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Need help with soldering

Oct 26, 2006
I've now completed about half dozen knives from kits/blades and am ready to grind one soon from O-1. I started today with a new skinning blade of cs from Solingen Germany. Blade about .160 with a 10-24 tang thread. I ground and filed the tang to .156 or so to get a good fit with the guard. I noticed that the tang was softer than I anticipated but continued. I filed the guard's slot until I had a good push fit. I filed the guard area up on the blade to get a close even fit there also. Again, I thought the blade would be harder.
I've been coached a bit by a gunsmith buddy who turned me on to SWIF 95 solder, in a paste form. So, I stirred this stuff up good, smeared it on all the mating surfaces, cleaned up the overflow, and proceeded to heat it up with my propane torch. I had the blade up, and the flux ran and then the solder ran, just like the book says. I still wasn't happy. I wanted that perfect bead all along the joint so I added some solder (Sta-Brite). Then the guard slipped. I regrouped, repostioned the guard with some more heat and tapping with ? on the bench. I remember someone saying to center punch the guard to hold in place, and tried that. I did the whole process again but never got the right position and bead all at the same time. I tried using an acid brush and then a scribe to get the solder where it should be, but noooo, it wasn't happening.
In the end, I took it all apart. The blade had a blue area where I had been working, but it pretty well cleaned up with some simichrome.
What's next? Is this blade shot? I accept my failures, but really want to learn from them.
Any advise from you guys (gals) would be appreciated.
My guards are a bit different,
My guards are of brass and run all the way around the tang.
But I also hate this step, and I also have lots of trouble with it.

What I do now is use a pointed little brass rod to smear the hot solder before it has cooled and this fill any gaps and voids in the final look of the joint.
Thanks Alan,
That is exactly what I was trying to do when the guard moved the first time. Things just seemed to get worse from there. I'll clean everything up and try again, hopefully today. It does seem to me that the solder does not want to flow where the flux has puddled and boiled. I'll be ready to wipe it away next time.
Getting a really slick solder joint is really a pain isnt it:D :D

I still have trouble myself,but I have figured out a easy way to clean one up.
Have you seen my tutorial on this subject?..If not here is a link to it.


If you get the pieces to hot while soldering they wont stick well either.I would suggest cooling the piece off if you need to do much clean up while the solder is hot,then heat again and clean it off,this way the steel doesnt get to hot and mess up the solder joint.

Just some of my 2 cents worth,
Nice tutorial, Bruce. That's pretty much the way I do it. After about 70-80 knives,I still get a little bubble or two but every one gets better. Practice,practice,practice
Whether you are soldering on a guard or sweating two pieces of copper pipe together, the process is basically the same.

Remember the basics
Heat the most massive part and let it flow to the less massive parts
Solder flows toward the hot spots so apply solder opposite the side being heated
a damp wrag wrapped around the blade will keep it from getting any hotter than 212 degrees F until all the water boils away
A piece of nickle silver pin material with the end ground off at about 60 degree angle makes a good chissel to remove excess solder. (It works best with a handle added)

Jim Arbuckle
Thanks Bruce for the tutorial. I'll refer to it many more times after today, I'm sure. Thanks Jim for your lessons also. I've never heard about the massive part being the heated and applying the solder from the colder side. I'll defineately keep that in mind.

I did get it done this afternoon, but it was clumsy. I wound up with the tip down and just let the solder flow to the blade side until I had a bead all around. Cleaned it up similar to Bruce's tutorial.

I'll mention that I do start with SWIF 95 in the joint and when it flows I know it's time to get it done. I also turned the flame down as low as I could, too.

Thanks again to all
I have one thing to say.....JB Weld:D ok...actually 2 things....soldering SUCKS!!!!!!:mad: lol
Solering is easy. It's the cleanup that sucks. On my hidden tang models, I learned to do a solderless joint. Takes more time to fit, but no cleanup.