I did play with some big (huge) metal cutting saws, which was really fun. One of the best things about this project is that I'm developing a lot of rudimentary fabrication skills.
I basically cut up a bunch of rings and then practiced brazing them. Initially, I just wasn't getting full penetration of the filler, but I think that that's partially because I got used to using silver in the week I was doing braze-ons. After a couple of tries and a helpful pointer, I was getting about what I got the last time I did this drill.
Things I'm trying to focus on:
- Getting the whole lug up to, or nearly up to, temperature before trying to flow bronze anywhere.
- Keeping the far side hotter than the shoreline I'm feeding from so that the bronze will flow through.
- Cleanliness, cleanliness, cleanliness. I reheated a piece for practice getting things up to temp, and MAN, even when I was above temperature the bronze would not flow onto it. It'd melt right up against the lug and then just roll off. It's amazing what careful cleaning will add to a joint, and how much fresh flux helps.
Perhaps more importantly, I'm getting some feedback on where to apply filler, and how far I should be able to drag it through the joint to be confident that I've filled things properly. I'll post an update on that when I have more info.