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BrentD, Prof, bushveld, graybeardtmm3, Karl Graebner, LeFusil, mark, mc, Robt. Harris, SKB, Stanton Hillis, susjwp
Total Likes: 24
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#622425 11/21/2022 2:26 PM
by gil russell
gil russell
I have been doing some experimenting lately with relaying ribs and would welcome some input. I always use four clamps (1/4" aluminum frames with brass screws) for most of the work and add nails with round heads if needed. I have tried (in various combinations) solder no doubt designed for plumbing, lead-free solder, low-temp solder from Brownells (my favorite), and probably some others. Several different fluxes as well but consistency of results is paramount and I have done my best work with a water-based paste flux for plumbing. I had some major frustrations in my latest attempt (an English side by side HG--nothing special) but finally got it right. I would reallylike to hear suggestions. Thanks! Gil
Liked Replies
#622638 Nov 26th a 04:48 PM
by LeFusil

i have a nice old english hammer gun that needs the ribs relayed...when choosing a smith to do the work, i would hope barrel re regulation would be offered as part of the overall project...”

Well you dunce, it’s not. It’s two separate jobs. If you want to pay that gunsmith to re-regulate your barrels or to check the regulation of the barrels…and if he wants to take on that job (many will not), then do so, but you will pay dearly. It’s hard enough to find a competent gunsmith to just re-lay ribs let alone one that’s willing to take on the job and expend the time and energy to re-regulate the barrels.

You like to recommend Gunter Pfrommer anytime someone ask for a recommendation, call him and ask him if regulation is part of the rib relaying process. I can guarantee you it’s not. That’s what jigs & taking measurements are for, to keep everything lined up correctly so you don’t have to worry about moving something accidentally and changing poi.

The entire process has been laid out for you in basically coloring book style by some extremely knowledgeable and competent individuals here and yet you still want to flap your gums and either ask dumb questions, make stupid comments or suggestions, etc. It’s so tiresome.

People are tired of your stupid antics here, Ed. You have got to be the one of the most ignorant, annoying, and completely obtuse people this board has ever had.
7 members like this
#622470 Nov 22nd a 10:41 PM
by Kutter
I never use acid flux, It does work great but I've too often seen the result of it not being completely removed from the surfaces.
It's not needed IMO as long as you clean everything before you start soldering and don't burn the regular flux.

I use 50/50 or 60/40 ,what ever I seem to have at hand.
I've used the Tin/Silver 95/5 stuff and it works OK. But I don't see any real advantage to it plus I don't care for the solder line always remaining a brite white color.
At least the lead/tin stuff does oxidize and turn dark grey after a time.

Flux is the paste in a plastic jar from Home Depot sold for plumbing work. No-Corode was the older catch all name for the stuff.

I use a 200w hand held soldering 'gun' to tin the ribs and then also tin the bbls as well. The 'gun' has enough heat to easily tin the bbls all the way untill you get just past the forend hook. Then the
wall thickness starts to work against you. A smaller watt unit won't have the power to tin the bbls but will work on the ribs OK.

From there I use a propane torch with a 'pencil flame' to heat the surfaces and tin that last little way.
After tinning I go back over the surfaces of both the bbls and the ribs and smooth them to remove any lumps or bumps of solder. A coarse file run over the tinned surfaces takes care of that quickly.
This so the ribs lay down nice and flat when first clamped up for sweat soldering.

I recoat the tinned surfaces on both the ribs and the bbls with flux once again.
I lay the tinned ribs in place. I use a length of 1/8" square steel 'rod' on top of both the upper and lower ribs. Then a bunch of small C=clamps placed every 3 to 4 inches or so gently tightened down pull the ribs down onto the bbl surfaces.

All clamped up, check the rib for straightness and no canting at the muzzle end.
Then begin sweat solding it down into position. I use the propane torch for the soldering.
Begin at the breech end,,always..
The rib will 'grow' due to being heated. If you start at the muzzle, the rib can expand in length just enough to be too long to match up with the solid portion of the top rib at the breech.
If during the process you need an extra clamp when you are soldering,,take one from the opposite end of the assembly where you already soldered things up. . That'll be set already,,Still Hot!,,but solidified.

I use scrapers instead of files to remove excess solder from the surfaces. Much like wood inletting scrapers/tools, they can be used in a pull fashion and remove the soft solder efficiently and smoothly. You get a feel for how much pressure to apply and at what angle to hold the edge so that when you get to the surface of the bbl steel, it will scrape very smoothly and not leave chatter or gouge marks. Saves a lot of clean up time.,,and no clogged up files with solder.
A 'V' pointed tool gets right down into the rib joint and cleans out the solder and can also scrape the steel clean at the same time.
3 members like this
#622449 Nov 22nd a 02:59 PM
by bushveld
As stated by Mark above complete tinning of the barrels and the top/bottom rib is of utmost importance. I am going to share with you one of the "secrets" of the gun trade in how to make sure that the tinning is absolutely complete prior to the soldering of the ribs to the barrels. The use of a product commonly called "tinning butter" used by the old masters of the auto body repair prior using lead (prior to plastic body filler) is the secret. Tinning butter is available in different combination of lead and acid and even 100% tin and acid. Using it on barrels and ribs THE ACID RESIDUE MUST BE WASHED 100% AWAY AND NEUTRALIZED WITH BAKING SODA AND WATER and you need to do this several times prior to relaying the ribs to the barrels using lead/tin solder and pine rosin flux. I purchase pine rosin from Diamond Forest Products in Georgia http://www.diamondgforestproducts.com/~shop/rosin/1-lb-powdered-pine-gum-rosin/186879/

I use tinning butter "Tin EZY' from Johnson Mfg Co. in Princeton, Iowa ---telephone them and they will ship it to you---- http://www.johnsonmfg.com/temp/tinning.htm

Do not use acid tinning butter for spot the repair of ribs. The ribs must be completely removed in using tinning butter as all acid MUST BE REMOVED before using traditional solder and pine rosin flux.

