Friday, January 25, 2008

soldering cables

Actually all this is a waste of time and effort, because Jagwire started making cable with factory soldered tips. And because soldering the sides of the cable where it clamps is impossible, just file a groove in the clamp!

Brake cables are another story.

I can't stand it when mechanics cut my cable ends.

I use slicked and stretched stainless steel tandem length cable on my recumbent cycles. The tension makes them unravel very easy every time I need to replace my brakes or reroute the cable, just pulling them out once can destroy a $6 cable.
I have to solder the ends to prevent this.

I file the ends round and remove some of the shiny chromium-oxide (that keeps things from sticking to stainless steel) helping the solder to reach the base metal. Then I heat the cable tip with a 100watt iron (DO NOT USE A TORCH! IT WILL WEAKEN THE CABLE) Drip one drop of the acid flux (the fumes release cyanide poison gas DON’T BREATH THE FUMES) from StayBright’s kit with zinc chloride and hydro-chloric acid. Then apply more heat and the silver solder. Forney’s 6% silver solder with acid core flux maybe a lot easier to use. I don’t think super glue can hold the cable strands when twisted.

I also solder the area to be clamped to keep it from being crushed and broken.