.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:27 PM   #1135
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Been reading this thread for awhile now and I am starting to order the parts for my dimple tool but I can not for the life of me find 9/16" bolts fully threaded...anywhere. I've searched lowes/home depot/ and no where on mcmaster carr. I even tried the metric equivalent (m14?) with no luck. Any help here? Part number? Thanks guys!

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Old 01-16-2013, 10:47 PM   #1136
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I know that dimpling makes the joint stronger mechanically, but for a temperature probe I don't think this extra mechanical strength would be needed. Unless there is a fear that the coupling would fall off, soldering down onto the surface should be strong enough (as several others have apparently done) - is there something more I am missing? I have banged my kettle around pretty well after a brewday & those fittings stick out a bit, I want them to be as strong as possible. You can solder perfectly fine without dimpling, but dimpling makes it stronger. I like the extra reassurance.

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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:01 AM   #1137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPhilGood
Been reading this thread for awhile now and I am starting to order the parts for my dimple tool but I can not for the life of me find 9/16" bolts fully threaded...anywhere. I've searched lowes/home depot/ and no where on mcmaster carr. I even tried the metric equivalent (m14?) with no luck. Any help here? Part number? Thanks guys!
I used a 1/2" bolt with no problems.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:14 AM   #1138
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Originally Posted by wyzazz View Post
I have banged my kettle around pretty well after a brewday & those fittings stick out a bit, I want them to be as strong as possible. You can solder perfectly fine without dimpling, but dimpling makes it stronger. I like the extra reassurance.
OK - thanks. I guess if I ever knock one of these of I can always dimple and re-solder, right? For a temperature probe, I like the idea of a minimum-sized hole in the vessel wall if it can be strong enough...
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:39 AM   #1139
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FAFRD,

Thanks for the response. I did use full couplings. The longest part of the process was drilling a hole. I used a self tapping step bit I got from amazon. The dimpling tool was the recommended tapered 3/4-1/2" coupling with the larger coupling. I did have to use a half inch bolt and a crap load of washers instead of the recommended 5/8" bolt and it worked just fine. One dimple took longer than the other. Be careful to check the size of your coupler against the size of your taper. The first time I did it I pulled the taper all the way through and it ended up being too large of a hole to hold the 1/2" coupler. I ended up using a hammer to pound the hold back down to where I could draw the coupling into it securely. The soldering took minutes. Overall I'd say it only took two hours total including sanding and filing. A dremel helps with the cleanup. I used a small kit of the Harris stay brite flux that came with small gauge solder.Found it at my local airgas for $12. I tried both making a ring of solder and just heating and touching and found the touching worked better than trying to rely on the ring of solder to spread properly on its own. The heat/touch allowed me more control. Have fun. I'm glad I finally did it.
Thanks for these additional details. So getting the holes cut right, dimpled, and smooth sounds like the long pole in the tent versus the actual soldering. Someone pointed out that cutting the holes with a stepping bit amounts to cutting 4 or 5 holes. If you had to do another joint would you try a hole saw or were you happy enough with the stepping bit? (I have not yet bought my bits)

And when you say two hours was that an hour per hole (two hours for both holes) or two hours per hole (4 hours for both holes)?

I've done some silver soldering using the 'heat and touch' method, so given your experience, I will probably try that technique for my first attempt...

I assume you have a socket set - would you think that using sockets to make a dimple tool would work as well as the fittings you used or is there a reason you think the coupler you used was more effective than a socket-based tool would have been?

-fafrd
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:01 AM   #1140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fafrd

Thanks for these additional details. So getting the holes cut right, dimpled, and smooth sounds like the long pole in the tent versus the actual soldering. Someone pointed out that cutting the holes with a stepping bit amounts to cutting 4 or 5 holes. If you had to do another joint would you try a hole saw or were you happy enough with the stepping bit? (I have not yet bought my bits)

And when you say two hours was that an hour per hole (two hours for both holes) or two hours per hole (4 hours for both holes)?

I've done some silver soldering using the 'heat and touch' method, so given your experience, I will probably try that technique for my first attempt...

I assume you have a socket set - would you think that using sockets to make a dimple tool would work as well as the fittings you used or is there a reason you think the coupler you used was more effective than a socket-based tool would have been?

-fafrd
I'm a cheap ass so I'd probably stick with my step bit when I do my third keg. The holes became slower to cut when I got closer to the final size I needed for some reason. I'd say the first coupling took about an hour an a half while I was figuring it out as I went and being extra careful. Once I knew what I was doing I flew through the next hole in about half an hour. I haven't read the part about the sockets. I do however think the tapered coupler is a more gradual way to open the steel and ward off any tearing in the metal. I'm not even sure if this is something to be concerned about but whatever. Cheers.
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