Introduction: Micro-Torch Soldering

Picture of Micro-Torch Soldering

I love soldering with a torch. It's useful for all kinds of applications, and it's a great way to join metal that's too big for a soldering iron, but too small for a proper torch.

This is a basic introduction to the art, and should get you soldering in no time!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

Tools:
-Butane torch
-Cigarette Lighter
-Pliers
-Wire Cutters
-“Third Hand” Tool
-Safety Glasses

Consumables:
-Copper Wire
-Lead-Free solder
-Butane

Step 2: Prep Work

Picture of Prep Work

Fill the torch
First, you need to fill the butane torch. Turn the torch upside down, take the bottle of butane, and line the end up with the intake on the torch. Once aligned, simply press down on the bottle of butane. Some butane will probably escape out the sides. This is normal.

Bend your wire pieces
Then, prep your wire. Try to get all your pieces of wire bent at the same time. Soldering them all at the same time is easier than doing them one at a time.

Clamp wire pieces
Use the third hand tool to clamp your wire pieces in the position you want them soldered in. 

Step 3: Soldering the Joint

Picture of Soldering the Joint

Light the Torch
Turn the torch switch on, turn the gas up (if you're using a variable torch), and light the torch with the lighter. The thicker the gauge of wire, the hotter the torch needs to be.

Heat the wire
This is the most important part of the soldering. Depending on the size of the metal , you'll need to heat the metal for quite a bit. Make sure to heat both sides evenly.

Heat the metal until you see a slight discoloration in the metal.

Add the solder
Once you see this discoloration, add the solder to the joint. Don't add too much, otherwise you'll get a really ugly joint.

Step 4: Finishing It Up

Picture of Finishing It Up

You've got a solder joint! Good job.

Once you've got all your wire soldered together, and you know that you don't have anything else to add, you can coat the piece with a spray on clear coat. This will prevent tarnish.

Wire isn't the only thing you can solder. Anything brass, copper, or (thin) steel will solder well. Most metals can be soldered with a little effort.

Finally, practice makes perfect. It's hard to get a good looking solder joint the first time, just keep at it. Good luck!

Comments

mwest17 (author)2013-10-09

I am so confused about soldering, will someone please help.

zaro12345 (author)mwest172013-10-09

Torch soldering or with an iron? What are you confused about, maybe I can shed some light on the subject.

Tjeandegrasse (author)2013-09-22

Third hand thingie, where can I find it? Love them both that you created

pdub77 (author)2013-04-07

Good info here. I learned this technique to make some jewelry for a friend and then realized how useful it is in so many other projects.

l8nite (author)2013-03-22

the octopus is wickedly cool

zaro12345 (author)l8nite2013-03-23

Thanks! It's definitely one of my favorite pieces.

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Bio: I'm a poor college student currently getting a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and working on a minor in Fine Arts. I enjoy a wide ... More »
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