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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Is welding of thin stainless steel tubing (wall thickness 0.01" - 0.02") possible ?

    Hi all,

    I am pretty new to "real" welding and have basicly no experience. In the past I did a few things, with electric arc welding, but that doesn't count anymore.
    I use brazing with silver solder for my hobby (RC modeling), to build scale airplanes like a Piper P18, in which the fuselage is made from thin walled (wall thickness 0.01" - 0.02") stainless steel tubes. Normaly brazing with silver solder has enough strenght to keep things together, except in areas with a lot of dynamic load, like the wing and elevator hinges or the gear and especially the the engine mount. Most of the professional modell builders did some kind of workaround in those areas instead the original solution, because they don't trust a brazed connection in those areas. Most of the people which I have asked, have said categorically "no" it is not possible to weld such kind of thin tubing. But these people were not welding specialist, so maybe, while welding technology is in progress, there might be new - and affordable - possiblities nowadays.

    Anyhow, attached you will see some pictures to make it easier to understand what I am talking about.
    I am thankfull for any help, advice and information, even negative !

    Chris

    DSC_0193.jpgDSC_0256.jpgDSC_0286.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    S.W. Michigan
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Sure you can. But you will have to clean the solder off.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    3,145

    Default

    Chris
    That fuselage is just a beautiful piece of work....

    I do a lot of tig welding and the problems that I see in welding in your application would be torch handling under such a miniature environment and control of heat at very low amperages..... not saying it cannot be done... but see it as pretty challenging...
    if you try the TIG route... the best torch from my viewpoint would be something like a WP-50 and for power supply.. it could even be a well regulated DC bench supply or one of the baby inverter welders like the Thermal Arc 95S or Harbor Freight 80amp types..... you will be working under 20 amps..... (something very controllacle at the lower end) this will take quite a bit of experimentation... and no small amount of skill... plus.. some dollar investment.... But it is doable if you have the determination.... not to mention eyesight and a good magnifier under your welding helmet...

    http://www.weldcraft.com/products/wp-series/wp-50/

    http://www.harborfreight.com/80-amp-...der-91110.html

    Another approach may be using a higher silver content HARD solder with a mod of the critical joints.. possibly adding some gusseting or otherwise increasing the surface area of the joints and spreading out the stresses from point loads to distributed??

    Just some thoughts..

    BTW... what brand, grade, alloy of solder are you using??
    Last edited by H80N; 01-05-2012 at 03:14 PM.
    .

    *******************************************
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know......

    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

    Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

    My Blue Stuff:
    Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
    Dynasty 200DX
    Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
    Millermatic 200

    TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Salem ,Ohio
    Posts
    3,908

    Cool

    [QUOTE=H80N;278043]




    Thats nice work for sure. I have 2 baby 120v 75 amp tigs that i need to get going for projects like that. That link for the little torch was perfect now to find one...Bob
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab Salem, Oh 44460
    Birthplace of the Silver & Deming Drill
    1999 MM185 w/185 Spoolgun,1986 Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    3,145

    Cool Micro-tig

    Micro TIG is kind of a specialized field... here is an article from the Miller archive

    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...rcraft-matsuo/

    here are search results from a Yahoo search

    http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=...0tig%20welding


    One approach that may be viable for your application might be to use a micro-tig torch like a wp-50 to apply one of the high strength... high temperature brazing alloys.... that hybrid method may give you the best of both worlds....

    Bob...
    as far as finding them... lots of places have em... here is a sample from Baker's..... (get the rubber hose not the vinyl it is lots more flexable for just a few bucks more...)

    http://www.bakersgas.com/weldcraft-wp-50-tig-torch.html
    Last edited by H80N; 01-05-2012 at 04:05 PM.
    .

    *******************************************
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know......

    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

    Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

    My Blue Stuff:
    Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
    Dynasty 200DX
    Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
    Millermatic 200

    TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Salem ,Ohio
    Posts
    3,908

    Cool

    Thanks for the link. Here is my little tig...Bob
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab Salem, Oh 44460
    Birthplace of the Silver & Deming Drill
    1999 MM185 w/185 Spoolgun,1986 Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    3,145

    Default

    Bob
    neat little unit....
    Although I do a little bit of micro-stuff... I have not invested in a wp-50... have been using his chubby bigger brother the wp-24

    http://www.weldcraft.com/products/wp-series/wp-24/

    Truth be known if you did not need to get into really tight places a cheap wp-9 off of Ebay with a short or flat back cap would work fine...

    .

    *******************************************
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know......

    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

    Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

    My Blue Stuff:
    Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
    Dynasty 200DX
    Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
    Millermatic 200

    TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam..

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    3,145

    Default

    Chris...
    what type of engine are you planning for that Super Cub...????...
    .

    *******************************************
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know......

    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

    Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

    My Blue Stuff:
    Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
    Dynasty 200DX
    Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
    Millermatic 200

    TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam..

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    S.W. Michigan
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Micro welding is neat. But bro, you don't have to go buy a teeny welder for this application. You could weld that with an old Syncrowave 300 or of the like, if you were careful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Hi all,

    Thanks for all the answers !

    @HN80
    Thanks, such kind of fuselage is a lot of work, it's done from the original Piper drawings which could be found on the internet. This will be the engine http://www.horizonhobby.com/products...troke-SAIEG57T

    The whole fuselage was brazed with Harris Safety Silver 56% (which is the highest silver content I have seen). Every piece was cleaned with sandpaper and Aceton bevor brazing. I think the fuselage is strong enough, which has already being proofed by other builders who used the same technic.

    TIG welding should only be used (if possible) for those components who under higher dynamic load. Which as an example means , welding a hinge from 0.039" stainless steel to a stainless steel tube with a wall thikness of 0.02".

    Screen shot 2012-01-05 at 22.17.29.jpg

    In the picture you can see the rear landing gear fitting, that will be brazed or welded to the fuselage. It has to withstand the load from the wing strut and also the load from the landing gear. I can not imagine that this will work out with brazing. Easy to imagine what happen if this connection fails.

    Anyway, it sounds like, let's get some TIG welding equipment, like you mentioned above and test test test test......maybe it will work, maybe it will only burn wholes in the tubes......

    I will read the information about Micro Tig, after that, I will probably have some more questions..

    Thanks
    Chris

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