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Choosing non-hazardous materials

Hello all, I’m passing on a thought which was advanced at the last
toxic waste conference I attended: What is the largest toxic waste
dump in the world?..answer: Our atmosphere.

We all are aware of the concerns about toxic fumes and the need for

good ventilation. While no one wants to breath the fumes generated,
ventilation simply discharges them for dilution in the outside
atmosphere. The fumes don’t become non-toxic, and the atmosphere is
becoming overloaded with these ever-increasing accumulations. My
point is that each one of us can take steps to reduce emissions (and
our own exposure risks) by choosing non-hazardous (or low-hazard)
techniques and materials. (This really should extend to everything we

For example, Peter Rowe cautioned about burning off superglue

(condensed), “Cyanoacrylates …, when burned, I believe I recall
reading that the stuff can emit isocyanates … (which) are rather
potent carcinogens. You do NOT want to be breathing even small

Why not avoid using super glue before soldering, period.  There has

to be a non-toxic alternative. Beeswax maybe? Any suggestions? I’m
sure there are some good ones. Thank you Hanuman for your hard work
in maintaining this forum.

Judy in Kansas, where it’s a lovely spring day.
Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Extension Associate
221 Call Hall Kansas State Univerisity
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-1213 FAX (785) 532-5681

Hello Judy,

As some people already noticed,I love nature and I would do as much
as possible to preserve the indiscribable beauty of our (still)
unique planet.This is what I do instead of using superglue which is
harmful(…it smells awful anyway !).I have some pieces of ordinary
pottery clay.I roll down a piece of this clay and give it a flat
surface.Spread out a little bit of talk or flour on your table as a
prefention against the clay sticking on your tabletop.Possition your
items which need to be soldered in this clay.When you’re done with
the whole setup,surround your setup with a band of clay as you would
build a wall arround it,or cut down a piece of a conservation can or
tin (can’t find the right word for it)and push it gently in the
clay.Now,mix some investment (don’t forget your mask!!)and poor it
over your setup.Let it dry and your pieces are ready to be soldered
after taking of the clay which is reusable over and over if you store
it in a plastic bag.I garantee that your longs will appreciate this
little trouble and serve you with a healthy condition. Regards Pedro

Dear Palonso, I have done this techneque many times and have had mixed
results with joints that the plaster has come in contact with. Do you
have some secret on how to keep the seams clean from the plaster? I
have used different kinds of flux on the areas but the solder will
sometiomes flow and sometimes not. Tell me more.

Best Regards,
TR the Teacher & Student
Todd Hawkiknson

Hello Tod,

It’s not a secret,it’s rather real simple.Flip your item upside
down,meaning placing your soldering joints in the clay instead of
pooring the investment over it.that simple isn’t !!

Regards Pedro

Dear Pedro,

I guess I didn’t describe what I meant. We are doing the same thing.
I believe the clay contact is what I have seen stop the solder from
flowing. Is there a special holding clay? The clay I have used may be
too oil based and keeps the flux from cleaning the joint. Is your caly
a water based? The parts are buried in the plaster, I know but again I
have mixed results with the part when you pull it out of the clay.What
do you use?


TR the Teacher & Student
Todd Hawkinson

Hello Tod,

Sorry for the incomplete of yesterday.I did not read your
question very well and gave you a kind of misleading answer due to
major problems with one of my little babys. So again,if your
investment runs between small seems or filled them up, you may try to
make your investment in a sirop kind of consistency meaning adding
less water to it.A second solution which does a real good job is
cover the piece with flux after you pushed it in the clay.Let it dry
or forced it with a hot air untill you have this crystallized look of
the flux.Then poor your investment over it.The crystallized flux will
prevend the investment filling up small seems. Hope that this info
will serve you better then the one I already gave. Regards Pedro

This is realy funny,talking about the same subject and still coming
up with differents thoughts.However,I use the most regular or most
common inexpensive natural pottery clay which is mixed with
water.It’s available in several colours but don’t worry about the
colour. Clay based on oil will do not good for you.Maybe some alcohol
on top of the clay would take care of this oil if you left it untill
it’s faporated,but I’ve no experience with this type of clay.Hope
this will be of any good for you. Regards Pedro