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Author Topic: A few soldering questions...  (Read 1686 times)
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beadysam
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« on: July 20, 2009, 01:44:42 PM »

Right then, I finally got around to having a go - I have to say it was great fun but the results are a bit dodgy. Grin

I just made some large copper jumprings to hammer, so nothing super-duper and certainly nothing worth showing - I need loads more practice first!

Now for the questions:

I know this probably sounds silly, but is there an easy way to cut solder?  I spent ages trying every pair of shears, cutters etc that I could find - in the end I used the saw to cut pallions.  The only tool I've found that will cut through the stuff is a farmers fencing tool!!  I'm thinking solder paste in a syringe would be easier....

Is there anything you can do to disguise silver solder on copper?  I'm guessing that practice means you use less solder, and the skill of cutting the rings improves so there is less space to fill anyway, but I'm a tight fisted Northerner and I don't want to waste what I've made so far!  Obviously excess solder on the surface can be filed away but there is still some showing in the join and it spreads when the ring is hammered - can I use a patina of some sort? 

Filling the torch - how do you know when its full and how long do they usually last?

I think there was something else too, but I'm sure thats enough to be going on with...

Thanks guys. Smiley

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GoodMonkey
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2009, 02:23:16 PM »

Could you hammer the solder so that it is thinner to cut?  At college we used to use brazing solder - like plumbers use I think.  I don't remember it being that noticable.
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beadysam
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2009, 02:24:56 PM »

Should be able to cut the solder with a pair of tin-snips, or some wire cutters will do it too. And definately the easiest way to disguise the solder is to use as little as possible... sorry! Not sure whether a patina would cover it or make it more obvious - some metals take differently with things like that, and you end up with big colour changes between the two sections.

Smiley

Thanks. Smiley  I've tried 2 pairs of tin snips and all but my best pair of wire cutters on all three types of solder but I just can't get through it!  I thought the patina was a long shot, I guess its just PPP?
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mizgeorge
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2009, 03:11:28 PM »

I cut my solder with tin snips too, but I barely ever use pallions now - I much prefer paste! I did switch to solder in strip rather than sheet, which made it a lot easier when I was still trying to do it 'properly'.

A good join will barely show any solder, and you should file off any excess, but if there's still a line, and you have any old pickle around (it may have turned a little blue) you can use this to copper plate the finished piece to disguise the join. Add a bit of steel or iron (or just use your steel tweezers by mistake!).. The copper oxides (I think they're oxides anyway, but if one of the scientists can correct me that would be lovely) in the pickle will deposit on the piece almost instantly.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2009, 03:14:10 PM by mizgeorge » Logged

beadysam
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2009, 04:09:16 PM »

I cut my solder with tin snips too, but I barely ever use pallions now - I much prefer paste! I did switch to solder in strip rather than sheet, which made it a lot easier when I was still trying to do it 'properly'.

A good join will barely show any solder, and you should file off any excess, but if there's still a line, and you have any old pickle around (it may have turned a little blue) you can use this to copper plate the finished piece to disguise the join. Add a bit of steel or iron (or just use your steel tweezers by mistake!).. The copper oxides (I think they're oxides anyway, but if one of the scientists can correct me that would be lovely) in the pickle will deposit on the piece almost instantly.

Thanks George,  I thought you might turn up here!  When are you going to write a book?  Its you that everyone turns to, I think that should be telling you something....

If the old contaminated pickle deposits a thin layer of copper oxides, will it be damaged when hammered?  Just thinking aloud, I'll try it! Wink 
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silverlemon
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2009, 05:02:46 AM »

I use solder strips, and I thin them out in the rolling mill at college.

Try a hammer to thin it like someone suggested......you can then cut didy bits with tin snips
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