Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rackufacture: First Brazed Joint

Whoa, I have to start off by saying that the the new and improved (?) blogger post editor is a mess. Or maybe I'm the mess. Whatever, I can't make any sense of it. I'm back to the old, even with all its drawbacks. (And now I'm previewing this post and it looks all messed up cause I forgot to center the pics, so I have no idea how it will look. You guys are smart enough to figure out what I'm trying to show/say. Sorry, I'll get this figured out another night. Damn blogger.)

But anyway, that's all beside the point. Tonight was about liquifying some brass. And even though I had a work-related conference call that wiped out my evening, I was determined to braze. I finally got to hit the shop at around ten.

Last thing I had to do before I could actually go to work brazing was to make a little arbor for holding shop cloth to buff the inside of tubes. Nothing new here, I'm totally copying this from Alex. I thought I could shortcut this by cutting the notch with a cutoff wheel in a peanut grinder, but it didn't work out so I went back to the slow-mo hacksaw method. It's not pretty, but I just need it to work.

I cut and prepped enough tube sections to do two joints. Again, not real pretty, but I needed to get into the brazing so I can start figuring out my equipment and technique and go after some feedback.

I'm using an oxy-acetylene setup that I've had for a long time. I've done a lot of cutting and welding with it, but never any brazing. I'm thinking I probably don't have a small enough tip - this small diameter tubing is pretty delicate and a little heat goes a long way.

But I managed to braze a coupla joints. The first one actually looks a little better, because the brass really started to run on me on the second one. My sense is that I got things too hot, but I'm kind of flying blind here. If any of you guys out there know your brazing shit and can offer advice based on what you can see in the pics, it would be very welcome.

My whole deal tonight was do some joints and then rip and cut 'em apart to see how strong they are, because I'm really curious and I think it's important to get a sense for the strength of the joints if you're going to start putting stuff together that's supposed to hold up when you hit a bump going downhill at 40 mph. But I'm holding off on that for now because I want someone I know to look at them and tell me what he thinks. After that, I'll beat the krap out of them and let you know what I find out.


Jason Gilman said...

Looks like you're off to a good start on your brazing adventures Pat! This is something I hope to do myself someday, so by all means keep the reports coming.

FBC Spokane said...

Looking good Pat. Now you can build another shop for powder coating.

Pat S said...

Jason, stay tuned for more stumblind and bumbling.

Jeff, don't think I haven't thought about it. (wow, that's a weird sentence)