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Thread: Help; my solder won't flow

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    6

    Question Help; my solder won't flow

    Hello,
    I'm pretty new to this game and have a problem that I'm hoping someone on here is able to help with.
    I'm struggling to get my solder to flow.

    This is my process, tools and materials:
    Join is tight and fits well. Piece is clean. Flux is applied.
    Solder wire piece is applied-I have tried hammered and as is. (Is definitely solder)
    I have heated the ring evenly-I have tried many methods including placing the solder underneath (trying to draw it up the join).
    I have tried soldering on a soldering brick and tried held In a third arm.

    The solder just won't melt or flow.

    I have a LPG set up. I'm wondering if this is the problem?
    I have a 2L gas tank, primus regulator (one pressure gauge), primus hose and torch. I have tried the larger torch head and a precision one, which I have been told would be perfect for smaller jewellery making.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
    Posts
    7,357

    Default

    Does your torch burn with a blue flame and hiss slightly?

    Put a snip of solder on an offcut of copper, brass, or silver with flux and see if it will melt. If not it is not solder (most likely).

    If it does melt then: clean your piece and re-flux. Heat the ring away from the joint until it just begins to glow in a darkened room. If nothing happens your torch is not hot enough(unlikely).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Romsey
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    4,746

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    Have you tried just melting some solder on a block to see how far it needs to go? I'd do that, and the same with a bit of silver to see how hot your torch is.

    Can you give some more info on the torch? I'm assuming from your description it's like this - http://www.tooled-up.com/manproduct/...rch-kit/88505/ ; that will have *more* than enough oomph to solder happily. I have 2 Sieverts that run on propane, although they mostly get used for bigger jobs now.

    Where in the flame are you heating the metal? Are you aware that the hottest part of the flame is just in front of the inner blue cone?

    Apologies if these are teaching you to suck eggs - in the absence of any other info I'm making sweeping assumptions

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Exeter, Devon
    Posts
    1,783

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    I know this sounds stupid, but are you soldering in front of an open window. I had this problem a little while ago, when I shut the window it melted.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Staffs
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    1,302

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    How much solder strip are you using? I had problems soldering, until I tried pick soldering. You'll soon realise if you've got too little, or too much. I tried this and then realised I was using way too little solder, plus it was milled too thinly as well.
    Jules

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Scotland
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    Have you also cleaned your solder? The title says won't flow, if that's the case it may just be dirty, if it's won't melt it could be any of the above. I would try it on a bit of scrap metal to see how hot you need to get it and to make sure it is solder

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    6

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    Yes the torch has a blue flame and slightly hisses.
    I will try the copper idea today but I have verified that the solder wire I am using is actually solder. This was my first thought haha.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    6

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    I'm soldering in front of a window but it is not open. I may try move where I am soldering today and see if that helps.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    6

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    I use about 1-2mm of solder wire. I have tried it hammered and un hammered.
    What do you mean by pick soldering?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Yes, I have been cleaning the solder. I did mean that it won't actually melt - good point, I should have written that!
    Everyone has made the good suggestion of trying it on a piece of scrap first so I will definitely be trying that today.

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