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How to solder 101

GW
GW Member Posts: 4,332
Ok I'm kidding, this took me years to master



Don't do this at home
Gary Wilson
Wilson Services, Inc
Northampton, MA
[email protected]
ZmanChrisJkjl520
«13

Comments

  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,445
    I'm still screaming.
    Retired and loving it.
    GW1Matthias
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,214
    Your just doing that to keep your finger prints out of the database.

    Meanwhile, at INTERPOL, "We got nothing sir. Just flux. He's diabolical."
    GWMilanDSolid_Fuel_ManSailah
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,332
    I think I have finger prints but my eye vision is getting poor; can't see if I do or not!
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,164
    Can't you use a shorter piece of solder? :)
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    GrallertJohnNYMark EathertonBoon
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    You need to go on America's Got Talent! :o

    They'd love it!

    GW
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,985

    Can't you use a shorter piece of solder? :)

    He clearly used too much otherwise he wouldn't need to wipe the excess off with his bare fingers.

    :)

    Alright Gary, let's see you do the same thing with some silfos 15 now. :D
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    GW
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,294
    Hmmm, Do you walk on hot coals in your spare time? :D Hot flux burns me... how it it that it doesn't burn you? Ceramic finger tips??

    Yours, Larry
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,985
    edited August 2017

    Hmmm, Do you walk on hot coals in your spare time? :D Hot flux burns me... how it it that it doesn't burn you? Ceramic finger tips??

    Yours, Larry

    I honestly have no idea, but I wonder if his fingers were wet. Water, or cool gel?

    The reason I suspect this is the steam we see when he wipes it.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,847
    I think my thumb is burned from watching that video.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    GW
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,326
    edited August 2017
    Do you have a video of you soldering a horizontal fitting? Just not sure what finger(s) to use :)
    steve
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,985

    Do you have a video of you soldering a horizontal fitting? :)

    I was thinking the bottom of the valve in the video.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,000
    The correct use of calluses on fingers and a little moisture help this out.
    The most pain I got from soft solder was a drop landing on top of a fingernail! Never realized how much that could hurt. :s
    delta TGW
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 863
    @JUGHNE

    Just did that three weeks ago, my go that hurts. Still hurts now....
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,371
    I know Silvabrite 100 is expensive but jeez!!
    GWSailahadasilva
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,332

    Can't you use a shorter piece of solder? :)

    no, can't! ---the old timers told me the diameter of the tube equals the length of solder, and i concur. That little stubby was about an inch (I didn't measure it), and it was the 'end' of the roll of solder. Had to use it up, and i have my trust right hand man film it so others would believe it!
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,332

    Hmmm, Do you walk on hot coals in your spare time? :D Hot flux burns me... how it it that it doesn't burn you? Ceramic finger tips??

    Yours, Larry

    Larry, after a hundred or two thousand solder joints (I'm a plumber from the 80s), it's just not a big deal. I get dripped on once in a while when i'm near one of the other dudes soldering. I'm not that dull- I can feel it and it doesn't feel good. But I've become used to it.

    A month or two ago a blob landed on my arm/wrist. I called attention to it as it burned into my skin--showing my employee he just roasted me. Just stings for a little bit hahaha

    Kinda like the old timer electrician that subs for our regular electrician----to see if a wire is hot he puts one finger tip on the ground (metal box or neutral wire), and then he taps the black wire with his other finger. Now for me that's nuts.

    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    kcopp
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,332
    ChrisJ said:

    Hmmm, Do you walk on hot coals in your spare time? :D Hot flux burns me... how it it that it doesn't burn you? Ceramic finger tips??

    Yours, Larry

    I honestly have no idea, but I wonder if his fingers were wet. Water, or cool gel?

    The reason I suspect this is the steam we see when he wipes it.
    I would expect there to be a doubter or two, there is nothing on my finger tips, just dry normal fingers
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,332

    Do you have a video of you soldering a horizontal fitting? Just not sure what finger(s) to use :)

    well a horz is actually easier- at the end i gently drop the nubber of solder right on top and it's a little less of a challenge.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,332
    ChrisJ said:

    Do you have a video of you soldering a horizontal fitting? :)

    I was thinking the bottom of the valve in the video.
    Sorry can't do this trick on the upside down!
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,332

    I know Silvabrite 100 is expensive but jeez!!

    like most small business owners i can be a real miser!
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,371
    @GW said "Kinda like the old timer electrician that subs for our regular electrician----to see if a wire is hot he puts one finger tip on the ground (metal box or neutral wire), and then he taps the black wire with his other finger. Now for me that's nuts."

