In the initially calendar year or so just after Lexi taught me to solder, when I however didn’t do it very often, I experienced a number of minor capture phrases or mantras that I’d use to remind myself of tips and strategies on how to solder. The main a person Lexi taught me was “solder flows toward warmth.” It helped me bear in mind where by to purpose my torch, in particular when functioning on a substantial piece, as properly as exactly where to position my solder in relation to a seam in advance of I started.
Lexi also reminded me of her five rules or actions of soldering: In shape. Clean. Flux. Solder Placement. Heat. I admit that I don’t thoroughly clean my metallic (and primarily not my solder wire) nicely adequate, so this is one particular mantra I will need to continue to keep repeating!
Now, while the soldering technique is rather a lot 2nd nature to me, I still find myself repeating some of these minimal mantras when I function, primarily when I have trouble trying to solder a be part of or approaching how to established it up.
9 Ideas on How to Solder
Below are nine soldering strategies and mantras I have collected by the yrs that support me bear in mind right solder protocol.
1. You want solder to circulation up a seam, not just melt.
Recall that the flame from the torch does not “melt” the solder–the flame heats the metal, and that heat causes the solder to movement the place you want it. Really do not strategy a solder seam with the intent of just melting your solder or you’ll probably do it completely wrong.
2. Solder will not fill gaps.
Ends should satisfy perfectly for solder to circulation up the seam. If you do take care of to get more than enough solder to circulation and fill a gap, it will be a weak be part of and you are going to in all probability get a further chance to test it again later on.
3. Flux usually takes out the guess perform.
Look at for the flux to change apparent and glassy underneath your flame which is when you know you are at about 1,100°F levels and your solder will quickly flow. You are going to see a bright silver line seem when the solder flows–stop then, you are finished!
4. Place the solder under the seam.
I know Lexi does not like third hands, so as her faithful college student, I wasn’t fascinated in them possibly. I simply just area solder less than the seams that I’m soldering and warmth the steel the weight of the piece keeps the solder from blowing off from the pressure of the flame and the solder flows ideal up the seam.
Having said that . . . see number 5.
5. Soldered joins want help.
There are some situations when a little little bit of rigging with binding wire or T-pins is necessary to keep a piece with each other tightly throughout soldering. A further selections is to carve out a keeping place in my firebrick to build the established up. But I have normally managed to do it without a 3rd hand! Nickels also make handy supports and weights to lift up, hold collectively, or keep down elements for the duration of whilst you solder them.
6. Take out solder gone incorrect with tools.
If you unintentionally solder two chain inbound links alongside one another or solder a stray piece of metal wherever it doesn’t belong, Lexi states to get ready a sharp, clean up solder decide on and lightly heat the offending seam. Then adhere the pick in the seam or involving the joins and pull them apart. I’ve had achievement having molten solder to “jump” onto a heated select, far too.
7. Solder on an elevated tripod.
If you do torch enameling on a tripod, you might have uncovered this 1 now. A similar approach is also handy for soldering. It permits you to warmth sensitive metallic pieces and joins from beneath (this kind of as heating back again plates of bezels) or if you concern melting a piece or the flame blowing off the solder.
8. Solder wire needs to be clean.
Don’t minimize a lot more pallions of solder than you will use at a time, simply because it’s considerably much easier to clear when it is still in wire variety than in tiny very little squares! I generally ignore to cleanse my solder wire for the reason that I usually use paste solder.
9. Solder cleanly on a thoroughly clean surface area.
When your fireplace brick will get burnt up, dirty, and crusted in flux, Helen Driggs suggests scrubbing all of that mess off on a concrete sidewalk or driveway to reveal a thoroughly clean like-new area.
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Illustrations or photos courtesy of Lexi Erickson
At first posted 11/7/2014. Up to date 6/8/2022.