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Hi --

I want to add a neck strap hook to a vintage Soprano sax that I am overhauling right now. Will standard tin/lead soft solders do the job or do I need to silver-solder it to get the required strength? (I got a butane torch)

Thanks!
 

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Standard tin/lead should be fine. Don't use anything with a flux core.

I should add, I'm assuming you have a neckstrap ring from a replacement parts supplier or from a parts horn. The ring usually will already be mounted (silver-soldered) on a wide flange base (round, oval, or diamond-shaped).

Just a wire hook or ring alone with no flange will not provide enough surface area for the solder to withstand the weight of the horn if hanging from a neckstrap.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's good news -- in that case I might torch less lacquer on the horn :D
 

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Standard 63/37 lead solder should work fine. However in our shop, we have almost eliminated the use of 63/37lead solder for the 96/4 tin/silver solder (not to be confused with silver/brazing solder) as the 96/4 is 4X the strength and almost the same melting point. It also mixes well with the older lead solders if need be. fwiw..
 

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Jerry do you also use the 94/6 tin/silver solder? I have both and being the not expert on soldering that I am, maybe you can say when you like to use which.
 

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Some lacquers are super-sensitive to heat.

Although I like the 96/4 solder, I think Jerry exaggerates a little.

The tensile strength of 63/37 is 6700 PSI
See: http://www.alchemycastings.com/lead-products/solder.htm

The tensile strength of 96/4 is 14000 PSI, around twice that of the lead solder.
See: http://www.krausmusic.com/solderin/solders.htm

Nevertheless, where strength is sought, there is a decided advantage.

The flow temperature of 65/37 is 361 degrees F.
The flow temp of 96/4 is 430 F.

To me, that is significantly higher, in the situations where the lacquer is of a type that has a high risk of burning.

An advantage of the 96/4 is that it is far more resistant to corrosion than the lead solder, so it retains a bright, silvery appearance, which is a cosmetic advantage on silver plated instruments.

I know that an expert has said that mixing these two is quite OK. However in the absence of my own serious testing, I am just a little sceptical. Certain brands of flute, especially Hernals, have had a problem of the post rib near the D key peeling up. I found that when I used 95/5 (very similar to 96/4) the result SEEMED to be quite brittle and unreliable. Perhaps it had something to do with the original solder the manufacturer used. Perhaps it had something to do with the seemingly extra high nickel content in the bodies of those flutes. In these cases, I eventually had more success using 63/37. One of those mysteries of the world.
 

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Thanks for the correction Gordon. Short of silver/brazing solder, the tin/silver is the strongest, but by only 2X, not 4X. My bad! :D

fwiw - When soldering on saxophones, if possible, I prefer to heat from the inside of the bore so that the flame is not directed onto the finish. It also reduces any discoloration of lacquer if there is flux present.
 

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"The flow temp of 94/6 is 430 F."


I think you are talking about 96/4 it melts and flows at 430.

94/6 flows at 535.

50/50 flows at 421 so not much difference and 96/4 is 2x stronger.

I use 96/4 to solder everything. Staying away from lead is a good thing. Soldered for 25 years with 50/50 and now don't use it at all.

Carl
 

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axetech said:
"The flow temp of 94/6 is 430 F."


I think you are talking about 96/4 it melts and flows at 430....
Thanks for the correction, Carl. I've corrected my typo to save confusion.

"50/50 flows at 421 so not much difference...."

I don't think may people would be considering 50/50 where lacquer is involved, because of that higher flow temp.
 

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I think most manufactures still use 50/50. I think because it is tradition and cheap?
Someday they will have to change. After breathing lead for so many years I'm sure I've lost many brain cells from it, At least that's what I'm told.
I will not subject my Son's to the bad things I've been told to use. Thank God we are being smarter and more informed these days.

Carl
 

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Before this thread gets too scary...

My memory was just as bad decades ago, BEFORE I started breathing in leaded car exhaust.

Lead at room temp evaporates very, very slowly. And there is very little solder open to the air on a sax. Nor does the player make much skin contact with the solder. So I doubt a player would absorb a significant from using a sax with lead-soldered parts.

On the other hand, a technician doing a LOT of soldering, in an unventilated room, is dealing with higher temp lead, and may well be subject to more vapours.
 
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