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soldering guards on a knife how do you do it?


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  • 1 month later...

I make wot I consider to be a lot of knives. I solder the guards on almost all of them. I do not solder a guard on a pattern welded blade as lthe solder runs up into the etched surface. I make carbon steel and stainless, I use mostly 416 ss for guards but also use some nickel silver and have done a few with brass. All of them solldered the same way with the same solder and flux. I use the plumbers solder about a sixteenth inch thick and it is is lead free. I iuse the liquid flux tthat comes with it.. Most hardware or big box stores and knife making suppliers carry it. It melts at 430f. If you heat the whole blade up to that temp it may change the temper on the blade. I use a hand help propane torch and use a mapp gas bottle on i t4. I want to localize the heat around the guard and not up into the blade like may happen wiht lower heat. I heat from below. and now and then apply7 flux with a flux brush. If youi see the flux darken like the egg whitees do aroung the edges youi are getting too hot..The flux will darken just a bit and then apply some solder,,,keep the flame off of the solder, the metal should melt it..If the solder does not run arouind all the are3s youi want it to, apply more flux and move the solder with the brush a bit. You can move it a little with a small steel or brass rod sharpened to a blunt tip, heat the tip and push the moleeten solder with it. Problems when I started out were from overheating everything,,real dark flux shows that but I took a while to figure that out.

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This thread raised my blood pressure a little bit: The person posing this questions seemed to want some help as he expressed he had failed at trying this. In spite of the fact that he or she was new and had only posted twice others and myself took time to give ideas that may have been of value. I gave up things that took me a lot of time to learn and spent the time on this as I thought that it would be of some help. They have not been back that I can tell. If it is worth posting a question asking for help it seems like it would not be a bother to at least indicate they have read the answers. Wheeew feels better now that I have vented. The other side of this is that perhaps others will pick up some info here that will be of value.

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Rich thank you for your tip and sharing your experience. I just finished Mr. Hrisoulas's first book and have only epoxied guards before. your advice was just the thing I needed to push into a superior tech.

Back to lurking ...... thanks again Walt

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have tried to solder low fuming brass to steel with lead free (the cheap lead free my own fault) and regular plumbers flux, with NO success. In researching I now know I need to find non petroleum based zinc chloride flux, and be a little gentler on the heat.

I can sweat copper all day long, I'm not a plumber, but I have learned redoing several houses. But brass to steel, just not happening.

Rich thanks for sharing, it makes me feel a little better that I took a while to figure it out as well.
Cliff

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  • 3 years later...

Thank you, Rich!   Even though the person posting the original question hasn't responded, there are many of us out here who do read and appreciate your answers and experience. I haven't tried soldering a guard on yet. I am working on a small dagger. I think I may try this out.

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I have a question: Has anyone tried the alloy used by air-conditioning service techs to solder coolant lines?    Did it do a satisfactory Job? Did you have problems controlling the heat required?  Would it be better on Large or Smaller blades?

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Here is my way. Get a tight fit. Square the guard to the knife. Use a clamp of some kind to hold it in place. there are several made to do the job. Paint a little flux on the joint, holding the knife with point up so flux doesn't run down the blade. Put the tang with the point up in a vise and put a couple snippets of solder around the joint line. 2 1/8 inch long snippets usually work. I use stay brite solder and flux. Start applying heat from underneath as the flux starts to bubble hit the top with a little heat as the solder melts make sure it is connected to the knife steel and the guard. Take your sharpened wire and run it along the joint, the solder will follow along and cover the joint. Don't just pour on the heat, paint it on as needed like using a brush. should have a heat sink or wet towel about an inch above the guard.

Just enough heat to do the job works best . Most problems come from to much heat.

I use a propane torch with a auto ligh tip pretty small but works fine

Take Care TJ

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  • 1 year later...

This is a great topic.

I was searching the web to see if anyone has experience with welding a guard onto a full tang knife prior to heat treatment, but this seems to be the preferred method. I would think welding a steel guard on, grinding down excess, and then heat treating would work as well, as long as your welds do not cause any warpage in the blade. I'll have to test this method first before I roll out my welder. Thanks for the great thread, you can learn so much if you just take some time to read.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 month later...

Thanks for all the information provided here! I finally committed to making my first sword from a coil spring. Long story short I spent several hours filing my crossguard piece to fit and where the tang and blade meet it was around .020 thinner from the forging process and my 1x30 isnt that great at getting everything square. Anyway there is a just a little slop in the guard piece. Not much but still a pretty big bummer. Glad to find out soldering the joint is acceptable and seemingly fairly common!

20190102_212410.jpg

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  • 1 year later...

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