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cseeger

How To Make Coin Conchos

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Here's a tutorial I put together on how to make your own coin conchos.  There's not much to it really, you just need to learn how to solder, and really that's what this tutorial teaches you.  Making coin conchos is sort of incidental once you figure out how to solder.  This is something you can master in an afternoon.

How-To-Make-Coin-Conchos-2.pdf

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Thanks cseeger  have soldered pipe for years, never thought of this:Lighten:

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6 hours ago, ID45 said:

Thanks cseeger  have soldered pipe for years, never thought of this:Lighten:

You're not alone.  :-)   I had a good five years of pipe soldering experience myself before I connected the dots.  It almost pisses you off when you discover how easy it is.

Here's a 20% off Harbor Freight Coupon for your Doming Set --  good through this weekend 2/24/19

20% Off Coupon.png

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Wonderful write up! Thank you for taking the time to do this.

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Thanks for sharing this

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I have to say that way one of the best "how to" articles I've ever read.  Clear, informative and easily read.  KUDOS

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1 hour ago, stelmackr said:

I have to say that way one of the best "how to" articles I've ever read.  Clear, informative and easily read.  KUDOS

I like to write and the thing about writing is that all you're really doing is tossing bait out there in the hopes of every now and then getting a grand compliment such as yours. 

Thank you very much,  You may have just made my whole year.

Edited by cseeger

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Wow! This is absolute gold! Thank you so much! Just ordered some buffalo nickels so I can try this!

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Very cool.  Going to take a shot at also. 

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A couple of observations for what they are worth.  Firstly,  the micro torch might be a bit on the small side for conchos larger then a quarter.  never used one myself but have had students and friends that used them,  They seemed to have trouble with larger and heavier pcs.  Secondly,  I personally would not use a soft plumbing solder to attach the chicago screw.  I would prefer to use a high temp silver solder and the appropriate flux for the increased strength of the bond.  and finally after silver soldering the chicago screw in place  soak the assembly in a mixture of white vinegar and salt to chemically remove the residue of the flux after which you can polish, this called pickling and can also be done with commercially available pickling compounds.

A  very nicely put together tutorial.

Edited by TLP
accidently pasted in info not needed

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thank you!!!!

 

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I'm sorry TLP. I know you're just trying to help, but your suggestions are just plain wrong and I want to assure my tutorial readers  that the soldering tools, supplies and processes as described  in the tutorial will yield perfectly acceptable and STRONG coin conchos.    

Apparently micro torches have improved  over the past several years.  Just to demonstrate, I chose the largest coin in my inventory, a vintage UK Penny which is about as big of a coin there is.  It's essentially identical in size and weight  to a US Walking Liberty Half Dollar.   Using only my Harbor Freight  Micro Torch, the solder flowed and created that solder joint in the picture in 38 seconds. And look at how nice that solder joint turned out.  That's as good as it gets for a coin concho solder joint.

I agree that you should not use soft plumbing solder to make coin conchos.  Soft plumbing solder, otherwise known as lead solder, has a much lower melting temp and is indeed a soft solder with a low tensile strength.  Fortunately, you won't find lead solder at Home Depot or any other regular retail outfit.  Ever since it was regulated out of plumbing service, all that is available for sale is no lead solder which has a much higher melting temp and far greater tensile strength.  The plumbing solder I have is Oatey's Safe Flo Solder, a run of the mill Home Depot retail item.  It has a tensile strength rating of 5,900 psi. To put that in perspective, a standard scuba tank is rated at at 3,000 psi which means that the force required to make the Oatey solder joint fail is more than the force required to blow up a scuba tank.  


I've made many conchos as described in the tutorial and have never had one fail because the joint wasn't strong enough.  Conchos are mostly used for decoration anyway and the fact is you don't even need to solder decorative conchos.  E6000 glue will work just fine.  That stuff is crazy strong and flexible bond.  I should have put that in the tutorial as well. I use E6000 a lot.

A Pickling Pot?  If I had  a dedicated metal working studio, yeah, I'd have a pickling pot.  But for the average Joe who makes a few conchos here and there, it's overkill.   But to each his own. Personally, I have no problems cleaning and polishing without pickling.  Note that the exposed side of a concho doesn't have flux applied to it.

But I will say this for those of you who would like to try pickling, it's a little more involved than just whipping up a batch of vinegar and salt.  You need to educate yourself on the chemical reactions with different metals.   It's an acid and you need to be careful working with it and properly disposing etc.

 

IMG_9969.JPG

IMG_9975.JPG

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But I will say this for those of you who would like to try pickling, it's a little more involved than just whipping up a batch of vinegar and salt. You need to educate yourself on the chemical reactions with different metals. It's an acid and you need to be careful working with it and properly disposing etc.




Plus, you do not want to sniff the fumes, not let splashes get on your eyes..and if you have kids or pets..do not let them anywhere near the liquid or the fumes..

Edited by mikesc

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Thanks for posting this @cseeger I definitely want to try this now.  You did a great job describing your process.

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Thank you for the nice comments everyone.   There are a few terrific tips I forgot to include in the tutorial and it's been bugging the heck out of me to share these.    I tried twice to update the tutorial but I cannot control my editing urge to just rewrite the whole thing and go down every rabbit hole  I can think of.   So, I'm leaving the tutorial as is and have added an Addendum which you can download from the original post.   While I was at it I uploaded a demonstration video on YouTube but have also embedded in the original post for this thread.  '

Thanks again for your interest and hope to see some examples and interpretations from y'all soon.

EDIT:  Well danggit the original post is locked down.  I don't know why they do that. It makes it impossible to update tutorials in any sensible way.  Im going to ask for special permission from .....who is it that runs this place anyway?  Joann?  I've sent her I don't how many messages and she hasn't answered a single one.  Ok, that's probably like three messages but still.  Whatever...   Here's the addendum and the video.

 

 

 

 

 

How To Make Coin Conchos Addendum.pdf

Edited by cseeger

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