Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Pot still design and discussion

Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby db1979 » Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:22 pm

scythe wrote:Get yourself a fire brick or similar and solder with the job sitting on that, will help stop you losing heat as fast.

Good advice :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby db1979 » Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:24 pm

Birdman85 wrote:Do I need to work about the solder inside the PC liquifying when I chuck the reducer over the top of it?

Yes it will liquefy but only the excess soldering will flow, the rest usually gets held by surface tension. If you don't have large gaps it shouldn't be a problem. If you've got a single large gap keep it at the lowest point.
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby Birdman85 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:03 pm

Well. I can conclude that I can't solder to save myself. Feel so defeated.

After a 4am start for work I come home to a constipated 4 week old. Spent the night in hospital and got home at 2am only to be woken at 5am. My other 3 kids are here now so I thought I'd go out and try and solder up the other end of the PC.

Gave it as good a clean as I could, fluxed it up, heated from a few inches away working slowly, touch testing away from the joint.... When it was heated up enough to flow I started feeding it around... And it just pooled in big blobs and didn't flow into the seams.

So I can either cut an inch off the end, redrill a copper plate, try and fit it in over the 4 internal tubes and see if I can solder it again.... Or give up and start again.... Or give up completely and buy one
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby RC Al » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:45 pm

Don't give up yet mate, have another go

Once it's hot, the liquid solder will be drawn to where you point the flame, use it to guide the solder into the gaps
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby db1979 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:52 pm

Did it at least stick to where you'd applied flux?
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby Birdman85 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:03 pm

db1979 wrote:Did it at least stick to where you'd applied flux?


Nah it didn't. I set the PC aside and grabbed some reducers to put onto the end of the PC. Did the same thing, super clean, fluxed and wiped excess, heated and guided the solder. Just wouldn't flow into the joints.

I'll try again from scratch maybe. Just means I'll have to go buy some more 2" (-|
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby db1979 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:17 pm

Birdman85 wrote:
db1979 wrote:Did it at least stick to where you'd applied flux?
fluxed and wiped excess, heated and guided the solder. Just wouldn't flow into the joints.

What do you mean by wiped excess? If it's paste, just leave it on. Did the flux boil?
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby Birdman85 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:07 pm

db1979 wrote:
Birdman85 wrote:
db1979 wrote:Did it at least stick to where you'd applied flux?
fluxed and wiped excess, heated and guided the solder. Just wouldn't flow into the joints.

What do you mean by wiped excess? If it's paste, just leave it on. Did the flux boil?


It's a clear paint on oil looking concoction. It boils and then burns so fast?
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby woodduck » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:28 pm

If you flux burns and goes black, reapply it as you go. If the solder is balling up my guess is its not hot enough?
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby db1979 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:10 pm

When you use the flux, does it make the copper look even more clean or more shiny? If not, it might be that your flux isn't doing its job. By everything you've said it sounds as if the copper isn't cleaned enough or the flux isn't taking off the oxide layer. I've been using Baker's soldering fluid (from big green shed) with success since my second still (2" bubbler) onwards.
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby db1979 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:18 pm

Another thing to try, just try tinning the end of one piece of copper. Clean it, apply flux and solder a single piece of copper, just to practice on. If the solder coats the copper where it's been fluxed then you know you're doing all good. A benefit of doing this is you can do this to all pieces that have a snug fit and when you reheat then they should solder together, probably not great for doing a PC where leaks are bad news, but can be good for making downcomers.
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Currently having a makeover: 2" x 4 plate solid state bubbler (1" bubble caps, no sight glasses...maybe not for much longer!) on a bain-marie boiler.

Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby Birdman85 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:21 pm

db1979 wrote: I've been using Baker's soldering fluid (from big green shed) with success since my second still (2" bubbler) onwards.


I'll go in and see if I can get some different flux and give it all a really good clean up again. I'll keep trying... Either to get this PC to stop up. Or from scratch.

Thanks for your advice everyone. I really want to succeed in this so I can be proud that what I drink came from what I hand made.

I'll give you all a break until I'm back with a success story.
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby dans.brew » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:26 pm

:text-+1:
Bakers flux is good stuff.
I found being clean and tidy with the application of the flux helps a lot. If you can keep the flux in the join area it helps to keep the solder there also.
The bakers flux does show up on copper quite easy and to apply it i used cotton ear buds or with small pipe i dipped it in a shallow container with a couple mm depth.
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby db1979 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:29 pm

dans.brew wrote:to apply it i used cotton ear buds

:text-+1:
Allows you to put it just where you want it and the bottle of flux lasts for ages :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby db1979 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:33 pm

Birdman85 wrote:I'll give you all a break until I'm back with a success story.

Nah mate, we're here to help. If you're keen to be successful then we wanna see you succeed and will help you along the way. So much of this forum's success is built on members starting off learning to build, make something with new skills and then give back to others.
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby woodduck » Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:23 am

Throw some photos up too, then we can see what we're dealing with. Don't worry about what it looks like, we've all produced spoggy shit welds before :laughing-rolling: .

What flux are you using? I know bakers flux is good and all but I personally found the flux paste to work better. It doesn't burn as easy and it stays where you want it to. It definitely is more pricey but maybe worth the investment while you learn?
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby Birdman85 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:58 pm

The flux I'm using is in the pics in page 1. Tradeflame or something Plumbers flux.

I just cut an inch off the end. Made up a new plate with holes for the inners. Dry fitted it. Gave it all a good clean. Flux making sure it didn't get that hot that it burnt off and slowly added the solder (same stuff everyone uses from the big green shed)... And nothing. It sucked the solder into the gaps and disappeared into the nether. I think I'm gonna scrap it.

I'll give it one more go with hard solder this time. Then I'm done.
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby Birdman85 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:00 pm

Another thing that's pissed me right off. When I bought the pipe I asked for reducers for the parrot and end of PC... The fuckers don't fit on! Why would they sell me a 2" reducer that doesn't fit on 2 inch! :angry-banghead: :angry-banghead:
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby bluc » Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:45 pm

Because then they can sell you a second fitting a straight coupler and make more more money..
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Re: Birdmans epic adventure of creation.

Postby woodduck » Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:59 pm

If the solder is disappearing it means your gap is too big. Remember drills don't drill round holes, go the size smaller and file the last bit out so it's round :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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