Wednesday, April 28, 2010

temporary, brief, inexpensive, but highly irritating setback

Remember, while I may be designing Railgun #2 in my spare time, the actual physical shop work going on remains the MSLS until all aspects of it are finished and working. So that's what I was working on last night when I was hit with another "learning experience". This is about the fourth time I've had this particular learning experience. The first two or three times this happened, the "lesson" I learned was the wrong one: I thought I wasn't doing it right. This time, I learned the correct lesson, which I will share with you now:

Joining metal with solder is to be used for two purposes and two purposes only:

* electrical connections which do not see high stress or current

* copper water pipes

Period, the end, full stop. (though I won't be surprised if someone comments with an application I hadn't thought of.)

More directly, solder shall not be used for mechanical fastening of any sort, for any load, in any application, any time, anywhere.

This time, I will put the two parts back together with fucking machine screws, and plenty of 'em. I am done fucking around with this silly part, given that I have already spent the equivalent of the more expensive method I was trying to avoid when I decided to try to put three bits of scrap brass together rather than machine the whole thing from billet. Which is what I will do "next time" if something like this ever comes up again.


PS: Have I mentioned before that I swear a lot? Get used to it. I'm a man's man.

** spits on floor **

1 comment:

Robert said...

In highly technical terms, one of my ham radios broke. What did I find during the autopsy? Yep, the cheap-ass mfr used a solder bridge to attach the board's edge connector to the antenna jack. No wire, just a piece of brittle solder. Jeezus.