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Where do you Solder?


#1

Good morning,

This may be a odd question, but I am changing my workshop area and
would be interested to know if most people solder and work at the
same bench or do you have a separate area for soldering ?

Thanks in advance
Gerry


#2

I have a separate table for soldering - keeps everything nice &
clean & separate. I also have a separate bench for silver & one for
gold.

Mary R


#3

I have a separate bench. I used to use the same one but I kept
lighting envelopes on fire.


#4

I solder at the same bench. I use a moveable sheet metal air scoop
attached to some dryer hose & a fan to vent fumes, dust, etc. from
my bench to the outdoors. I find it very convenient.

M’lou


#5
This may be a odd question, but I am changing my workshop area and
would be interested to know if most people solder and work at the
same bench or do you have a separate area for soldering ? 

According to the Bench survey I did 63% of respondents soldered at
the bench and 37% did not. I like to have a separate place to keep
chemicals and fumes away from my primary working place. It is quite
possible to rig up sensible ways of soldering at the bench.

best
charles


#6

For most of my 30+ years at the bench I soldered at the same bench,
and was happy. For the last 9 years though, I had the luxury of the
space to have a second, soldering station behind me, that I could
turn in my chair to use without any real moving. This was wonderful.
Although my current situation does not allow this anymore, I will
find a way to incorporate it in any future shops, if space allows. It
makes for a lot cleaner soldering area when it is a dedicated bench.
I have to clarify that I do a lot of repair work so I can have quite
a few projects in process at the same time, and the solder and
annealing bench really sped things up, as I did not have to clean or
clear away other work to use the torch. Of course I now use the laser
far more than a torch for most of my work anyway, so I guess you
could say I still have a two station bench set up. In the end it’s
what you find works best for you. Experiment with different set ups
and see what you find comfortable.


#7

Hi Gerry,

I used to solder & do everything else on the same bench, but it was a
relatively long bench, maybe 6’ long (by 2’, I think). Actually, just
a length of 3/4" plywood on tall supports. I since got my
great-grandfather’s old watchmaker’s bench (from about 1912), with a
leather top, and there’s NO WAY I’m soldering on that, so I also got
an old soldering bench from my grandfather’s things & now I have two
separate work places. Well, more than that, actually, but you get
the idea. :wink: Anyway, I’m very happy to have the separate spaces
(though these two sit right next to each other, with others elsewhere
in the room), but so long as your one bench is long enough to keep
things separate, you can certainly do them on the same piece of wood.

Lisa
Designs by Lisa Gallagher
www.lisagallagher.com


#8

Gerry,

I bought a 4’ long stainless steel food prep table from Sam’s club
for $118. (They have some amazingly good deals on stainless tables,
carts, cabinet rollarounds etc!)

I do all my “messy” stuff on that; pickle, pitch, flux, and solder.
It cleans up like a dream although I’ve not been as good about
ventilation as I should, I will be adding a hood with a back-slot
vent system soon to complete the setup.

cheers,
Kevin


#9

I solder in two areas. On my bench I have two layers of solderite
pieces (one was not enough, my bench was getting cooked with some of
my more heat intensive solders). There I use my third hand, charcoal
block, turntable, and solder directly on the solderite. When
soldering bezels on backplates (heating underneath) and belt buckles
(using a big, eye brow removing flame) I use what I call my mini BBQ.
It’s firebricks on edge glued with liquid nails in the shape of a 'U’
with a screen across the top. It sits on top of a homemade cabinet on
wheels that’s about 24" tall. The cabinet is to my immediate left.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado
http://rockymountainwonders.com


#10

I know a lot of goldsmiths like to have a torch at their bench but I
have always set up soldering at a separate area so I could vent the
fumes from flux, solder and whatever we are burning. We also like to
have ventilation for the pickle. I don’t like to see a big boosh
(technical term) of acid fumes coming out of the pickle pot when you
lift the lid and going wherever – especially in the winter when we
are keeping the place closed up to be warm.

Why do you think this is an odd question?

Janet Alix


#11

Since my studio is tiny, everything has to be miniaturized. Both my
soldering and polishing stations are on 24 inch square wheeled
cabinets. I topped the soldering one with half firebricks, and
bolted the buffer to the other’s flakeboard top. When you have no
room to start with, every square inch has to count.

Janet Kofoed
http://users.rcn.com/kkofoed


#12

Call me lazy, but I work with too many tiny parts and on too many
pieces at once to want to shift to another table. My soldering set up
is on the left side of my bench with a squirrel cage fan behind and a
hose that runs up, across the ceiling, and out a dryer vent cut in
the outside wall.

I also have to say here that I’ve never been a fan of traditional
jewelers’ benches. There’s just not enough working space for most
smithing techniques. I work on two 6’ tables in a L formation,
supported by shelves that make the whole set up bench height. I use a
drafting chair that allows me to do things like repousse and filigree
at table height, and drops down low to saw at bench height. The
soldering area and most of my tools are on the longer leg. The
rolling mill, flex shaft, and collection box are on the shorter leg.
(A dead terrarium and a whole bunch of junk I should put away is on
the part I can’t reach from my chair!!!)

