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Solid Brass woes.

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  #1  
Old January 11th, 2010, 08:31 PM
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Default Solid Brass woes.

So I have had my 30" AF solid brass hookah for about 4 months and it has sprung a leak!

Not sure how this has suddenly become a problem but it has smoked with no leaks for the duration of me owning it, save for my last session.

Heres the status report: The largest leak is where the purge valse meets the heart of the hookah, there is a small slit hole in the ares where it was weilded.

But the part thats throwing me for a loop is a very small pin hole no larger than the width of the tip of a toothpick on the first gold section of the stem coming down from the tray. I have noticed it before but it did not have any issues other then a very small aethstetic flaw. But now if I plug the downstem and blow into the stem air leaks out from the purge...heres the weird part, if I blow into the leak near the purge air comes out of the hole in the top of the stem. How is this possible if the hookahs components are solid brass?

Any product knowledge for plugging the leaks listed above would be most helpful. Ty
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  #2  
Old January 11th, 2010, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

every once and a while this happends, you can easily solder those holes
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  #3  
Old January 11th, 2010, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

i would think the "solid" part is that the stem in one cast piece of brass but that doenst mean they dont add in a smooth stem inside (is the stem smooth? i have never seen one of these in person).

even though i am all for fixing things the "right" way unless you have access to metal smithing tools (and some know how) i suggest against trying to solder this. some clear or color matched epoxy/glue/jbweld etc is going to be a safer/easier option for you realistically. soldering can get messy really fast, especially if you dont know how to heat metal evenly (and on a stem like this its going to be hard to do it well even if you do know what your doing) which can lead to solder flowing over places you dont want it. also if you over heat (would have to be a good amount since it is low temp solder) you can burn out some of the elements in the solder and cause it to pit and get the brass to copper plate (the alloy starts to break down the the copper ends up in a spotty covering on the surface of the brass)

-matt
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  #4  
Old January 11th, 2010, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

Sui-
If you're not comfortable trying the repair yourself, take it by a local plumbing shop, and ask them to sillfoss, or silver solder, the leaks. You may have to leave it there a day, but it should only cost $25 to $40, and they'll do it right. Or hit craigslist and call one of the plumbers that adv there, they are usually very inexpensive.

Good luck, my friend!
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  #5  
Old January 11th, 2010, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sui View Post
So I have had my 30" AF solid brass hookah for about 4 months and it has sprung a leak!

Not sure how this has suddenly become a problem but it has smoked with no leaks for the duration of me owning it, save for my last session.

Heres the status report: The largest leak is where the purge valse meets the heart of the hookah, there is a small slit hole in the ares where it was weilded.

But the part thats throwing me for a loop is a very small pin hole no larger than the width of the tip of a toothpick on the first gold section of the stem coming down from the tray. I have noticed it before but it did not have any issues other then a very small aethstetic flaw. But now if I plug the downstem and blow into the stem air leaks out from the purge...heres the weird part, if I blow into the leak near the purge air comes out of the hole in the top of the stem. How is this possible if the hookahs components are solid brass?

Any product knowledge for plugging the leaks listed above would be most helpful. Ty
I'm confused. If you plug the downstem and blow into the top of the stem tube, the only way you'd get air coming out of the purge is if you had a leak in the stem tube and the purge tube.

If you are plugging one end of the purge tube and blowing in the other, and air comes out of one of the seams of the outer top stem pieces, then you have a leak in the purge tube. The hookah is made of cast pieces with hollow centers threaded together. The AF solids are not truly solid but some pieces have fairly thick walls. The leak path would be through the hole in the purge tube, up and around the stem tube but inside the stem pieces, and finally out of one of the threaded seams.

FWIW, my AF medium solid came with a leak in the purge tube. Mine was because the tubes are crimped and bent instead of rolled, IOW poorly made.
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  #6  
Old January 11th, 2010, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassem View Post
Sui-
If you're not comfortable trying the repair yourself, take it by a local plumbing shop, and ask them to sillfoss, or silver solder, the leaks. You may have to leave it there a day, but it should only cost $25 to $40, and they'll do it right. Or hit craigslist and call one of the plumbers that adv there, they are usually very inexpensive.

