Soldering problems stained glass

Common Soldering Problems.
Soldering can be a difficult technique to master. Here are some problems and tips to correct them.
1 THE molten solder is not bonding TO the copper FOiL-Apply flux and try again. If you have already been soldering on this seam and had applied flux, it probably has evaporated. If your glass pieces were foiled some time ago, the copper foil may have a layer of oxidization on it. To remove oxidization, gently rub fine steel wool (000) lengthwise along the foil. Apply flux and try soldering again.
2 Solder melts through seams-The soldering tip has probably been held too long in one place. Solder in another area of the project until the seam cools and try again.
3 Melt-through is occurring because of
large gaps between pieces —Cutting glass
pieces accurately to fit the pattern will prevent many soldering problems. Large gaps between pieces can be responsible for melt-throughs, especially in 3-dimensional projects. By tinning 3-D projects with 50/50 solder and then bead soldering with 60/40 solder, solder will not melt through as quickly. Placing masking tape on the underside of the gap will help hold the molten solder in place long enough for it to cool.
4 Copper foil is lifting from the glass during soldering stag e The copper foil may have been overheated during the soldering stage. To prevent the foil from lifting
• make sure the glass is free of oil and grinding residue before applying copper foil;
• start and end the foil on the glass piece on an edge that will not be on the perimeter of a project; the point where the foil overlaps should be on an inside seam;
• burnish the foil tightly to the glass;
• do not draw the soldering iron over a seam time after time without letting the seam cool occasionally;
• be sure adhesive backing on the copper foil has not dried out and lost its stickiness.
5 Solder seams have peaks and valleys Reapply flux and touch up the seam with your soldering iron. Hold the tip to the solder long enough to start melting it and then lift the tip up and repeat the melt-and-lift motion along the seam, smoothing it out. Add solder, if required.
6 Too much solder on a seam-Excess solder can be removed by melting the solder and quickly dragging the iron tip across the seam, taking excess solder with it. Immediately remove the excess solder from the iron tip by wiping it on a moistened sponge.
7 Solder is spattering and creating small pits in the solder seam-You may be using too much flux. Use a safety flux formulated for stained glass work and use it sparingly.
8 Solder is not flowing properly, resulting in uneven solder seams-To prevent this
• The tip of the iron may be dirty. Clean iron tip on a natural fiber sponge moistened with water or if spots develop that will not disappear when tip is wiped on the sponge, retin the tip.
• The tip is not hot enough or the tip is too hot causing the solder to melt through the seams. On irons that have adjustable temperature controls, try different settings until you find the one that works best for you.
• Flux needs to be reapplied.

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