Masters' Library

  The Amateur's Handbook of Practical Information for the Workshop by John Phin, 1879    


It is a fact well known to the editors of scientific and technical journals, that there are a series of questions to which answers are continually desired by new subscribers, no matter how often these questions may have been previously discussed.

To give a reply to every one, in the columns of the journal, would be an injustice to other readers; to reply to each by letter would be an endless task, and to ignore them entirely would be inadmissible.

Fortunately the majority of these questions may be fully and thoroughly answered once for all in a few pages of type, and this is the end and aim of the present work, which has been published at a price which places it within the reach of all.

The utmost care has been taken to give none but trustworthy directions and recipes.

Most persons who have occasion to consult an ordinary book of recipes must be painfully aware of the fact that accuracy seems to be the last quality sought for by the compilers and indeed by most of those who contribute recipes to our technical journals.

With them complexity is in more favor than efficiency, and we therefore see long lists of ingredients strung out one after the other, most of them being useless and some being even injurious.


All this we have tried to avoid, and we feel confident that the amateur and those whose skill and experience is not very great will find here an efficient guide.

Brazing and Soldering

The term soldering is generally applied when fusible alloys of lead and tin are employed. When hard metals, such as copper, brass or silver are used, the term brazing (derived from brass) is more appropriate.

In uniting tin, copper, brass, etc., with any of the soft solders, a copper soldering-iron is generally used. This tool and the manner of using it are too well known to need description.

In many cases, however, the work may be done more neatly without the soldering-iron, by filing or turning the joints so that they fit closely, moistening them with soldering fluid, placing a piece of smooth tin-foil between them, tying them together with binding wire and heating the whole in a lamp or fire till the tin-foil melts.

We have often joined pieces of brass in this way so that the joints were quite invisible. Indeed, with good soft solder almost all work may be done over a lamp without the use of a soldering-iron.

New York, October, 1878

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