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How do you solder a stainless cable? #307465
04/10/10 9:26 pm
04/10/10 9:26 pm
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,437
Minnesota, US
Jim Hultman Offline OP
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Jim Hultman  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,437
Minnesota, US
I've never been able to make up a control cable (clutch or brake cable) from a stainless inner. I have a stash of old Japanese cables I came across at a swap meet once that would make perfect custom cables, if only I could figure out a way to solder the ends. They are apparently stainless, and solder simply doesn't stick to them.

I've tried various methods, including a little tinning cup that I can melt the solder in and dip the end. Still no luck. I even tried sandblasting the end to make sure it isn't just some coating on the wire. I have a good stock of ends and fittings, and I can make cables easily if the inner isn't stainless.

So I thought I'd throw it out on the board and see if there is a trick or if perhaps it just can't be done. Of course since the cables I have were built somehow, I guess it's obvious that it can be done. I just don't know how. Does anyone know what I'm missing?

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Re: How do you solder a stainless cable? [Re: Jim Hultman] #307467
04/10/10 10:23 pm
04/10/10 10:23 pm
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 908
newcastle australia
trevinoz Offline
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trevinoz  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 908
newcastle australia
Jim,
I am sure there is a special flux for stainless steel, I seem to remember soldering it in the past.
You could always silver solder the nipples on.
Trev.

Re: How do you solder a stainless cable? [Re: trevinoz] #307470
04/11/10 12:01 am
04/11/10 12:01 am
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,437
Minnesota, US
Jim Hultman Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
Jim Hultman  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,437
Minnesota, US
Originally Posted by trevinoz
You could always silver solder the nipples on.
Trev.

Tried that too. Nothing sticks to this crap.

Re: How do you solder a stainless cable? [Re: trevinoz] #307483
04/11/10 2:02 am
04/11/10 2:02 am
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,437
Minnesota, US
Jim Hultman Offline OP
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Jim Hultman  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,437
Minnesota, US
Originally Posted by trevinoz
I am sure there is a special flux for stainless steel, I seem to remember soldering it in the past.

I think that is the answer, Trev, but what is the flux and where would I find it?

Re: How do you solder a stainless cable? [Re: Jim Hultman] #307487
04/11/10 2:17 am
04/11/10 2:17 am
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 728
angeles city, rp
J
jaycee Offline
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jaycee  Offline
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J

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 728
angeles city, rp
yes you can,grainger has the fluxes and the solders. as an engineering exercise i soldered aluminum to stainless,304

Re: How do you solder a stainless cable? [Re: Jim Hultman] #307488
04/11/10 2:19 am
04/11/10 2:19 am
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 728
angeles city, rp
J
jaycee Offline
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jaycee  Offline
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J

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 728
angeles city, rp
yes you can,grainger has the fluxes and the solders. as an engineering exercise i soldered aluminum to stainless,304

Re: How do you solder a stainless cable? [Re: Jim Hultman] #307491
04/11/10 2:29 am
04/11/10 2:29 am
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,530
Back on the mainland!
JubeePrince Offline

Born To Run
JubeePrince  Offline

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Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,530
Back on the mainland!
Hi Jim -

Try and look here:

http://www.azom.com/details.asp?Articleid=1178#_Brazing_(Silver_Soldering)

Just for grins I googled: "soldering stainless steel wire" Came up with a lot of hits...

HTH,

Steve


'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
Re: How do you solder a stainless cable? [Re: JubeePrince] #307548
04/11/10 12:40 pm
04/11/10 12:40 pm
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,437
Minnesota, US
Jim Hultman Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
Jim Hultman  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,437
Minnesota, US
Originally Posted by JubeePrince
Hi Jim -

Try and look here:

http://www.azom.com/details.asp?Articleid=1178#_Brazing_(Silver_Soldering)

Just for grins I googled: "soldering stainless steel wire" Came up with a lot of hits...

HTH,

Steve

Thanks for the link Steve. Looking at that, I'm afraid it's a bit over my head. I have no idea of what kind of stainless this is, and I have no idea of where to start. When they talk about soldering stainless, the considerations seem to be color and effects on food! And Graingers has all kinds of solder and flux, but that's the problem...TOO many.

But from what little I do understand about this, it appears to take a phosphoric acid based flux and a more than 50% tin content solder. Not likely to find that stuff out here in the boonies where I live, and I can't seem to figure out what to order from Graingers, but I'm going to Seattle next week, so I'll look around there.

In the meantime, I tried the "stone axe" approach. Stuck the cable in the vice, between two pieces of tin with a notch for the wire. Heated it up with the acetylene torch and mashed it with a hammer. That made a nice little flat nub that I then fixed in position with solder in the cable end.

