Soldering metal pots isn’t as difficult as people say, but it’s not as easy as you might think … unless you know the tricks.
The metal pot is used for all kinds of cheap trinkets like figurines, cookie cutters, piercing handles, and especially old automotive window crank handles. The problem with these kinds of things is that sometimes the effort that goes into soldering them just isn’t worth it. But there are some things made of metal pot that is it so It is worth fixing. Some of the ones that come to mind are antiques, vintage classic car parts like trims and trimmings, and Grandma’s cookie cutter which is worth nothing but has sentimental value.
Pot metal is made of aluminum, zinc, copper, and possibly some other low-melting point metals in various combinations. It is also known as die cast metal.
It is the zinc that makes it difficult to weld because zinc has such a low melting point and also tries to get out of gas when tig welding. But you can weld with little trouble if you know how.
The 3 main welding rods are:
- Alladin 3 in 1
These rods are advertised to be able to weld using only a small handheld propane torch. That’s actually brazing, not soldering, but the salespeople at boat shows are really impressive when they repair big holes in beer cans with brazing.
But these Zinc Aluminum Brazing Rods can also be used for Tig Weld Pot Metal.
If you are pretty decent at aluminum tig welding, surely you can read this article and do tig welding well too.
In general, pot metal parts are fairly clean so only a little polishing is required before welding. Usually the problem is that something just broke. If that’s the case, a small groove in the crack will allow sufficient penetration for a strong bond. Remember, if it’s an ornamental piece and it’s broken because someone dropped it, it will break again if dropped again, no matter how deep you penetrate the weld, so be careful about penetration.
You need a high frequency start A / C tig welding machine. Most jobs can be welded with a small 1/16-inch tungsten electrode with a blunt cone at the tip. Set the amperage to only about 80 amps and you probably won’t even need that much.
TIG weld it as you would aluminum, except it will only weld for about 5-10 seconds at a time before stopping to let it cool. Just when it starts to flow well. STOP! It is about to melt and fall into your lap. That is the best advice for soldering this material.
Stop often and cool.