Miter tube soldering

I bought that filing vise Alan Revere demonstrates in his silver box
video and its definitely a cool tool. I recently am making a piece
with a rectangular tube piece and used the vise to miter the tube
ends. One problem I had was keeping the saw blade dead flat against
the vise so had to use the vise to file each end of the tube flat to
45 degree for a perfect miter. OK, here’s the problem
part----soldering the two tubes at 90 degrees together. I managed to
do it by stapling one tube down to a charcoal block and laying the
other tube against it at the join with some paste solder. This worked
but not as precisely as I wanted. The problem with holding these two
together to make a perfect 90 degree corner join is that the ends
want to slide off eachother and anything I tried to hold them together
didn’t work at all. Anyone got a tip on how to do this with precision?

Dave try to get yourself some “Cheese Wax” i.e… the wax that comes
on the outside of cheese. Set up your two tubes in the wax, square off
with a square and cover with a quick setting Dental Plaster of Paris,
leaving the point clear of the Plaster of Paris, if possible. If you
can’t leave the join free push the tubes deeper into the wax so that
at least half is submerged. Once Plaster is dry, remove from wax, burn
off/out wax with torch and solder with hard solder. Try to get solder
to run right around joint, if not "tack"solder, remove from wax and
solder the rest of the joint with an easier solder. Hope this helps
and good luck. :slight_smile: Lawrence in sunny and hot South Africa

Sabushka Design & Mnfrng Studio
We Design and Create Jewellery especially for you.

dave i would recommend that you not use the saw in this case.Use a
square file and file your miter but dont go quite all the way
through.then you bend the piece and the last bit will hold it together
whilr you solder.I have mitered many pieces of tube thi way and you
can get a seamless result chris

I forgot to mention in my previous post that the steel pins have had
their heads cut off and the tops turned over so they resemble
miniature candy canes. This way they can hold the channel wire very
securely. Larger pins with a bigger curve might hold tubing in place
where you want it to stay… Karen

Have you ever tried a firebrick with steel sewing pins? That is how
channel work is held in place for soldering the silver channel wires
together before the back is soldered on. The firebricks are soft
enough to drive a pin into and you can even have a paper pattern
underneath to help position the pieces. The pattern just burns away.
Regards, Karen

dave - about soldering sq tubing at a mitered 90 deg connection - i
cheated: on top of a ceramic block i put a white soft solder block
thingy & nailed down one piece with binding wire ‘u’ s into the soft
stuff with the mitered hanging over the side about 1/2". set the
other side close to 90 by eyeballing it & embedded one wire ‘u’ about
halfway down it. then i use the stainless 4" square mini builders’
square to true it up & put in another ‘u’ to secure it. by hanging it
off of the edge of the top block i can get under with a touch of
heat, it seems quicker & with the ceramic block underneath i don’t
burn up anymore of my workroom (caution: do not throw burning buffing
wheels inside the room - it only increases the oxygen supply to the
fire. keep a window open & as an emergency measure & the neighbors
will think you’re doing fireworks - work fires - whatever, you never
have enough time to get to know them anyway.) the pragmatic
pyromaniac, ive

Dave, Regarding the use of that “cool” mitering jig demonstrated on my
video, here is another approach. Do not use it as a guide for sawing,
and cutting the material completely apart into two pieces. That
results in parts that have to be realigned as well as the task of
sawing straight. Instead use the jig as a filing guide. Place a
square edged file, like a large flat file with cuts on both sides of
the 90 degree corner, right up against the guide and file into the
strip or tubing to be creased. Continue until the metal is 98%
removed. (Most people freak out because they think they have gone too
far and the metal will break when in fact they wind up with a rounded
corner not a crisp one.) If done properly (practice makes perfect)
you can make perfect, aligned crisp miters in one strip so that it
folds up into any rectangle. It is not too difficult for somebody
with some experience and control. Keep me posted. Alan

Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts
760 Market Street . Suite 900
San Francisco . California . 94102 . USA
tel: 415 . 391 . 4179
fax: 415 . 391 . 7570
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Have you tried one of those third hand tools that goes with the
BenchMate system? They show them in the Rio catalog. There is a
soldering pad attached and 2 arms with multiple joints which will hold
just about anything in any position. I’ve been amazed at some of the
things I’ve been able to finally solder using one of these gadgets!