Here is a video of a master auto body craftsman using tinning butter so that you can see how it is applied
2 members like this
#622474 Nov 23rd a 12:33 AM
by Kutter
Originally Posted by mark
No corrode contains corrosive salts


Great to know,,,but I don't use (Trade Name) No-Corrode Flux,,I use a Paste Flux stuff in a plastic jar from Home Depot. It doesn't corrode anything. Oakley or Oatley is the name on it.
Works on copper plumbing, wiring as well as Purdey, Parker, Fox, etc SxS ribs.
....But (older) people commonly call any paste flux stuff No-Corrode Flux.

I failed to mention in using c-clamps that positioning a couple to hold the bbls side to side from separating can be done as well.
It's not really needed if you are careful, but I usually do use one at the muzzle.

Actually if you are using clamps and you are able to compress the ribs enough to push the bbls apart while sweat soldering the ribs into position, then you are using way too much clamp pressure and allowing too much of the rib & bbl to get to soldering temp at one time. No need for either.

Yes you have to be careful with what you use and how you use it.. and what works for one person may be a complete bust for another. Results are what count.
2 members like this
#622668 Nov 27th a 02:19 PM
by mark
Don’t feed the trolls
2 members like this
#622476 Nov 23rd a 01:16 AM
by mark
Yep , lots of ways to skin the cats , but good results are what matters!
1 member likes this
#622433 Nov 21st a 05:51 PM
by mark
Gil, I use 50-50 solder to tin and to relay. I use an acid flux to tin then clean with hot water,soap and baking soda. When I relay I use rosin flux.

Silver bearing solder flows at a temperature too close to the rosin burn temp and it stays bright forever.

Give me a call if you have further questions.
1 member likes this
#622452 Nov 22nd a 03:06 PM
by SKB
I use 50-50 solder and rosin flux to both tin and join the ribs. The key is not getting it too hot, once you burn rosin flux you have to polish back to brite steel. I use a medium sized iron combined with an acetylene(not oxy acet) plumbers torch. The torch heats the base metal just enough that the iron will keep things wet on the base metal. It takes some practice to get it down but it is not hard. On the ribs themselves I use just the iron, no torch.
1 member likes this
#622485 Nov 23rd a 01:08 PM
by mark
Not trying to start a Peeing contest but Oatey contains the same salts as Nocorode .

this from their website:


Are fluxes corrosive?
Yes. Flux is designed as an oxidation remover and actually etches the pipe in preparation for the soldering process to be successful. This is why it is important to flush the lines when not using water soluble fluxes. Wipe excess flux off the exterior of the pipe after solder joint has been completed, and never wait more than four hours to solder a joint after applying any flux to the joint.
1 member likes this
#622609 Nov 25th a 06:54 PM
by mc
I point the narrow end of the flooring nails to the breach and so if you tap them to tighten the wire it will keep the rib tight to the short breech rib,,,unless this is a chopper lump or others that have a rib from breech to muzzle you can clamp at breech end
1 member likes this
#622623 Nov 26th a 04:50 AM
by Mark II
Mark II
Why look for problems that don't exist? If there was no issue with regulation before a rib relay why screw something up. If there was a problem before that's another deal altogether. ( follow Mark's advice, follow Mark's advice, follow Mark's advice)
1 member likes this
#622608 Nov 25th a 05:34 PM
by mark
I like to scribe a line across the muzzle where the barrels touch before disassembly. It’s used as a index when clamping for relaying.
1 member likes this
#622491 Nov 23rd a 03:10 PM
by Kutter
Just plain Oatey #5. Never the after rust issues that 'acid flux' (labled as such) has shown me.
I rinse the assembly off lightly when cooled down to rid it of the sticky excess flux left behind. Nothing extensive. Warm water.
Maybe there's less of the so called acid flux in it?. I don't know, I'm not a chemist and don't pretend to be one.

Ammonimum chloride is Salamoniac,,a common at one time soft solder flux itself. But hardly anyone still uses it. Sold in a bar form like a bar of soap.
Works good as a slow rust blue rusting agent as well..that's where I've used most it in the past.

So yes they are rusting agents. Metalic salts are. Potassium chloride (corrosive primers) Sodium Chloride (common salt), Ammonium chloride (salamoniac).
Some more so than others I suspect, some rinse away easier than others maybe too.

The heat used in the soldering process may invite more agressive action of the compounds(s),,another guess on my part.
I do know that once you button up that cavity betw the ribs and the bbl's, it's free to do what it wants to and many I've taken apart because of tell tale lines of live rust at the rib/bbl solder joints showed crusty rusting and deep pitting on the inside from the use of acid flux in soldering that was not completely removed. That inspite of the 'smiths insistance that they in fact did a complete job of removal before sweat soldering. I just don't trust using the stuff. If you get fine results then it's great and chaulk it up to the ' Everyone does things a bit differently and results are what matter'.

I've never had one returned to me for a problem that I've solder/relayed.
1 member likes this

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