Silver solder not drawing in?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

mcgster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
I attempted to silver solder in my triclover element mount today and i was having issues with the silver solder not drawing into the space underneath the fitting. I prepped it as per the video from brew hardware and it was plenty hot. I went through an entire roll of solder and it just beaded up around the outside and didn't suck in.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
 

GotPushrods

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Messages
589
Reaction score
158
Location
Phoenix
You MUST use a good liquid acid flux or you will never get silver solder to play nice with stainless. The Harris Stay-Clean is worth it's weight in gold. With an awesome discount.
 
OP
M

mcgster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
GotPushrods said:
You MUST use a good liquid acid flux or you will never get silver solder to play nice with stainless. The Harris Stay-Clean is worth it's weight in good. With an awesome discount.
Thanks, I couldn't find it anywhere so I just used paste but maybe ill do an amazon order if it makes that big of a difference
 

GotPushrods

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Messages
589
Reaction score
158
Location
Phoenix
mcgster said:
Thanks, I couldn't find it anywhere so I just used paste but maybe ill do an amazon order if it makes that big of a difference
It's not just a big difference, it's THE difference. You will be amazed.

Rough up the area with sandpaper, clean with acetone, and apply flux. It's magic.
 
OP
M

mcgster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
Thanks now I'm looking forward to seeing some magic! Hopefully a plumbing store stocks the liquid flux. Are there other brand names that would work??
 

wilconrad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2012
Messages
508
Reaction score
180
Location
Quad Cities
I got my liquid flux at the local Airgas welding supply for $8 as a kit that included a bit of silver solder, see if there's a branch near you. Or just check with any nearby welding supply place.

And I'll echo what others have said: it's critical and you'll be amazed how well it works.
 

nab911

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2012
Messages
238
Reaction score
17
Location
Atlanta
So the liquid vs paste is the big difference? I used paste and had pretty bad results but it was old paste. Went and got a new kit and it was better but still 50/50 on whether it pulled and looks perfect or just made a glob around the fitting.
 

wilconrad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2012
Messages
508
Reaction score
180
Location
Quad Cities
No, it is a different product. Stay-clean is actually available as a paste also. The form (paste or liquid) doesn't matter, the type (regular plumbing solder vs stay-clean) matters a lot. Go get the right stuff and you'll be amazed at the difference. Tell the guy at the welding supply shop what you're trying to do if you're unsure, and they should be able to set you up.
 

nab911

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2012
Messages
238
Reaction score
17
Location
Atlanta
Stay-clean was the brand of paste I got. Just was not sure if the form was the big difference. I will say that the old paste was white and the new stuff was yellow creamy, almost Vaseline like.
 
OP
M

mcgster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
You would think a city of 100,000 would have one decent welding shop but apparently not. I have called 5 in the city and none of them have ever heard of Stay-Clean or have anything other than plumbers flux
 

nab911

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2012
Messages
238
Reaction score
17
Location
Atlanta
You would think a city of 100,000 would have one decent welding shop but apparently not. I have called 5 in the city and none of them have ever heard of Stay-Clean or have anything other than plumbers flux
I actually found mine at home depot.
 
OP
M

mcgster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
nab911 said:
I actually found mine at home depot.

Can you tell me what the name of the product was. I had called Home Depot and he said they just had benzomatic paste flux but if you had the name it made change things.
 
OP
M

mcgster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
So far this is the only liquid flux I could find. Any idea if this would work it's from a plumbing and electronics store.
 

nab911

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2012
Messages
238
Reaction score
17
Location
Atlanta
Can you tell me what the name of the product was. I had called Home Depot and he said they just had benzomatic paste flux but if you had the name it made change things.
Well you guys have me doubting that it was actually that lol. Its up at my parents house where I was doing all of the solder work. I am going back sat morning to resolder some stuff as well as other work and I'll check and make sure. It was a Solder/Flux/Brush kit that was right under $15.
 
OP
M

mcgster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
snackson said:
Just head over to BrewHardware.com and pick some up, http://www.brewhardware.com/accessories-62/180-silver-solder-kit It's $14.00 for the solder and the flux. I ran out of solder before I did flux. Considering you need more solder as well, just buy the kit from Bobby_M and you can't go wrong.
I need some locally it takes about 7 days to get a package from brewhardware where I am at. I just received one with the triclovers when I ordered he didn't have any kits in.
 

nab911

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2012
Messages
238
Reaction score
17
Location
Atlanta
I need some locally it takes about 7 days to get a package from brewhardware where I am at. I just received one with the triclovers when I ordered he didn't have any kits in.
Yeah, I am in this boat. No amazon prime and Brewhardware was a little slow on shipping. I need to have something available saturday so I am really hoping I am right about what I have.
 
OP
M

mcgster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
I can get this product locally

http://www.bernzomatic.com/item.html?id=71

It may be the same one you have, it has 1 oz of silver solder and the flux says not for plumbing which makes me believe it might be the inorganic acid flux needed for stainless. Anyone have experience with this?

item_image_71.jpg
 

stpug

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2012
Messages
3,821
Reaction score
766
I can get this product locally

http://www.bernzomatic.com/item.html?id=71

It may be the same one you have, it has 1 oz of silver solder and the flux says not for plumbing which makes me believe it might be the inorganic acid flux needed for stainless. Anyone have experience with this?
I would not waste my time with anything but the liquid stay brite flux. The results are what you expect without any headache.

