Oh what a good soldering class it was. There were six students in class on 2/26 and we had the torches going 15 minutes after class started. This was not a group of dawdlers. From 10a-5p students experimented, stopping only to re-fuel for lunch.
All work was in copper, using silver solder. Each project highlighted a different element of soldering, such as basic soldering rules, heat control, heat sinks, and project set up.
Next time I will set up a big bell in the classroom to ring when you have an epiphany. There were quite a few during this class. Students were able to see solder’s wicking action, and then tried many project with small bits of solder, tying to draw the solder around the seam with heat. There were some clever uses of weights and lifter uppers, and cross locking tweezers. And lots and lots of repetition. There was so much to learn both when the solder flowed and when it didn’t.
Lots of time was spent studying heat control. Mary Jo took a piece of copper, 2 inches by 1/2 inch and place two hard solder pieces on the sides and a medium solder piece in the middle. She heated the piece and made the hard solder flow and left the medium solder unflowed in the middle. It helped show that the torch placement matters and the whole piece does not come up to the flow temperature of the solder at the same time, and it doesn’t stay at that temp continuously.
Everybody had fun, except for Dianne. She kept shaking hammers at me in a threatening way.
It was a great, enthusiastic group. I hope more folks come to this class (or others), it will be held every other month at the Littleton Studio School. Next soldering class is April 14th, 2012.
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