My 1912 Touring has a Rands windshield frame that has several stress cracks on the driver's side below the hinge. I checked with the part vendors and have learned that there were many different sized frames used. My particular sized frame is 41 1/4" wide and 12 1/4" tall approximately both top and bottom halves being the same except that the top has the "Rands" name plate riveted to it. The windshield has perfect safety glass in it.
Apparently no one reproduces this size frame so my options are either to buy a whole new windshield frame and have new safety glass cut for the new size frame. This looks like it would cost me around $700 total by the time all was said and done.
Question: does anyone know if I could repair the frame using 45 % alloy silver solder? I have read that a fellow named Luke Chennell has found that this silver solder will polish to a color indistinguishable from brass, making repairs invisible. If so, where can I purchase this 45 % alloy silver solder?
Here's what Luke says:
I bought mine at a welding supply house. Look for J.W. Harris Safety-Silv 45 (cadmium-free).
And yes, it looks just like brass.
Consider contacting Speedway Motors. Look them up on line. They manufacture all the replacement windshield frames and I bet they could reproduce your size frame so you wouldn't have to replace the glass. If you were to provide them with the dimensions including the corner radii, you might in business.
Maybe a dumb question, but why repair what you have? The hinges bolt to plugs inside the tubing and provide overall support. Are you sure the structural soundness is at risk?
I have intersecting cracks that are up to 2" long. While structural integrity may not be at issue it looks like crap. At the rate the cracks are going it is likely pieces may fall off if I don't do something.
I did talk to Speedway Motors which is why I am going to try repairs first. They are nice folks but are in business to make money if you know what I mean.
I am off to the welding supply to see if they have something equivalent.
While you are at it, get some of that blue flux used for brazing - I don't think that vinegar will be adequate. LOL!
My Mezger Automatic Windshield is 41 1/4 inches wide, while there has been a half that is 42 1/4 wide on tbay.
BTW, here's how to travel in the summer heat; windshield down and back flap open.
I tried to buy that upper windshield half as I have a very nice lower unit. I got out bid at last second. Would love to find one.
Yes, Royce, I did post that on brass lamps, and I stick by using the stuff. I use the Harris branded stuff, and their "safety-silv" flux with it. I think the flux is mostly borax paste. The trick to using the stuff on cracks (at least in my experience) is to lay down a coat of flux, and then with a pair of side cutters nip off several small pieces of solder (you'll figure out how much you need pretty quickly) and lay them on the crack, using the liquid flux to hold them in place. As you heat the metal up, the flux will bubble, then turn to glass, and shortly thereafter the solder will run into your cracks and fill them very nicely, requiring little more than a quick runover with some tripoli and then white rouge on some buffing wheels to clean everything up. No sanding involved. If you try to use the stuff like "conventional" solder and daub it on, you wind up with a bigger mess, wasted solder, and more cleanup. And at the price of the stuff, I don't think that's worth it.
Clamping may be necessary on your windshield cracks, but without seeing them, it's hard to say.
I might also mention that some people say that as the brass tarnishes, the silver solder does not and tends to have a somewhat different color. I haven't noticed that, but we usually try to keep our brass in a reasonable state of polish around here. Not always easy to do, though.
Good luck on it - and don't try to weld it. The zinc in the brass starts flaring off and makes a BIG mess. Don't ask me how I know.
I'm sure you'll see it, but on the classifieds now there is an Automatic Folding Windshield.
On the way home last night, I picked up one stick of generic 45 Silver (non-Cd) because I have some brass repairs I'm doing. They stock Harris black and white flux but not that brand of rod. I couldn't believe the price on the stuff. I guess nothing is cheap any more. You're spot on with the color match. Thanks for the tip.
Luke's tip, not mine. I just have some that I used to rebuild the oil lines on my Dad's MG and noticed that the solder was identical to the color of the brass banjo fittings.
If parts fit together closely, it will go a long way, but yes it is pricey.
Mine from Harris is 1/16" wire, BTW.
Thanks for all the help everybody! I have received offers of several original non - cracked windshield frames for less money than the solder and flux would have cost. I took Kim Dobbins offer because his spare lower half is almost identical to my cracked one. Thanks again!
Darn Royce - you took all the fun out of it! Some of us wanted to see how well you got along with the silver solder and the flux..........
You did great, IMO. Silver soldering can be a messy and expensive bear to deal with. I've done quite a bit of it (since I can't weld) and I'd hesitate doing a prized part for an antique auto enthusiast.
I'd send them to Luke!