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  1. #1
    Registered user. gleber's Avatar
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    Default Solder Help Request

    Hi all,

    I bought a clock that I later discovered had several missing teeth on T1. I as able to find a donor wheel at Merritt's with the same diameter and tooth count, but the arbor was a different set up. I had a machinist friend cut off the old damaged gear and cut out the hub of the donor. It's a near perfect fit.

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    I'm now ready to solder the two together, but my soldering experience is limited to electronics soldering or MIG and stick welding. I don't think the standard solder I've used for wires would be strong enough. Can anyone recommend what type of solder I should use and any tips?

    Thanks,
    Tom

  2. #2

    Default Re: Solder Help Request (By: gleber)

    Oh my, is this going to be fun! Looks like a candidate for high temperature silver solder but will be challenging to keep everything true. I would not trust electronics solder. Too late now, but why didn't you just use the donor wheel and modify the arbor, or swap the wheels and keep the original arbor?

    RC

  3. #3

    Default Re: Solder Help Request (By: gleber)

    I think it's going to be tough to put that back together so that the wheel is concentric with the arbor. The way this is normally done is to turn off all the existing teeth and a few mm deeper. Chuck up the donor wheel in a 6jaw Chuck or faceplate and cut the ID until it's a close fit to the existing wheel. Press or hammer the 2 pieces together and then run a small amount of soft solder into the joint.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Solder Help Request

    Your friend did an EXCELLENT job of setting you up for success. I use Tix solder and its flux. The good thing about Tix is that its melting point is only 275F (135C), yet it bonds as strongly as other soft solders. If I didn't have Tix, I'd likely use a coreless solder and a rosin flux. Here's how I would do that wheel. (I'm assuming the ends of the spokes fit the cutouts precisely.)

    1. Clean the ends of the spokes and the wheel with acetone, alcohol, brake cleaner, or whatever - you want to remove all traces of oils.
    2. Lightly flux the mating surfaces at the cutouts and the ends of the spokes. You don't want flux in *just* the mating surfaces, you want a bit of overrun, but you don't need to drown things in flux, either.
    3. Figure out some way to hold the wheel horizontally while clamping the spokes in place. You want to create a nice flat surface to work on. A "third hand" would probably work nicely.
    4. Insert the spokes in the cutouts in the wheel. Clamp two of the spokes in place with one spoke between them, and ensure the spoke between them is lined up dead-solid-perfectly in its cutout.
    5. Cut tiny, tiny slivers of the solder and place them on top of the joint. (This is why you want a bit of overlap with the flux.) If the joints are fairly tight it won't take much solder at all to fill the joint. Slivers directly on the joint give tons of control, and wick into the joint when they melt.
    6. Heat the wheel from underneath. Again, if I were doing this I'd use an alcohol lamp. You don't need a ton of heat. The thin brass heats very quickly, and a low-temperature solder like Tix will melt and wick in. You want to try to restrict the heat to just the joint you're working on as much as possible. As soon as the solder wicks into the joint, remove the heat and blow on the joint to cool it.
    7. When it's cool enough to handle, move to the next joint, and work your way around the wheel. If you're concerned about heat traveling and compromising your joints, go to the spoke on the opposite side of the wheel.
    8. When you're through, wash the piece thoroughly with soap and hot water to remove the flux completely.

    Too much detail? Hope this helps!
    Glen

  5. #5

    Default Re: Solder Help Request (By: gleber)

    I would take it to a jeweler and get him/her to braze it, or silver solder it. I like low flow brazing better but high flow silver solder might be better. It depends on how well the seams fit together. Jewelers constantly work with things that have to hold up constantly under moderate stress. They also know how to solder adjacent joints without unsoldering the previous one!
    I doubt if this is going to run true but hopefully it will be true enough. ☺
    Willie X

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Solder Help Request (By: Willie X)

    You might turn a piece of aluminum such that it has a hole
    to take the arbor and some clearance for the click and such.
    Then turn a depression just the diameter of the of the
    wheel, concentric with the arbor hole.
    Now, with a band saw, cut off about 1/4 the diameter
    so the spokes hang out a little.
    You should be able to solder one spoke at a time and
    rotate the piece to a new position for each joint.
    Try to work oppossite sides at a time. Hopefully there
    will be a minimum of thermal expansion in the process.
    Tinker Dwight

  7. #7

    Default Re: Solder Help Request (By: Tinker Dwight)

    i have an older movement that's provided much education... finally traced the 'why the heck does it keep stopping after i've touched every single thing that could be touched' to a similar situation where i did not solder the thing back together perfectly centered... there was an ever-so-slight off-kilter that made the teeth on one side of a gear stick out ever-so-slightly and jam against another gear... stopping the clock.

    funny how well it runs now that i've fixed that, but the moral of the story is: make sure it's clamped down perfectly true and centered all the way around before soldering/fixing things in place.
    i collect antique clocks because i get all that extra time...

