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Solder for Habaki


Burchtree

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Has anyone else had good luck with plain borax and water? I had a devil of a time with flux some time back and have had great luck using plain old borax made into a paste with water and applied before heating the workpiece. It seemed to work with just about any and all solders or braze rod that I tried.

 

Brian

"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

 

"The innovator is not an opponent of the old. He is a proponent of the new."

- Lyle E. Schaller

 

http://home.mchsi.com/~hermits/BrianRVanSp..._Edged_Art.html

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Spencer, is this the stuff you are using? http://www.taracorp.com/products_premier1.php

 

'Cause this stuff is low temp. solder and you'll have to use the low temp flux that is sold for plumbers and such to get this stuff to stick. If your workpiece is copper and it is red hot it's *way* too hot for this solder. This stuff melts at like 410f or something.

 

If you follow the jist of this sticky about brazing habaki you'll find the vastest majority of makers don't recommend using soft solder. And this stuff is the softest of the soft.... :unsure:

 

Brian

"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

 

"The innovator is not an opponent of the old. He is a proponent of the new."

- Lyle E. Schaller

 

http://home.mchsi.com/~hermits/BrianRVanSp..._Edged_Art.html

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Borax has been used as a hard solder flux for years. at one time you ordered a cone shapped block of borax and a dished piece of slate. you added a little water to the dished slate and rubbed the borax cone onto it until you got the the flux looking right for the project. most welding supply stores carry a white paste flux for brazing,but you should stay away from the black that contains flourites unless you have very good ventilation.

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Nope, Im using a "medium" silver solder wire. It says it flows at around 1300F, I have soft solder as well but I'm not using that for this. The flux I currently have is a paste made by that company, you guys got me looking for a new flux though. So far I've had no luck in finding any places near me that sell any flux that isn't that stuff.

 

So how do I apply the flux exactly when I find some good stuff? Do I just cover the machigane with it, or dip a warmed portion of the solder into the flux and go from there?

 

Thanks for all the help so far.

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I dip the machigane in the flux paste and stick it in the habaki. Then get a piece of the brazing rod cut to size and dipped in the flux too. Then lay the fluxed brazing rod on top of the machigane. Then heat the habaki from the mune side like Brian had pointed up before. Keep the flame on the outside of the habaki and don't allow it to get inside. Then watch for the point when the brazing rod melts. Doing it this way you don't have to worry about figuring out the time when the metal is ready to be brazed but it adds some guessing as to the amount of brazing material to use so that you don't use too much and create a diffcult joint to clean up later. Using files to clean this kind of brazing material seems quite a job since it is harder the the copper itself.

Enjoy life!

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Do what Jesus said when you find some flux. Or go to the grocery store and buy some 20 Mule Team Borax and make some flux by mixing with a little water to make a paste. :)

 

And I'd practice on some scrap just to get the hang of how it all flows and sticks and all that. Some find soldering/brazing to be intuitive to some degree. It didn't find it to be at first but have about 30 years of experience soldering all kinds of stuff like circuit boards and wire so brazing is just a higher temp version of that process. But if you haven't soldered stuff like a habaki or worked with sheet metal or such the learning curve can be a little steep at first.

 

Sounds like you have the right solder. Now all you gotta do is get the flux and a little heat and yer cookin'! B)

 

Brian

"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

 

"The innovator is not an opponent of the old. He is a proponent of the new."

- Lyle E. Schaller

 

http://home.mchsi.com/~hermits/BrianRVanSp..._Edged_Art.html

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@ Jesus and Brian,

 

Those sound like some really good ideas! I just purchased some flux off of ebay thats supposed to be good for this kind of brazing so I'll be letting you guys know how it goes in a few days.

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  • 1 year later...

I have been listening to this thread with a great deal of interest ! I don't know anyone ,who hasn't at one time or another trouble with the darn thing they call a Habaki !. They were intended by japanese smiths and metalworkers to bend and give and yes break in order to protect blade . This is well documented in old writings .If you look at pictures of old museum blades most have cracked or broken habakis. the habaki also holds the blade steady.A habaki can break and the sword will stay together as long as mekugi pin is intact. In our quest to make the Indesructable habaki we may be defeating the purpose for which it was intened. This is my personal observation based on reading some old japanese writings on forging techniques. However there is nothing wrong with a big strong habaki . I tend to agree with Christopher on using solder paste ." Solder Fast"available from Rio Grande , WWW.riogrande.com has a very good paste it has a tensile strength of 10,000-25,000 PSI. The copper paste has tensile at 10,000 psi. A ten ounce jar is 33.00$ They also kave some for copper and zinc. a very strong material .and a breeze to use. this is a snap if you are beginning to solder .It flows at 435 Degrees . The little syringes are ideal for putting it right where you need it , insead of filling habaki up , so you have to file it out ,what a pain. Any way just my thoughts on the subject respectfully ............... Bubba

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Do what Jesus said when you find some flux. Or go to the grocery store and buy some 20 Mule Team Borax and make some flux by mixing with a little water to make a paste. :)

 

And I'd practice on some scrap just to get the hang of how it all flows and sticks and all that. Some find soldering/brazing to be intuitive to some degree. It didn't find it to be at first but have about 30 years of experience soldering all kinds of stuff like circuit boards and wire so brazing is just a higher temp version of that process. But if you haven't soldered stuff like a habaki or worked with sheet metal or such the learning curve can be a little steep at first.

 

Sounds like you have the right solder. Now all you gotta do is get the flux and a little heat and yer cookin'! B)

 

Brian

Just one more thing you might add- make sure your metal surfaces are clean. Just as good advice in soldering as forge-welding. Flux is not a substitute for clean surfaces.

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  • 7 months later...

I've done a couple habaki with lead free flux core plumber's or electrical solder and a butane torch. It 'works' and its easy, but its a really weak joint.

I think silver solder is good for joints like this. It works best when the joints are very tight and clean, as it flows easily into heat.

I have been able to flux and heat the habaki in the forge and just drop a rod of silver solder in the hot joint. I don't have an acetylene torch, so this is the best I can do (i think). As long as the joints are chemically cleaned and fluxed, it works fine. But the biggest issues are joints not being tight enough and contamination. I clean them with denatured alcohol.

 

Jesus Hernandes' tutorial was where I started, and I think it is a really great example. And his fittings are awesome.

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  • 5 months later...

I've changed my ways completely here. The way I described above was too 'iffy', and also required sticking lots of small things in a big forge at heat. I was fluxing the machigane and silver rod, placing the whole thing on a firebrick in the forge and waiting a few minutes for the silver to melt. I had to do a lot of filing afterwards to get the inside square and fit.

I got some phosphor bronze (or phosphorus copper) brazing rods. I bring the habaki assembly up to reddish and just touch the rod to the machigane. The rods are probably 1/16" or less. I can also salvage the bronze from wound guitar strings. We have a ton of this at my house. It works just as well.

Nice thing is this needs no flux, just clean joints. There is probably a little tin in the joint which may show up later, but I haven't seen the joint appear yet.

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