Hi Carol, Jeffs description I can only agree with, I have soldered the
copper pipes of the entire heating system of my house at a certain
point, without any previous experience (years ago and still no leaks).
Whats worse is soldering the rain pipes (?) up on the roof standing on
a ladder (in the rain). In both cases I used a camping-gaz torch with
a big nozzle, hardware store standard. Clean the joints first with some
of that scotch brite then treat with acid (flux, liquid or paste) and
heat the pieces (10cm flame ,use the front part of the flame) to be
joined until the flux fumes, applying the solder to the pieces, not
trying to make it flow with the flames heat, and woe and behold, as
soon as the pieces are hot enough the joint will suck the solder into
the cavity, and where the flux has been applied, it will hold. Try!
Outside is good for practising, with some copper pipes for heating. A
plumber or hardware store should have rests to practise with. Doing
the big stuff, it is advisable to wear gloves, especially if the
pieces are short. A 1/2 inch paint brush should do the job for
applying flux. For big pieces like rainpipes you get 1 ft solder
sticks. For the smaller copper heating and water pipes there are coils
of solder. Some have flux inside, but it is always better to apply the
flux separately in addition.
Have fun practising!
Poidi (Franz Trauttmansdorff)