Aaron Gouge

Need help with brazing torch

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Hey all, 

    I am looking into making a scabbard for a Scottish Dirk I am working on. I will need to make the chape and fitting at the top of the scabbard. Not sure yet if I will use copper or brass. Anyways I am totally new to sodering and brazing.   My understanding is  that these are tequnics that runs somewhat parallel but brazing requires higher heat. My understanding is for greater strength these components on the scabbard should be brazed. I currently do not have any kind of torch. As I continue to process this whole scabbard  build my question is what kind of torch? I have read quite a bit onlin on different set ups but would like some input from forum. I have looked at the ORCA EZ Torch, Victor Turbotorch STK-11, or a Bernzomatic TS8000. I appreciate your thoughts on wether the TS8000 is adiquet or if one of the other two are going to be the way to go. 

 Thanks

   Aaron

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We would hard solder chapes and throats.  A local community college jewelry making course is EXCELLENT training for doing such work.

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You also have a shop, equipment and expert help. College extension courses are less expensive per semester than my oxy propane torch set and I bought that a good 30 years ago. Best  of all you come away with skills and new friends.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Tomas and Frosty, 

 Unfortunately taking a jewelers course at a community college is not an option right now. Thomas when you say you use a hard solder are you using a Silver solder? Do you have a preferred brand?  How about a hard brass solder? 

     Aaron 

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The college should also have a lot of the associated tools, equipment and materials that will allow you to form, clean and polish the chape and throat for your project.  You will likely want to anneal your stock before and during forming, need special stakes, want to pickle your work and possibly want to "age" it with a patina.  The last two are best done in a fume hood (or with a lot of ventilation).

I believe that they are referring to jeweler's silver solder.  This is available in a pretty wide variety of melting temperatures.  Since chapes and throats aren't necessarily structural elements, you can likely get by with the "softer" (softer being lower melting temperature) versions of this solder, depending on how many joints you need to make per piece.  Typically the process is to start with the "harder" solder for the first joint on a piece, then progress to softer solder as you add elements so the earlier joint will not fail.  The further separated the melting points on each, the easier it is not to melt the first joint while making the second.  Rio Grande is a good online source for jewelry supplies if you don't have anything local.

Depending on which jewelers solder you pick, material thickness, and technique, I believe that you can likely get away with using standard propane torches and inexpensive micro-torches to make your joints.  Note that the better and cleaner your mechanical fit is before you attempt to solder the better your final product will look.  I suggest you do some practice on samples of the same material before you try to solder your final pieces.

I am not familiar with hard brass solder.

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We were generally working with nickel silver and use the jeweler's hard solders: soft, intermediate, hard.  I've used stay-brite for items not as critical as parts for multi-thousand dollar blades.  Getting the right flux is important too and you do know that some brass alloys are very difficult to work with---like some of the bearing brasses and leaded brasses.

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Thank you Latt for your post. A jewelers class would be great but just not a option at this point. I will look at the Rio Grande silver solder. I may just try to buy either a ORCA EZ Torch or Victor Turbotorch STK-11. It seem jewelers use them and they seem far better than just a plumbers torch.

   I have seen pictures of chapes that were made from tow pieces of brass that were butted together than soldered as well as chapes that were wrapped around a mold and soldered in back at a lap joint. Some insight on what would be a better or easier technique would be helpful. 

    Aaron 

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Unfortunately I have limited experience with hollow form work, so can not give you good advice.  Generally speaking the less stress you put on a solder joint after it is made the better.  So firm before soldering if at all possible.  Also edge to edge joints with sheet material are more difficult than lap joints.

That being said, if I were making a throat I would probably wrap a cylinder the correct size  and solder it with the harder solder (or deform a piece of pipe if I could get the right size) then solder perpendicularly to a piece of sheet with softer solder and cut/file/sand the perimeter joint and throat opening.  For the chape I would fully anneal my sheet material and cut it oversized to a form I predetermined from wrapping the base of the scabbard in some other material as a test.  I would make one solder joint seam at the "back" of the scabbard.  I think Jim Hrisoulas (JPH) has guidelines in his first book for this, but would have to check in my copy at home.

Good luck.

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"form", not "firm"...

Checked Jim's book and he does have a nice description on making a sheath with what he calls a chape and locket.  I think it is just what you are looking for.  Suggest you get a copy and review that section.

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Latt,

     Thanks for passing on the info about the book. I will look into it. Deforming a piece of pipe is a good idea, well see. I am probably several weeks to a month out before I start on the scabbard. Just trying to come up with a game plan. 

    Thank you all. I will post some pics when I get to that stage. 

   Aaron. 

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