Good luck, my friend!
i really think you would end up with a fixed stem that had solder spots still on it. also silver solder WILL cause copper plating, which you wont get off unless you have a)super pickle (jewelers pickle 50/50 mix with H2O2), or b)abrasives

also it is not the best thing to silver solder (braze) a piece of brass (and pretty much any other non ferrous metal except gold) with out evenly heating it up to annealing temperature (or there about), and on a piece that big it will be impossible... not to mention that it would melt out all the other solder joints in the piece since it is low temp solder. if there is low temp solder on the piece that is heated to annealing temp of the brass it probably will fuse to the brass and can eat the brass away

-matt
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  #7  
Old January 11th, 2010, 11:13 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

I've learned through experience that silver soldering/hard soldering/brazing is overkill. Any soft solder will do as that is what they're made with anyhow. Preferably you'd want to use a lead free solder but it really doesn't matter.
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  #8  
Old January 12th, 2010, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

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Originally Posted by foibled View Post
I've learned through experience that silver soldering/hard soldering/brazing is overkill. Any soft solder will do as that is what they're made with anyhow. Preferably you'd want to use a lead free solder but it really doesn't matter.
lead solder also is no where near as brittle (of course depending on composition). the lead free solder used specifically on pewter (bismuth based IIRC) cannot even get a sharp 90* bend in it with out breaking and any force on the seam will split. if your going to solder this stem i see no reason a lead solder would be an issue honestly

-matt
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  #9  
Old January 12th, 2010, 08:10 AM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

Best would be to send the stem to Foibled to have it repaired

Otherwise as Matt stated have it soldered but take note the brass of you Hookah is plated with a gold brass layer. and any heat will affect this plating.
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  #10  
Old January 13th, 2010, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

I agree. Just solder over the holes. and fix the pipe in a jiffy
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  #11  
Old January 14th, 2010, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

solder it.

Last edited by limpinghawk; January 14th, 2010 at 03:55 PM.
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  #12  
Old January 14th, 2010, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

I have to af's both large and medium solid, i heated the lead solder off of all the joints both sides of stem, heart, hose port, valve and replaced them all with silver, all you need is a pencil torch and a small role of silver solder. i dont know about the gold Finnish burning off, but the nickle Finnish didn't burn off any of mine. I also replaced all the solder on my km, that lead stuff just doesnt look good and just because its lead i dont like it. The silver is shinny just like the rest of the hookah. oh ya and make sure to get the 99% silver solder and dont forget the a little flux to help get it moving.
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  #13  
Old January 14th, 2010, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate View Post
I have to af's both large and medium solid, i heated the lead solder off of all the joints both sides of stem, heart, hose port, valve and replaced them all with silver, all you need is a pencil torch and a small role of silver solder. i dont know about the gold Finnish burning off, but the nickle Finnish didn't burn off any of mine. I also replaced all the solder on my km, that lead stuff just doesnt look good and just because its lead i dont like it. The silver is shinny just like the rest of the hookah. oh ya and make sure to get the 99% silver solder and dont forget the a little flux to help get it moving.
im not sure what silver solder your using but IT solder isnt even 99% silver. at that point you are just fusing if you were to use it on fine silver and creating a eutectic bond on anything that doesnt melt below silver.

im having a hard time believing your using real silver solder if you didnt have any issues with brass plating.

-matt
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  #14  
Old January 14th, 2010, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

Im sorry for you Sui, I feel your pain! best of luck repairin' your stuff hopefully all goes well.
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  #15  
Old January 14th, 2010, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

Same problem with my 36" AF solid. Leaks around the purge valve. I also feel your pain.
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  #16  
Old January 18th, 2010, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

im having a hard time believing your using real silver solder if you didnt have any issues with brass plating.