I know, crude and primitive, and probably won't hold, but it is on the bike and the clutch is working for now.

Re: How do you solder a stainless cable? [Re: Jim Hultman] #307591
04/11/10 3:59 pm
04/11/10 3:59 pm
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 110
SK , Canada
K
koob Offline
BritBike Forum member
koob  Offline
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K

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 110
SK , Canada
Not sure if this is available state-side, but I've been using "Metal solder flux #1744 " made by Canada Metal. It's liquid you dab on with a small paint brush, works dandy on all cables I've made, including jap 10-speed bicyle SS cable.HTH.

Re: How do you solder a stainless cable? [Re: koob] #307903
04/13/10 5:15 am
04/13/10 5:15 am
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 292
Diamond Springs, Kalifornia
Buckshot1 Online content

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Buckshot1  Online Content

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Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 292
Diamond Springs, Kalifornia
Searching 'brazing' on Grainger's brought up 21 results. Click on 'more info' and it will show the applications for each. Any described for use with sst should be fine. The white flux that comes with some of the selections is what I've always used with good results. Very important to have everything *clean*. If you leave a couple strands of the cable long, you can bend them so the end piece won't fall off or otherwise move around while brazing. Cover generously with flux and use a soft flame to gradually heat the joint to a cherry red. You must get the work hot enough to make the filler flow into the joint with the flame removed. It only needs a small amount of filler, so don't gob it on. When you have filler in joint, return flame at a distance and sweeping across the work to make for a gradual cooling off. Don't disturb until fully cooled, then wash off dried flux, & dress off excess filler.

HTH


Michael

currently owned by a 72 T120R
'02 Sprint ST
maker of plunger conversion jig
Re: How do you solder a stainless cable? [Re: Buckshot1] #308209
04/15/10 3:54 am
04/15/10 3:54 am
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 728
angeles city, rp
J
jaycee Offline
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jaycee  Offline
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J

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 728
angeles city, rp
i was trying to steer you towards a lower temp solder which grainger carries much like plumbing solder only it is high silver bearing,this would be much better for cables imo.

Re: How do you solder a stainless cable? [Re: jaycee] #308211
04/15/10 3:56 am
04/15/10 3:56 am
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 728
angeles city, rp
J
jaycee Offline
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jaycee  Offline
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J

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 728
angeles city, rp
ive got this stuff at work if i can remember ill write down the ESAB numbers from grainger

Re: How do you solder a stainless cable? [Re: jaycee] #308272
04/15/10 3:02 pm
04/15/10 3:02 pm
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,437
Minnesota, US
Jim Hultman Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
Jim Hultman  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,437
Minnesota, US
Originally Posted by jaycee
ive got this stuff at work if i can remember ill write down the ESAB numbers from grainger

Thanks!

Re: How do you solder a stainless cable? [Re: Jim Hultman] #308280
04/15/10 4:28 pm
04/15/10 4:28 pm
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 292
Diamond Springs, Kalifornia
Buckshot1 Online content

BritBike Forum member
Buckshot1  Online Content

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 292
Diamond Springs, Kalifornia
You need the 56% silver content. Have you checked with a weld or machine shop near you? Probably get what you need for a 12 pack & save the retail expense. Probably get some personal instruction, too.


Michael

currently owned by a 72 T120R
'02 Sprint ST
maker of plunger conversion jig
Re: How do you solder a stainless cable? [Re: Buckshot1] #308339
04/15/10 10:42 pm
04/15/10 10:42 pm
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,437
Minnesota, US
Jim Hultman Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
Jim Hultman  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,437
Minnesota, US
Originally Posted by Buckshot1
You need the 56% silver content. Have you checked with a weld or machine shop near you? Probably get what you need for a 12 pack & save the retail expense. Probably get some personal instruction, too.

Thanks Michael

Do you know the specs on the flux?

Re: How do you solder a stainless cable? [Re: Jim Hultman] #308352
04/16/10 1:20 am
04/16/10 1:20 am
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 292
Diamond Springs, Kalifornia
Buckshot1 Online content

BritBike Forum member
Buckshot1  Online Content

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 292
Diamond Springs, Kalifornia
Ask for the white stuff. It's a paste you can brush on. Put some on cable before assy and thoroughly coat the work. Heat with soft flame (oxy/fuel) gradually. Flux will liquefy before turning chalky looking. Keep heating until your joint is hot enough to make the silver run without the flame. After the braze sets in several seconds, I like to sweep the flame across the joint while gradually pulling it away so things will cool slowly. A good silver solder job is remarkably strong. IIRC, the optimum space to fill between parts should be .003-.005. The strands of cable have nice nooks & crannies for fill in.



Michael

currently owned by a 72 T120R
'02 Sprint ST
maker of plunger conversion jig

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