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Old 02-15-2011, 07:00 AM
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silverbear silverbear is offline
The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: northeastern Minnesota
Posts: 8,131
Default Re: Tinsmith's in frame gas tank for cantilever Schwinn.

The photos below show Dan heating up the brass bung with a large electric iron... 250 watts worth big. It is the electric one in the last photo where an array of the old copper irons are laid out. "Big Bertha" is needed for heating up the brass more quickly than the smaller 100 watt iron he has used in soldering the seams of the tank together. He has to heat the solder through the bung since there is no room to maneuver with the iron. (please note that the bung could be added to the top piece before joining the sides to it) If I remember correctly Dan used acid core solder for this little operation. It could be done with liquid flux, but I believe Dan was trying to control the flux so it did not flow out around the bung and mess up the outside surface with flux and solder where he does not want it (cosmetics). With the bung solidly connected to the tank, Dan flips it over, gives it a careful border of liquid flux with the small paint brush and runs a bead of solder around the bung to make it look nicely finished. Note that he is back to using the smaller hundred watt iron for this step.

A word about the copper irons. Some of these pictured have removable tips and some do not. Some have been filed to a different shape for a particular job. They come in different sizes, so will hold heat for different lengths of time. Roofers used to use these for the copper flashing and had a pot of some sort for heating the irons with one or two being heated while another was in use. Plumbers also used them for joining copper pipe together. The plumbers pots I have seen are heated with propane. I'm planning to make a small one to use with a propane torch for my own use in making gas tanks. The copper irons can often be found at auctions for a couple bucks each and will work just as well as electric ones. Cleaning the tip and tinning it with sal amoniac and solder is the same. I used copper irons years ago in making leaded stained glass windows when I lived in a Mandan earth lodge with no electricity. I heated my irons at the open door of my wood stove. Heat is heat. Not so very long ago copper irons were the only ones used. Just so you know...

Coming up... joining the bottom section with petcock and mounting nuts to the tank... nearly done!
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Someday when I grow up I will probably lose interest in toys with wheels, but until then...
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