Matt- you're a metal smith, or glass smith, or something, right? Surely you are aware that sillfoss comes in a huge variety of heat ranges and bonding types? Combine an 0 or 00 small b-tank torch tip with a low melt range sillfoss and you won't affect the plating at all. (You can also temp control the surrounding metal if need be.) If you know what you're doing, which the guy that repair all the hookahs at my lounge certainly do, it's a permanent fix that's better and neater looking then the original joint. And no plating problems.
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  #17  
Old January 18th, 2010, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

Solder it. DIY style. Talk to your local hardware store about the right type of solder.
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  #18  
Old January 18th, 2010, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassem View Post
im having a hard time believing your using real silver solder if you didnt have any issues with brass plating.

Matt- you're a metal smith, or glass smith, or something, right? Surely you are aware that sillfoss comes in a huge variety of heat ranges and bonding types? Combine an 0 or 00 small b-tank torch tip with a low melt range sillfoss and you won't affect the plating at all. (You can also temp control the surrounding metal if need be.) If you know what you're doing, which the guy that repair all the hookahs at my lounge certainly do, it's a permanent fix that's better and neater looking then the original joint. And no plating problems.
i have never seen sil fos, but it looks kinda like tig filler rod for copper. we only use silver solder in the stuff here (that or weld). spot heating like that on copper/brass is very bad. the plating i am talking about is not a plating on the surface of the metal that is there you will destroy but the coper plating that develops when you properly heat brass to solder (braze). by spot heating the way you are talking about it gives an uneven temper to the metal and it can lead to air hardening over time which can cause the metal to randomly crack.

-matt
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  #19  
Old January 18th, 2010, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

or save yourself lots of money and buy some JB weld from home depot and that will work. no welding / soldering needed. Just mix the 2 solutions... apply and your good to go.

Did it to the bottom bell part of my trimetal it was cracking. now I have no problems.
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  #20  
Old January 18th, 2010, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattathayde View Post
im having a hard time believing your using real silver solder if you didnt have any issues with brass plating.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassem View Post
Matt- you're a metal smith, or glass smith, or something, right? Surely you are aware that sillfoss comes in a huge variety of heat ranges and bonding types? Combine an 0 or 00 small b-tank torch tip with a low melt range sillfoss and you won't affect the plating at all. (You can also temp control the surrounding metal if need be.) If you know what you're doing, which the guy that repair all the hookahs at my lounge certainly do, it's a permanent fix that's better and neater looking then the original joint. And no plating problems.
I highly doubt he is using silver solder with a pencil torch. He's probably thinking silver-bearing lead-free solder is the same stuff we're referring to and not a copper-tin-silver (and maybe antimony) alloy that is mostly tin.

Oxy-acetylene, air-acetylene, and any hard solder that would require either of those torches are overkill.
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  #21  
Old January 18th, 2010, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

No i know exactly what i am doing i am a master plum, butt crack and all, and i dont know the specs on the silver, but its yes 99% per silver, some crazy expensive stuff my boss got for some crazy job long before i was around. i will get you a the specs. as for the pencil torch at least that's what i call it, its not easy like copper pipe, i felt it my only choice since it was the only torch handle and work that fits in my mouth, yes my mouth! because i couldn't get it right with the torch, or the hookah in a vise, or anything, trust me it took many attempts to get it just right, all the plating on the hookah is perfectly intact. i havent posted pics here before, and im no computer guru by any means, but ill try and post some.
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  #22  
Old January 18th, 2010, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

a little late, sorry. take it to an insturment shop that repairs trumpets and trombones. if they are nice, they could solder it and make it look great. i play trombone and have had a few brass repairs and it looks almost flawless
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  #23  
Old January 18th, 2010, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foibled View Post
I highly doubt he is using silver solder with a pencil torch. He's probably thinking silver-bearing lead-free solder is the same stuff we're referring to and not a copper-tin-silver (and maybe antimony) alloy that is mostly tin.

