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1Instructables557Views32CommentsBluford, IllinoisJoined September 9th, 2011

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  • Extend Defective Fluorescent Tube-Light Life

    I found this instructable very informative. I am currently working on commercial coolers which you see every day at convenience stores and they use an F70-T8 bulb, which is hard to find. I believe the industry is in the process of converting to LEDs, so the florescent bulbs could be on their way out. They have yet to commit one way or the other on the 70" bulbs and both styles are very expensive. It could be that this being used mainly in a commercial environment, it is being charged a higher rate. The bulbs are ridiculously priced at over 30.00 per tube and over 100.00 per LED replacement. I am in the process of making my own LED lights using individual power supplies and just by passing the current ballasts. I'm sure I will be breaking some codes and it won't be UL approved, but ...

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    I found this instructable very informative. I am currently working on commercial coolers which you see every day at convenience stores and they use an F70-T8 bulb, which is hard to find. I believe the industry is in the process of converting to LEDs, so the florescent bulbs could be on their way out. They have yet to commit one way or the other on the 70" bulbs and both styles are very expensive. It could be that this being used mainly in a commercial environment, it is being charged a higher rate. The bulbs are ridiculously priced at over 30.00 per tube and over 100.00 per LED replacement. I am in the process of making my own LED lights using individual power supplies and just by passing the current ballasts. I'm sure I will be breaking some codes and it won't be UL approved, but LEDs work better in the cold than fluorescents and require less power. They also last much longer and have inexpensive power supplies compared to ballasts.For those who wish to replace the old tubes with LEDs, I suggest you do not use the old ballast, but get LED bulbs that have their own power supplies. No sense powering both. This instructable has removed some of my ignorance of how these lights operate and for that I am grateful. Thank You.

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  • dlemke completed the lesson LED Strips in the class LEDs and Lighting Class1 year ago
  • How to Solder a Proper Plumbing Connection

    Sil-fos™ is a silver-copper-phosphorus brazing filler metal, which is used to braze copper and copper alloys. When brazing copper, the phosphorus within the alloy imparts a metallurgical based self-fluxing capability.Swiped this from a search engine to make it clearer.

    Sil-Fos requires no flux. Sil-Fos is a brand name of brazing rod that is used in the refrigeration trade and has different amounts of silver from 7.5-35%. Using real silver requires it's own flux or paste as it is called. Regular solder whether it has lead or not, uses it's own type of flux. Silver based brazing rods are very expensive, so you can imagine what it would cost to use real silver solder joints on any project. The only example I can think of to use pure silver joints, off the top of my head is where you need to go from a ferrous metal to a non-ferrous metal.Just for information purposes, refrigeration copper is not the same as plumbing copper. It is not only measured differently, it is manufactured differently to make sure there is no oils in the pipe left from the process t...

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    Sil-Fos requires no flux. Sil-Fos is a brand name of brazing rod that is used in the refrigeration trade and has different amounts of silver from 7.5-35%. Using real silver requires it's own flux or paste as it is called. Regular solder whether it has lead or not, uses it's own type of flux. Silver based brazing rods are very expensive, so you can imagine what it would cost to use real silver solder joints on any project. The only example I can think of to use pure silver joints, off the top of my head is where you need to go from a ferrous metal to a non-ferrous metal.Just for information purposes, refrigeration copper is not the same as plumbing copper. It is not only measured differently, it is manufactured differently to make sure there is no oils in the pipe left from the process that would mess with refrigeration oil.

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  • How to Solder a Proper Plumbing Connection

    I have a lot of experience soldering, brazing, and yes, even silver solder joints. The only place I can think of where I have to use actual silver solder is on joints that go from ferrous to nonferrous metals. More precisely, on compressors that have a steel outlet tube that has the copper plate burned off by someone getting it too hot. Manufacturers plate the outlet tubes with a thin layer of copper to allow the transition from steel to copper without using the more expensive silver. The copper plating on the steel tube is very thin and this can be damaged by using too much heat. Silver solder, which is very expensive and hard to find at most supply stores, can be used to do these repairs.Through the years in the HAVC field, we have seen joints go from lead solder to self-piercing coup...

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    I have a lot of experience soldering, brazing, and yes, even silver solder joints. The only place I can think of where I have to use actual silver solder is on joints that go from ferrous to nonferrous metals. More precisely, on compressors that have a steel outlet tube that has the copper plate burned off by someone getting it too hot. Manufacturers plate the outlet tubes with a thin layer of copper to allow the transition from steel to copper without using the more expensive silver. The copper plating on the steel tube is very thin and this can be damaged by using too much heat. Silver solder, which is very expensive and hard to find at most supply stores, can be used to do these repairs.Through the years in the HAVC field, we have seen joints go from lead solder to self-piercing couplings, to silver content brazing rods. Brazing is much more durable and contains no lead, but the newer lead free solder requires less heat and is easier to use on water pipes. The cost is probably the main reason solder is used over brazing even with experienced plumbers.I believe a lot of people confuse silver solder joints with brazing using brazing rods that contain varying amounts of silver. This is not a true "silver solder" joint. There are definitely some legitimate uses for silver solder joints, but not in general domestic plumbing. My comments were merely meant to be informative. I did not want to offend anyone, and I hope you were not offended. It is easy to come off abrasive when making comments in a comment section. I probably need to edit myself more often.

