Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Butane solder, first attempt

Ok, so I got the butane torch out, brushed on some flux (which held the support rod nicely in place with the stickiness).  I used a 1/2" piece of wood to space them out, taped it down so it wouldn't move, and went ahead and joined two bars.  I'll admit it held pretty nice, until I tried bending one side into place, then one side snapped.  Now I'm not completely surprised for multiple reasons.  1. I only had 2 bars fairly far apart, not exactly distributing force, 2. I'm not sure I cleaned the surface good before I started.  3. I didn't create any sort of recess where the support bar could really get good surface contact.  I might also experiment with doing a zig-zag pattern and solder in multiple locations, sort of like what you see on wire rack shelving.

I think if I took my time and did it properly, brass could potentially work.  Just as a backup I looked at what it would cost me to do in metal.  Not only are the rods the same price (and would be far harder to form), but I'd end up spending at minimum $100 for an arc welder, and that's not including all the safety gear that goes along with it.

Went ahead and did a rough 3d model of the updated wireform ramp, looks a lot cleaner.  I need to verify what my actual height of my upper playfield is (ball gets pretty close to the flipper coil), as well as position (how far back) so I can accurately create a 2d view of the side and top.  I figure I can form that turn in one axis (fixture), then make the dip bends in another fixture.  I'm thinking if I use some leftover 1/2" plywood and cut the shape (maybe cut a groove in the edge to keep it centered) then I can hammer the rod into shape, and each side should come out roughly the same shape.

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