How to make small bits of brass (or bronze) into big bits of brass (or bronze).

by John

I needed some brass plate 6mm thick, 50mm wide and 150mm long for the Trevithick boiler-engine..

Prices on Ebay were horrendous for thicker material, and I could find no local supplier.

Silver solder, when properly used, is said to be as strong as the parent metal.

And I had some 75 x 75mm brass square section about a meter long.  I bought it years ago for a project and most of it was unused.

So, I cut some slices off the end, sliced bread fashion, and silver soldered pieces together.


2 Bread slices of brass (centre) and machined joined pieces on the sides.


The square section brass log (I can barely lift it), 2 slices at the back, and 2 pieces edge silver soldered and surface machined.

I also needed a large thick piece of LG2 bronze for the Trevithick dredger engine.  The middle round piece needed to be bronze because it is exposed to boiler pressure.  The outside pieces could be bronze or brass so I used brass.



So I silver soldered brass edge pieces to the central piece of bronze.  The soldering was done on the very flat Hebel aerated concrete block,  and the final piece was very flat, requiring minimal machining.



This is the non machined underside of the brass-bronze-brass piece.  It has been rubbed on a surface plate covered with emery paper, just to demonstrate the flatness of the soldered piece.