All posts for the month March, 2012


Did you know that tubing is a recreational activity where you ride the waves, glide through air currents, or fly down snow covered hills in an inner tube? I sure didn’t. Unlike these adventures, I am going to take you on an exploration where I promise you won’t get wet, will never be dropped from […]

20 Soldering Tips In 20 Days – Day 20!

Keep Yourself Challenged No doubt, soldering is a very challenging skill to develop. Once you start to get the hang of it, avoid slipping into a comfy territory of familiarity. Nudge yourself into making jewelry that pushes you into a new level of competency. Try new metals, increase the number of solder joints you are […]

20 Soldering Tips In 20 Days – Day 19

There Must Be Another Way! If you are having trouble soldering a piece, chances are there is another approach that would make it easier. Any number of times I have tried soldering a joint with my work balanced on the firebrick stabilized with 350 t-pins (well, almost 350). This is rarely ideal. Turning it upside […]

20 Soldering Tips In 20 Days – Day 18

More On Solder Stops Several of you wrote to me and mentioned graphite could be used as a solder stop – thanks Kathy and Lola! And Lola, you mentioned using oxidation – have yet to work with this strategy. Of course, I had to do my own little graphite test. On the t-joint I used […]

20 Soldering Tips In 20 Days – Day 17

Flood The Surface Several years ago I took a wonderful class by Deb Jemmott in Idyllwild titled “Soldering Boot Camp”. The following is one of the skills I learned in this 5 day program. Flooding a surface with solder can make some soldering jobs easier, and others possible. With the cuff I could have dropped […]

20 Soldering Tips In 20 Days – Day 16

Be Flexible Sometimes things just go awry. The solder didn’t flow at all where you thought it would, your piece falls apart when heated, or a small element collapses under a flame that is too hot. We all know these scenarios. But sometimes soldering can save the day when you have made a fabrication error. […]

20 Soldering Tips In 20 Days – Day 15

Searching For The Ideal Solder Stop When you are soldering multiple joints it is wise to be concerned about solder flowing in prior joints. Here are some strategies for avoiding this problem: a) Secure prior elements (t-pins, floral pins, third hand, cross lock tweezers, nails, etc). If the solder flows the part stays in place. […]

20 Soldering Tips In 20 Days – Day 14

All In Alignment Has this ever happened to you? You set up your piece for soldering and everything is lined up just dandy. You apply the heat with confidence knowing you are going to have a great result. Then, as if the heavens are against you, right before your solder flows there is a little […]

20 Soldering Tips In 20 Days – Day 13

You Mess It, You Clean It Back in my camp counseling days the rule we lived by was you mess it, you clean it. Simple but effective. This maxim applies to soldering as well. But let me add, clean as you go. If you try to clean up all solder joints at the end you […]

20 Soldering Tips In 20 Days – Day 12

Be One Step Ahead Of The Solder Before you direct the flame to your metal, ask yourself “What results are likely to occur?” You don’t want to just hope it all goes well; you want to know where to put the heat and where the solder will flow as a consequence. Ask yourself if there […]