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Soldering on Graphite slabs?


How is graphite to solder on? Gail


Dear Gail, graphite is OK to solder on, but it is a serious heat sink
and gets deceptively hot. It’s harder than normal charcoalblock but
soft enough to drill and file and cut. I find it particularly useful
if I want to solder components that have to stay very flat, or if I
want to support soldered pieces in predetermined positions. I can do
this by drilling holes for supporting pins. Graphite is excellent if
you have lots of wire settings or solderings to make, but don’t want
to go to the expense of making up a special jig. One simply drills the
graphite where the wires have to be placed to ensure consistent
placement of the components.

When required, I usually work on 6mm thick pieces about 4 inches
square. They heat up fairly quickly. I usually use my water torch for
this work and keep the graphite on a heat-proof pad so that it doesn’t
burn the bench where I’m working.

If you have been used to working on charcoal, don’t make the mistake
of picking up the graphite as soon as you’ve finished soldering. It
holds the heat for quite a while and will burn you even though it
doesn’t look hot. I’m sure you’ll get lots of good advice from the
other Orchidists. Kind regards, Rex from Oz