Cleaning flux after soldering

by Stan
(Johannesburg South Africa)

hi – I recently ordered and received your booklet on making Jewelery boxes – also with it was a very useful tutorial on copper foiling. I just wish I had come across your site a long time ago – I find it very useful and so helpful. I am a very much amateur stained-glass hobbyist. And your booklet has helped me enormously.


One thing I would like to know is how long can you leave flux on your glass before cleaning it and waxing it your tips on cleaning, not using water, waxing before using patina etc. most useful and informative
I work on my pieces whenever I have a chance to do so – it might take me a few days or even a few weeks to finish a project.at the moment I have started to make an eight sided Terrarium.I have cut all eight sides and have numbered them and am now proceeding to copper foil them. I would like to solder each panel as I have finished foiling on both sides-
finally my question!! Should I wash wax etc. each piece as I finished soldering,and when assembling the project wash and wax again?? Obviously I would apply patina after the whole project has been assembled. After reading your article I don't want to wash with water to often – I have made your ammonia wash and will use same.
My name is Stan and I am from South Africa
Thank you

Answer
Hi Stan,

To clean flux after soldering, you can wash each panel, as you finish it, in warm soapy water. You can find the instruction for working with multiple sided projects on my Lampshade tutorial. Even though it's a lampshade tutorial, the techniques applie to any multiple sided project.

Be careful so you don't tear the foil on the edges of each panel as you are washing them. The edges will be bare copper foil until the terrarium is completely assembled and vulnerable to tearing. Also, don't use hot water at this stage. It can cause the foil to lift along the edges.

The water won't compromise the finished terrarium since you will be washing it again, with the sudsy ammonia, when it's all together and ready for the final cleaning and patina. The only time you need to be concerned about water is that final wash and polish and once the patina has been applied.

To answer your question about wax, no, you don't have to wax each panel as it's done. The wax will make the solder bubble and spit during that final step of soldering the panels together.

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