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How To Braze Metals

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Like soldering or welding, brazing uses heat and another metal to join two pieces of metal together. Anyone can develop the skill, but of course, you need two things: proper equipment, and a fair amount of practice.

Get the right equipment. A steady hand and a relatively inexpensive brazing torch can heat the metals enough to braze. You can purchase a smaller torch at the local hardware store. The larger oxy/acetalene tank setup is still less expensive than an arc welder.

Hold the flame on both pieces of metal until the metal glows a bright red. The metals should be evenly heated and then the brazing alloy should be applied.

Choose the way you want to join the metals. Most braze joints are variations of one of two basic types -- the butt joint and the lap joint. To form a butt joint, the two pieces of metal are positioned edge to edge. Lap joints have a larger bonding surface because the two metals overlap each other. Because of this overlap, they are stronger.

Use copper, nickel or silver -- the most frequently-used base metals for brazing alloys. Brazing rods make it easy to direct flow over the junction and moving them in small circles helps evenly spread the alloys.

Tip

A flux paste is easy to brush over the ends of the metals to be fused.

Warning

Be careful of the heat; it can burn a person very easily. Always heat evenly. Make sure all flux is washed off or the braze can be weakened.

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