Another thing you might try is to use one of those ceramic perforated
soldering pads and thread binding wire through the perfs and sort of
sew it down. Janet Kofoed

   Have you ever tried a firebrick with steel sewing pins? That is
how channel work is held in place for soldering the silver channel
wires together before the back is soldered on.  

And if you use stainless steel pins, you don’t even have to worry
about the solder sticking to them –


Alan: well I did this fairly successfully with flat stock but I’m
doing silver tubes here. If I did that with tubing it would end up
with an extremely tiny piece of metal holding it together. I wonder if
that would hold up or break, anyway I’ll give it a try on a piece of
scrap tubing tonite and see if it works. I love this tool…Dave

Rather than cutting and soldering two pieces, take one piece that is
long enough to use and file using the 45 degree miter. File with a
hand file or an equalling file until you have nearly gone all the way
through. This one, still attached side will hold everything in
perfect alignment and all you need to do is bend it till it fits
snugly together. You can bind it together with wire for complete
hands free soldering.
Larry Seiger

Dave, Look (in a craft shop) at a special clamp sold for making
picture frames. They hold two sides of molding at 90 degrees very
nicely. They are too big for your use, but I bet you can make your
own smaller version, using that good old jeweler’s "roll your own"
savvy. (Or, as Skip Meister mentions, following your post, for
holding parts for soldering, use investment plaster to hold them
REALLY tight – then get your hammer, etc.).

On the subject of holding things together in alignment – long time
ago I bought a heap of soft soldering pads (Impressionite?) from Rio.
The theory was to make impressions in the block, paint on hardener,
heat it up and it was good to go for production line soldering.
Permanent divots to align your parts. Didn’t really work that way
for me (with some vindication, I note it’s not in the catalog
anymore). But I never got around to sending them back and somewhere
along the way I started using the pads to hold strange parts together
(very soft, easy to shove things into). I have come to find them
indispensable. The soft Solderite pads look like a similar product.
Your two tubes at 90 would be a piece of cake. - Dana Carlson

    Have you ever tried a firebrick with steel sewing pins? That is
how channel work is held in place for soldering the silver channel
wires together before the back is soldered on. 

Dave: This essentially is what I do to solder two pieces of tubing
with a mitred corner. But with this difference. I take a small square
or rectangle of copper or brass of 14 or16 gauge, cut off one corner
as a triangle of about 5-6 mm. I place this on a fire brick, and pin
the pieces of tubing against the altered square of metal so that the
mitered corner of the tubes meet opposite the nipped off area of the
metal “square”. This prevents solder flowing to the square. I like
using small carpet tacks to “pin” the pieces of tubing in place for
soldering. Certainly, Alan R’s response is proper for uncut tubing.
For what it’s worth. J.Z. Dule

Dave, the same technique that you used to make the crease on sheet or
rod, will work on tubing and you are right, the connection will be
very thin, which will result in a very crisp corner. Good luck. Alan

    And if you use stainless steel pins, you don't even have to
worry about the solder sticking to them -- 

Yes, this is exactly what I did. I used straight pins and heated them
red and let them cool so they would bend instead of break. I made “u”
staples and pinned one piece down. The problem comes when you try to
hold the two pieces together, pinning just isn’t accurate enough, if
you’re off a gnats eyelash it won’t hold together perfectly. I think
maybe the investment soldering method may be the only way for thicker

Alan: the filing vise would have worked for mitering the tubing and
keeping it attached for folding the corner, except the tubing was too
thick, the file cut inside the edge of the tubing so I lost the
perfect flatness and my attempt to flatten the ridge left over didn’t
work. So I got a perfect corner but the inside edges didn’t line up
because of the unequal filing. So I guess that puts me back into
having the cut the tubes off and hold them somehow. I’m thinking next
time I might sink them into sculpting wax and investing on top of that
then soldering. Was hoping for something a little less time consuming
though. The filing vise might work for fatter tubes if someone makes a
really fat four sided square file with perfect sharp edges. Dave

Crystalguy Jewelry, Art Jewelry for the Mystic Soul
Paddle Jewelry for River Addicts

The problem with the mitre joint is it’s ability to slide along the
joint line. As you are working with tubing here try this. Find a
round wire that will insert snugly into the tubing. You shouldn’t
have to drive it in. Bend the wire at a 90 degree angle. Now
assemble the two pieces by sliding the 45 degree ends onto the wire.
If you do this correctly you can build the entire rectangular frame
in one set up.

Good luck, Norman