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Author Topic: Soldering white metal  (Read 1711 times)

Dave Leishman

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Soldering white metal
« on: May 17, 2006, 09:02:41 PM »

I'm building Model Slipways 'Maggie M' at the moment and am fast approaching the point where I'm going to be making up the guardrails. The kit has white metal stanchions and brass rails.

I've only ever dealt with brass stanchions/brass rails in the past and was wondering if anyone has tried soldering white metal to brass? I'd prefer not to use any form of adhesive if I can help it.

I know it can be done (I've read a lot around the internet - especially from model railway sites, where a lot of their rolling stock kits are white metal), and I think I understand the technique, but the variable temperature solder stations all seem to be really expensive, and I haven't seen a soldering iron that only heats up to, say, 80 or 100 degrees.

The more expensive variable temperature stations seem to be those that start at 65 degrees, while the mid-range (price-wise) ones start at around 150-160 degrees.

Does anyone know what melting temperature the typical white metal is from the average model boat kit? I know white metal will melt at different temperatures according to the alloy mix, but I'm guessing (maybe wrongly!) most kits will use a similar composition.
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White Ensign

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Re: Soldering white metal
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2006, 10:24:28 PM »

Hi Dave,
lots of guessings in your questions....- let`s have a try to sort it out anyway. There is no "usual" White-metal in the used kits. You can calculate a melting temperature between 100 and 160 Degrees. Soldering is no problem, but you need to have a temperature-control anyway. Though I just can give you the tip to head for a temperature-controled soldering station (second-hand bought or on loan, if you don`t want to spend the money). A very appropriate soldering agent can be found easily, but you need to have an idea what the melting tempreature of your added white-metal fittings are. If you take a temperature-controled station go for the smallest temperature (i.e. 80 degrees Celsius) and have some tries on a piece of fitting you don`t need. Go up in 10 degrees steps until you find the white-metal starts to melt. Then you`ve got your maximum temperature. And you can have a look for the thin.
Probably not the kind of answer you want to hear, but in my opinion the best way.
Hope this was out of any help,
J?rg
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Dave Leishman

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Re: Soldering white metal
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2006, 10:39:05 PM »

Very helpful - thanks J?rg!
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White Ensign

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Re: Soldering white metal
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2006, 07:19:36 AM »

No problem Dave, that`s what we are here for!? :D

J?rg
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flag-d

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Re: Soldering white metal
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2006, 11:13:56 PM »

 :-[Do not use a blow torch, not even a little one, not even one of those tiny little ones.  I did...once! :-[

Mike
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