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Assembling Brass Kits. Handout from Clinic Conducted by Bernard Kempinski at several NMRA conventions http://www.AlkemScaleModels.com. I think I can, I think I can…!. Safety First!. Remember that when soldering you are dealing with HOT melted metal.
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Assembling Brass Kits Handout from Clinic Conducted by Bernard Kempinski at several NMRA conventions http://www.AlkemScaleModels.com
Safety First! • Remember that when soldering you are dealing with HOT melted metal. • Always wear eye protection. This is to protect you not only from possible solder and CAA splashes, but also from solder fumes. • Always work in a well ventilated area. • Solder on a fire resistant surface. Homasote, or dry wall are good . • Never leave your iron plugged in and unattended. • Do not overload a wall outlet with too many electric appliances. • Never set your hot iron down on anything other than an iron stand. • Replace the cord of your iron if it becomes worn or gets burnt. • To prevent burning your fingers, use needle nose pliers or heat resistant gloves to hold small pieces. • Never cut off a grounding prong on an iron plug to make it fit an ungrounded receptacle. • Beware that photo etched parts can be sharp. • Don’t solder with shorts on. Don’t ask me how I know!
Tools Required • Flush cutters, X-acto knife or scissors • CAA glue and Zip Kicker • 15-30 Watt Soldering iron with stand • Solder • Wet sponge • FLUX! • Solder wick or sucker • Wet Paper Towels for heat sinks • Optional • Tweezers, locking forceps or vise • Needle nose pliers or photo etch bender
Brass Kit Assembly Tips • Read the kit directions. • Techniques we’ll discuss • Using CAA and Zip Kicker • Bending parts • Curving parts • Tinning Parts • When soldering, use flux - you’ll be amazed.
Soldering Tips • Preparing the soldering iron • When using your soldering iron for the first time you need to "tin" the tip. This is also true after you replace the tip. All you do is to heat up the iron and applying a thin coat of solder to the tip. This helps to achieve good heat transfer to the item you are soldering. • There are a few things you need to do to care for your soldering iron. You need to take care of your tips, you should avoid scratching and scraping the tip. You should avoid getting plastic melted in the tip, this causes loss of efficiency and will probably lead to replacing the tip. You need to keep the tip clean, this is were the sponge comes in. When soldering, keep the sponge wet. Use it to clean the tip periodically while soldering. This keeps the tip working best. When you have finished soldering, put a blob of solder on the tip as it cools, this seals it, helping to prevent oxidation. • Preparing the connection • The next step is ensure that the parts you are connecting are clean. While the flux in the solder will help remove oxidation, it will not remove grease, dirt, or other unwanted stuff. If you need to you may have to clean with a brush or cloth. You can clean with a small steel-bristle brush intended for the purpose, and you can use a strip of emery cloth or a file to remove stubborn crud. There are also solvents as isopropyl alcohol that can be used. • Sometimes it pays to "tin" the surface first. This is done by applying the iron to the surface, then applying solder.
Soldering Tips (cont.) • Finally... making a joint. • The official way. • To actually solder a joint, first apply heat by applying the top of the iron against to things you are joining, immediately apply solder it the point where the iron is contacting. Feed solder only until there is enough to fill the gap at leave a slight swell. Remove the solder and the iron smoothly, you don't want to risk splashing melted metal! • The easy way. • Apply flux where you want the joint to be. • Melt a bit of solder on the iron. • Touch the iron to the joint area. The flux will boil and the solder will flow in. AMAZING! • The whole process should only take a second. You don't want to over heat the area. • You want to avoid bumping or moving the join until it as cooled, as this can cause a "cold" joint that will later crack and cause problems. • A good joint will be shiny and smooth. • A bad solder joint will look dull, more gray than silver. • To redo a solder joint, remove the solder you just put on, and cleaning the surface. Then start over. • Clean off any left over flux with alcohol and soap and hot water.