UNT College of Visual Arts & Design – Metals: Soldering

UNT College of Visual Arts & Design – Metals: Soldering

Hello and welcome to the University of North
Texas’ Metalsmithing & Jewelry program video series. In this short video, we will introduce you
to the basics of soldering. Soldering is a fundamental skill in metalsmithing
and jewelry-making. Every piece is just a little bit different,
but we hope these basics help you on your way to perfecting this skill. By definition, soldering is the application
of heat to melt a lower-melting point alloy in order to join pieces of metal together. Different alloys of solder melt at different
temperature ranges to enable soldering multiple parts together without re-melting previous
joints. Typically wire silver solder alloys look identical
so the ends are bent to prevent mixing them up. Before soldering, make sure your metal and
solder are clean. There should be no gaps in your seam. As is often said, “Solder is not spackle!” If a piece is to have multiple solder seams,
start with hard solder. For this sample, we will just show a simple
T-joint with medium solder. Often, it can take longer to properly set
up your pieces to solder than the actual soldering. Use of soldering aids, like this third hand,
are essential. Flux is used to prevent oxidization, which
will keep the joint clean while soldering. Place small pieces of solder along the seam—usually
much less is needed than beginners think. Heating both pieces evenly is crucial. Like in this sample, most pieces are different
sizes so proper control of heating is essential. Before lighting the torch, make sure your
ventilation is on and the gas cylinder is open. Open the knob just slightly and strike the
lighter to the side of the torch tip. Adjust the torch flame to the appropriate
size for the soldering to be done. Remember the hottest part of the flame is
at the tip of the inner cone. Warm the metal overall to dry the flux. Be careful that boiling flux can cause solder
pieces to move or even jump. When the flux goes clear, it is approaching
soldering temperature. Be sure both pieces of metal are reaching
the same temperature at the same time. You can control the temperature of the metal
by the distance and direction of the torch flame. The solder is drawn to heat. As the solder flows, use the torch to direct
the flow of solder through the seam. Be careful not to overheat or unevenly heat
or else the solder won’t flow evenly. After soldering, let the piece air cool and
then place in this pickle (a mild acid solution) to clean the metal. Be sure to use copper tongs when moving pieces
in or out of the pickle. The piece should remain in the pickle long
enough to remove the oxides and any remaining flux. After removing from the pickle, rinse and
clean the piece. And that completes our basic introduction
to soldering. We hope this short video helps make your experiences
safe and productive!

local_offerevent_note October 11, 2019

account_box Matthew Anderson


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