Victoria
Victoria Lansford
http://www.victorialansford.com


#13
Since my studio is tiny, everything has to be miniaturized. Both
my soldering and polishing stations are on 24 inch square wheeled 

How tiny? My space is about 60 square feet. But when I look at the
Orchid Bench Exchange and there’s a guy there whose bench consists
of shelves built in btw two walls that are very close together (is it
a closet?), I feel like I live in a castle. So thanks, that guy.

I couldn’t fit in two stations on 24 inch square carts. If you still
want to walk.

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to FInd Tools for Metal Clay


#14

I am a new silversmith and my husband and I designed a shop using
half of an old granary on our farm site. The entire space is only
8’x11’. I have 3 benches which were all cut from a sheet of oak
plywood. Two benches are 6’x2’, and the other piece of the plywood
which is 4’x2’ makes the remaining bench. The two longer benches are
on the longer walls and the little bench is on the short wall which
is right under the only window. Well after all this rambling, I will
tell you where I solder. I use the long bench and have the soldering
paraphernalia and the pickle pot at the end. On the other end my
flex shaft is mounted. The opposite 6’ bendch has the polishing
equipment and the tumbler. The short bench by the window has my
designing stuff and my cutting and pounding stuff, anvils etc. It is
higher and I have a bar type stool to sit on. The other two benches
and flex station I can easily wheel between on my little wheeled
stool. It is really convenient and nice. I am pround of us for doing
it this way especially since we knew absolutly nothing about shop
design.

Jean in Minnesota


#15

I solder in two places. I have a separate area for soldering. I use
an old door on top of old kitchen cabinets with fire brick on the
bottom and sides to protect the area. I also have the grs system and
the soldering arms. I use this system if I need to see better and
have really small items I am soldering. So, it depends on the useage
and place.

jennifer friedman
http://www.jenniferfriedmanstudio.com


#16
How tiny? My space is about 60 square feet. But when I look at the
Orchid Bench Exchange and there's a guy there whose bench consists
of shelves built in btw two walls that are very close together (is
it a closet?), I feel like I live in a castle. So thanks, that guy. 

Well, you definitely have me beat. My studio is about 80 square feet,
and I have everything shoehorned in. One side is for fabrication,
soldering, and polishing, and the other side is for waxwork (and
sewing). I look longingly at rolling mills, but I don’t have any idea
where I’d put one.

Janet Kofoed
http://users.rcn.com/kkofoed


#17
Well, you definitely have me beat. My studio is about 80 square
feet, and I have everything shoehorned in. One side is for
fabrication, soldering, and polishing, and the other side is for
waxwork (and sewing). I look longingly at rolling mills, but I
don't have any idea where I'd put one. 

I would imagine with 80 square feet you’re spoiled for choice as to
where to put a rolling mill! My space is my jeweller’s bench where
EVERYTHING gets done and I have a rolling mill. That’s shoehorned as
is the case with many other people.

Helen
UK


#18
I am a new silversmith and my husband and I designed a shop using
half of an old granary on our farm site. The entire space is only
8'x11'. I have 3 benches which were all cut from a sheet of oak
plywood. 

Wow Jean,

Your studio sounds positively luxurious!!! How lucky to have that
kind of space. I consider myself lucky to have a lovely dedicated
jeweller’s bench in my lounge where I do everything: cutting;
annealing; hammering; forming; soldering; pickling; polishing, etc.
But as I say, it’s my space and I love it.

Helen
Also fairly new to silversmithing
Preston, UK


#19

Where do I solder? I lived for many years in a Condo. After using the
antique round oak dining room table, with heat protection, I
graduated to a Pecan Wood Sewing Center, which was supposed to hold
a Sewing Machine. Covered the open “lid” with protecive material. Had
a wonderful two door three shelf cabinet to attach. This was located
in my Living room, since I had a teen ager in the second bedroom.
Once in a while my son would come stay and use the solder station,
too. Have always used fire bricks with the soldering rack. Years
later I was able to move into the second bedroom - daughter moved! I
am still using the Pecan Wood Sewing Center in my studio - am living
in a house now for 8 years, after 24 years in the condo, and can
swing around on my wheeley chair to work at my assembly and designing
desk - picked that up for $7.50 at a garage sale, the Sewing Center
was a whopping $750.00 and worth every penny of it. Have a wonderful
ventilation system with 2 fans, the 2 dryer vent large exhaust pipes
are situated above the soldering station and pickle pot, to let the
fumes out the window where the fans are installed in a thick plastic
sheet. One son designed that.

Rose Marie Christison


#20

I have solder station set up to the right of my bench. All I have to
do is rotate my chair 90 degrees and I am at the soldering station.

Mark