Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
563 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is a butane torch capable of sufficient flame temperature to solder posts? I was led to believe the answer was yes but I have been finding that the solder left behind on the horn that I need to remove (before re-attaching the post) does not melt with my torch. Is it possible that the old solder on this horn (an early 50's Martin stencil) is of a composition requiring higher melting point temperature than 'modern' soft solder?

This is the torch I have: https://www.hobbytools.com.au/iroda-mini-pro-torch-pt-200/
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
9,423 Posts
I think your torch actually has a higher temp capability than is suitable for soldering on a sax. You could melt silver solder (silver braze) with it. You can probably get away with it by being very careful of not boiling the soft solder. If your Martin stencil has soldered-in tone holes, you have to be extra careful to avoid heating around those.
I'm not a real tech, just a hobbyist as far as sax repair, but I use '95-5' tin/silver solder.
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
20,655 Posts
Is a butane torch capable of sufficient flame temperature to solder posts? I was led to believe the answer was yes but I have been finding that the solder left behind on the horn that I need to remove (before re-attaching the post) does not melt with my torch. Is it possible that the old solder on this horn (an early 50's Martin stencil) is of a composition requiring higher melting point temperature than 'modern' soft solder?

This is the torch I have: https://www.hobbytools.com.au/iroda-mini-pro-torch-pt-200/
This is the sort of torch which MusicMedic used to supply with their starter kit, it should work OK.

However- no - one cannot melt silver solder with a torch like that. Silver soldering requires a high-temp flame, and quite concentrated tip of flame. But you are using soft solder here.

The mistake most folks make is they let up on the heating as soon as the solder begins to flow. You should keep the torch there a bit and move the flame tip around the seam you are soldering.

Also, provide ample flux. Solder will not flow where you want it to without flux. The flux creates the path for the solder to flow. The solder 'follows' the flux, so to speak.
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
20,655 Posts
OK so basically the 'old footprint' of the existing solder is still on the body ? You should be able to heat it to liquid then wipe it off with a cloth. The wipe may move little pieces of the solder onto the body (sorta like when you wipe up a spill, there's a trail of the spill behind the wipe) but once those little 'wakes' cool you can just flick them off with your fingernail, IOW you will not have top then heat up those little pieces of the trailing wake...

The other option is, if you have a dremel, get a silicone polishing wheel (coarse) and carefully grind off the solder 'til you see bare brass.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
4,358 Posts
When removing the old solder "footprint" I add a touch of flux to the surface like JayeLID mentioned and then heat the spot with my Blazer ES-1000 butane torch. When the solder begins to melt, I quickly wipe the excess using a fluffy "neck saver" or a terry cloth rag. This leaves a shiny "tinned" area that will accept the new solder. On a silver plated instrument the surrounding area needs to be protected so the solder doesn't get "wiped" to where you don't want it to go. Coloring around that area using a Sharpie marker will keep the solder from adhering, and can easily be cleaned with alcohol on a cloth. On lacquered instrument this is generally not a concern since solder doesn't adhere to a lacquered surface.

Most of my post and guard feet soldering is done using Tix solder which has its own flux. It has a lower melting temperature and comes in very narrow "sticks". It has a stronger bond than regular solder, but the downside is that it is a lot more expensive than regular solder. The bulk of my "silver soldering" is done using a Map and oxygen torch. However, I have actually used my Blazer butane torch on occasion to silver solder when attaching very small key parts and using Rio Grande Extra Easy 22 gauge solder wire with a melting temperature of 1,145°F (618°C). With this set up it does take quite a while to bring the parts up to this temperature, but eventually they get there. For the "small stuff" a plumber's propane torch would be more practical.
 

· Distinguished SOTW member, musician, technician &
Joined
·
5,208 Posts
As JayeLID says, you can heat and wipe, but...

If you mean you can wipe most of it off, but no matter what, it looks like a thin layer remains there... that's because this is what happens. Usually a very very thin layer pretty much embeds into the the brass, and you can't wipe it off completely. It is usually ok to leave it, with some exceptions. To remove that tiny layer you'd have to mechanically do it (e.g. polish it off).

If you mean you heat the solder and it doesn't move, remains in a sort of "blob", then it's possible it is melting, but is covered by some kind of corrosion/oxidation layer so you have to touch it to see that it's actually soft. Try wiping it with a several layers of cloth (be careful not to touch it obviously) and see if that works.

Re the torch, it should be ok for soft soldering except for some larger parts maybe. It's very unlikely that it's not enough to remove solder off a body or post after it's off, which is usually easier on the torch than removing or attaching the post. The heat of the torch itself is more than hot enough even for brazing, but it can't heat most parts fast enough for that (even a regular lighter flame is hotter than brazing temp). Maybe you are worried about burning the lacquer and not pointing the torch to the correct direction or give it enough time to melt the solder?
 

· Finally Distinguished
Tenor, alto, Bb Clarinet, Flute
Joined
·
3,714 Posts
The thing about soldering is, if you don't like the result, take it off, clean it and try again. I've don't a lot of electronics and plumbing soldering. Get a little moisture in a copper pipe and you may have to do it four or five times before you get it right. Of course, looks aren't important with plumbing. With electronics it's almost everything.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top