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  1. #1
    tonimf is offline Junior Member Junior crafter
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    Default Soldering iron problem

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    Hi I'm new to copper foiling and am trying to set up economically - tricky as I can't find suppliers in Portugal and am ordering online from uk.

    My big problem is my soldering iron - I've tried bog standard 100w Draper but the tip melted within a couple of weeks and have replaced this with locally bought 75w cheapo but the same problem is happening - can anyone give tell me why this might be happening - would be most grateful for any help.

    Cheers Toni

  2. #2
    Seahorse's Avatar
    Seahorse is offline Super Moderator Try and catch up with this one.. What a crafter!!!
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    Hmm, I dont really know.Maybe the tip is made of a substandard metal and wouldnt withstand the heat.
    I bought all my soldering stuff from creativeglassguild and Ive had no problems.May be worth a look.

  3. #3
    tonimf is offline Junior Member Junior crafter
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    Default wow quick response - thanks

    Yeah i thought it might be a heat problem. Do you use a thermostatically controlled one? i hoped to save some cash by not buying one - i also assumed a lower wattage was suitable for copper foil. Do you use creatives solder - I find it a bit bulky. Can I use local stuff which is only 30:70 with its own flux? Seems like I'm all questions - its a bit isolated trying to do it here so I'm totally web help dependant!

    Cheers toni

  4. #4
    Seahorse's Avatar
    Seahorse is offline Super Moderator Try and catch up with this one.. What a crafter!!!
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    mey, yu used a load of words I didnt understand.Im not into soldering as much as you clearly are and you seem to know all the jargon.My iron cost around 80 and has 1 heat.I use lead free silver solder which has a flux in it.

    I spent money on a few cheap irons to begin with but things went alot more smoothly when I bought the better iron.
    Are you using an acid(dont know what its called)on the copper foil pre soldering?

    You could ask for advice at creativeglassguild, they helped me alot.

  5. #5
    HF Glass Lady's Avatar
    HF Glass Lady is offline Senior Member 500+ Crafters Club
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    I copper foil so thought I would chip in. Firstly think your soldering iron isn't man enough for the job, I have had the same one for over 3 years and never changed the tip. You MUST clean it on a sponge between solders and always put a 'layer' of solder on it when you have finished for the day so that when you heat it up it has solder on it. You can buy tip cleaner if it looks a bit sad. Like a kettle dont let the element dry out. Don't know exactly what work you are doing but I use 50/50 solder its the best all purpose. Always flux your work (never heard of solder with built in flux) but solder won't work without it.
    Anyway lecture over all i can think is that you have bought a 'standard' soldering iron for doing electrical jobs etc..and it isn't the same. Try tempsford stained glass for more help!
    Good Luck!

  6. #6
    tonimf is offline Junior Member Junior crafter
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    Default Thanks seahorse and glass lady

    Thanks for the posts - does seem like I'm scrimping on the iron front and shall take your advice and talk more to tempsford and creative with a view to forking out on a decent one. I have soldered/welded before but in a blacksmithing context so majorly different hence jargon appologies sea horse.

    The solder with flux in is the stuff I bought in local DIY to test. Downside is the flux forms a hard crust as it runs and hardens on the glass and subsequently difficult to get off. This is probaly also a false economy - I'll check if I can get it from your sources on a roll as opposed to the bars of 50/50 I've found so far which i find tricky to use.


    thanks again for your thoughts and recommendations - much appreciated!

    Toni

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    If you can afford it go for a Weller 101 temperature controlled iron, retail around 90 or the Antex 100w is good for copper foil work 20ish. The Antex is not good on lead though. The Weller is a fantastic iron for both.

  8. #8
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    Hi Toni and welcome. I can't help you with your soldering problem but just want to say I totally sympathise with your situation in Portugal. We live in Spain and it's like crafters don't exist here! I have to buy ALL my jewellery making products online, mainly from the UK.

    Caroline

  9. #9
    Digger is offline Junior Member Junior crafter
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    The weller 101 is the tool for the job. It does cost a few quid but if your going to put the time and effort into your creations then quality tools are important. Ive never foiled, I play with leaded glass. Dont waste your time with cheap tools, treat yourself to something which is reliable and made for the job. It was nice to see Tempsford mentioned here, helpful people there.
    all the best with your efforts.




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