How to Solder E-Booklet


Written by the Whimsie Studio Craftsmen


click here: Amazon EBooks

Booklet is only available from as an e-book:

This is our most requested craft information. How to solder Copper,

Brass, Nickel, and Gold. Written by Larry Henke & Ron Bodoh


Soldering- a introduction
What is soldering?...
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 being joined.
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. Aluminum and stainless steel do not solder easily.
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.
A 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 heating ability from 25 to 150 watts and work for fine work through stained glass.
A propane plumbing torch is a good source of heat for most heavier craft and art soldering projects.

Copper crab made

by the authors using

a propane torch

The first step in any successful solder joint is to clean the surfaces to be soldered.

Next, apply flux along the joint using a brush or scrap of wire. Flux is a caustic paste, fluid or powder that prevents the solder joint from corroding from the heat and allows the solder to flow.
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.
For a very comprehensive explanation of soldering-

order our booklet 'HOW TO SOLDER' above

A complete guide with tutorials,

19 pages with color photos to Download & Print:
(c) Copyright 2009 the Whimsie Studio. Larry Henke & Ronald Bodoh
The entire contents of this site and photographs shown herein are original and copyright protected.
(c) Copyright 2009 all rights reserved -the Whimsie Studio. Larry Henke & Ronald Bodoh
These articles and writings are for our customers personal use only. They may not be copied or published in whole or part, in any form electronically or in print without express written permission of the authors Larry Henke & Ronald Bodoh


Gauge Thickness chart & Information
Gauge Is thickness. The higher the gauge number the thinner the metal.
The chart below shows approximate gauge thickness for metal to give a relative idea of different gauges. It is in American Standard Gauge of Average wire gauge thickness.
 Gauge -Thickness  Dimension inches thick  Dimension millimeters thick




.258 inch or
slightly over 1/4 inch thick

  6.54 mm
  VERY HEAVY THICK WIRE .For large sculptures & armatures- cuts best with a bolt cutter or saw.


.204 inch

 5.189 mm
 THICK WIRE .For large sculptures & armatures- cuts best with a bolt cutter or saw.



 .162 inch

 THICK WIRE .For large sculptures & armatures- cuts best with a bolt cutter or saw.


  .128 a little over 1/8 inch

3.26 mm


   .114 inch

   2.91 mm



.102 inch

  2.6 mm


.081 inch 50

 2 mm thick
 About as thick as a standard wire coat hanger



 .064 inch

a bit thicker than 1/16 inch
1.6 mm
 This and thicker is Considered PLATE METAL in sheet metal. as in "copper plate"


 .051 inch

 1.30 mm


 .04 inch

 1 mm
 A bit thicker than a standard paper clip in wire. Heavy PLATE METAL in sheet metal. as in "copper plate"


.032 inch

About the thickness of a standard paper clip.


 . 025



Photo shows Approximate thickness: 23 gauge

  .023 or 23 Mil

  .576 mm


Standard heavy weight Sheet metal for larger craft work, roofing and range hoods etc. In copper sheet it is 1 pound per square foot approximately.

For sheet metal it cuts with a tin snips or saw


  .020 or 20 Mil

 .5 mm -half a millimeter

Heavy weight Sheet metal.

For sheet metal it cuts with a tin snips or saw

A medium fine wire for craft.



 .40 mm


 .010 also known as 10 mil
as it is 10/1000
inch thick

  .25 mm 1/4 mm
 Medium weight sheet - cuts with a scissors. twice as thick as 36 gauge below, But a very thin wire- not very strong


 .005 also known as 5 mil
as it is 5/1000 inch thick

  .125 mm 1/8 mm

 Heavy FOIL: Standard Embossing & tooling & foil. Cuts with a scissors.

7 times thicker than household aluminum foil.


  .004 approximately

  .101 mm

  Medium weight foil slightly lighter than above

Extremely thin wire



    thin foil- Household"tin" Aluminum foil- called
very thin foil -
standard aluminum kitchen foil "tin foil"
The Gauge thickness lines may not appear correctly on some computer screens due to different screen resolutions and page size settings.
Adjust your screen or estimate If this does not appear as one inch.
Or see the inch dimensions in the chart above on this page and compare with a ruler.


The full content of this site writings, photos and creations are original and copyright protected.
(c) Copyright 2010 -All Rights Reserved the Whimsie Studio.