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Re: Solder tin can lids?

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  • Tim
    Hi Zoomkat. Need a heat source larger than a candle that can be controlled . I have been using commonly available cotton string used for parcel packing as a
    Message 1 of 14 , Oct 2, 2009
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      Hi Zoomkat.

      "Need a heat source larger than a candle that can be controlled".

      I have been using commonly available cotton string used for parcel packing as a wick. I use vegetable oil for the fuel though it is a bit sooty. I believe olive oil is less sooty. You can use a jar lid or make a small fuel tank. I have used a jar lid, with a pull tab from a drinks can inserted into the edge of the lid and the string wrapped through the holes, and a good length coiled up in the lid. See pictures in my album "test" It enables you to adjust easily the length of the wick and therefore the size of the flame. Also it is simple if you need more heat to add another wick, and substantially increase the heat. You can also observe the fuel level easily in tests, and with pliers, adjust the wick length on the run. I use this method with all the small motors I have made, and also in all my Indian boats. I suspect the flame is hotter than a candle, and have been able to "tune" the wick length to the motor to get the best power repeatedly. Some of my motors have run well with two or three short wicks rather than one large one. It is simple to change. I did start off with tea lights and candles, but have found this method more flexible with smaller motors, as you can make your tank as shallow as the string you use, as well as being as wide and long as you want. As another benefit I have found that using the boats outside, that the oil fueled flame is much less prone to being blown out by the wind, and requires a hefty lung full to extinguish. The oil burns quite slowly as well giving good fuel economy in my opinion.

      I hope this may be of help to you in your tests.

      Best regards.

      Tim.

      --- In pop-pop-steamboats@yahoogroups.com, "zoomkat" <Zoomkat@...> wrote:
      >
      > I've posted a picture of the "Miracle Can" can opener I've previously mentioned. It cuts the tops off of the cans and is what I used years ago for my can lid engine. Mating the can tops top to top and soldering the edges makes a round thin boiler. On my can lid engine using too much heat results in the solder melting when it runs. Need a heat source larger than a candle that can be controlled. I've got some 6 oz juice cans that I'm going to try the ends of for a small engine. My next experiment is to use the opener to remove the ends of a can, then flattening the can into a flat boiler shape (somewhat like Slayter's engines). This might make for more secure sealing with solder. The far end can be crimped and soldered, with the crimped portion being large enough for air cooling to prevent the solder melting. On the pipe end, if the engine is tilted, some water will be trapped at the soldered edge preventing solder metlting temperatures. The sides of the engine will require no soldering.
      >
      > --- In pop-pop-steamboats@yahoogroups.com, "frankmcneilll" <frankmcneilll@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi Tim, Zoomkat, and everybody else who has posted on this topic-
      > >
      > > I haven't followed this closely, so maybe I overlooked an explanation about how the lids are removed from cans. My wife is a mail order shopaholic, so we have a collection of junk that doesn't work or that wasn't needed in the first place, but we do have what is possibly the world's best can opener, the "One-Touch" which cuts the can instead of the lid. Cutting lids from both ends- preferably after contents have been removed- would provide two lids with their rims intact. Soldering the rims together would make it unnecessary to remove the slippery stuff most cans are coated with inside.
      > >
      > > Best wishes, Old Frank
      > >
      > > --- In pop-pop-steamboats@yahoogroups.com, "Tim" <p-40.av8r@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Hi Zoomkat.
      > > >
      > > > I have been doing an experiment on another project, and stumbled across something that in a round about way might help. I recently have doing some basic plating and electroplating. It should be possible when you have burned off the lid, to clean it well, and maybe plate it in zinc or copper, this may help you solder it. I have had fairly good results so far soft soldering, though I have not tried can lids yet. I do not know how much temperature this will take, I guess it depends on the amount of plating. I don't know at the moment. I did have a pleasant accident though, and when attempting to hard solder a piece that I had zinc and copper plated, ended up as brass. That particular example ended up as a disaster but I was happy anyway. Makes sense, and I learned a thing or two about metal and chemistry along the way. Early days yet, but I am considering using this technique in some of my pop pop projects, plating some of the cans and bits, to see how it affects the thermal properties, ease of soldering and perhaps a more pleasant or brighter appearance. In particular, I am going to copper plate one of my no solder or glue motors to see if I can make it more efficient when heated from above.
      > > >
      > > > Best regards.
      > > >
      > > > Tim
      > > >
      > > > --- In pop-pop-steamboats@yahoogroups.com, "zoomkat" <Zoomkat@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > I'd like to duplicate my can lid engine using solder instead of JB Weld epoxy. Doses anybody have experience/info on preping steel can metal for soldering? Food cans have all types of coatings that resist solder wetting and make using solder difficult/impossible. So far heating the lids cherry red to burn off coatings, sanding the surface with sand paper, and then soldering with acid core flux seems the most likely success path. Sometimes the solder sticks, and sometimes it doesn't. Heating with an electric soldering iron seems to have better results over a micro torch so far. Anybody have experience in this area?
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
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