- Soldering; very
simply put is 'gluing' two pieces of metal together by applying
heat and melting a third metal or alloy into the joint. This
third metal or 'solder' must melt at a lower temperature than
the metal being soldered and be able to adhere to the surfaces
- Not all metals
can be soldered easily. Copper, Brass, Bronze, Nickel and Tin
are all metals that can be soldered at soldering iron and propane
torch temperatures (400-800f) and use solders and fluxes that
are readily available.
- Solder is an alloy
or mixture of metals that melts at a lower temperature than the
metal being soldered.
- Flux is an acidic
or caustic powder, paste or solder core that cleans the joint
and lubricates the flow of the solder when the heat is applied.
bit of caution here-
The fumes produced when soldering are toxic and flux is caustic.
Adequate ventilation as well as eye and skin protection are required.
Care must be taken to protect your surrounds from the heat, splatter
and open flame involved with soldering.
- Heat is required
to cause the flux and solder to melt and flow into the joint.
Heat can be applied using a soldering iron or torch.
- Soldering irons
and come in a wide range of wattage.
- A propane plumbing torch
is a good source of heat for most craft and art soldering projects.
- The first step
in any successful solder joint is to clean the surfaces to be
- Next, apply the
flux along the joint using a brush or scrap of wire.
crab made by the authors
- Practice and experimentation
will yield increasingly better results. If you have trouble,
remember the basics: the joint must be clean, flux aids the flow
of the solder into the joint and adequate heat must be used for
the thickness of the solder and size of project.
- Basic soldering
set up including a fan blowing away for ventilation,
- protection for
the work surface, water for cooling, a torch, solder and flux
- For a very comprehensive
explanation of soldering-
our booklet on SOLDERING:
complete guide with tutorials,
pages with color photos to Download & Print:
- more about this booklet