Brass square tubing and other brass pieces are popular because of their malleability, durability, and beauty. Despite all this, there are still instances where brass can get damaged, cracked, and sometimes even break off entirely. When this happens, some make the mistake of immediately replacing and ditching the damaged piece and just throw out the damaged pieces. The truth is that there’s still a way to have those metal pieces soldered together. Here’s a quick guide to soldering brass.
Step 1: Materials
Soldering is largely about getting all the right tools and having a good workspace. Gather the following materials:
- Soldering torch
- Preferred solder and flux brand
- Fire bricks
- Metal file
- Broken brass pieces
- Sanding pad
- Alcohol swab
Step 2: Preparation
Find a clean space where you can solder safely. Remove anything flammable from the area and choose a spot that is well ventilated. A small fan will also help in blowing away the fumes. You can also create a small but safe space for soldering using fire-resistant bricks to contain the heat from your blow torch.
Step 3: Cleaning
The cleaner the brass parts, the better the soldering results become. File down the parts that need soldering using sand paper or something similar. Be sure to remove the lacquer layer or the solder will not stick. After filing, wipe the surface with alcohol to move all oils and fine particles.
Step 4: Applying Flux and Solder
The flux is a clear liquid that goes with the solder to create a stronger bond. The solder is usually a round wire which makes it harder to stick and stay in place. However, pounding the material flat will help it stay flat. Add a drop of flux to the solder. Do not let the flux touch your tools because it is very corrosive.
Step 5: Heat
Reinforce the bond using the torch. Apply equal heat on both sides to seal the pieces together. Move the flame continuously to allow the heat to spread all over the brass piece. Pay close attention to avoid overheating.
Step 6: Cooling and Clean
Allow the newly soldered pieces to cool so that they set properly before cleaning it. Dry and clean off excess solder and residual flux. If you were very careful there shouldn’t be too much excess to deal with.
Practice, Practice, Practice
It won’t be easy to solder brass at first, but with time and practice you will slowly master the technique and repair broken pieces like a pro.
A Quick Guide to Soldering Brass, DavidNeat.Wordpress.com
Working with Brass, Part 3 – Soldering Brass – Dug’s Tips 15, Cabaret.co.uk