View Full Version : Help! Pinhole in Solder Joint, Finished Knife

11-18-2014, 10:08 AM
I could use some help here. I finished a sub-hilt and then noticed a pinhole in the solder joint where the guard meets the blade. I don't know how I missed it. It's too late to resolder so I'm hoping for a "trick". Maybe a silver colored epoxy? I've searched the web and found silver conductive epoxy for electrical work but I don't know how well it would match. It is a very small hole but you can imagine how much my stomach dropped when I saw it!

11-18-2014, 11:27 AM
I heard acraglass has a silver epoxy that matches solder pretty good but I have never tried it. I don't know how much solder is around the joint but you may be able to "displace" the solder on each side of the hole by pushing it into the hole from each side and then blend. I hope you know what I am trying to say cause it tough to explain by typing. Lol.

11-18-2014, 03:13 PM
That's about all you can do, try to burnish it over with the rounded end of a brass rod, or make kind of a spoon-shaped point on it. FRUSTRATING!! Unless you want to take it apart and re-solder. Try burnishing first, though, you never know. Pray.

11-18-2014, 04:03 PM
Thank you both for your replies. I found some epoxy called Artic Silver. It is for electronics and has actual silver in it for conductivity. We will see I guess. Very frustrating! If this doesn't look good I will try to burnish and if that doesn't work.....I have a decision to make.

11-24-2014, 05:10 PM
The secret of a good solder is the perfect fit on the hilt. The cleanup is also very important.

11-25-2014, 10:42 PM
RE-solder, or sell it for free. I don't think "covering it up" will be the best thing to do. In time, it'll come back to haunt you. You work is your "face" out there.

11-26-2014, 06:36 PM
Most of us have had to grind handles off to fix something, some of us like ME more than once. Like Steve says, either fix it right or keep it or give it away. Paul Long says it this way "if your going to take another man's money, it needs to be as close to perfect as you can get it".

11-30-2014, 01:47 PM
Thank you again for your replies. I am glad I checked this yesterday BEFORE I applied the epoxy. I mixed up a little of it and put some on an end wrench, just to check for color match. It looked pretty good. Then I read the above posts. I really did not think of it as being deceptive, using the epoxy to fill the pinhole. I was thinking some people use epoxy on their guards and some solder so it would be OK. I am making this fighter for a person that has put a lot of trust in me and I would not try to deceive him, I would have told him I used the epoxy. It would not have been the best I could do though. I am proud of making these knives by hand and want to keep it that way. Anyway after reading the above I put the epoxy away and burnished. The pinhole went away but I had a low spot in the joint so I used fine sand paper and sanded the entire joint down to the same level. I must say I am much happier with this result. Thanks again. I'd like to attach a picture but I've tried before and couldn't because the file size was too large to attach. Can someone tell me how to resize the picture so I may show the results?

11-30-2014, 02:22 PM
It's amazing what one can learn from Google! I Googled "How to resize an image" and got it. This is a picture of an earlier sub-hilt. I was happy with this joint. I know my methods are not the greatest. I solder and then scrape, and sand, and scrape, and sand then buff. I have your video Steve and it amazes me how easy you make it look. Thank you for making that video. Dan Delavan bought this knife from me. Thank you Dan. After I buff the current knife I'll post a pic of it.

11-30-2014, 04:03 PM
Love the knife and can't wait to see the one you are working on now. I've only soldered a few gaurds so far and I do the same thing. One thing I have noticed is that I have less scrapping each time.

12-01-2014, 02:00 AM
WOW!! That is one beautiful solder job. I was not insinuating that you were being deceitful, only that there might be a better way. Forgive me if that is how you took it. It's worth the effort to get it right, if you can, it seems. Great job and I'll be waiting to see the photo.

12-01-2014, 11:33 AM
No worries Steve. I did not think you were accusing me of anything. I guess deep down I didn't like where I was headed and you guys kept me honest. Thanks again, I mean it. Thank you for the compliment too! Thank you too Icho! Here is a quick pic with my phone before I found the pinhole. I haven't rebuffed yet. I'll post as soon as I do.

12-01-2014, 01:44 PM
Same here, the knife looks really good and I wasn't accusing you of anything just putting in my two cents worth. That's why we're all here, to network.

12-01-2014, 02:12 PM
That's great. Great knife, also!

12-03-2014, 05:16 AM
Next time, try to fill the hole with TIX solder. It melts at 275?, and you will not risk a full re-solder.

12-03-2014, 11:59 AM
I've never heard, or thought of that, WBE. Will TIX stay bright, like Eutecsol and StayBrite solder? Sounds like a great idea.

12-10-2014, 08:32 AM
Ok here is the knife that used to have the pinhole that I fixed by burnishing and sanding the joint. Also a picture of a baby bear I just finished. Well neither are really done, I have to mark and sharpen still. I am working on getting some better lighting for better pictures. If it works I'll post a better shot of the joints on the knives.

12-10-2014, 11:48 PM
Good looking knives!

12-11-2014, 07:57 AM
I can't see any flaws and the knives look great!
Thanks for showing them to us and we'll be looking for the next pictures.

12-11-2014, 09:41 AM
Thank you Zappo and Steve. I really appreciate the compliments. Especially coming from fellow knife makers. You know, family and friends tell you they look good and of course you appreciate those compliments, but they don't know what it takes. Only because they haven't done it.

12-11-2014, 02:57 PM
Thank you!
As you can testify, it's actually quite a long, drawn-out process. Some are MUCH LONGER than others!
Keep up the good work, we all keep improving as long as we keep trying.

12-14-2014, 09:50 PM
Ok guys, here they are. I took pics of both sides. You can tell I had to take the large sub-hilt joint down further than the other one to get rid of the pinhole but I think it still looks ok. What do you think? I tell you what, getting good pics is a tricky thing. I know there is a forum here to discuss photography. I better start reading that forum.

12-15-2014, 11:40 AM
Nothing wrong with a smaller fillet on the solder joint. I often strive for such.
Great job!

12-19-2014, 09:17 PM
I'm gonna try some of that TIX solder!