Author: Sunette van den Berg
(13 February 2009)
A few easy to follow fundamental procedures to assure a neat, strong, and uniform join.
- FITTING - The strongest joins are
produced with the closest fitting members. Make
sure surfaces are smooth, free from burrs, fit
- CLEANING - Parts must be thoroughly
cleaned. Remove all oxides, dirt, and grease by
buffing, sanding, or pickling.
- FLUXING - Cover all of the join to
protect the metal against oxidation, thereby
aiding the flow of the solder. To reduce the
amount of cleaning after soldering, it is
advisable to flux the entire piece.
- JIGGING - Secure proper alignment of
parts and prevent their movement during the
heating process. A jig should be made of as
light a gauge material as possible and with as
little contact area as possible. Use a poor heat
conductor to avoid the loss of heat (DO NOT use
copper or aluminum). When joining different
thicknesses of metal, preheat the heavier piece
first to avoid overheating the smaller one.
- HEATING - Use a soft flame and
slowly, uniformly heat the join and surrounding
metal before soldering. Continue heating until
the join shows a dull red color. Use the color
of the work to judge the temperature.
Concentrate the flame along the join. Do not
let the material get to a bright salmon red. Let
the heat of the parts to be joined flow the
solder. Do not try to flow the solder with the
flame from the torch.
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