Soldering wire rod to washer

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by autorun, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. autorun

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 2, 2014
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    Hello guys, I'm making a discone antenna and I need to solder about eight wire rods to a washer.

    At first, I hammer the edge, as to make the soldering easier.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I don't have many tools. Only tin, and the solderer. However, tin isn't so strong to join both, and wire's melting point is too high to join directly to the washer.

    What can I do?
     
  2. kubeek

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 20, 2005
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    You could try to preheat the washer and use plenty of flux, then it might stick.
     
  3. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    Look at using a butane torch and solder like you would to solder copper pipes.
     
  4. autorun

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 2, 2014
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    Ok, I've never used flux. Do I need a butane torch? Do I have to consider something else?
    The wire rod is galvanized.
     
  5. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    You likely need acid core flux as used for soldering copper pipes. Any hardware store that sells copper pipe should have that.

    Also need a large electric soldering iron or a torch to heat the washer hot enough so the solder will flow.
     
  6. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    If you have access to a propane torch I would use Silver Solder, you should be able to pick up just a couple of sticks and some flux.
    Ordinary solder will not stand up to much stress.
    Either way, you need to remove the galvanizing.
    Max.
     
  7. autorun

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 2, 2014
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    Thanks for reply. I don't have butane torch. Is it possible to solder with flux and my iron?

    My iron is something like this,

    [​IMG]

    I don't know how to "ungalvanize" the wire, is it important?
     
  8. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    It won't get hot enough. Actually the metal will dissipate heat more quickly than the iron can transfer. Do you have a gas stove? Just heat it on the stove. Be careful to not burn yourself.

    Where do you live? In the US you can buy a small torch at Harbor Freight or Radio Shack.

    Or you can buy a torch at the hardware store.
     
  9. strantor

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    Oct 3, 2010
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  10. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    Yes it is. A hand file and some attention to detail will easily get you down to a clean bare metal on both the washer and the rods.

    Common 60/40 rosin core electronics solder will work just fine for small things like what you are doing.

    I have used it countless times for basic low stress metal repairs but for objects like what you have you will need a good 100 - 200 watt buzz gun type soldering gun or a flame torch not a pencil type soldering iron.
     
  11. autorun

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 2, 2014
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    Thanks for your advices!
     
  12. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
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    The washer is zinc plated, the rod looks to be zinc plated too. Zinc is filthy metal and won't solder.

    Grind or file all the plating off the washer and off the end of the wire, then get it nice and hot and it should solder fine.

    One of those small portable butane torches should solder it easily, or even a small soldering iron and some patience to get it hot enough to activate the flux.
     
  13. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    IMO Lead based solder is never a good choice for steel to steel especially if exposed to the elements or somewhere where it is likely to be touched or moved etc.
    From experience, silver solder is more of a permanent solution.
    Max.
     
  14. Metalmann

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2012
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    You're right.

    Silver solder is almost indestructible.

    Use it a lot to braze band saw blades.
     
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  15. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    Soldering to bare steel is fairly easy with a strong flux..
    I let the parts sit in liquid flux for 15 minutes or so then you can solder them together with regular lead or leadfree solder..
    Gotta get that zinc off though first..

    Spot welding would be a better choice though..
     
  16. inwo

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
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    I think you may be getting bad advice from people who haven't done it.:rolleyes:

    There is no problem soldering galvanized wire to plated washer.:)

    Clean both by sanding lightly or wire brush.

    Use flux and acid core solder if you can.

    Then it's just a matter of enough heat.

    If parts are in a vise it will take a lot of heat. A torch might be best then. Your small iron is probably not sufficient.

    I have done exactly the same thing for the same purpose.

    Galvanized coating prevents rust. Why would you remove it?

    Solder is strong. Your not pulling a truck with it.

    Shown is a heavy galvanized #9 wire!
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
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  17. MaxHeadRoom

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    It is not always a question of 'is it possible'? but is it practical? ;)
    Max.
     
  18. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    They did for years and years on gutters and down spouts. With a soldering copper.

    And motor cycle brake and clutch cables are made with galvanized cable in the core with the die cast zinc 'buttons' soldered on to them.
     
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  19. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    I think you need to make something to support the wires. It can be as simple as drilling 8 holes in something flameproof, then you can put the wires through them and bend them so they are all in the right places and sprung down slightly against the washer.
    If you do them one at a time you will end up desoldering the original ones.
     
  20. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
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    How is that different from my advice to "remove the plating from the washer and the end of the wire, and solder it"?

    Lots of us work with metal. And i didn't see any "bad advice"?
     
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