Forge weld or solder

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Forge weld or solder


Post by kell » Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:12 pm

thinking out loud and looking for input

I needed to make a tank to hold diesel fuel. 55 gal is too big, so I cut a 55 gal drum down. Cut the top off and put it back on the drum cut down to about one-third height. Forced the lid down into the drum far enough to curl the sheet metal over the rim and hammer crimp it. Now I need to seal it. Would prefer a braze or weld of some sort over JBWeld or Epoxy. I have no welding equipment and would probably burn the sheet metal anyway from lack of experience, so I was thinking of forge welding (sometimes called hammer welding). I did some cursory googling just now and found a site that says borax is the flux. Of course I hammered the edge over before thinking about flux or anything of the sort, so now I have a tight seam to try to get flux into.
Another possibilty is simple soldering, like plumbing. This is mild steel, and from my electronics soldering experience I know steel is a pain to solder. Steel is FAR worse at wetting and bonding with lead than copper is. But if I can get some flux into the joint it might work, and I can use a simple propane torch...

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Re: Forge weld or solder


Post by mbskeam » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:58 pm

I don't know if a propane torch will get it hot enough, most likely brazing would work best. using oxy/acetylene
clean the drum to bare metal, use flux on it when brazing
tack a few spots around the drum to keep it from warping to bad....and clean the drum real good, leave the bungs out....... :o


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Re: Forge weld or solder


Post by Cotten » Tue Sep 05, 2006 1:57 pm

I have the best luck on bare steel with Ruby Fluid, an acid flux that will wick into your creases.
Just finished putting tank badge mounts on by tinning both tank and strips first with the Fluid and a tinning iron, then melting them together with a cheap hot-air gun.


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Re: Forge weld or solder


Post by kell » Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:34 pm

Thanks for the replies.
I got some 60/40 solder and soldering paste at the plumbing supply store, and a propane torch. The label of the paste says "For use on copper, brass, galvanized, tin, zinc and commonly soldered metals." Doesn't mention steel, but what the hey.
Thanks for the tip about Ruby Fluid, Cotten. Sounds like a rock band.

Okay I got it soldered together without any leaks. Even did a pressure test. The soldering took a long time. The flux wouldn't wick into the crack; I kept having to go back and fix pinholes. Next time I'll know to apply flux before assembling.

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