Soldering dilema

depends on what you are trying to do. If it is a small piece try a
small amount of investment plaster. I once dealt with a particularly
difficult soldering project with this method. First, superglue the
peices together in what you want thier final form to be. Then, mix up
a small amount of investment plaster. Position the parts in the
plaster so that the points to be soldered are exposed and the solder
holds all of the peices. After the investment is dry, the heat from
soldering will burn away the superglue. Finally, remove the
investment after your soldering is completed. (the investment plaster
does have a tendancy to act as a heat sink.) For a larger peice you
might consider this- A friend of mine once used styrofoam, of all
things, to position parts for a wealding project. He pressed the
parts into a large styrofoam ball to hold them in position. Yes, some
of the styrofoam did melt from the heat. Enough of it remained to
hold the parts in position while he wellded all the joints. I think
I prefer using the investment plaster. Michael

Please if using superglue before soldering burn off the glue in a
well ventilated area. I got a faceful from a student’s project, yes the
sterling Hurricane, and it was not pleasant - haven’t keeled over yet!
The glue will vanish in a puff long before soldering temperatures are

Andy Parker, Agate House Lapidary
Ulverston, Cumbria, England

Tel: 01229 584023

For what it’s worth it,

Some superglue are based on cianide.Be carefull,don’t monkey around
with it tomuch and use a fan or work in a well ventilated area.I’m
not aware of real truoble with this glue,but better be scared Jack
then dead Jack. About the smell …I agree,that’s one of the reasons
why I don’t like to use this glue.On the other hand …if you didn’t
clean a jewelry piece before soldering it, well that too is an awfull
smell. Regards Pedro

Interesting option to use investment to stabilize a piece for
soldering. I was confused about the use of super glue though. How
does the glue affect the cleanliness of the piece for the solder to flow?

Hi all… I use this technique quite often. Super glue your pieces
together, (use zip kicker to speed things up) then mix up some
investment and flux pieces and set your solder, set glued up piece in
wet investment just enough to hold and let set. Solder in place. I
have never had any problems with contamination from the glue. Any
other questions let me know. Tom in Homer Alaska …

   Some superglue are based on cyanide. 

Not so much cyanide, but the related compounds called cyanoacrylates,
are what make up superglues. While the CN ion therein is chemically
similar to cyanide, in the compounds in superglue it is not the same
at all regarding toxicity. Names can be deceiving. Similar chemical
families may have wildly differing properties. Remember that the
cyanide ion is just a carbon atom bonded to a nitrogen one. Both
harmless by themselves… And harmless too if the ion is bonded
securely to something else it doesn’t wish to leave. Like iron…
ferrocyanides are only mildly toxic compared with sodium or potasion
cyanides, or the deadly hydrogen cyanide gas emitted when acid is
added to the above… Cyanoacrylates SOUND like cyanide, but
chemically are not. Still, when burned, I believe I recall reading
that the stuff can emit isocyanates (any of you “real” chemists out
there care to comfirm or correct this?), again a related compound.
The problem with isocyanates is that they are rather potent
carcinogens. You do NOT want to be breathing even small amounts. So
the end advice is the same. Be careful with these things. On a
related subject, isocyanates are also the emitted fume that is the
reason why most people should not be casting their own urethane rubber
die forming rubber blocks. Urethanes are handy. And you can get
devcon (I think) kits to pour your own liquid urethanes. But they
emit isocyanates on curing, so it needs to be done very carefully
regarding ventilation…

Peter Rowe

Hello Row,

Thank you for the nice addition about “cianide glue”.I have to admit
it’s not easy not knowing thatmuch of it.I tread chemicals always
with a lot of respect,especialy if I’m not sure about them.Reading
this info will push me more in this (save)direction. I like your
American expresion “Better save then sorry”

Regards Pedro