A while back I wrote about my ideas of stainless steel soldering
clamps, well I was contacted by Lee Marshall of Knew Concepts and he
asked me if I had tried making my soldering clamps from titanium. I
said no so Lee kindly sent me some titanium strips to try.
Well if anyone wants the ultimate soldering clamps that are even
better than my stainless ones, these are them. They keep their
spring longer, will take more heat and can be cut with fine points
that do not degrade when heated many times. I sent Lee my ideas and
soon Knew Concepts will be offering for sale, packs of ready cut
titanium strips, so that they can be bent into any required shape
clamping items together when soldering.
The photos show a T shaped clamp and a positioning clamp, how I
shaped them and examples of their uses to hold items in place when
soldering, it's especially good for possitioning ear.
James Miller FIPG
Hello James, (I hold you in such high regard, that I really feel
awkward addressing you so informally!)
Thanks to both you and Lee for first sharing an idea and then
I look forward to an opportunity to try out the Ti clamps.
Judy in Kansas
Fantastic! Must try these with my high school students.
Hi James, How thick is the titanium?
The titanium soldering clamps will be available soon. Perhaps as
soon as early next week. The Ti sheet is off getting cut into strips
by someone with a shear bigger than ours.
The details are as follows: each packet will consist of 10 (4" x
3/16") strips of 16 ga titanium. Price is tentatively set for $20. At
the moment, it'll just be through us (knewconcepts.com) but I expect
the supply houses will pick them up reasonably soon.
We're selling them as straight strips. The reason being that each
situation demands an almost custom answer. James has come up with a
whole range of strange and wonderful clamps to serve as inspiration,
and there will be a gallery of pictures of his clamps available on
the KC website.
What I can say about them is that I've been using them to help with
my introductory metals students this term, and they've been quite
the hit. Having 'blank' clamps lets me bend the strips up into
whatever form I need for the job at hand. The nice thing about them
is that they don't lose tension at heat, solder doesn't stick to
them, and they don't really pull heat away from your part. All very
I'll post a followup message here as soon as we're ready to ship.
These clamps are much more aesthetic than the ones I throw together
for myself, but i can testify to how wonderful titanium is for
soldering clamps/supports. My most common use is to make a
small-to-tiny cotter pin/bobby pin shape out of 26ga titanium that I
have in abundance. It is ideal for holding flat pieces in position
and tight together. And as James and Brian say, you can't melt it,
you can't really anneal it, you can't solder it (accidentally or on
purpose), and it has a very low specific heat, so it does not act as
a heat sink. Perfect!
I also very frequently use two strips bent into V shapes to act as a
soldering platform instead of a tripod or "soldering nest". Much
better, on account of the above listed properties.
I have never worked with titanium. What do you recommend using to
shape them? Will a regular metal file, saw, or cutting disc work?
Titanium is the new sliced bread in specialty tools for me. I LOVE
my titanium solder pick and diamond tweezers. Now I can't wait to try
these clamps. Thanks James and Knew Concepts for your constant
contributions in advancing this trade.
BTW, one of those KC titanium saws is on my grail list ;)
YAHOOO I can hardly wait!!!
Some years ago I acquired a box with a lot of offcuts of titanium in
I have made lots of clamps, tweezers, holding tools for various
one of the best is a gadget for holding silver bracelet ends
together while soldering.
Just a length of 1mm titanium slightly wider than the silver and
somewhat longer than the circumference, I turn the ends of the
Titanium into hooks and wrap the length around the outer edge of the
bangle, I insert the prongs of a large old pair of pliers into the
hooked ends, opposite to the bangle ends, to be soldered and pull
them tight during the soldering process, perfect results every time.
Solder does not adhere to titanium so titanium can be used for a
multitude of helpful grips, also it is a poor conductor of heat.
Thank you. because I really wasn't sure I wanted to be cutting
titanium with my bench shear :)
Lovely clamps. No solder getting on them issues. No heat sucking. I
love a new tool and never need an excuse to buy one.
However.... I must be doing something wrong here. I can't remember
the last time I used clamps to solder, if ever. I use binding wire
maybe once every five years or so. I've soldered both large scale,
over three stores tall, and small, fractions of millimeters.
I just asked Tim and he says he can't ever remember using clamps
The only exception we can think of is the rare use of the center
crown soldering tweezers. Flat on the top and curved on the bottom.
Mostly our students use it. I never use my third hand to hold a
component in place for soldering either. It's faster to free hand it.
I do use it to hold things up off of the soldering block though.
Have fun and develop as many cool new tools as you can. I've got a
bad tool habit to feed.
For the sorts of rough shaping required for a soldering clamp,
standard jeweler's tools will work just fine.
It's stiff, sort of like fully work-hardened nickel silver, but
that's the only tough thing about it. It'll saw with a standard
blade, (lots of burr life) and shears go through it reasonably well.
Cutting disks work as well, but you may fry your fingers. That sort
of thing generates a lot of heat, and Ti doesn't transfer heat well
at all, so the hot area gets *really* hot.
Titanium is a little more difficult to work than silver but with
practice it is fine with ordinary tools.
and careful pressure control, constantly inserting and removing the
drill to clear the swarf and to allow the lubricant to penetrate. Use
a liquid such oil of wintergreen or an industrial lubricant. Burrs
need lots of wax to keep then cool.
Sawing needs to be done with lots of vertical action with very
little forward pressure, let the teeth do the work! Use candle wax as
I would not recommend using abrasive cutters as it will grind them
down very fast.
Use a facemask or good ventilation or work under running water.
Otherwise filing is ok.
It cuts like butter on a lathe, a bit of lubrication helps.
Clear swarf constantly and dont try to burn it as it burns at very
Rod or wire will not burn and is excellent for picks and tweesers.
Solder will not stick to titanium and its high melting point gives it
an advantage over steel.
Good for acid tongs too.
Please visit my website and view:
I too am eager to get my hands on some of these titanium strips.
There is nothing quite like making tools for special purposes. or
even routine tasks.
spare titanium bike spokes for little or no money. Round 14 ga Ti is
For those not on the KC email Knewsletter list, the Titanium
soldering clamp strips are available, starting. Now.
The link for them is here:
A while back I posted about stainless steel soldering clamps, and
then I recently posted about titanium soldering clamps, there was a
lot of interest and now I am happy to say that Knew Concepts is
selling packs of 10 ready cut strips of titanium for $20, so that
anyone can now make their own titanium clamps.
Also if anyone is interested I am featured on the Artists Spotlight
section of the latest Knew Concepts newsletter.
This is the link to the titanium clamps page;
Peace and good health to all.
James Miller FIPG
A while back I posted about the titanium soldering clamps that I had
made and the fact that Knew Concepts will be selling strips of
titanium so that anyone can shape their own soldering clamps. Well
as other have said these packs of ten strips are now available from
Knew Concepts for $20 plus postage.
Check out this film by Andrew Berry, I sent him a pack of Lee
Marshall's titanium strips so that he could check out and make up
some of my ideas of soldering clamps, so that he could test them. I
included photos of my instructions on a few designs and he made this
short film about making the titanium soldering strips, see;
Peace and good health to all
James Miller FIPG
Hi. Where do I get them' thx Bruce