Retinning Stove Legs

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by BernieDawg, May 4, 2011.

  1. BernieDawg Banned

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    Hi guys
    I have this idea about stove legs and I'd be interested in seeing what you all think. I often find that stove legs, either fixed or dismountable end up rusty over time. As I understand from reading some threads here at CCS, the fixed legs were dipped in "tin" before they were soldered to the stove.

    I'm thinking that I can derust legs and then redip the legs in "tin" before resoldering them to the stove to protect the legs from corrosion/rust and keep the original look of the leg as it would have come from the manufacturer.

    Here's the question. What metal do I dip them in? Is it pure tin or an alloy like solder (tin/lead) that was used on these legs? Does anyone have an idea?

    I found this website for buying ingots:
    https://www.rotometals.com/tin-metal/

    What do you suppose? Thanks in advance for any guidance on this potential project.

    Cheers,
    Gary
     
  2. Lance

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    Gary, just my advice and you can take it for what you paid. Tinning is a process of applying a soft metal to a part which will enhance it's rust corrosion protection. You'd be as well off to blue the parts using a liquid cold blue. Even if you were to hot galvinize the part it would burn off over time and nothing saved. My best advise, make more than one set and try to keep the first set as rust free as possible. OR make a set from stainless steel and never again have such a problem. If you heat the stainless and shape it while it is hot it will keep the shape and be much easier to bend.

    my $.03

    lance
     
  3. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi Gary,

    Doug Weise, Bryan Miller and I corresponded at some length on this topic over 5 years ago.

    To summarise:

    1. I believe that the majority of classic brass stoves were "tinned" with either pure tin or a tin-lead alloy, using a hot-dipping process.

    2. The steel legs would have been thoroughly cleaned of all oxide and grease, fluxed, and then dipped into a pot of molten tin or solder. I have seen evidence on several stove legs that this was done, one end at a time, as there is a 'tide-mark' half-way up each leg.

    3. The aim would have been to get a thin uniform coating on each leg to ensure corrosion protection, and for for fixed-leg stoves, subsequent successful soldering to the tank.

    4. In the original correspondence we were homing in on using a conventional electrical solder-pot,
    and commercial fluxes.

    5. I have seen some later stove legs which appear to have been electro-plated with tin-based coatings, so this could be an alternative approach.

    6. As you already know, for good tinning, cleanliness and a correctly fluxed surface is the key to success.

    Hope this helps.
    Best Regards,
    Kerophile
     
  4. yonadav

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    I got instructions for tinning of copper utensils, and there they recommend to first clean the surface with sulphuric acid. I am not sure if this is also applicable for preparation of steel.

    Yonadav
     
  5. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2015
  6. Wim

    Wim Subscriber

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    Hi Yonadav, I think it would have to be diluted a lot, and immediatellly followed by immersion in distilled water, dried and treated as the steel would start to rust in no time.

    All the best,

    Wim
     
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  7. Sparky

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    Kerophile, You can't find tin in the UK? I thought tin is what brought the Romans to the island in the first place? I am assuming the point here is an accurate restoration of the legs rather than just a functional repair?
     
  8. BernieDawg Banned

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    Thanks for the info gents.

    George, the link in my post above features some 99.8% pure tin ingots. Not sure if they will ship to the UK, but I'd be happy to forward any purchases if you like. I'll check into the Bakers Fluid later today.

    Yes, Sparky, as Lance points out there are other more practical solutions for dealing with legs. But, I really want to try doing it the way they did originally. I really prefer the look of the double-dipped tinned legs, too. And, I have a couple of furnaces and some crucibles and stuff around here that are begging for use, so more excuses to play with fire, I reckon. :)

    Cheers,
    Gary
     
  9. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi Sparky, my interest at the moment is on re-tinning copper coffee-making pots, to feed my other addiction...

    As for finding Tin in the UK, the Romans must have taken away anything the bronze-age inhabitants had left.

    I will need to look at laboratory supply houses for tin rods as a eBay search is swamped with tin-plated steel boxes!
    Best Regards,
    Kerophile.
     
  10. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi Gary, Thanks for the offer. If I can't easily source small tin ingots in the UK, I will take you up on your kind offer.
    I think near-pure tin would be a good starting point for your experiments.
    Here is a link to one of the stoves which had legs showing 'tide-marks':

    https://classiccampstoves.com/posts/72767

    Best Regards,
    George.
     
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  11. pete sav

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    Years ago i used to use a tinning paste like a grey thick paint really you paint it on the item to be soldered they just put a torch on it and wiped it with a rag and it left a shiny tin\lead coat on the metal in those days it was the inside of a copper boiler wonder if it would do stove legs

    some here on ebay usa Item number: 390123038702

    cheers pete
     
  12. yonadav

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    Hi Pete,

    You just gave me the solution for a problem that I have. I got a copper Cezve and a copper kettle, both with bruises on the inside tinned surface, which is why I don't use them.

    They are sitting on a shelf waiting for repair, as I did not find a source for lead-free tin.

    This tinning flux is "doctor's orders" for re-tinning them.

    Thanks,

    Yonadav
     
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  13. pete sav

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    Well thats great Yonadav i have not seen any for years but quite a few things on google in this line may help we used it on copper boilers back in the 70s bet it had lead in then same as the old copper kettles. tilley floodlight tanks are steel with a lead\tin coating would look ok on steel stove legs i should think

    cheers pete
     
  14. Lance

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    "390123038702" Just bought some off the "bay". I'll report on the sucess of this when i have a chance to use it. Unless someone else reports first.

    lance