Sunday, February 18, 2007


I'm a member of the EtsyLux Street Team

Here is an article I wrote for their blog along with a list of EtsyLux members.


SOLDER JOINTSThe mark of a nice piece of leaded glass is the solder joints. They need to be smooth, even, and as small as possible. (They have to be big enough to cover the joint and hold the lead together, but small so they don't cover much of the lead.) The first thing you do is put flux on each joint. You take a small brush and dip it in the flux. Flux is a chemical that reacts to the lead so that the solder will adhere to it. If there is no flux the solder will roll right off of the lead.While fluxing you have your soldering iron heating up. Oh, by the way, you should wear eye protection and a mask over your mouth while you do all of this; soldering puts out fumes (don't know if they are toxic, but they sure aren't anything you'd breathe in an oxygen bar!) The eye protection is necessary because often when the hot solder hits the flux it splatters. Your opthomologist would not be happy if you came in with burns on your cornea!After you've fluxed all the joints and your iron is hot, you roll out some solder. Solder comes rolled up on a spool. It is made of tin and lead. You can get lead-free solder, but I don't think it works as well or looks as good. Touch the tip of your iron to the solder and it melts to make a small bead on the tip of your iron. Then it's straight down to the lead joint and straight back up. NO PAINTING. I've had students that like to paint with the solder. It looks terrible, with bumps and lines and smears. Straight down - straight up. Beautiful solder joint. Do this to every joint, then turn the piece over and do the other side. Here's a closeup of the leaves on my yellow tulips panel with some nice solder joints.

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