Good Tidings

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Sunday, March 31, 2013

March Madness

Solder Says                                                                                                                                          Inez Dunn©2013

March Madness

It all comes down to the final four. What four? Or what for? I liken it to the four visits I’ve had with my soldering iron. When I get ready to create with glass and tape it’s an exciting prospect and because I haven’t practiced enough with my iron; I usually end up with mixed results. Soldering is a time-tested skill that involves many things. Things like: set-up, clean up, and safety. There is actually a method to this madness, and believe me, each protocol is as important as the one that follows. If I gamble on safety I’m probably going to get burned. Burned as in a red splotch on my hand, and burned as in producing a pile of duds! As a final adieu to this last day of March I leave you with these guidelines. Remember with any art form it takes practice, and courage, and practice, and practice.

1. Use copper tape from this decade, and a bone folder.
2. Use flux from this decade. (I’m not sure if flux ever dies, but if it’s your friend keep it fresh).
3. Make copies of any paper or photos you might use. Just do it!
4. Use a sturdy table that is counter height in an area that has ventilation.  (I recommend standing, rather than sitting).
5. Use a large baking sheet, or a large stone tile, and a firebrick.
6. Make sure that your soldering iron is clean and in good working order. (A hemostat is fine, but optional).
7. Give your flux, solder, and Sal Ammoniac block assigned seating. Have these items separate yet, easy to reach.
8.  Place a small cup with a soaking wet sponge near to your soldering area.
9. Place tweezers, pliers, clothespins, and jump rings at arms reach.
10. Dress-up: Wear eye protection.
Wear an apron, or long-sleeved denim shirt.
Wear Pants.
Wear shoes that aren’t sandals.
If you’ve got hair pull it back, and away from your face.
ALWAYS wear tight fitting work gloves each and every time you hold the soldering iron.
Turn off your cell
Get a sitter for the kids
Make sure pets are secured in separate location.
Now, your ready to solder!

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