About David

Born 08/11/1951 educated Cheltenham Grammar School. Did basic metal work to year 4 and Wood work to A level. Went to teacher training college to do metalwork, woodwork and technical drawing (in the blue print days!). Left in first year after one months teaching practice. Took temporary job at Serck Controls (fluid pipe line controls). Took career in insurance finishing in the corporate business unit in Bristol. After 37 years my job was exported to India and I was (compulsory) retired. Joined BSMEE at their stand at Ally Pally in 1990. Ambition was/is to build a steam locomotive. An awful lot seems to have got in the way, not the least my butterfly mind, several starts and no finishes! BSMEE has generally been a rewarding experience, and other societies I have generally found welcoming even on impromtu visits. I would recommend membership but like any voluntary organisation what you get out of it is directly proportional to what you put into it.

Silver Solder Bank

I would like to remind you that this club facility still exists and encourage you to use it. We do aim to provide goods at prices below the market rate although with the current rate of price inflation in the supply chain this can be challenging. Prices have gone up significantly since we last re-stocked, e.g. some flux powders by as much as 80%.So do not delay re-stock your workshop today. August 2022. David Ward 01454 415678 

Silver Solder Fluxes

I, David Ward (Alveston) manage the Society’s silver solder bank. I have noted that there is a growing difference between market prices and our (BSMEE) prices for silver solder fluxes, especially high temperature flux. I am therefore going to increase our price from £5 to £6 for 100 grams of h.t. flux from 1st April. So check your stocks now, and fill your boots! (tel 01454 415678)

Tip from Sean of Cup Alloys. “If you have mixed too much flux for a job and have some left over, drip a few drops of washing up liquid in to the flux paste, mix and store in a small airtight container. It will the remain usable for several months.”
Don’t forget to label it appropriately, and store out of reach of children.

Citric Acid Crystals

This is some new stock I have added to the “silver solder bank”. Available in 95gm. lots in screw top plastic containers for £2.50 each. If sprinkled into 4.5ltrs. of clean water in a suitable container it will make 4.5ltrs. of pickle. Do NOT add water to the crystals, or dump all the crystals in the water at once as you could cause a violent reaction with the potential to cause personal injury. Citric acid is an irritant to eyes, skin and the respiratory system. In the event of contact with skin wash thoroughly with clean water. In the event of contact with eyes irrigate thoroughly with sterile water. Seek medical attention if not relieved. Needless to say store out of reach of children and pets in a sealed container that the acid will not react with. Having said that, it is much safer than the sulphuric acid many of us have been using in the past. Unfortunately is also much slower acting and typically it will take 30 minutes to clean brazed joints. Wash in clean water after removing from pickle and before brushing. A nylon brush is usually adequate.
David Ward phone number 01454 415678 (answerphone service after 9 rings)

Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust

The Rolls-Royce Trust in Bristol aim to preserve the amazing heritage of aero engine design, development and production in our region. They are having a recruitment drive. You do not need to have been an employee of Rolls to join. Membership is open to all with an interest in local aviation history. Annual subscription is only £8 per annum for which you receive their excellent bi-annual journal, several local evening lectures and the opportunity to view, or even work on maintaining the local exhibition of aviation artefacts (mainly engines). An application can be downloaded from their website www.Rolls-Royce.com/about/ourstory/heritage_trust/support/. Please consider joining as the Rolls-Royce Company has been, and continues to be, a major wealth earner in our local economy to whom we owe a debt of gratitude. It is not all history, last nights excellent lecture was a presentation by Ric Parker head of Rolls-Royce plc Advanced Engineering about future developments looking forward as far as 2050.


I enjoyed last nights film on the above ship and have been looking on the web for further details. The engines were built by Grenaa Diesels in Denmark who are still in business. If you look at www.grma.dk at the bottom right of their home page is a photo of Balmoral. Mathway Marine who’s name was on the steering gear have now been incorporated into Parsons Marine. They are also still in business see www.parsonsmathwaymarine.co.uk. Finally if you liked the music in the harbour festival at the end then www.jigbadwolf.co.uk is for you, under the “sounds” button there are snippets of about a dozen of their tunes you can listen to. Happy browsing. David Ward.

Silver Solder

Please be aware that I now have some strips of grade 455 foil 150mm X 20mm X 0.1mm available for £10 each.
Joints should be cleaned and fluxed in the usual way and the solder can then be riveted or otherwise held in the joint for soldering.
Melting range 630-660 C. Something different for you to experiment with.

Also note, our current prices are well below market prices. Accordingly I feel we may have to raise our prices by 10% on 1st April 2015, otherwise I do not think we shall develop sufficient revenue to enable me to re-stock.

David Ward
Silver solder banker