  8. #8
    Registered user. kinsler33's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solder Help Request (By: gleber)

    If heat expansion is the issue, I wonder if riveting might work if you were able to make a little fish plate for each spoke, or perhaps a ring of sheet brass that you could rivet onto the toothed part of the wheel and thence to each spoke. I'm afraid I can't draw on this thing to illustrate, but rivets are strong and reliable if you've got room for them.

    M Kinsler
    512 East Mulberry Street; Lancaster, Ohio USA 740-503-1973; kinsler33@gmail.com
    http://www.lancastereaglegazette.com/search/kinsler/

  9. #9
    Registered user. roughbarked's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solder Help Request (By: Willie X)

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie X View Post
    I would take it to a jeweler and get him/her to braze it, or silver solder it. I like low flow brazing better but high flow silver solder might be better. It depends on how well the seams fit together. Jewelers constantly work with things that have to hold up constantly under moderate stress. They also know how to solder adjacent joints without unsoldering the previous one!
    I doubt if this is going to run true but hopefully it will be true enough. ☺
    Willie X
    It is actually true enough that a jeweller can solder it. Even better if the jeweller is also a watchmaker. A watchmaker should be able to true it.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Solder Help Request (By: glenhead)

    Glenhead's proposal sounds good to me.
    1. Check out the Repair Hints & How-To's forum. You may find your answer there.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Solder Help Request (By: bangster)

    Quote Originally Posted by bangster View Post
    Glenhead's proposal sounds good to me.
    I wouldn't trust Tix for this. A failure would spell disaster.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Solder Help Request (By: R. Croswell)

    Okay, maybe not Tix (though it's a good solder). How about good old 60/40?
    1. Check out the Repair Hints & How-To's forum. You may find your answer there.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Solder Help Request (By: bangster)

    60/40 is not a ridged solder. The vary thing that makes it good for
    electronics makes it particularly bad for jobs like this.
    For electronics, you want something that doesn't fracture with
    heat cycling. That means it isn't that stiff.
    There are some relatively low temperature silver solders.
    These are still relatively strong solders. I recall building slot cars
    with some stuff that would bend the brass before breaking.
    Tinker Dwight

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Solder Help Request (By: gleber)

    Quote Originally Posted by gleber View Post
    Hi all,

    I bought a clock that I later discovered had several missing teeth on T1. I as able to find a donor wheel at Merritt's with the same diameter and tooth count, but the arbor was a different set up. I had a machinist friend cut off the old damaged gear and cut out the hub of the donor. It's a near perfect fit.




    I'm now ready to solder the two together, but my soldering experience is limited to electronics soldering or MIG and stick welding. I don't think the standard solder I've used for wires would be strong enough. Can anyone recommend what type of solder I should use and any tips?

    Thanks,
    Tom
    Tom
    If you ever have the desire to do this again, I would suggest changing out the arbors rather than cut the wheels apart.

    As others have mentioned, I suspect at this point you may have problems truing, aligning as well as runout issues.

    At this point, If I had to personally put this wheel together it would be as follows.
    First, my method assumes that the wheel spokes are long enough to engage the outer wheel cavities.

    (1) I would first machine a cavity in my machinable jaws Lathe chuck to hold the outer wheel by the OD and take a very light touch up cut on the ID.

    (2) I would next mount the arbor in the lathe and turn the ends of the spokes to fit the ID cut I took on the outer wheel section. Another words I would not use the cavities as I believe this can cause alignment/runout issues.

    (3) From this point , I would place each spoke tip between the outer wheel cavities and high temp silver solder the wheel together.

    (4) When soldering something such as this together, it is placed/clamped on an old surface plate that I use for soldering. This assures alignment if I do my job right.

    If you elect to solicit help involving payment, I would put my money in cutting a new wheel.

    Good Luck
    Jerry Kieffer

  15. #15

    Default Re: Solder Help Request (By: Jerry Kieffer)

    Would laser welding work for this project? It produces very little heat, its quite strong and it looks OK. But the first choice is a new wheel, as has been suggested already.

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