Saturday, April 30, 2011

Soldering basics

1. To begin with, you need to find a well ventilated work area. I usually have the ceiling fan going in my craft room or open a window.

2. Then set up your tools. You'll need to plug in your soldering iron and soak your solder stand sponge with water.

3. Take your copper foil tape, peal off the back (only as far as you are wrapping ). Wrap it around the piece of glass you wish to solder. The foil is very easy to manipulate, so just trim off any excess with scissors. (You can use an x-acto knife to even up any uneven areas)

4. Burnish the copper around the glass. This simply means to take something, such as a popsicle stick, and rub it against the copper foil so that it is as smooth and even as possible.

5. Set your piece of glass to be soldering in front on you, making sure it is on either a tile or a non-stick metal cookie sheet .

6. Use a small paint brush and brush your flux on all of the copper.

7. Now, take your roll of solder (remember it should be lead free for jewelry), and unroll a little of the solder.

8. In one hand, hold the end of the solder over the foil you just added to the glass piece, and in the other hand, hold your soldering iron.

9. Now comes the tricky part. You want to simultaneously hold the tip of the iron against the tip of the solder and move around the copper on your glass piece. Depending on the thickness and size of your glass, you may have to do one side and then the other side of the glass.

10. To add a jump ring or bale to your piece (remember you can solder metal to metal so you can use copper wire or silver too), just rest it up against the area you'd like it to adhere to on your copper foil, and drip some solder onto the area creating a "mountain". Then using a pair of hemostats to hold your jump ring solder the ring to the "mountain". Don't forget to flux your jump ring.

With a little practice, you will be a pro before you know it.

1 comment:

  1. And you make adding a jump ring sound so easy!
    I'm just jump ring challenged! lol !!!