I noticed there's an airgas near Bangor and in Portland. Are either of those close enough to drive? You could call them up first and ensure they have it.
 
OP
M

mcgster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
Sadly No I often go to Bangor but it's a three hour drive. I'll keep trying the welding shops.
 

stpug

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2012
Messages
3,821
Reaction score
766
Praxair in Saint John NB carries Handy & Harmon products. That product line offers a 'Handy TEC Liquid Flux' that's used for silver soldering stainless. You would need to call Praxair to determine if they carry the TEC liquid variety, but I don't know if Saint John is any closer to you or not. Maybe you have a praxair closer to you than saint john. Also, since I've never read reports of folks using H&H TEC flux, I can't "vouch" for it; however, this link below sure seems to indicate that it's very useful in the silver soldering of stainless.

http://www.silfos.com/products/catalog/Handy-TEC-Solder-Flux-orderby0-p-1-c-46.html

https://www.lucasmilhaupt.com/en-US/products/fluxes/handyfluxes/13/
 
OP
M

mcgster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
Actually I called praxair earlier on and they said they carry two different types of Handey & Harmen flux but he was busy at the time and couldn't tell me much about them. I'm going to try and stop by today if I can get out there to see if the ones they have in stock will work
 

wilconrad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2012
Messages
508
Reaction score
180
Location
Quad Cities
FYI, this is what my bottle of this stuff looks like (that I got at Airgas). It worked really well.

StayClean.JPG
 

GotPushrods

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Messages
589
Reaction score
158
Location
Phoenix
I can get this product locally

http://www.bernzomatic.com/item.html?id=71

It may be the same one you have, it has 1 oz of silver solder and the flux says not for plumbing which makes me believe it might be the inorganic acid flux needed for stainless. Anyone have experience with this?
No experience, but I can tell you that most of these "silver bearing" solders are tin and copper with less than 1% silver.

The Harris is 4% and 6% silver for the Stay-Brite and Stay-Brite #8.

This may still work assuming you use the right flux, but these are definitely not the same. The Harris stuff we all love contains no copper, and significantly more silver.
 
OP
M

mcgster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
When i called Praxair the solder they had was almost half silver and cost a fortune. I told him i was looking for 8% and he said the lowest they ever carry is 15%. I seem to be stuck in one extreme or the other!
 

GotPushrods

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Messages
589
Reaction score
158
Location
Phoenix
mcgster said:
When i called Praxair the solder they had was almost half silver and cost a fortune. I told him i was looking for 8% and he said the lowest they ever carry is 15%. I seem to be stuck in one extreme or the other!
Those are brazing alloys, and melt at much higher temps. Even if they weren't so expensive it not what you want. Keep looking for a ~5% silver alloy. Like most of us, you'll probably have to bite the bullet and wait for an online delivery. It's worth it.
 

wilconrad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2012
Messages
508
Reaction score
180
Location
Quad Cities
Slightly off topic, but a reminder is probably in order: the fumes from the fluxes we're discussing here are nasty (i.e. they can cause you serious harm), so pay attention when using them and don't breathe the fumes. Just a heads up in case you hadn't already heard that.
 

stpug

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2012
Messages
3,821
Reaction score
766
You stated in your initial post that you've already gone through a roll of silver solder. Where did you get that from?

Regardless, the key ingredient is the liquid flux intended for silver soldering stainless steel. I read numerous posts in the 'Soldering Stainless Steel' thread from folks who used the stay-clean flux with Home Depot Oatey Silver Solder with great success (BTW, oatey silver solder does not actually have silver in it :eek:). I personally went with Harris Stay Clean and Silvabrite 100 solder. So really, finding a flux that will work for this purpose is the key ingredient, then finding a plumbing-safe "silver" solder is next (oatey, harris, silvaloy).
 
OP
M

mcgster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
FYI Benzomatic solder kit was also a dud :eek:
 
OP
M

mcgster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
So after last nights failure I came across these items on amazon prime

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007BGYQEC/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

This one specifically states it is used for soldering stainless and the reviews mention using it to silver solder stainless stills

For solder this is only 3% silver but it is close to the 4% that bobby recommended and it has to be better than oatley of benzomatic. At five dollars it isn't much of a risk.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003D8O7UA/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
 
Last edited by a moderator:
OP
M

mcgster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
Those two items worked great. The solder drew in very quickly and I sanded it down and put it to the test with a full volume in the keg and it held.

image-4203004470.jpg
 

nab911

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2012
Messages
238
Reaction score
17
Location
Atlanta
The stuff I had was Oatey and it sucked. All of it rolled off. Gave up on the day and ordered the harris. Should be here soon and I will give it a shot again saturday. So it sounds like Acid is the key word here.
 
OP
M

mcgster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
Yes definitely.. actually this stuff rolled off at first and after a three hour round trip across the border this weekend to pick it up i almost heaved the keg out my window. Then i heated it up again (from below) and dropped the flux on with an eye dropper after it reached its temp... then it sucked it in instantly.
 

Latest posts

Top