The Silver Solder Indian

Introduction: The Silver Solder Indian

About: Hello I am Brian from Belgium. you know......the small country of chocolate beer and french fries. My hobbies are: aquariums, jeet kunne do (martial arts) ,small 4 stroke motor bikes, and Arduino projects ...


I'm Brian from Belgium.

Today I present to you my fourth project.

This time I leave the path of weird speakers, fishfood and chocolate's filled whit funky drinks. Today I enter the path of home decoration.

I was looking for an original idea to enter in the " burn it contest" and thought, how do I create something that met the criteria of the contest ?. What burns did i ask to myself over and over. Suddenly I found the solution ! candles and incense. You burn them mostly in nicely designed and fine crafted holders. Especially the incense brought me the "aha" moment. What if i created a incense/candle holder and there's a small Indian waving a carpet above the incense/flame ?. I found this a nice thought. And so I made different kinds of Indians and messed with clay, wood, glass, concrete and paper mache. Non of my designs where good enough .When finely I arrived at the (personally) hardest material to work whit... Metal . I have not much experience (Non exciting whit the start of this project) with welding and brazing.

For instructables I'm willing to expand my skills (and burn my fingers).

Metal so ... And immediately a bonus !! Because for metal soldering together you need a flame.

So go to step 1 to see how you learn how to burn something together to burn stuff :)

Step 1: Part List

I knew it.You want to see me fiddling around with molten metal right?

Some patience. I first show you which items you need to buy / find.

Safety gear

  • Eye protecting glasses (molten metal in you eye is not a good idea)
  • gloves (I recommend heavy duty leather ones)
  • ear protection
  • Mouth mask (solder fumes are poison)
  • access to a tap/water source
  • Fire extinguisher (I almost need one )
  • fluo jacket (optional.let you're friends know from far away that you're soldering)


  • Electric drill
  • Wire brushes (to attach to the drill)
  • ruler
  • Pliers
  • Piece of metal (old hard drive casing will do)
  • butane/propane blow torch
  • Saw (wood)
  • stapler
  • Drill 5 mm
  • small metal brush
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Sand paper (grit 100,250,600,1000)
  • metal wool
  • Vise grip
  • Lighter
  • Magnet (retrieved from the hard drive )
  • clay (cheapest you can find will do)
  • scissors for metal


  • Hard solder rods 45% tin 5 % silver copper ???? (melting point +- 650 °C) see picture for brand
  • flux powder
  • Cup of water
  • Concrete block
  • Cotton buds
  • Glue (heat resistant)
  • clear varnish (also heat resistant)
  • piece of wood (3 cm by 5 mm) length is about 1 meter
  • 2 metal scheets (steel) 15 x 8 CM
  • Nuts and bolts (m5 m6 m10)
  • nails and Other hardware pieces.
  • 1 wingnut
  • metal sheet (for the carpet) i used somme old casing from an old pc
  • candle

Do not be put off by the long list. Many things are easy to find, do not cost much or are for free

Step 2: Skills You Need to Master

let us first see what skills we will need to bring this project to a good end.

  1. SKILL 1 The first is the easiest. Joining two (or several) nuts together.
  2. SKILL 2 The second is the securing of a nail on a nut (or on a plate).
  3. The third is the bending of the nails. (using pliers this is not to hard i think)
  4. Last is remelting you solder. Only applies if the desired result is not achieved the first attempt. Just reheat your solder joint until the solder melts.remember that solder always flow to the hottest point.

Keep in mind that all parts in the vicinity of the flame are extremely hot. If something falls or moves, do not have the reflex to put the object back into place with your bare hands. I've learned the hard way how hot some objects can be.

Step 3: The Head

First solder two M5 nuts together (for the eyes).

Solder two M10 bolts together (for the head).

Place the two M5 nuts on the m10 nuts. Do not forget to use flux.

Reheat the nuts to join them. Just under the eyes you place a little piece of nail for the nose.

Again flux is everything !

Place the wing nut on top of the head. This takes a longer time to get the metal to the right temperature.

Last solder a 1,5 CM long nail to the underside of the head,forming the neck.

Step 4: The Shoulders

For the shoulders we soldering two nuts (m5) together in the same way as the head.

