At the Littleton Studio School (http://nhcrafts.org/littleton) – Feb 26, 2012; April 14, 2012; June 16, 2012 from 10a-5p. 603-444-1066.
I’ve been hard at work preparing for the one-day class called “Getting Comfortable With Soldering”. I’ve made many samples and have projects galore to help students focus on different components of soldering like…
- Heat Control
- Project Setup – using weights and cross locking tweezers
- Multi-solder joints
- Varied material size
- Sweat Soldering
- Binding Wire
The class will start with the basics, soldering rings to get the idea about how it all works.
The thing about soldering is that you just have to do it to learn it. And do it again, and again. Very often, in class, students make pieces that are carefully designed and crafted – even to give as gifts. When it comes to soldering the pressure is on to make it work out RIGHT… who wants it not to work out when you’ve got so much invested. The piece has become precious. The purpose of this class is to remove that precious feeling, and the pressure. Precious Pressure – who needs it! You’ll learn by doing, repeating, failing (purposefully and not).
The class will have many levels of projects. Some students may do all of the projects, and some students may do a few, or just one or two. The purpose is to repeat a project until you feel ‘comfortable’, and then move on. There’s nothing wrong with repeating a single project all day. What a great way to thoroughly understand a component of soldering. Consider repeating the class – it will run every other month. In addition, you’ll learn by hearing what’s happening with other students. Experiment and play!
Class Projects – A Sneak-Peak
Sticks in a Row
How many sticks can you solder without using any flow inhibitor, and using the same solder type?
It isn’t easy, but practice helps. Do it over and over and you’ll learn how to direct the flame. Get the current solder location up to temp, but not the last one – it is challenging since copper is such a good conductor!
Want to make bezels and set stones? This project mimics bezel soldering. If everything goes right then ZOWey, that solder does a race around that seam. It has wicked wicking power.
If I had a nickel for every time someone said “But I can’t hold it together with my hands while soldering – how do I do it?” I’d be able to buy big brand new Durston 130mm Electric Double Combination Rolling Mill (yeah, really….I swear). This project concentrates on setup and uses gobs of hand-made weights and lifter-uppers to hold things down (and up!). Old crappy bits, pieces of dead sewing machines – their all valuable at the soldering bench.
The “Experiment” list offers students a variety of different ways to approach the projects. Suggestions include: different torch tips; move the flame distance; overheat one side, pick solder, stick solder, bally-hick solder (I made that last one up).
I think it is going to be a rockem-sockem class filled with lots of info and hands on work. Hope to see you there!
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