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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-02-2012, 02:18 PM   #1
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Default Anybody know about TIG Brazing?

Been thinking alot about tube frames, their designs, materials, and the welds alot here lately, and how I can apply it to a frame I want to build. I have had this idea in my mind to TIG weld a frame and clear coat it, leaving the HAZ still colored ( the blueing ). Just a raw look. Last night I remembered a there was a thread on here where TIG Brazing was breifly mentioned. Found it this morning but nobody went into detail about doing it. Searching the net isnt coming up with specifics for doing so on tubing, just alot of topics in recards to cast.

Here is 2 pictures of what I'm talking about on a Harris frame. Stole these pics from the thread I found




If I can figure out a few things and practice a few times, I'm sure I could duplicate that look. Plus clear coating a bare steel frame leaving those joints seen would be bitchin

So my questions are-

What is the right choice filler metal that is applicable in a structural application like this?

Is it DCEN just like steel welding?

Is the parent metal melted any like in welding or is it not like in brazing?

And are these joints a full TIG braze joint or is there some fusion welding done under the braze joint?
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-02-2012, 06:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: Anybody know about TIG Brazing?

ever since I saw that picture a while back, I've been dreaming about tig bronzing a frame also. That frame is dead sexy. I've done some research but I haven't given it a try yet so this is all second-hand info.

There are two filler rods: Aluminum-bronze and Silicone-bronze. Silicone being more common.

Apparently you can run it on DCEN or AC and it comes down to preference.

I think you need to heat up a small puddle in the parent metal but not much. The whole point of using bronze is on thin stuff or stuff like 4130 where you don't want a lot of heat in it. So if done right you shouldn't see much blueing in the HAZ.

Give it a shot and post pics. Good luck.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-02-2012, 07:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Anybody know about TIG Brazing?

I think I will pick up a pound or so of the silicone bronze filler next week and start playing. I have been trying to research it but everything I'm reading mainly is in regards to cast repairs and stuff like that. Haven't found a single thing having to do with making the welds look like pictured. I have read that ac seems to have an erratic arc and most like it set on DCEN.

Another thing I do keep reading about is that its not good in a structural application. Something about the tensile strength being about 60% of mild steel. So that has me wondering if the frame pictured above has some fusion welding ( with or without filler ) done prior to the TIG braze for full strength
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-02-2012, 09:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Anybody know about TIG Brazing?

On motorcycle frames almost all of it is rigidity rather than strength. Other than in a crash you're never anywhere near the strength of the frame.

A steering damper dampens steering oscillations. If it starts to leak, it may become a steering dampener. There's no such thing as a dampner.

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-04-2012, 06:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Anybody know about TIG Brazing?

Went and picked up a pound of Radnor 3/32 Silicon Bronze filler today at lunch break. Didn't have much lunch break left after chatting with the guy at the supply store. But I did manage to get a bead layed in. Took some scrap 1/8" plate that was laying on the floor, gave it a quick buff, and lit up.

This is the result



DCEN, 3/32 red tungsten sharpened to a point, gas lense with 15-20 cfh, and machine set to 120 AMPs ( never even came close to full pedal though), and a tight arc. I let the sides wet before adding filler. The bead welded alot like aluminum, very soft. About half way thru the bead I picked up some contamination and a couple more spots after that also. Its hard to see it good in the picture but the contaminents wont come off after the bead cools. So first lesson is the metal needs to be extremely clean.

I then spun the piece around and switched over to AC. Basically the same setup as before. Right off the bat it was a bit*h as the arc was all over the place. I made about 1" of weld and decided that wasn't the right choice. Next lesson, NO AC

I cut the weld in half, etched the sides, and you can clearly see that no fusion actually happens. Took one half of the T joint and put it in the vise. Was able to bend the piece almost all the way over before the weld tore from the sides. Didn't get any pictures though.

Tomorrow, I'm going play around with bead ripple spacing, tungsten points, and arc length to see if I can get the bead to resemble anything like the ones on that bike above. I think a blunt nosed tungsten and a slightly longer arc should give the results I'm after. I'll try and take an actual camera to get some better pictures. My phone isnt the best
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-04-2012, 07:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Anybody know about TIG Brazing?

I'm a fan of silibraze... From Tony Foal's book on chasis design; brazing a frame together, the right way, is a much better practice as it doesn't weaken the parent metals.


I'm not totally sure what the "right way" actually is... That's old school secret... You can mig silicone bronze as well, but from my readings on the stuff, it's always stressed as a non-structural medium...


God damn shit looks so pretty... Avid fucking fan right here...


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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-04-2012, 11:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Anybody know about TIG Brazing?

From what I've read the bronze filler technically isn't as "strong" as the steel, but because it is somewhat softer and not prone to cracking it actually produces a very structurally sound joint. Our late Minneapolis cafe racer had a very high opinion of this technique. The guy on weldingtipsandtricks.com who was a fan of AC I think was using the aluminum bronze rods (which makes a little sense).

I'm loving the pics, keep em coming.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-09-2012, 11:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Anybody know about TIG Brazing?

I have done quite a bit of it myself....we use silicon bronze (or we call it everdur....brand name?)
I havent welded anything that required alot of strength...I work for a custom stainless shop, we do mostly countertops, cabinets, etc... and we make the underbracing, and framework from black iron or galvanized, and the everdur just welds faster for us, so I am not sure of the structural integrity (motorcycle frames....?) but it sure looks purty!
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-11-2012, 07:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: Anybody know about TIG Brazing?

Here is the piece I had cut in half a week or so ago



I havn't had all that much time here lately to practice very much. I did try a heavy blunt nosed tungsten, but I found that I was in the weld far too long. One thing I have found was if you hang around to long the weld looses it bright color. Wire brushing does bring back the lost color some but its a dull color instead.

I also tried increasing to bead spacing more. What I found there was that with the 3/32 filler, I was having a concave bead. Tried pushing more filler per ripple but then I was back to being in the weld to long. Going to have to get some 1/8 filler for that

In this next picture I was pushing alot of filler per ripple. In the begining of the bead its clear thats what I was doing. But the interesting part is towards the end of the bead once the metal warmed up a little. Notice how the weld sags?



The contamination problem has been solved. Most of the problem seemed to be in the filler metal. A quick cleaning with some scotch brite and I havn't had an issue since. Other than those prior times when I got the puddle to hot, because it was in those beads also.

Decent bead pic



All in all, I'm very happy I decided to try this stuff out. I have found quite a few good applications where this stuff will come in handy and work has already picked up a few pounds to have on hand. As for if I feel confident enough using this stuff, solely as the filler holding a bike frame together that I plan to beat the living hell out of. I'm still not 100% sold. I'm sure it would work and be fine as long as proper attention was placed on good fitup and your beveling. But like I said, I'm not 100% and wont be fully confident, which will limit how I ride. So what I'm currently thinking is that I will lay a small root pass using typical ER70s filler and cap that with the silicon bronze. Where the silicon bronze acts more like a gusset
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-11-2012, 09:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Anybody know about TIG Brazing?

I was actually thinking of asking a similar question - I'm looking at doing some work on a fuel tank and was considering doing a weld and then capping it off with braze of some sort. Didn't manage to find much searching but that may be me.

What's wrong with a somewhat concave fillet? A convex filler puts much more of a stress riser at it's edge than a concave fillet.

A steering damper dampens steering oscillations. If it starts to leak, it may become a steering dampener. There's no such thing as a dampner.

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