Oxy-acetylene, air-acetylene, and any hard solder that would require either of those torches are overkill.
well we use pencil torches but granted its on very small pieces usually

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate View Post
No i know exactly what i am doing i am a master plum, butt crack and all, and i dont know the specs on the silver, but its yes 99% per silver, some crazy expensive stuff my boss got for some crazy job long before i was around. i will get you a the specs. as for the pencil torch at least that's what i call it, its not easy like copper pipe, i felt it my only choice since it was the only torch handle and work that fits in my mouth, yes my mouth! because i couldn't get it right with the torch, or the hookah in a vise, or anything, trust me it took many attempts to get it just right, all the plating on the hookah is perfectly intact. i havent posted pics here before, and im no computer guru by any means, but ill try and post some.
i still have a very hard time believing it is 99% silver, theres no advantage i can see to that, and since it melts so close to the melting point of copper its kinda risky to use it. if the hookah has brass on it and you used this solder it is impossible that it is 99% silver. once brass is heated up to annealing point (dull red which is i think about 11-1200*f) the zinc burns out on the surface and you get some coper left on it, you get a very splotchy coper coating on the brass. also since silver melts at almost 1800* and brass is below that, you would have been creating a weld. as to expense, even normal jeweler's silver solder is in the lower 20s per troy ounce. i am interested to hear the specs on it but i would be willing to bet that its not basically fine silver wire.

-matt
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  #24  
Old January 18th, 2010, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate View Post
No i know exactly what i am doing i am a master plum, butt crack and all, and i dont know the specs on the silver, but its yes 99% per silver, some crazy expensive stuff my boss got for some crazy job long before i was around. i will get you a the specs. as for the pencil torch at least that's what i call it, its not easy like copper pipe, i felt it my only choice since it was the only torch handle and work that fits in my mouth, yes my mouth! because i couldn't get it right with the torch, or the hookah in a vise, or anything, trust me it took many attempts to get it just right, all the plating on the hookah is perfectly intact. i havent posted pics here before, and im no computer guru by any means, but ill try and post some.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattathayde View Post
i still have a very hard time believing it is 99% silver, theres no advantage i can see to that, and since it melts so close to the melting point of copper its kinda risky to use it. if the hookah has brass on it and you used this solder it is impossible that it is 99% silver. once brass is heated up to annealing point (dull red which is i think about 11-1200*f) the zinc burns out on the surface and you get some coper left on it, you get a very splotchy coper coating on the brass. also since silver melts at almost 1800* and brass is below that, you would have been creating a weld. as to expense, even normal jeweler's silver solder is in the lower 20s per troy ounce. i am interested to hear the specs on it but i would be willing to bet that its not basically fine silver wire.
He definitely is not using 99% pure silver for reasons you posted, and for sure not doing this with a simple pencil torch, especially considering butane or even propane can only reach a maximum flame temp of just under 2000F without the use of pure oxygen. Silver solders with melting temps closer to 1200-1300F are only ~50% silver with the rest being copper and tin. Brazing at that temperature on a brass hookah with a pencil torch? Yeah, good luck with that.
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  #25  
Old January 18th, 2010, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Solid Brass woes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foibled View Post
He definitely is not using 99% pure silver for reasons you posted, and for sure not doing this with a simple pencil torch, especially considering butane or even propane can only reach a maximum flame temp of just under 2000F without the use of pure oxygen. Silver solders with melting temps closer to 1200-1300F are only ~50% silver with the rest being copper and tin. Brazing at that temperature on a brass hookah with a pencil torch? Yeah, good luck with that.
only easy flow is down to the 50%, and there is very little use for it, hard solder is 76/21/3 (silver,copper,zinc), the lower temp silver solders are really yellow and dont match well. but ya IT (eutectic) solder is about 80/16/4 and has a melting of 1490*f and the only time that is used is for enameling but realistically unless it is really delicate you might as well tig weld it

-matt
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