In the initially year or so right after Lexi taught me to solder, when I still did not do it very frequently, I experienced a couple of small catch phrases or mantras that I’d use to remind myself of strategies and tactics on how to solder. The major a single Lexi taught me was “solder flows toward warmth.” It helped me bear in mind the place to aim my torch, particularly when functioning on a huge piece, as effectively as wherever to location my solder in relation to a seam ahead of I began.
Lexi also reminded me of her five procedures or techniques of soldering: Match. Cleanse. Flux. Solder Placement. Warmth. I admit that I do not clean up my metal (and particularly not my solder wire) well ample, so this is a person mantra I need to preserve repeating!
Now, however the soldering approach is quite much next nature to me, I still uncover myself repeating some of people tiny mantras when I do the job, especially when I have problem attempting to solder a be a part of or approaching how to set it up.
9 Guidelines on How to Solder
Listed here are 9 soldering tips and mantras I have gathered by means of the several years that assistance me keep in mind proper solder protocol.
1. You want solder to move up a seam, not just soften.
Recall that the flame from the torch does not “melt” the solder–the flame heats the steel, and that warmth results in the solder to flow wherever you want it. Do not approach a solder seam with the intent of just melting your solder or you are going to probable do it incorrect.
2. Solder will not fill gaps.
Ends need to satisfy completely for solder to stream up the seam. If you do deal with to get more than enough solder to circulation and fill a gap, it will be a weak be part of and you will probably get a further opportunity to try out it once again later.
3. Flux normally takes out the guess operate.
Enjoy for the flux to convert distinct and glassy below your flame which is when you know you’re at about 1,100°F degrees and your solder will shortly movement. You are going to see a vivid silver line seem when the solder flows–stop then, you are performed!
4. Put the solder under the seam.
I know Lexi doesn’t like third fingers, so as her faithful university student, I was not fascinated in them both. I basically put solder under the seams that I’m soldering and warmth the metallic the excess weight of the piece retains the solder from blowing off from the force of the flame and the solder flows ideal up the seam.
On the other hand . . . see quantity 5.
5. Soldered joins have to have help.
There are some cases when a little little bit of rigging with binding wire or T-pins is required to maintain a piece with each other tightly in the course of soldering. One more choices is to carve out a keeping location in my firebrick to make the set up. But I have often managed to do it without the need of a third hand! Nickels also make helpful supports and weights to elevate up, keep with each other, or keep down components all through whilst you solder them.
6. Remove solder long gone improper with resources.
If you accidentally solder two chain inbound links jointly or solder a stray piece of steel in which it does not belong, Lexi states to prepare a sharp, clean up solder pick and frivolously heat the offending seam. Then adhere the pick in the seam or concerning the joins and pull them apart. I’ve experienced achievement getting molten solder to “jump” on to a heated select, way too.
7. Solder on an elevated tripod.
If you do torch enameling on a tripod, you could have learned this just one by now. A identical strategy is also useful for soldering. It will allow you to heat sensitive steel parts and joins from beneath (such as heating back plates of bezels) or if you worry melting a piece or the flame blowing off the solder.
8. Solder wire needs to be clean up.
Really don’t minimize more pallions of solder than you will use at a time, for the reason that it’s a great deal a lot easier to clean when it’s however in wire form than in very small minimal squares! I normally fail to remember to cleanse my solder wire for the reason that I normally use paste solder.
9. Solder cleanly on a clean area.
When your fire brick receives burnt up, dirty, and crusted in flux, Helen Driggs recommends scrubbing all of that mess off on a concrete sidewalk or driveway to expose a clean like-new surface area.
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Pictures courtesy of Lexi Erickson
At first posted 11/7/2014. Updated 6/8/2022.
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