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  • How to Solder a Proper Plumbing Connection

    I would not heat the pipe first. Put your heat on the fitting and be patient. Rolling the torch around the joint will help, but if you are good enough to not over-heat the joint with a good torch, you can just heat the bottom, as in many cases, you cannot get to the whole joint, like when it is against or near another object like a wall, etc... Do not brush the joint when you are done, just quickly wipe with your gloved finger while the solder is still molten, and you will be able to better see if you filled the joint and it also makes for a nice looking job.

    This is not true. While the solder will need the flux, you should be able to control where the solder goes by proper application. The heat and capillary action will draw the solder into the joint. Doing vertical applications takes more practice and you will appreciate a clean joint, as you will be able to inspect it better to determine if you did it correctly. You also don't need to get carried away with the flux. Just liberally apply the flux to the mating surfaces, and no more. The excess when you put the joint together and apply heat, will show you how much you waste. You should have very little solder outside of the joint when you are done.

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  • dlemke commented on ChristianHH's instructable Handcrafted Leather Messenger Bag1 year ago
    Handcrafted Leather Messenger Bag

    Do you think it would work for custom saddle-bags for a Harley? Or would you need heavier leather and some support structure? Weather proofing? I am only thinking about a customized set to fit unique scoots, as it would be easier/cheaper? to just buy some off the rack, but almost every Harley is customized to some point....

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  • How to Solder a Proper Plumbing Connection

    I want to commend you (and your Dad) for taking on this skill. It is not easily acquired and there are many trade secrets to make the job faster, easier, and more reliable. In the trades, you would preform this task many times and get much better at it, and will intuitively know when your joints are properly soldered. A good heat source is a must. While you can often get by with small propane torches, like the one you show, it sounds like you were not applying enough heat. Water pipe solder (lead free) is not as easy as free-flowing lead solder, which most of us use on our electronic projects. You mentioned your glasses, but I don't see you wearing gloves. This is important, as skin burns suck, and you can also use the finger of your glove to quickly wipe your solder joints, as you appl...

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    I want to commend you (and your Dad) for taking on this skill. It is not easily acquired and there are many trade secrets to make the job faster, easier, and more reliable. In the trades, you would preform this task many times and get much better at it, and will intuitively know when your joints are properly soldered. A good heat source is a must. While you can often get by with small propane torches, like the one you show, it sounds like you were not applying enough heat. Water pipe solder (lead free) is not as easy as free-flowing lead solder, which most of us use on our electronic projects. You mentioned your glasses, but I don't see you wearing gloves. This is important, as skin burns suck, and you can also use the finger of your glove to quickly wipe your solder joints, as you apply solder to each joint and work your way through your project. It is almost impossible to do it right with a rag, and you don't want a wet rag, as it will could cool your project before you are done soldering. With a cleanly wiped joint, you will also be able to visually inspect the joint and see if you applied enough solder. You will learn how much is too much in a short time, but you need to make sure there is enough to completely fill the void.One important detail, you should learn. Heat the fittings or the bigger stuff first. If you can only get your solder to melt by heating the pipe or tubing first, your torch is not hot enough. Turn it up, or find a better one. Start by putting the heat on the bottom of the joint (heat rises and you can see better), And apply your solder to the top, when the heat gets into range. It should happen fairly quickly, it will melt and you can watch as it sucks into the joints, filling up the cavity. Remember that your solder will follow the heat, and you want the joint to fill with solder, something that may not happen if you start by heating the pipe first.While it may sound like I am being critical, it is not my intention. I am a service tech (HVAC) and while I will usually braze the refrigeration pipes I am installing or repairing, I have done a lot of water pipes. There are many more lessons to be learned, like working with older/used materials, working with bigger pipes and valves, and learning how to use heat sinks and shields to avoid damaging nearby materials, but that comes with time and practice. It looks like you have a good start on it. Working in the trades is now one of the best paying jobs, including many white collar jobs and it is satisfying work if you like what you do.Always try new things, it is amazing what is at your fingertips......

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  • How to Solder a Proper Plumbing Connection

    Not many common areas have the need for silver solder joint. It is expensive and a lot harder to learn. You also will need a hotter heat source and silver solder paste.. No, I am not talking about brazing with rods that have a small percentage of silver. I have usually only found silver solder joints on high end govt. projects.

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  • dlemke commented on Lorddrake's instructable Rare Earth Magnets From Old Hard Drives2 years ago
    Rare Earth Magnets From Old Hard Drives

    I have used these magnets to remove metal shavings in my hands or skin that were too small to grab with a tweezers. You can use the small ones from optical drives to locate metal shavings that get embedded into your skin from grinding, etc, as they will cling to your skin. It makes the metal easier to locate.

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