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Solder Repair:

Personal Safety Equipment:

  1. Safety glasses or face shield
  2. Coveralls
  3. Proper foot protection
  4. Gloves

Uses for solder process:

  1. Fill gunshot (spot weld gun) damage
  2. Repair extreme body damage
  3. Finesse minor body damage in visible locations

Solder Repair Equipment:

  1. Tanks, gauges and torches as used with brazing repair
  2. Hammer, file, small punch, orbital sander to prepare surface
  3. Tinning flux, used with stick solder
  4. Solder paste flux, used with solid core wire solder
  5. Stick solder and /or solid wire solder
  6. Wooden or fiberglass solder wiping paddle--Beeswax tray
  7. Water to cool repaired areas
  8. File, disk sander and /or orbital sander to finesse repaired surface
 
 
Heating Torch:
The heating torch is used for heating solder and maintaining its temperature at a level of consistency for proper application. This consistency resembles that of drywall plaster.  Caution should be used in controlling the workable temperature of the solder.  Non workable and non spread able solder material results from too low of temperature.  Temperatures that are too high result in solder material sagging or running off from the area to be repaired.  Again, torch flame must have medium to low "feather" and not be too hot.

Hammer, file, Small Punch, Orbital Sander:
When preparing the sheet metal for solder repair, the damaged area must be repaired prior to solder application.  This includes the repair of high and low area (dings, dents) surrounding the immediate area to be repaired including the specific location of the damaged area.  The Damaged sheet metal should be repaired as close to flush as possible with undamaged surrounding area, leaving a downward taper 1/4" to 1/2" from the edge of the damage to be repaired.  The area to be repaired will serve as an anchor for the solder repair and allow surfaces to be finesse-sanded flush to the surrounding surface.  The surface should also be sanded to remove any oil or surface debris prior to flux application.

Flux application:
Solder flux is applied to the damaged sheet metal area to act as a bonding agent between the sheet metal surface and the solder material.  Molten solder will not bond to a prepared sheet metal surface without proper flux application.  The type of flux to be used will be determined by the damaged area to be repaired.

Heavy-Based Solder Flux:
The heavier solder-based tinning flux is to be applied to areas of large or extremely damaged sheet metal.  This  tinning flux is corrosive and may cause burns if it comes into contact with skin or eyes.  Therefore, caution should be used in its application to damaged area. The use of a small brush will be necessary. After application, the area must be heated until the solder-based flux blackens on the surface. Then the area must be heated until the solder-based

Light Solder Paste Flux:
The solid core wire solder paste is the same type used when making electrical connections.  This flux also acts as a bonding agent between the surface to be repaired and the solder material.  However, this paste flux is generally used only for small spot applications.  Unlike the heavier solder flux that needs to be primed with heat and wiped before solder application, the heat used to apply the wire solder material will be sufficient to establish the bond necessary for its application.

Wooden or Fiberglass Solder Wiping Blade With Beeswax Tray:
A wooden or fiberglass solder wiping paddle is used for spreading and smoothing the surface of the workable molten solder.  A coating of melted beeswax on the surface of the paddle will aid in preventing the molten solder from sticking to the paddle surface and ease the ability to spread the molten solder material across the damaged metal area being repaired.

Solder Repair Process Procedure:
With all preliminary steps achieved, the desired solder material is heated and applied to the pre-tinned and prepared surface after reaching a low temperature melting point.  The material is then smoothed beyond the tapered area by 1/4" to 1/2"  surrounding the surface to be repaired while adding enough molten solder material to achieve uniform level between the damaged area and the non damaged metal surface.  With this completed, water may be applied to cool the molten solder material  in order to "set" the solder repair.  The material should then be filed and /or sanded to become level with the surrounding surface.  Pitting of the solder surface may occur if foreign matter (dirt, metal debris, air pockets) is present during the molten solder application.


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