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Soldering technique


#1

I have a question about soldering technique. A few days ago, I
soldered for the first time in a few months. The problem is
that I do not seem to have enough control over the solder so that
I can get it where I want is to go. It seems to want to clump
incessantly. I was using easy. Do medium or hard have better
flow characteristics?

What to use for a soldering pick?? Titanium, steel. Does one
take paillons of solder and place them near the seam you are
trying to seal. Does one melt paillons of solder onto the
soldering pick and then apply that to the seam? Does one just
use wire solder and touch it to the seam. How do you avoid using
too much solder. Just enough to securely secure it, but not
clumps of stuff.

Help!!
@Marshall_Jones


#2

I just started soldering too, so I am interested in all the
questions you are asking–I have a hard time picking the solder
up with the pick!

But I do know that if your metal is not clean, the solder will
sit on top and not go anywhere. Make sure it is properly cleaned
and fluxed. If you are trying to solder a joint for a second
time, make sure the pickle is rinsed off properly.


#3

I do not seem to have enough control over the solder so that I
can get it where I want is to go. It seems to want to clump
incessantly. I was using easy. Do medium or hard have better
flow characteristics?

Are you soldering silver? If you’re a beginner, I assume so.
The “lumping” you’re referring to sounds like something in your
work isn’t clean- Be sure you’ve cleaned the silver well in the
pickle and rinsed it ( it comes with a little oil on it, so clean
it before you even start-). Be sure the flux and the solder are
clean too. Heat pretty much the whole piece- don’t concentrate
the heat on that one little lump of solder. Move the torch
slowly over the whole piece, keeping an eye on the color of the
piece. If it begins to glow dull red, headed towards orange, you
are getting into over heating, and will experience the dreaded
&&$&#& firescale. Using picks- I haven’t done this much- I use
paillons, myself. However, most people heat the piece, then heat
the solder on the block till it balls up, touch the pick to the
molten solder, pick it up and move it to where they want it to go
with the pick. Titanium is used for most picks- you can order
some titanium wire from Reactive Metals, two or three feet
should make enough picks to last your whole life. I DO NOT
recommend touching a long length of solder wire to the piece in
an attempt to solder. I always end up with a large puddle of
solder doing that, I’m never quick enough at removing it. Good
luck- Anne


#4

…It seems to want to clump incessantly…

Sounds like you may be heating the solder instead of the piece.
The idea is to heat the metal around the joint until the solder
flows, not to direct the flame at the solder. Since solder will
flow toward the heat source, with a little practice, you can
control where the solder flows. As far as transporting the
solder to the joint, I like to dip a chip of solder into flux
and, using tweezers, place it on a preheated piece, allowing the
flux to ‘glue’ the solder in place, rather than boil it out of
position like it does when you place the solder on cold metal and
then heat it.

Hope this helps.

Sharon Ziemek
GoldStones, Inc.


#5

If you’re soldering silver you need to stay away from easy
solder, if you do any follow up soldering the other easy soldered
joints will start to eat into the silver. Reheating easy solder
is a nightmare. Your joints need to be as perfect as you can make
them or the solder wont flow into them. Heat the whole piece then
concentrate on the joint, don’t heat directly on the solder, heat
the joint. Use hard solder for your bezel joints then go to
medium. Get some solder nippers to make tiny paillons and use a
paste flux. Heat gently til the flux dries then go for it…Dave

www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html
Crystalguy Art Jewelry, Magical Art Jewelry for the Enlightened Mind


#6

MJ> What to use for a soldering pick?? Titanium, steel. =

G’day; I use a titanium pick - 3mm wire fastened into a bit of
wooden do well. Nothing at all solders to it.

MJ> Does one take paillons of solder and place them near the seam
MJ> you are trying to seal. Does one melt paillons of solder
MJ> onto the soldering pick and then apply that to the seam?

I roll my solder to a few thou thickness, cut 1mm square - or
smaller paillons and sometimes place on a pre heated and fluxed
piece, sometimes between the two to be joined, pushing them
together GENTLY as they are heated. Sometimes I dip the pick in
flux, shake off excess, use it to pick up the paillon, he at it
to form a little ball, heat the pieces, apply the ball when
melting temperature is reached. But it doesn’t always go just
like that, does it?

Don’t solder with solder wire unless you have a steel job to do

  • and then only if it is a fairly big job. Cheers anyway,

          /\
         / /    John Burgess, 
        / /
       / //\    @John_Burgess2
      / / \ \
     / (___) \
    (_________)

#7

hi anne,
you might try using a pin vise holding a shorter length of
solder. i just read in brain press that you can hold these
lengths in hemostats. i never used them to hold solder. for large
soldering operations this is a great technique your missing.

geo fox


#8

Hi Anne,

If you are going to use a hemostat to hold the solder, get a
needle holder(curved needle holder is a type of hemostat), or a
larger sized hemostat and groove the jaws to hold the solder.
You can use a small triangular file, or cut it with a flex-shaft
and a cut-off disc. Shop carefully, I have found a seller at
gun shows and at flea markets who sells Pakastani made tools
from $3.00ea./2 for$5.00 for the smaller hemostats and tweezers
to $5.00 for the larger pieces.

Skip

                                  Skip Meister
                                NRA Endowment and
                                   Instructor
                                @Skip_Meister
                                05/28/9709:45:14