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Solder melted into the metal


#1

Howdy all, I finally got the ole studio set up and rolling. After
listening to numerous safety tips by Orchidians, (than you so much!)
we installed a little “doggie door” in the wall of my studio–so the
new oxy-propane rig and the old prestolite (for silver) cold be
safely used, then removed.

A neighbor rigged a tin structure on the side of the wall to house
the oxy-propane, and the old prestolite sat next to it partially
sheltered in a trash can.

Today, was just one of those days. The tin structure fell off the
wall as I was hooking up the hoses-- it fell and knocked the
Prestolite over–mashing the regulator screw into its socket. I
presume that is trashed and will now need replacing.

So I had to use the oxy-propane for an argentium ring. The argentium
ring is a prototype for two 18k gold “overlay”, rings I will be
making later this week.

Things did not go well even after the tin structure fell and trashed
the old Prestolite.

To set up the soldering for the overlay, I partially melted bits of
hard argentium solder onto the thicker piece. Everything was squeeky
clean, fluxed with prips and (later when it didn’t take, I added
denatured alcohol. Both layers were cleaned in the ionic cleaner,
then in alcohol as well.

Never did the solder flow as I recall solder flowing in the old
days-- The metal got very red and the solder kind of dissipated–
but not with a nice flow.

There were obvious gaps between the layers where the solder was not
flowing. After rounding the ring out, I tried to close those very
tiny gaps with medium solder which I was using for the main joint as
well. The solder melted, but seemed to disappear into the metal???

Was my new torch too hot? Is it the solder? The metal? Wrong flux?

In a few days I will be doing the same design in gold on a strict
deadline and this absolutely cannot happen!

Any words of wisdom?

Thanks & Cheers!
Carol
Austin, TX


#2
Today, was just one of those days. The tin structure fell off the
wall as I was hooking up the hoses-- it fell and knocked the
Prestolite over--mashing the regulator screw into its socket. I
presume that is trashed and will now need replacing. 

The regulator should be taken to a qualified welding supply shop,
who can assess whether it needs to be replaced, or whether it can be
simply serviced.

But your post suggests that you might have “ducked the bullet” here,
in knocking over that tank instead of another, in particular, the
oxygen tank. What you did was damage a tank that gets held at
relatively low pressures. The situation could have been worse had
you, for example, done this to a high pressure oxygen tank. There,
the high pressures in the tank can literally cause a damaged
regulator to explode, shooting that screw out of the regulator. Or
worse, if the fall damages not the regulator, but the actual neck of
the tank, you can end up creating an instant high power rocket motor,
capable of doing a great deal of damage. So if your accident only
damaged a regulator and nothing else, you’re relatively OK.

And the point of that explanation is that the root cause of your
damage, and which could lead to worse if not corrected, is that you
had a tank capable of being knocked over. That’s a no-no. Please
secure your tanks so that they cannot be knocked over by accident.
You can build a holder of some sort, or use a tank cart that will
hold them, or simply chain them to a solid upright beam so it’s held
securely. Of the various tanks, this is most important with the high
pressure tanks, such as oxygen. But any vertical tanks that could be
prone to tipping and being damaged, including your acetylene, should
be secured for safety. Even when stored out of doors.

Peter