DIY advice... soldering copper pipes.

MontyVeda

a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll
*THIS IS NOT A PLUMBING JOB*


I'm planning on making a curtain pole to go in my bay window out of 22mm copper pipe with various pipe fittings of the solder variety: straight coupler, obtuse elbows and end stops.

I've got a small blow torch (from Aldi the type that's also a gas soldering iron and hot air gun).

Any tips on soldering it all together WITHOUT tarnishing the copper? I guess not getting it too hot is one tip.. but having never soldered copper pipes before (only audio cables), I've really no idea... and I'd like to get it right the first time as repeatedly making a pig's ear of it could prove costly.

[edit] ...I'm also considering gluing it together. Any tips on a suitable glue for metal, that isn't proper copper glue that costs a small fortune.

Another edit... can any of the plumbers tell me what angle these elbows are at...
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...the screwfix website doesn't provide that info.

Cheers :smile:
 
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They are a obtuse fitting 45 degree, a dab of super glue would hold it together thought you would have little time if you got the angle wrong
 
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I reckon you need a bigger torch than you are describing - which I take to be one of thos things like a very fat felt-tip pen. Regarding tarnishing - I'd be inclined not to worry then polish the pipe afterwards - duraglit or brasso or similar. Unless laquered, copper will tarnish over time regardless
 
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MontyVeda

MontyVeda

a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll
They are a obtuse fitting 45 degree, a dab of super glue would hold it together thought you would have little time if you got the angle wrong
Thanks... the angles on my window are 140degree... five degrees out which might be quite obvious over a meter.
That means i might have to bend the pipe which makes it potentially tricky to get right first time.

I reckon you need a bigger torch than you are describing - which I take to be one of those things like a very fat felt-tip pen. Regarding tarnishing - I'd be inclined not to worry then polish the pipe afterwards - duraglit or brasso or similar. Unless laquered, copper will tarnish over time regardless
yup, that's the chap.

I'm happy for it to tarnish over time, just don't want the joins looking tarnished whilst the rest is all coppery shiny new... it's all about the aesthetics :smile:
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
The joins won't look tarnished if you use a damp cloth to wipe off the flux that dribbles out. It's highly caustic and it attacks the copper, which turns manky and green. Remove it, burnish everything with fine wire wool or even metal polish and you'll end up with nice neat lines of silver solder along the joints.

Haven't you got a camping stove or a gas ring? You could get by with either. Take care to clean the end of the pipe and inside those pre-soldered fittings with wire wool before smearing on the flux, assembling and heating until the solder appears around the joint.

I love the smell of hot flux in the morning.
 
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MontyVeda

MontyVeda

a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll
Why not use a pipe-bender instead of elbow joints? You will be able to get the exact angle and no joints to impede the curtain rings.
I haven't got a pipe bender, or a bending spring, and don't really like buying tools I'd only use the once. Plus, I'm planning on filing the tops of the joints down so the rings would be running on something smooth.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Are you going to polish and lacquer the copper? Are you using 15mm or 22mm? It will look a bit steam punk!

I could lend you the pipe cutter and gas torch if you were in Lancashire.
 
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MontyVeda

MontyVeda

a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll
If you dry fit and make up pole and fit it to the bay the obtuse bends will stretch to the angle you need
would it be the elbow joints that bend of the length of pipe between them?
Are you going to polish and lacquer the copper? Are you using 15mm or 22mm? It will look a bit steam punk!

I could lend you the pipe cutter and gas torch if you were in Lancashire.
22mm, attached to the wall with those munsen ring things. It will look a bit steam punk and I'm toying with putting some 90 degree ends on that appear to go into the wall. so it look like an actual bit of plumbing... but maybe keeping it simple is best.

I've already got a pipe cutter, Thank you though.

I like your suggesting of using the gas hob as that has worktops either side which are by far my biggest level surface to work on, which should make it a lot easier.

I'm pretty sure my Dad's got a gas torch, but thank you for the offer. I didn't realise you were a Lancs resident :hello:
 

Ian H

I am an ancient randonneur, & I stop often for tea
Location
East Devon
I haven't got a pipe bender, or a bending spring, and don't really like buying tools I'd only use the once. Plus, I'm planning on filing the tops of the joints down so the rings would be running on something smooth.
You can hire them from many places.
 
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