I Can Solder!!!

Years ago I tried to learn how to solder, I bought all the recommended stuff and did a lot of reading.  I knew exactly what to do, but it just didn’t work.  I couldn’t get the solder to stick to the soldering iron.  You’re supposed to tin the tip…um, yeah, I never found anywhere that really explained that well and I didn’t know if my tip was tinned or not (it was not).  I went over the solder so many times trying to get it smooth that the glass got overheated and cracked.  There was a lot of frustration and cussing involved and at one point I splattered molten hot solder onto my foot (note: it is a bad idea to wear flip flops while soldering) 
Anyway, I got pregnant and the fumes seemed like something I shouldn’t be inhaling, so the stuff got packed up and was never seen again…Until a few weeks ago when I found everything in the basement, still boxed up from two moves ago.  The price stickers were still on everything and, ahem, I had quite a bit invested in this hobby, so I decided I would try it one more time and if it didn’t work I was going to sell my supplies.
I did some more research and I decided that I needed to get some sal ammoniacsoldering supplies1 I know it doesn’t look like much, it’s a hard block that you use to clean the tip of your soldering iron and it helps speed up the tinning process.  I also ordered some paste flux, it’s easier to use than the liquid I had.soldering supplies 2It made all the difference, my tip is perfectly tinned (shiny and covered with solder) and the solder flows from the tip to the copper tape.  It looks easy because it is easy.  I still need some practice to get a more professional look, but it is so much better than it was before.  I can’t believe that one little supply made all the difference.  I’m so glad that I ordered it.
Now I need to make some fabulous designs to solder into ornaments and pendants.  I can’t wait!!!


CalyxAnn said...

Awesome!! Ditto on the no soldering in flip-flops..that solder that drops is 700-ish degrees! Can't wait to see what you create!

DeeDee said...

Yay! I cannot wait to see what you create.... I love to solder..

Sara vs. Sarah said...

I'm going to give that stuff a try. I've made those pendants, but found the soldering to be less than enjoyable. Thanks for the tip. Glad to see you're back from vacation.

julie said...

I, too, had a horrible time learning to solder. The problem turned out to be that I first started off with a crappy soldering gun of my grandpa's, which, if he ever used it at all, hadn't been used in at least a decade. I somehow burned the tip off of that, then ordered another SUPER expensive tip online, then burned that one off because it turned out it was the wrong tip, then bought a crappy cold heat gun from Wal-mart (and returned it), then had a nervous breakdown, then bought a real soldering gun for crafts. It's pink, and it worked perfectly the first time and ever after.

Crafterella said...

Thanks everyone, I could not believe how much easier it made soldering!!! It's so crazy how one little thing can really make a difference, I was almost ready to sell all my supplies.