Thursday, December 8, 2011

Home of the Braze

I lied.
I said I wasn't going to talk no more about frames, but well, over on One Speed: Go!, Mr. JRA got me all hot and bothered.
No really.
Like really really hot.
Sort of bothered.
Well anyways, I went into the shop at school and got some stuff together for it was time to test out my Jedi Skilz(JS).
I got me some square steel tubing with walls around oh 2-3mm thick:

That's right volatile gas fans!
It's time to light em up!
If you've been following along over on OSG you, the reader know that JRA and I have sort been having a conversation about making a lugged bicycle frame.
Well you sort of have to have some welding skills, brazing in this case, so I went and tried my luck.
By luck I mean I haven't done too much brazing, prior to this maybe like ten seconds.
Can you say adventure?
Okay it was longer than ten seconds, but it seems like about that long.
The thing about brazing is regulating the heat, the book JRA has suggests MAPP gas, sort of like propane in the can.
You can get the BTU's you need to get things going, but it's a bit slow.
As far as I can remember.
So an oxy-acetylene rig is preferred:

With an O-A torch, you can change out the tips from humungasoid to petite and regulates the gas and the temps.
I used a smaller tip and torch for brazing doesn't require as much heat as welding.
For brazing, you get a rod, usually brass or bronze or silver/bronze or something, apply heat to the joint and melt the rod to make the two parts stick together.
So anyways, I cut up some lengths of that square rod and placed them together:

The thing about brazing is that the brass or whatever you're using gets pretty thin and it will fall between cracks in the stuff you are trying to connect.
More on that later.
Best to have the two pieces as close as possible, with no gaps in between.
So how'd I do?
Well, lemme just say that I won't be winning any awards for my work.
It took a bit to get things under control, but I think I did okay.
Sort of.

Part II coming up.


John Romeo Alpha said...

I hereby award you the "Access to O-A Equipment" prize for exploration! I wonder what I can find on Craigslist...

I think the only advantage he lists for MAPP is: cheap.

limom said...

I've been checking CL too and I think you could get and O-A rig for around the same price as a new mini portable rig from say Home Depot.
I'm sort of changing my mind about MAPP as it sounds like just the ticket:
low heat and slow.
Emphasis on the slow.
Hopefully during vacation I'll revisit the MAPP and see how it goes.