View Full Version : Is epoxy as good as brazing?

March 23, 2002, 10:11 PM
I noted my thumb safety spring tube (on the 1911) is starting to wobble and was curious about alternatives to the smith-done brazing.

I understand brazing to be extremely durable, but wouldn't a good epoxy do the same thing? What are the con's?

Also, who makes the best/toughest replacement tube; something that's suitable for duty carry in all conditions?

James K
March 23, 2002, 11:16 PM
Stake it like it should be. Properly staked, the tubes do NOT come loose. Epoxy probably won't hold and brazing would keep you from ever taking it off if it gets dented.


March 24, 2002, 12:19 PM
Have it done before it gets worse, and don't field strip the gun without the grips installed (I'm serious).



James K
March 24, 2002, 02:09 PM
Just to clear up a common misunderstanding, the spring tube is not held in place by the grips.

I have seen some aftermarket tubes that were made without the studs having enough depth to allow them to be staked properly. Like all the other junker parts now being sold for the 1911 type pistols, these should be avoided. Some even have holes too small for the plungers; the idea is that by the time the buyer actually tries to use the part, the seller is long gone.


March 24, 2002, 03:56 PM
Properly fitted and properly staked in place, should be good for 50 years of hard use.

Like Jim says, so much junk out there.


March 24, 2002, 04:27 PM
When I've staked on 1911 front sights I always include one drop of Brownells acra-weld epoxy. Ten years later still good.

March 24, 2002, 07:21 PM
I've found epoxy to be excellent. Plastic and walnut don't braze worth a damn. ;)

I agree--stake it.

Yeah, I once got an AR-15A2 muzzle brake that was 15 degrees crooked, and a magazine release button that, on closer inspection, was plastic, not aluminum.

March 29, 2002, 06:21 PM

Here is the answer I got from Les Bengston when Brownells backordered the "Vice Grip" tool and I was looking for an alternative technique for attaching the plunger tube:

There are several ways of doing this job besides Kuhnhausen's (vice grip tool) method. You can epoxy the plunger tube on (works especially well with aluminum frame pistols), you can soft solder it on (or use low temp silver solder), you can use high temp silver solder to solder it on, or you can stake it in place using either a bent punch or a specially modified pair of common pliers. With either staking or the use of epoxy, you should open up the hole in the frame slightly with a Dremel tool/die grinder and a circular bit, creating a small crater on the inside of the magazine well. This gives something for the legs of the plunger tube housing to be staked into. Otherwise, you are merely trying to expand the legs slightly to a tighter fit in the holes in the frame. That is the normal factory practice and is why they sometimes come loose. When using epoxy, you epoxy the plunger tube housing to the frame and put a little extra epoxy into the small craters. Then, when! everything is hardened, use 120 grit emery cloth wrapped around a file to dress the area level. I do not know how long the epoxy will last as I have never had it break on a gun I fixed in that manner. Everything needs to be very clean when using epoxy or solder. Solder will last for ever, but will damage the bluing, which must be removed for the solder to join the pieces properly.

March 29, 2002, 09:43 PM
If you need an adhesive that can handle a lot of abuse and requires a blowtorch to remove any parts you put together with it use BlackMax.

It is a LocTite product and years ago when I was doing train brake controls it was specified for use on some pretty massive machined parts that couldn't be held to ultra tight tolerances.

When I say massive I mean a few hundred pounds worth of metal.

A little 1911 part would be fine with this stuff, but the Kuhnhausen manual is what I would follow.