Will W.

Having problems soldering guards

11 posts in this topic

First, I've been asking a lot of questions lately. Not trying to be annoying (and I hope I do not come off that way!) I just know that I have discovered something here that I love with a passion, and I truly appreciate the knowledge that is distributed here.

Second, I have read everything I can get my hands on regarding soldering on guards. I would not ask without checking. Even after reading a lot of this info, I'm still having trouble with it. The blade I'm working on is a tanto, essentially, and I wanted to put a small guard on it. I've only ever done one guard before, and I MIG welded it, and i think it turned out awful, you could see the small spots of incomplete fusion, and the lines of the edges of the weld after grinding. So, I tried practice soldering a few pieces today. Just two pieces of mild (though the actual blade is 5160) with plumbers 95/5 solder, and the rosin flux typically used with it, propane torch as heat. I slotted the on piece to fit around d the other, simulating a guard. The fit was pretty tight. The actual soldering went great, but there was no structure. I could tap it with a hammer, and it broke right off immediately (after it cooled, or course.) I applied the heat from the underside, like where the tang would be, and used just enough heat to get it done. Any idea why it was so weak? Was it the solder I used possibly? Is there a better solder to use for the situation? Thanks in advance. 

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Have you tried putting something behind the practice guard to simulate a handle. If you did that and it still came right off I'd be worried but if you didn't have a handle (which is the way it reads) there's not much supporting the guard other than the solder. 

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Actually no, I did not try that. Overlooked that little detail. I'll give that a try next time I'm in the shop. Thanks for the reply. 

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I don't do much soldering anymore, if my fit is tight enough I do a solderless press fit with JB weld as a sealer.  The shoulders keep the guard from going forward, the handle keeps it from going back, the solder or JB weld keeps out moister.  Done rite, both have plenty of strength without a handle and should not just tap loose.

First, lose the plumber's solder and get something like Stay Bright silver solder.  You can solder with lead/tin, but it'll grey out and doesn't like higher alloy steels, especially stainless, and you need a stronger flux.  Next, make your joint as tight as possible with a little room at the back, and surgically clean and bright.  Sounds like your heating correctly, the way I do it is to clamp the blade sideways and heat from the back side of the guard with a strip of solder on the front side.  I take a strip of solder, about 1/32" diameter, lightly run it through some 220 or 320 sandpaper to take any oxides off, bend into a U shape and fit as close to the joint as I can.  Wet with liquid flux, it comes with the kit, and heat till the solder flows.  Don't over heat.  After all is said and done and I've scraped the guard close with a brass chisel and clean up a bit I boil in a can of water with baking soda to kill any flux residue.  If you don't you could have trapped flux and it'll weep out and cause rust spots in the future.  After that I finish everything up.

The aggravation of going back over a blade and solder joint to finish and having to neutralize acid flux is one reason I've went to solderless guards.  The only one I don't do it on is the Loveless style full tang guard that fits into a notch on one side and is open at the top, I haven't been able to get as close a fit as I want for solderless yet.

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I assume that you know that the guard on a real tanto is held buy the hilt

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and the habaki !

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and fuchi and seppa if we want to get technical

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If you make a 3 line 17 syllable poem about hilting parts of a japanese blade would it be seppaku ?

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1 hour ago, ThomasPowers said:

If you make a 3 line 17 syllable poem about hilting parts of a japanese blade would it be seppaku ?

Seppa, habaki,
Tsuba, fuchi, mekugi,
Ito, kashira.
 

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E I, E I, O

Quote

 

 

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On 1/31/2017 at 4:59 PM, ThomasPowers said:

E I, E I, O

 

E I, E I, O-1

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