Sharp Points on Solder

I just made a ring box. When I did the final soldering my teacher (I've only been do this for two months) showed me how to make it look like antique with a damp sponge. I find it feels so rough. How can I make it a little bit smoother?


Answer

Hi,

Making solder look antique with a wet sponge is not a technique I'm familiar with. I imagine it's a form of decorative soldering. The only way to get rid of the points is to melt them down and start over. Flux the solder and go over it with your soldering iron, forming a new solder bead. Then you can try again.

I'm going to give you another technique that will give your solder a hammered effect. It is a decorative soldering technique and is quite easy to do. It gives any stained glass piece an unique appearance, and is one that I have used many times.

The first step for the hammered technique is to bead your solder as usual. You can make the bead rounder or flatter, depending on what you like best for the final results. When you're happy with your beading, wash and dry the piece.

You are now going to tap the solder beads with the edge of your soldering iron tip working on just a small section, perhaps one or two inches, at a time. To do this, lightly flux the bead that you're going to work on. Start tapping the solder, using the smallest point of your soldering iron tip. Work only one or two inches at a time. Only let the tip break into the solder long enough to form a dent.

Sparsely tap one inch, then move on to the next inch. Now go back and fill in the first inch with more dents, until you have the desired effect. Continue this way along the full length of the solder line, working back and forth filling in the sparse areas with more dents. Doing it this way will prevent the solder from getting too hot and melting. The end result will give the solder a hammered look, which I suspect is what the wet sponge method results in.

If you are forming peaks/sharp points, use more flux and hold your iron tip in the solder for a shorter time.

I'd appreciate it if you'd write in the comments section below and tell me how you do the wet sponge technique. It sounds interesting and I'd like to know how to do it.

Sue

Comments for Sharp Points on Solder

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Dec 10, 2008
Hammered Technique
by: Charlene

I am so not a conceptual person. Could you possible provide a picture of the hammered technique?

Answer
I don't have anything that is hammered right now, thus no pictures. Do a Google search for "decorative soldering hammered techique". I'm quite sure you'll find some examples.

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