Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Soldering and isopropanol

Perhaps this very old news to you all, but I thought that I’d share
this experience with you in case someone else finds it useful. Please
consider it a very small token of my appreciation of the knowledge
and support that you others have given me.

I find that after I have cleaned my silver and solder that their
surfaces don’t “wet”. I find that paillons of solder tend to float
or move around. Thus when I start heating after applying the flux
(Battern’s, very old or almost finished, in this case) the paillons
can move well away from the joint.

To over come this problem what I did was first “wet” the surfaces
with a drop of the alcohol, then moved my paillons into place and
finally added the flux. A bit of mixing took place. And I also was
able to add a lot less flux than I have done in the past.

I heated the joints with a propane touch mounted with a pencil tip,
and like the “pros” have said, I tried to solder hot and fast, after
carefully heating the piece so that the flux fluffed up and then
settled down.

The items soldered? A 2mm x-section thick square Cu wire strip onto
2 sterling surfaces sort of like IxI with the I’s being very much

The second sheet was a lot tougher because I was unable to see when
the solder flowed (the wire being underneath and not near any edge).


What I have done to combat the heartbreak of solder migration is
this; after I flux, and position the components and the solder, I
carefully put the piece on my soldering pad or tripod- and then go
pour myself a cup of coffee, or find something else to do for 15
minutes or so. Then I solder. I found that the bubbling and solder
drift is much less likely to occur if I allow the flux to dry before
I put it to the torch.

Lee Einer
Dos Manos Jewelry