I usually solder with pallions and wire, but recently decided to try
paste solder again. I’m really unhappy because I figured, “Oh, it’s
just solder, it’s a fairly simple join (two small 1.5”-2" sections of
curved tubing), and I’m in control here." But, something happened and
my joint is less than the perfection I expected.
The problem wasn’t getting the paste solder to flow-it flowed the
way it should. Instead, I ended up with crusty “flowed” solder all
through my perfectly constructed and clean joint. That is to say, you
know how regular solder flows really nicely, and if it’s done right
you see that beautiful, smooth line (for lack of a better way to
describe the final form of the solder) connecting the joints-this was
NOT a cleanly soldered join by any means.
I still maintain that I didn’t have any problems with the paste
process or actual application of the paste. The crud I’m talking
about is the solder IN the joint–it looks really crappy and it’s
going to take a lot more work than I had planned to try to file away
this crusty, unevenly-flowed solder.
[By the way, any tips for filing the solder smooth at the point of
the join? I don’t want to mess around with the curvature of the two
tubes. I’m tempted to just scrap it and do it all over but I really
don’t want to because everything else was so perfect.]
What on earth could I have done wrong? I love the ease of working
with paste solder, but I am certainly not liking the messy-looking
Thanks in advance for any tips.