Solder the sharp ends of two nails together and put them trough the nuts. Then bend them in the desired shape

Using some extra solder fuse everything together. Attach the head to the shoulders using skill 2 :)

Step 5: Legs

This step is very similar to the previous step,

The only difference is that you use M6 nuts for the hips.

Also, the legs, or rather the nails are slightly closer bent together.

Then solder a nail (full length) onto the nuts.forming the body

Fuse the head part an the body part together using "you guessed it" skill 2

Step 6: Halfway Hint

Sometimes you get into a situation that you need to solder near a previously soldered joint. there is a risk that the other joint melts and will come loose unintentionally.

This can be solved by wrapping the joint in an layer of clay

Also clay can be used to support the pieces for soldering

Step 7: A Small Step for Small Feet

Place the nails that form the legs into m5 nuts.

Fill the gap whit solder

Cut of 2 pieces of nail to form the feet (1 cm long) and solder them to the nuts

Step 8: Carpet and Fire

Using the scissor cut a piece of metal (I used metal from an old computer side panel)

The piece should be 3 x 4 cm . Bend a wave in the panel .

Whit the scissors cut the edges to create fringes

Solder the carpet too the arms . In the picture you see an application of the clay being used to support the object

Take a metal ring of 4cm in diameter and with a gap of 1 cm in the middle. place 7 small nails with two skill on the edge of the "campfire" Once cooled you can bend the nails together into a point

Step 9: The Last of the Solder :)

This is the last time you're going to burn your torch on metal. take your plate with your hole. and apply some flux around the hole. Heat it ,and let melt some solder into the joint. You're campfire should now be fastened

Finally take your Indian and determine where you want to place him, it's obviously the best when his rug is just above the fire. mark the place. and place a drop of solder at this place. put your Indian on this pool before the drop is solidified. reheat when required.

Step 10: Clean It

Now the metal part is behind us. We can bring out the drill and start the cleanup. Take you time. It would be a shame that all your soldering is ruined by poor cleaning
I have unfortunately no pictures of the drill action .They have become lost somewhere in the upload process of my camera

In the pictures you see the last cleanup by hand . Also sand the plate whit sandpaper. Start whit the rough grain and work you way up to grit 600

the last cleanup is done using steel wool

Step 11: All About the Base

I took the piece of wood. And sawed pieces that were just slightly longer than the sides of the plate. Each corner is in an angle of 90 °
therefore, each piece has an angle of 45 °

make sure your wood frame is higher than the height of the candle

One staple in each corner together whit some glue and presto a base is born. On the backside I drilled holes that act ass a air intakes.(I went for the artistic crooked freehand hole look)

you can now glue the base to the metal part whit some heat resistant glue.

Step 12: Four Pins

I lied.

Take once your torch and solder four nails slightly lower then the height of the wood in each corner of your base plate. To determine where they should take a piece of wood (you just used to make the box) to know the thickness The picture says it all. Solder the nails in place.and then bend the nails slightly outwards so that the Indian construction fits on

Also you can see that I have made support points for the candle made of two nails. This is optional. But now you're at with soldering you can do this quickly. This piece I not visible so the need for sanding is not present

Step 13: Almost Done

Now you are at a point where you have to make a choice. You have a choice of dark wood. Or leave the wood as it is. To darken the wood you can burn it with your torch. In the film I'm doing a side. I can only say: not too fast and not too slow. After it is burnt rub it whit a cloth and reveal the beauty of dark wood. Finely you can varnish you're project with heat resistant varnish.

Step 14: Funny Little Indian

And there you have it . A funny little Indian that waves his shiny carpet above some real flames/insence

Stop , step back and admire the fruit of you're new acquired soldering skills. You can use incent pyramid as well.

Its all up to you.

These things i hope

  1. I gave you some inspiration,
  2. That my english is getting better
  3. You will ask me advice if you attempt to recreate this
  4. to see you soon.

by all :)

Brian from Belgium

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Participated in the
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Participated in the
Burn It! Contest

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    2 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    What kind of solder can you use? I only have electrical solder, and I doubt that would work.

    Brian from Belgium
    Brian from Belgium

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction


    indeed, solder for electrical applications wont work. you need silver solder which has a melting point of 650° C .you can use any brand of silver solder you like,as long it has 40 % silver in it.

    look for the code "l-ag40cd " the 40 stands for the percentage silver in the stands for " cadmium".

    hope i helped you with this reply.