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Ceramic tip soldering tweezers


#1

Does anyone use the ceramic tip soldering tweezers sold by several
of the suppliers? They run about $40 and I’m thinking of getting a
pair. If so, do they hold up well in heat? I’m doing some work
right now where I need a tweezer that can be put near or in the
flame and I’m not having luck with any of the soldering tweezers I
currently have. I’m also running into a problem where I’m doing
such small and detail work that the pieces I’m working with, and the
flux applied to them, are sticking to my pliers and when I need to
adjust or move the piece I’m soldering, I end up with the piece
stuck (really stuck) on my tweezers - which is starting to take
away from my production time. Will the ceramic tip tweezers
eliminate this “sticky” situation?


#2

I use the ceramic tip tweezers for platinum fabrication, and love
them. The only tip I’ve broken was when I was fusing some very tiny
pieces, and had a death grip on the piece I was holding. Metal tips
will bend in that situation, ceramic tips will snap off. Make sure
you have replacements handy when that happens.

Karen
Boulder, Colorado


#3

I have a pair of ceramic tweesers I have used a couple of times.
They seem to work OK; I can’t say anything yet about how they hold
up to dropping or how long they last. I save them for very small
work where heat conduction could be a problem. I also purchased a
couple of pair of spare tips. The problem was the tips are secured
with an unusual cross tip screw that requires a special tool to
remove. I didn’t see the special tool listed in the Rio Grande
catalog from which I ordered the tweesers, so I made a screw driver
that would fit by grinding the end off of a small phillips head
screwdriver.

Normally, I use titanium tweesers which can take quite a bit of heat
and don’t seem to poison my pickle.

When I solder jump rings, I hang them on a drafting pencil lead.
Some brands of lead (really graphite) can be seasoned with the
torch. Gently bring them to a red hot heat, allows a waxy material
to burn out. Staedtler Mars brand works for me. Some other brands
use some kind of polymer lubricant that explodes when you heat it.
The leads, available from my local art supply store fit a 3/32 inch
chuck and can be reduced in size at the tip by turning them against
an abrasive. I then place the end that was not reduced in size into
the mechanical drafting pencil and hold everthing in position using
a vise.

Since I have completely changed the subject by now, I might as well
go on…with small jump rings, I am usually hanging them on the
graphit pencil lead to hold orient the solder joint away from other
delicate pieces: stones, lever-back springs, etc. I use the Rio
Grande “Cold Shield” gel to keep those things cool when I need to.
The gel comes a bit too thick to apply smoothly, so I thin it with
water, mix well, then put it into a glue syringe. This allows me to
easily get the gel precisely where I want it. I think the
additional water in the gel also allows me to apply more heat before
the gel dries out and quits dissapating heat as well.

Just a few thoughts…
Howard Woods
Eagle Idaho


#4

pencil lead also makes a wonderful solder pick… Ringman


#5

Catherine- I have a pair of the ceramic tip tweezers I bought from
Rio three or four years ago. I also bought a spare set of tips
because I figured they would be easy to break. The replacement tips
are unused! I use them to hold a disk which has the trade
mark/quality stamp on it to the inside of woven wire rings and
bangles. The ceramic gets red hot, but the tweezers are comfortable
to hold. They solved the problem of holding the small disk in the
proper place during soldering that had been bugging me for quite
some time.

Captain Blood
"Marlinespike Seamanship in Precious Metals"
@Alden_Glenda_Blood


#6

Dear Catherine

I bought one years ago and at a very high price, as far as I
remember around USD 60, but only to find out that it absolutely did
not do the job, i wanted it to. It started to become soft already in
the first soldering, and after a few utimes I broke one of the tips. I
managed to reshape the tips, but only to find out that it continued
to become soft and break during soldering.

I have an idea that this softnes has somethong to do with the flux,
but have given up experimenting with it. Now it sits in my pliers’
rack, daily reminding me that not necessarily all new things are good
things :slight_smile:

Today I use Titanium for soldering picks and am sure that if
anything solders to that, it will be a wonder :wink:

Greetings from windy Bornholm, Denmark
Niels Lovschal


#7

talking of wonders: I use a Titanium Tip and actually the solder
sticks to it too if you really heat it up and sort of burn it. Not
good soldering I know but it has happened.

Ortwin


#8
talking of wonders: I use a Titanium Tip and actually the solder
sticks to it too if you really heat it up and sort of burn it. Not
good soldering I know but it has happened. 

Dear Ortwin

Are you not just experiencing that the solder is adhered to your
titanium tip because of the involved flux? If you actually managed
to melt a piece of solder on to your Ti, i think it could be breaking
news for those working in Ti.

Niels Lovschal


#9
       talking of wonders: I use a Titanium Tip and actually the

solder sticks to it too if you really heat it up and sort of burn
it. Not good soldering I know but it has happened.

   Are you not just experiencing that the solder is adhered to
your titanium tip because of the involved flux? If you actually
managed to melt a piece of solder on to your Ti, i think it could
be breaking news for those working in Ti. 

Because of the oxide layer on titanium, flowing solder on titanium
and getting an actual solder joint, is difficult. but some fluxes
will manage to get through even that oxide layer, usually only
partially, and usually when you don’t want it to. Soldering pokers
and tweezers, for example. If you doubt that precious metals are
capable of bonding metallurgically to titanium, just consider the
wonderful ease with which fusion welders like a Sparkie can put
titanium ear posts on gold or silver. They use a plasma arc/spark
to remove the oxide layer, allowing the actual metals to bond. On
silver, the titanium posts are even easier to apply securely than are
silver posts. Laser welders with an argon gas shield, also make it
quite easy to get titanium to weld to precious metals. With solder,
and flux, and a torch, it’s a lot harder, and not terribly
predictable. But it DOES happen, depending on how hot you get,
which flux you’re using and how much of it, and how long you’re
heating.

Peter Rowe