Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday - Soft Soldering Links and a Review

I'm linking to another tutorial this week, but should have a Native Bloom tutorial up next week.  Since I have taken a brave step forward and invested in my craft, I decided to give soldering a serious go.  As I researched soldered pendants, I found a lovely image that linked me into the blog for Rings & Things.

This picture leads to an original post that teaches you how to solder with the Simply Swank set, which I think they no longer carry in their store.   They have an updated post with tutorial HERE.  I followed the link to a very easy to follow tutorial and found that they offer an exclusive Rings & Things Glass Soldering Kit, complete with iron, iron stand, copper foil, lead-free solder, flux, brush for flux, 24 pieces of 1 inch glass squares, and a sheet of high quality images.  

I could not resist and found the price quite reasonable at $59.50 (+ $7.95 shipping), so I purchased the item.  It arrived at my door within 4 business days, well packaged, and I dove right in and made this piece.  The "S" is from a Dover collection called Ornate Letters and Initials.

Here's the back.  I used an image included in the kit for this side.  

I had a bit of difficulty getting my solder to flow properly after a few minutes use, so I did some research and found a couple of videos that are quite useful.  They are from Simply Swank and show you how to properly tin and clean a solder tip, and how to fix one that has stopped working due to oxidization.  

Simply Swank - Trouble with Tips Part 1 Tinning and Cleaning a Tip
Simply Swank Trouble with Tips Part 2  Cleaning an Oxidized Tip

Mine was still working, but it was oxidized a good bit and made my solder dirty the last couple of passes.  I also found it difficult to get my solder smooth, so I ended up with a couple of lumpy places.  I think now that I have seen these videos I will have no problem with the soldering kit.  It is perfect, and I love that I was able to create a necklace just a few minutes after opening the box.  The solder is good quality, and the flux is non-toxic.  They even included a color print-out of  the blog post.  When I make my next necklace, I will spend a bit more time tinning my tip, make sure to keep it very clean, and probably trim my copper foil a bit with an X acto blade (see how to trim in Simple Soldered Pendants video by Stampington & Co).  

I am very pleased with this kit, and I can't wait to make more soldered pendants!

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