"One Perfect Part at a Time"


A3 Tender Coupler Pocket

DSC06382I have constructed the tender coupler pocket for my Pennsy A3 switcher project. There is a write up in The Hobbyist Machine Shop HERE. There was a lot of work in re-making that little component. It was very good practice in fabricating small parts for silver brazing. Hop over and take a look.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures. Let me know what you like to see. I am not really trying to produce a how-to, but I do like to post some of the action.

Silver Brazing

I was self taught in brazing and soldering metals long before I became certified By Harris Industries (Now called the Harris Products Group) about 35 years ago. Nothing has changed about the processes in all that time. It is a skill that can easily be developed and improves with use or practice. Most skilled hobbyist can quickly master the basic technique.

What is required is an understanding of the science and what is going on in the heating process. I have always needed to know the why of any process before I could truly master the how. Silver brazing is a process a machine can be set up to do perfectly every time on an assembly line; but not until all the variable factors are preset and under control. A human operator in a mixed environment must understand all the variables and observe and modify the process “on the fly” to make a perfect assembly.

I am not going to explain the process here in the blog. Just Google Silver Brazing and you will find all the how-to you will ever need. If you are close to Ohio you can still go to the Harris factory and take a two day course. My course was for making piping joints but the process is still the same for model train parts.

Correct heat and the correct tools for keeping that heat under control is critical. Also the prep work is the key to successful joints. Playing with the big flame seems intimidating but with practice it just becomes a comfortable step in the process.

Every trade from jewelry makers to pipe fitters has mastered the processes of brazing and soldering. For model builders it ought to just be another skill in a big bag of tricks. It is a fun… Continue reading

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