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Advice needed on soldering sheet metal

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  • Advice needed on soldering sheet metal

    I have been asked by a client to solder the seams on galvanized sheet metal flashing. The material is 4"x4"x20ga. galvanized sheet angle. The task is to solder the horizontal seams to prevent rain water from getting through to subfloor materials. I haven't soldered any type of sheet metal for many years, If my memory serves me correctly, we used 50/50 solid wire solder and a heavy duty ( I don't remember the watts) soldering iron.

    My research has only raised more questions. Are the butane Micro-torches better than electric Irons? Will the micro-torch burn up the galvanize plating? If an electric iron is better, what wattage should I purchase for this application? Is 95/5 Solder Paste with Flux better than solid wire?

    Any advice to help me through the learning curve is greatly appreciated,

    thanks,
    Woodman

  • #2
    I'm a little confused, is it roofing your soldering of a floor? either way what is directly under it? I don't know anything about what it is your doing but i'm curious since i might have a project coming up that may require a waterproof barrier.
    Dynasty 200 DX
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    • #3
      Some good acid based flux, 50/50 solder, and a high wattage iron. Don't use a torch of any kind as it will degrade the galvanize and will never allow your solder to flow properly. I use electric irons only unless I'm silver brazing but that's different.
      Oh and clean, clean, clean!!! your part before your solder.
      Kerry
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      • #4
        for that i just did some flashing like you want to do i use a propane torch with pencil tip and lenox cored solder it holds really well and has not rusted and we get plenty of rain here in seattle

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Laiky View Post
          I'm a little confused, is it roofing your soldering of a floor? either way what is directly under it? I don't know anything about what it is your doing but i'm curious since i might have a project coming up that may require a waterproof barrier.
          Sorry for the confusion,
          The one leg of the flashing slips behind the aluminum siding on a houseboat cabin, while the other leg lays flat on pressure treated wood decking. The joints are laps, where the 10ft lengths join together. I only need to solder the flat legs.

          Thanks for your inputs,

          woodman

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          • #6
            I like the Harris acid flux and Harris 50-50 solder. I use a Hexacon 250 watt Iron but the 200 watt should be fine. I did a lot of copper and brass when I was working and the extra wattage comes in handy. I think you can get a Hexacon for around $200.00. You might want to google them to be sure though, its been a long time.

            Here is there website.
            http://www.hexaconelectric.com/

            This is the style I have.
            http://www.hexaconelectric.com/hvyduty.html
            Last edited by burninbriar; 09-01-2008, 10:41 PM.
            To all who contribute to this board.
            My sincere thanks , Pete.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Woodman View Post
              Sorry for the confusion,
              while the other leg lays flat on pressure treated wood decking.

              woodman
              You may want to check on placing the flashing galvanized or other than a copper tape type on or next to the pressure treated wood. All the flashing and sealing tape around here has a don't use on or next to pressure treated wood.
              A cheaper alternative is a real soldering coppers



              With the wooded handle on them they are heated in a soldering stove or furnace, or by a torch and soldered the seam. You also can use the Sal Ammoniac brick You need two coppers so it goes smoothly.

              http://www.johnsonmfg.com/temp/FTOOL.HTM



              http://www.johnsonmfg.com/temp/SalBlock.htm

              You can get everything you need at the site for the coppers or soling blocks.
              glen, If your not on the edge, your wasting space

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              • #8
                There are irons like the ones pictured with an air/acy torch built in to the wooden handle. I have one, but it is very old. Got it in a box of "junk" for $5
                Using these irons probably requires some practice, but I havent tried yet.

                Electric is probably more effective.

                I dont know the advantages or disadvantages of either, really.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by grey View Post
                  There are irons like the ones pictured with an air/acy torch built in to the wooden handle. I have one, but it is very old. Got it in a box of "junk" for $5
                  Using these irons probably requires some practice, but I havent tried yet.

                  Electric is probably more effective.

                  I dont know the advantages or disadvantages of either, really.
                  Other than getting one the way you did, they also come in nat gas and propane. Johnson still makes them see my links in the above post.
                  Its scale of use vs. cost for the start up buy.

                  The larger the wattage the more they cost. The old style soldering coppers are cheaper and if the tang is tight to the heads they will work.

                  The problem with used electrics from flea bay is they may be repaired, and heat up but not to full working temperature or the cord is so bad it would scare Tesla

                  A good tinknocker with two coppers and a torch for heat can really do a long seem like they were rolling a glue seam down.

                  It does takes some practice but, but an amateur can do a credible job. To keep the solder from flowing all over and every which way. you can use white out for smaller items paint a ring or line were you want the flux and solder to stop.
                  You can use yellow ocher mixed with alcohol and then dried and I have seen a graphite line used as a solder stop, but haven't tried it.
                  glen, If your not on the edge, your wasting space

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                  • #10
                    Here is a Drake brand iron



                    Here are some replacement tips for 125 wattage and 225/250wattage irons.

                    American Beauty is another brand name http://www.americanbeautytools.com/site/
                    They have some vidoes on soldering.
                    glen, If your not on the edge, your wasting space

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