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Thread: Soldering tweezers gone bendy!

  1. #21
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    Nov 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by medusa View Post
    Thanks Joe, I have an asbestos one and charcoal. I thought the charcoal would help me keeping a higher temp on a collar fastening I was doing and it worked. worked better with thermogel as well! I may try out the honeycomb ones as well.
    Liz, I really like the honeycomb blocks because they are nice and flat. The surface of my charcoal blocks become quite bumpy after a bit of use.

    Another advantage of honeycomb is that you can stick dressmaking pins or binding wire through the holes to make sure the items you're soldering stay in position (see Joe's photo).

    Nina

  2. #22
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    Nov 2010
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    Hi James,

    Thanks for posting those photos of your soldering clamps. Do you have to do anything to stop them from going soft after heating?

    Regards,
    Nina

  3. #23
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    Aug 2010
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    England
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    Hi Nina,

    My clamps do not get soft as they are not tempered steel but plain stainless steel, if they get loose then a re adjustment with pliers tightens them up, the batch in my photo have been in use for the past ten years, if I need a different shape I just bend up a new one.Being stainless steel they don't rust either. Here is a place that sells stainless steel; http://www.clickmetal.co.uk/ a 300mm.x100mm.piece is less than a fiver.
    A sheet of sand paper is useful for flattening charcoal blocks, a bit messy though, also another tip is that when I was an apprentice, I was taught to tie two lengths of binding wire around my charcoal blocks to stop them breaking apart. I also use firebricks as soldering blocks.
    James

  4. #24
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    Nov 2010
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    Thanks, James; I didn't realise that stainless steel had those properties.

    Is it very difficult to cut? Do you use a normal jewellery sawblade?

    Nina

  5. #25
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    Aug 2010
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    England
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    Yes Nina, I do cut SS with my piercing saw.
    I cut my strips from 0.9mm. thick sheet using an 0 size jeweler's saw blade, stainless will pierce OK, it's not unlike piercing brass, just lubricate the back of the saw blade with candle wax. I also use stainless steel for making soldering jigs, like the cross in one of my photos used when soldering bangles together, Stainless steel has the advantage that silver and gold solders won't attach to it.

    Give it a try
    James

  6. #26
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    Jul 2009
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    Romsey
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    What stainless are you using, James? I've got a stash of 316L that is a pig to work with - I usually use an angle grinder (it eats separating discs) or cobalt jigsaw blades run very slow. I tried using some Platinum King blades, but the stuff strips the teeth off them inside of mm of cut. I've also got some 303 that cuts nicely - or 416, but since that's not that easy to get in the UK I tend to hoard it.

    I like the clips a lot - I've been using pegs made of iron wire, per Seppa's book; they're good, but they are probably more inclined to stick to the work than the stainless should be. I shall make some up & try.

  7. #27
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    Aug 2010
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    England
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    Hi Peter,
    I have no idea what type of stainless steel I use, I just bought an 18 inch square sheet from a metal dealer about twenty years ago, he cut it into three 6 inch strips for me and I have just used it for any clamps and soldering shapes over the years. I think the whole sheet only cost me 8 at the time so I doubt whether it was a special alloy. When I was an apprentice back in the 60s we used clamps made from mild steel sheet, I can remember that one of the silversmiths told me to look out for old steel framed brollys as the inside arms were made of U shaped steel, which they used to clamp on the edges of silver boxes and photo frames, this protected the edges when soldering and also kept the metal straight. Also in the past we used steel split pins for clamping metals together when soldering, but they didn't last long.
    Cheers,
    James

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