homemade copper header for dl50. - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 11-22-2014, 12:22 AM   #1
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homemade copper header for dl50.

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I would like to throw this out to the RC community for advise or guidance. I have a dle50cc gas engine and have the canister /bendable header that came with it. However the header does not fit the setup I need. Its for a Hanger 9 extra 260. It looks like I have to either make it myself or have one especially made.
Has anyone ever made their own header pipe with copper tubing brazed? Anyone with suggestion as to how I can work on this? I am all ears....thanks.
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:38 AM   #2
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Re: homemade copper header for dl50.

I used copper fittings with the " Hand Bendable Copper Tubing" and then Silver Soldered them together for my two Roto 85 4 Stroke headers.

It worked great and although they were slightly heavier than Stainless Steel, the weight was not a problem as the plane needed some additional nose weight.
Brian Fisher
Parry Sound Ontario
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Old 11-22-2014, 07:13 AM   #3
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Re: homemade copper header for dl50.

Hi Roger, I too have used copper for a custom header in a scale gasser with great success..
Silver soldering or Brazing is the trick..when using silver solder it must be the "hard" solder not a lead bearing style as the melt temp is not high enough on That type...

I found a great Rod for brazing copper as it is self fluxing and Clean.. I will have to dig through a box in my shop and find the name and specs on it.. will let you know

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Old 11-22-2014, 10:57 AM   #4
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Re: homemade copper header for dl50.

Is it possible for you to modify (i.e., cut and splice) your existing steel header to make it fit rather than make a new one?

If so, please note that it is possible to use a MAPP torch and bronze flux-coated brazing rods to braze steel headers. I have successfully repaired a steel header that had broken off near the flange that way. Here is what I did (see pictures)

-Made a short sleeve out of a scrap piece of header pipe to join the broken parts together.

-Cleaned the pieces with lacquer thinner to remove any oily deposits, then sanded with 120 grit sand paper and/or dremel grinding wheel to remove oxidized layer of metal

-Assembled the pieces together

-Brazed with MAPP torch and bronze rod. In order to heat up the metal to the right temperature (the rod melting point is 1620F), I held the torch close to the header (about an inch) and when the header was red hot, slowly rolled the flux-coated rod over the joint close to (but not directly under) the flame. Once the flux melted, I continued to keep the rod against the joint over the melted flux until the rod started to melt and the brazing material started to flow into the joint. I then continued to do that all around the header pipe, then did the other joint, also making sure to also braze the ends of the joining sleeve together. There was no problem in stopping momentarily to turn the piece when needed. It was just a matter of reheating and continuing where I left off.

-Cooled the header in water, then cleaned with a wire wheel

Of course, wear gloves to handle the header and the rod, and ensure that there is nothing flammable nearby. The flux does not release too much fumes, but you should wear a mask anyway.

The results were a bit crude (ie lumps of brazing material on the surface) due to my lack of experience, but I could see the brazing material flow into the joints as I was brazing, so I know it worked.

I also made a straight header for a DLE55RA out of a DLE55/DLE111 header by cutting out the bend and brazing the flange to the straight part of the pipe.

It took me a bit of practice on scrap pieces to get the hang of it, and I still have a long ways to go to make cleaner joints, but it works and it can be done with fairly inexpensive equipment (the MAPP kit was $34.99 at Canadian Tire, and a pack of four 12 in rods was $4.99)
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Old 11-23-2014, 10:51 PM   #5
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Re: homemade copper header for dl50.

Pierre, I am reading your response with great interest. I will look into the mapp gas and rods that you mentioned. I just have to find a suitable material that I can solder to the flexible pipe that I have and see if its compatible.
Chris, I will wait for your info as I find I can probably make a good copper header given the right rods and gas torches. ... appreciate all the input and hopefully one of these suggestion will solve my situation....thanks again....waiting for more great ideas!
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