Soldering Stained Glass
Soldering Stained Glass – How to make a smooth seam
One of the things I get asked about most is how to make a smooth solder seam. Here’s some suggestions:
Question: I was wondering if there is a better way to make my solder seams look better. I always have a chopped up look to my seams.
Milly’s Answer: “Chopped up seams” (nicely put!) could be a couple of things:
1. you’re going too fast so the solder doesn’t have time to melt
2. your soldering iron isn’t hot enough and again isn’t melting the solder sufficiently
3. or you are using the ‘hold and lift’ method but going too slowly, so the solder in one area hardens and leaves a visible line where the newly molten solder joins.
60/40 solder is better for soldering copper foil as it runs well, so it could be that you’re using 50/50 which makes a smooth line a little more tricky – although certainly not impossible.
I’ve got a couple of pages on my site that go through the process, the first link here has a video at the end that might help:
And then there’s this YouTube video that’s very helpful here for ‘running a bead’. She does seem to put quite a lot of flux on, so be careful you don’t put too much on as it can splatter and pop.
It’s 18 minutes long but the nitty gritty starts at 5 minutes if you get impatient easily!
Running a bead looks easier than it is and can be disheartening for beginners or refreshers if you haven’t given yourself enough time to practise with the feel of how the solder behaves.
I hope these resources help.
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