In the very first year or so after Lexi taught me to solder, when I nevertheless did not do it very generally, I experienced a couple little catch phrases or mantras that I’d use to remind myself of guidelines and strategies on how to solder. The major just one Lexi taught me was “solder flows toward warmth.” It helped me don’t forget the place to purpose my torch, particularly when working on a large piece, as well as where by to location my solder in relation to a seam just before I began.
Lexi also reminded me of her 5 guidelines or methods of soldering: Fit. Clean up. Flux. Solder Placement. Heat. I acknowledge that I really do not thoroughly clean my metal (and in particular not my solder wire) well ample, so this is a single mantra I will need to hold repeating!
Now, though the soldering strategy is rather considerably 2nd mother nature to me, I still obtain myself repeating some of individuals tiny mantras when I perform, particularly when I have issue trying to solder a be part of or approaching how to set it up.
9 Strategies on How to Solder
Below are nine soldering recommendations and mantras I’ve gathered through the several years that aid me bear in mind good solder protocol.
1. You want solder to flow up a seam, not just melt.
Bear in mind that the flame from the torch does not “melt” the solder–the flame heats the metal, and that warmth causes the solder to move exactly where you want it. Do not technique a solder seam with the intent of just melting your solder or you are going to very likely do it completely wrong.
2. Solder will not fill gaps.
Finishes need to fulfill properly for solder to stream up the seam. If you do deal with to get enough solder to move and fill a hole, it will be a weak be a part of and you will almost certainly get another opportunity to check out it once again later.
3. Flux can take out the guess do the job.
Look at for the flux to change crystal clear and glassy underneath your flame which is when you know you are at about 1,100°F degrees and your solder will before long flow. You will see a vivid silver line look when the solder flows–stop then, you’re performed!
4. Set the solder underneath the seam.
I know Lexi does not like 3rd hands, so as her loyal university student, I was not fascinated in them either. I simply place solder below the seams that I’m soldering and heat the metal the bodyweight of the piece retains the solder from blowing off from the drive of the flame and the solder flows suitable up the seam.
Nevertheless . . . see variety 5.
5. Soldered joins have to have help.
There are some occasions when a very little bit of rigging with binding wire or T-pins is important to maintain a piece with each other tightly all through soldering. A different possibilities is to carve out a keeping spot in my firebrick to generate the established up. But I have generally managed to do it without having a third hand! Nickels also make useful supports and weights to lift up, keep jointly, or keep down elements through whilst you solder them.
6. Take out solder absent erroneous with equipment.
If you unintentionally solder two chain back links jointly or solder a stray piece of metallic where by it does not belong, Lexi says to prepare a sharp, clean solder pick and evenly heat the offending seam. Then stick the choose in the seam or among the joins and pull them aside. I’ve had achievements finding molten solder to “jump” on to a heated decide on, way too.
7. Solder on an elevated tripod.
If you do torch enameling on a tripod, you might have found this a single currently. A identical system is also useful for soldering. It lets you to warmth sensitive steel parts and joins from beneath (such as heating back plates of bezels) or if you dread melting a piece or the flame blowing off the solder.
8. Solder wire requirements to be clean up.
Do not reduce more pallions of solder than you will use at a time, for the reason that it is significantly less complicated to thoroughly clean when it is nevertheless in wire variety than in small tiny squares! I typically overlook to clear my solder wire since I commonly use paste solder.
9. Solder cleanly on a clean surface area.
When your fireplace brick gets burnt up, dirty, and crusted in flux, Helen Driggs endorses scrubbing all of that mess off on a concrete sidewalk or driveway to reveal a clean like-new surface area.
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Photos courtesy of Lexi Erickson
Originally posted 11/7/2014. Up-to-date 6/8/2022.
Grasp soldering with these qualified methods from the Interweave Keep!