DIY sheet metal fuel tanks?

Do any of you know where I can find info on building my own fuel tanks by
soldering sheet stainless, brass, or tin? I have seen these built and even
made with a built in sump but I can not find any info online on a
recommended construction technique.
Reply to
Eric B
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If you wish to reply please do so to this post as I had a bad return email address on the original post. Thanks.
Reply to
Eric B
There had been recently an article in the PAMPA "Stunt News" how to do this for a F2B control line stunter.
PAMPA webpage
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Peter Nyffeler mailto: snipped-for-privacy@phys.chem.ethz.ch Tel P 01 363 62 42, Tel G 01 632 43 60, Fax G 01 632 10 21
Reply to
Peter Nyffeler
I have a set of plans from RCM for the Mighty Barnstormer, originally published in the early 70s. It shows a sheet brass fuel tank on the plans with a little diagram of how to do it. According to this plan, you just bend two C-shaped pieces of metal (imagine the covering on a baseball, except that it is rectangular) and solder them together. You have to drill holes to insert brass tubing first, and solder it in place, and it mentions that it helps if you bend a little lip on the edge for overlap. If I remember correctly, you would put a lip on the center panel of one half and on the two end panels of the other half. It seems like the kind of thing that would drive you crazy the first couple of tanks because as soon as you get one joint done and then start heating the other side, the first one would come undone. So my intuition tells me that it had better fit perfectly before you add solder. Being a tinkerer, I always thought that it would be entertaining to build one, but the huge supply of plastic tanks available in the hobby store has always been just too convenient and I never got around to it.
Reply to
Robbie and Laura Reynolds
I have made tinplate tanks for control line models in exactly the way you describe, except that I have used material from food cans rather than bought for the job. A simple rectangular tank is best made as you say, two C shapes. I allowed a small overlap (1/16" or less), clamped the two parts together and use a big iron (120W) on the outside of the tank; the solder forms a neat fillet round the joint and as you move the iron around the edge, the solder follows and fills. Usually works first time and never had a problem with leaks.
Reply to
David Smith
That sounds like fun. But modern cans often have plastic coatings on the inside. Pineapple cans seem to be galvanized, so maybe they would work well. But I have noticed that bean cans are coated.
Do you drill holes and solder the tubes in before final assembly? Do you think that a big soldering iron is better than a propane torch?
Reply to
Robbie and Laura Reynolds
I can't remember what the cans contained now, but possibly they were pineapple as my wife uses a lot of that. I may well have cleaned them up, it is a few years ago now. Holes for feed & vent are better punched than drilled, as it leaves a flange and helps locate them. To the best of my recollection, I soldered them in afterwards, but punched the holes before soldering the tank. I never tried it with a torch, the iron seemed more controllable, knowing my abilities with a torch I'd have the thin plate glowing bright orange in no time! Cheers,
Reply to
David Smith

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