Steel eyeglass frame repair?

I broke a joint on a metal eyeglass frame. The local eyeglass place that last put new lenses into the frames (they did not originally sell
me the frames) apparently does not have a repair service to direct me to and suggested that I go to a jewelery repair. I braise and silver solder - if I bought a "jewelers torch", would that give me a small enough of a flame to be able to silver solder the frame? Years ago I tried to repair a broken joint in a scrap pair of glasses and tried to either use a TIG or oxi-acetylene (I don't remember which) but all that I accomplished was to burn away about 1/8 inch of the frame near the joint. That failure was no loss on the trial frames but my current frames are in daily use and I expect to keep them in use for another 1/2 year and then have them as back up eyeglasses after that.
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I've used soft solder to repair glasses frames. More than strong enough & avoids the heat needed for silver. I suppose it's possible to control the heat needed for silver solder, without destroying the frames, but I can't & it sounds like you wouldn't be able to either (said without aspersions).
'Though I have repaired frames, nowadays I don't bother, as a new pair is $12 (shipped) from Zenni (http://www.zennioptical.com /). I'm a very satisfied customer, as are others here.
Bob
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In article
snipped-for-privacy@c3net.net wrote:

Likely depends more on you than the torch - given your reported past attempt and results, perhaps not a good plan. If you are not going to have someone who knows what they are doing at this scale do it, I'd strongly suggest a lot of practice on things about the same size before you try it on your "daily use glasses."
Fixing it at all and fixing it so it looks good are two quite different things. In the former camp copper wire makes a good reinforcement to a soft (or otherwise) solder repair, when you care more about seeing than what you look like. The latter is why a jewelry repair was suggested - general soldering and brazing (I'm not quite sure why searing and stewing food is something you think will help with glasses repair, unless you can find a hungry jeweler and trade) and soldering and brazing for jewelry are often more different than similar, given a variety of constraints specific to making it look good.
Part of what drives folks to Zenni is that the local "USA" optician is often selling the same China frames at 10X the price (but they might come in parts so they can install a screw or two and call them made in USA) - and if they are not grinding in the back room, they may also be selling the same China lenses (if you are waiting more than a day for lenses, they are probably ordering them in from somewhere else.)
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On Tue, 9 Nov 2010 09:17:08 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

Perhaps for one job, but the tools and skill gained will last a lifetime and be useful on many future tasks or activities.
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If a joint broke, it was probably overstressed and I doubt that soft solder or epoxy will work. At one point, in my career as a goldsmith I had a couple of optometrists that brought me their repairs and I must have fixed a hundred of them.
If they can be repaired, silver solder or gold solder is the way to go. The real stuff not some silver bearing junk. You can do it with a torch but you need a very small torch (like the Smith little torch), skill and a light touch. Strip the frames of anything that might burn and spend the time to set it up so that you can get in and out quickly.
The proper tool for the job is an electric soldering machine. Vigor makes them. They are basically a big transformer and a carbon rod. The glasses are attached to an alligator clip and held to the carbon rod. The resistance causes a very small area to heat up to red hot and the solder flows.
A real goldsmith can probably do the job for you. You can save money by stripping the frames yourself.
Paul K. Dickman

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On Nov 9, 4:58am, snipped-for-privacy@c3net.net wrote:

Dude, wrap string around nearby parts you want to keep cool, soak in water, and silver-braze it with any old propane torch. It's REPAIR you're doing, not manufacture. Probably you only need to flux the break and reflow the silver alloy it has there already.
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A small repair such as eyeglass frames should be a job that many RCMers could perform fairly easily.
The manufacturing process is most likely a machine that passes electrical current through the contact area of two pieces of thin frame material. The current generates very localized heat, and the hard silver solder/braze material joins the two pieces. The joint cools quickly after the current is switched off, so the brazing is done almost instantaneously.
A way to improvise an electrical resistance heating machine may be possible with some equipment that many metalworking enthusiasts may already own.
A bandsaw welder could very likely be adapted to pinch the pieces together and apply enough heat to the junction for brazing. It would probably require fabricating a couple of copper contact tips to be held in the clamps for the blade. Many blade welders have a low-power setting for annealing the blade after welding has been accomplished. The annealing heat level would be more than adequate to reach the heat level required to braze the eyeglass frame parts together.
A resistance-type spot welder may be another option for the small eyeglass frame parts brazing. If the spot welder has a selector switch to bypass the automatic cycle timing circuit (manual over-ride), or if the operator can figure out how to accomplish the bypass, the S-W machine should be capable of heating the joint into the heat range of brazing with hard silver solder.
Since the OP's parts were previously brazed, the process may work very well by just reflowing the existing braze material with a little flux, although adding a small sliver of silver solder and flux may be required after a thorough cleaning of the joint (and perhaps strengthen the joint if it was weak).
Some MIG welders (and others) have the capability of heating steel to red heat with a carbon rod held in the gun assembly/torch (for autobody heating/shrinking). An older Solar/Century model that I bought several years ago covers this procedure in the users' manual, and came equipped with the torch adapter and carbon rod. The rod is kept in contact with the metal (no arc) and can be moved around in an area for wider heating.
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    Well ... FWIW, a while ago I repaired a bracing bar across the two halves of of one pair of safety frames (titanium frames, IIRC). I took out the lenses first (of course) held them lightly in a vise on the drill press, put some borax flux on the mating surfaces, and then with a MAPP torch flowed some silver solder into it. (Sliver brazing, not braising, since the frames aren't meat. Is your spelling checker offering you the wrong correction? :-) After that, I switched to the other half and repeated the process, because I could feel that it was about to let go too. It is a little rough there, but strong enough so I put the better of two pairs of old lenses into it after the other frame (still holding up) got a new pair of lenses to match my needs with cataract replacement surgery. (I could use off-the-shelf reading glasses -- but I wanted safety glasses for the shop, and the old lenses were not adding enough extra correction to make them useless in the shop. Just some astigmatism correction which I no longer need. :-)
    But -- you haven't said which metal your frames are, which could make a difference. And you'll need something to wear to see how to remove and replace the lenses near the work site and how to do the detail work.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
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On Nov 9, 2:58am, snipped-for-privacy@c3net.net wrote:

I used to use a Presto-lite air/acetylene torch to silver solder things that size. Karl
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Thanks for the replys - it took me reading several responses to begin to understand the references to cooking (guess I'm slow). My only excuse is that I fired off my post during work (using Google Groups) and wanted to get it up fast - don't know why I spelled brazing as braising.
Anyway, I considered buying the mini torch that the link was provided for - right now I do not know of other future uses other than repairing future eye glass frames. I ended up surfing for eyeglass frame repair and found a local source where I can take the frames in and (as I understand it) they use a laser to weld.
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snipped-for-privacy@c3net.net wrote:

Phonics. ;-P
Cheers! Rich
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    Or -- the victim of an over-eager spelling checker which doesn't know metalworking terms. (Especially likely when posting from a web-based mail interface as he apparently was.) It offers you a prefectly spelled word -- just not with the meaning which you wanted. :-)
    Some even "correct" as you type, not always waiting for you to complete the word.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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