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Thread: soldering pinhole leak in stainless pot?

  1. #1
    rimcanyon's Avatar
    rimcanyon is offline Titanium
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    Default soldering pinhole leak in stainless pot?

    I was given a large stainless steel pot that has a few pinhole leaks on the bottom. Evidently caused by cooking something acidic. It would be a useful addition to the shop, but my attempts to silver solder have failed. Can't get the solder to "wet" the stainless. Any suggestions on flux, type of solder to use?

  2. #2
    Heavey Metal is online now Titanium
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    45% silver

    white flux

    If it still wont take blue flux

  3. #3
    T. Jost is offline Cast Iron
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    Unless that pot is an exact fit to something very specific or holds immense sentimental value, put it in your box of scrap stainless and sell it next time you go to a scrap yard.

    The material around the "pin holes" is almost thin enough to become a hole as well. If you do get one of the various solders that will stick to stainless to stick the pot will likely crack around the spot. If you are needing the stainless properties of the pot for chemical remember that your solders are not stainless and will contain copper, nickel, zinc, silver, selenium, etc and those may interact in unexpected ways with whatever you are cooking or holding.

    I have people bring me stainless pots and pans to weld from time to time and even getting the handles welded back on without cracking and distortion is tricky. Buy a plastic bucket and let the scrap stainless go to scrap man.

    Todd
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    vettepicking is offline Hot Rolled
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    Clean and Tig it

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    xdmp22 is offline Hot Rolled
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    Quote Originally Posted by vettepicking View Post
    Clean and Tig it
    Yup, agreed....tig it

  6. #6
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    bosleyjr is offline Diamond
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    If you have a reasonably good SS pot, I'd have to wonder what it was used for to get a pinhole leak, or how good it was to begin with. For me, that would rule out food prep.

    If you want to use it for industrial (e.g. stainless applications) purposes, why would you solder it it with anything? That is, don't you need the fix to be the same metallurgy as the base metal? For this, the experts say TIG, and it sounds like the voice of experience.

    Good luck.

    Jim

  7. #7
    gmatov is offline Diamond
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    The OP did say "large" and that indicates VERY thin.

    I would not bother. They are absolutely CHEAP. My biggest began leaking when I was canning hot peppers. It went. 8 or 10 bucks to replace..

    A "Tinker" wouldn't give a "dam" about that. HE'D tell you to buy a new one.

    George
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  8. #8
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    tomwalz is offline Stainless
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    56% silver solder (braze alloy) with Black flux is recommended by AWS.

    If someone has tried to braze it and did not use the correct flux they may have formed Chromium oxides. These are really nasty. About all that removes them is Hydrofluoric acid. HF is really nasty. It immediately penetrates through the skin and attacks bone marrow. Sometimes amputation is necessary.

    We buy stainless steel at Goodwill, Value village, etc.

  9. #9
    Heavey Metal is online now Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomwalz View Post
    56% silver solder (braze alloy) with Black flux is recommended by AWS.

    If someone has tried to braze it and did not use the correct flux they may have formed Chromium oxides. These are really nasty. About all that removes them is Hydrofluoric acid. HF is really nasty. It immediately penetrates through the skin and attacks bone marrow. Sometimes amputation is necessary.

    We buy stainless steel at Goodwill, Value village, etc.
    56 lays down to .002 will that bridge the hole?

    I would pay good money to watch someone tig a pinhole in a pot with ss wire.(it would be quite entertaining)

  10. #10
    adama is offline Diamond
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    Heavy metal its easy with a stainless pot. I can reliably tig 0.25mm shim stock all day long and im not exactly a talented welder. Firstly most tigs will happily drop down to about a 5 amp minimum. At a voltage of circa 20 volts that's only 100W of power to dissipate, Approximatly a 1/3rd of that is lost to the torch and a fair bit is lost in the arc through radiation. Hence its easy to add a small heat sink the other side (rest the hole on the bench!) and go to town. Were its a issue is if there is contamination, tig and rust - anything that will off gas don't get on!

  11. #11
    Gary E is offline Diamond
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    Buy some fuel oil and furtilizer.... mix it up nice.....

    Take it out for target practice.....
    ask the mythbusters for details.....

  12. #12
    gmatov is offline Diamond
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    What IS this pot? I cooking pot, 12 qt., or something, one you an replace for 10 bucks, or is something special? I buy mine at the Dollar Store 10 bucks max.

    IF it got ate through, it is a thin pot, period, and I don't care HOW good a welder you are, it is not worth it.

    I'd scrap it, probably 45 cents scrap value, IF it is non-mag., and go buy another. That's what I did with the one my pickled hot peppers ate the hole in.

    Some battles are not worth fighting.

    George

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