Wheee, it’s another episode of Tool Tutorial Friday! Do y’all miss TTF? I do too, but this handy gal only has so many tools in her toolbox. I added a new one a few weeks ago, a soldering iron.
When I was in college, I took a stained glass elective (one of the benefits of going to art school.) I really enjoyed the course, but once the semester was over I didn’t pick up a soldering iron again. That was 20 years ago. Just this month, someone in our neighborhood posted online that they were selling a soldering iron. I immediately jumped on the chance. But, this time I didn’t have stained glass in mind, I had these DIY farmhouse lights on the brain!
As promised, here is the tutorial on how to solder.
- Soldering iron
- Damp sponge
- Brush for the flux
- Painter’s tape
- Damp rag
- Safety glasses
If you’ve used a curling iron, you are qualified to solder. Wait — even if you haven’t ever used a curling iron — you can do this. The only difference is that the soldering iron gets a lot hotter than your standard hair iron, so use caution.
Plug in the soldering iron and let it heat up.
In the meantime, lightly sand the edges of the metal where they will be joined. You want to have a smooth surface without any burrs or bumps. And the two pieces must be able to connect without any gaps.
Wipe off any sanding dust with a damp rag.
Cover any areas that you don’t want exposed to solder with painter’s tape (like this light bulb socket.)
Add flux to the areas that will be accepting the solder.
Set up your work area so everything is within easy reach. Make sure the soldering iron is placed where you won’t accidentally bump it. Unwind your solder so you don’t have to fuss with it as you are soldering. Because the solder wire will heat up, you want to put some distance between you and the end of the solder.
Have a damp sponge accessible to wipe off any excess solder from the tip of your soldering iron.
By now the soldering iron is probably heated and ready. Definitely wear safety glasses because hot solder can pop. You may want to wear gloves too, I chose not to.
Here is the short video to show you the basics of soldering two pieces of metal together.
After your pieces have been soldered, let your metal cool. Once it has cooled, scrape off any excess solder beads. And you are finished!
It is easy, but controlling the flow of the liquid solder can be frustrating at times. Just take your time and put on your patience cap. There is a short learning curve, but I know you can do this!
P.s. Don’t forget to enter to win a Dremel Multi-Max! I’ll be choosing a winner after midnight tonight, Friday, Sept. 28th 2012.