It All Began With . . .

My SUCKY attempts at soldering. 
Bought the great tutorial from Pip n Molly on soldering tin, which is full of hints, tips and glorious pictures of neatly soldered treasures. So, how hard can it possibly be?

Soldering Iron: 
not a stunning choice at the hardware store. Seem you can have tiny pointy ends, medium pointy ends and great big pointy ends and the irons are either, on at the temperature the manufacturer thinks is near enough, or off.
Chose a cheap 'n' cheerful with a medium pointy end. Got the flux, a couple of rolls of lead free solder and some sal ammoniac.
Read all about soft soldering and maintaining the bits with sal ammoniac and keeping the bit clean.

And then the questioning of my soldering ability began.

Firstly I totally obliterated the medium pointy tip. Look!

Not to be defeated I filed the manky-mongrel tip to a chisel point and set of in pursuit of perfection again.

This opened up a whole other can of worms.

During one of my numerous attempts to get smooth precise areas of solder, I found that the new tip made the solder run anytime, and anywhere ready or not. Solder ran in random blobs over the tin and the copper and even onto the soldering mat. Argh! I re-fluxed and re-heated and tried pushing and poking it into submission with a bead mandrel when an interesting texture appeared. 
Forgetting perfection I added more abuse to the surface with various pointy, round and straight items administered with a large hammer. (Oh the joy of revenge on the recalcitrant solder), and one thing led to another and these appeared.

 Me thinks this is a classic example of avoidance.


  1. Aha! I was wondering how you got that effect. Are you using sal ammoniac on your tip? that keeps it nice and clean. I learned that in Cat Kerr's worksop. I still think these are pretty great, albeit born out of frustration.

  2. I'm not sure what you were going for, but these are pretty fantastic. . .

  3. I think it turn out real beautiful....