    The electrician I got my license with used to do that. Drove me nuts!
    I never had the guts to try that! He used to lick his finger and thumb lowers the resistance I guess
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,985

    @GW said "Kinda like the old timer electrician that subs for our regular electrician----to see if a wire is hot he puts one finger tip on the ground (metal box or neutral wire), and then he taps the black wire with his other finger. Now for me that's nuts."

    The electrician I got my license with used to do that. Drove me nuts!
    I never had the guts to try that! He used to lick his finger and thumb lowers the resistance I guess

    You kinda get used to the feeling after a while.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,000
    As for the electrician.....he did that with one hand....did you see where his other hand was.
    I might have done that before the non-contact testers were available.
    However only on dry floors with the other hand in your pocket.
    Also you don't touch with an open hand as your hand muscles will contract around the item. (This I know without a doubt) I use the back side of fingers so if something gives a buzz your hand will close away from the danger of involuntarily grabbing onto something electrically hot.
    Also the back side of fingers would not be calloused like my fingertips used to be. Sometimes you can not feel 120vac thru a calloused fingertip.

    This is not recommended for anyone to do...don't try this at home.
    Consider this to be just another Urban Legend Story you read on the internet. :|
    GWPaul S_3
  • You should be happy that you weren't wiping lead closet bends with your fingers in the 50's. I think most guys were using asbestos cloths.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,751
    I would have loved to have that guy work for me. Normally there is about 1/2 pound of solder on the floor after just a water heater install.
    GW
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,332
    Yes I'm just a 50 year old I missed that era. I've yanked a bunch of lead in my day though. Lead and oakum no prob
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,332
    That's funny I had a guy once build a pyramid with solder. I was so bugged out I saved the pyramid, I may still have it actually. I cut out the 2" copper fitting and it was hilarious. Put it back together myself

    If the fitting isn't drinking the solder then stop, you have a problem and more solder isn't the answer
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    Paul S_3Solid_Fuel_Mandelta T
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,796
    ChrisJ said:

    Hmmm, Do you walk on hot coals in your spare time? :D Hot flux burns me... how it it that it doesn't burn you? Ceramic finger tips??

    Yours, Larry

    I honestly have no idea, but I wonder if his fingers were wet. Water, or cool gel?

    The reason I suspect this is the steam we see when he wipes it.
    Oh no, I finally agree with you....lol
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,332
    Two doubters! How many guys have worked with solder so often that: when you hear sizzling you immediately let go of whatever it is you just grabbed? I suspect an extreme few. The sound of sizzling skin travels the brain faster that the nerves can transmit

    Whatever you see isn't water
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,985
    GW said:

    Two doubters! How many guys have worked with solder so often that: when you hear sizzling you immediately let go of whatever it is you just grabbed? I suspect an extreme few. The sound of sizzling skin travels the brain faster that the nerves can transmit



    Whatever you see isn't water

    To me, the sound of sizzling means my flux is about to be washed off. I hate that sound.

    Sizzling skin? Yuck.



    This is some of my work.




    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,332
    Very nice Chris, never had the pleasure of soldering boards
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,985
    GW said:

    Very nice Chris, never had the pleasure of soldering boards

    It's more like soldering pipe than you'd expect. The same rules apply, just a different way of applying the heat and you use different fluxes. I used rosin core solder, so the flux is in the solder it self.

    The main difficulty would be getting used to holding tiny parts with tweezers and keeping the tip of the iron steady. Aside from that I bet you could learn it very fast, probably without any help.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    GW
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,371
    @GW said " If the fitting isn't drinking the solder then stop, you have a problem and more solder isn't the answer"

    In my younger days I thought more solder =less leaks. I have since learned the error of my ways. I used to be so picky, reheating, re soldering etc.

    Now it's all pro press & pex

    But when I do solder, the faster I go and the less I mess with it the better.

    Clean it good, Silvabrite 100 & Nokorode self tinning flux is my recipie.

    I usually grab all the fittings, chuck a fitting brush in the cordless (after cutting off the handle) and clean them all first. Hate stopping to clean fittings

  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,332
    Ed yes many people still solder that way.

    Ok now I'm really gonna freak some people out, the fittings are "factory cleaned".. I don't brush the fittings unless they have been hanging around for months. The flux can easily burn off a little aging.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,985
    > @GW said:
    > Ed yes many people still solder that way.
    >
    > Ok now I'm really gonna freak some people out, the fittings are "factory cleaned".. I don't brush the fittings unless they have been hanging around for months. The flux can easily burn off a little aging.
    >
    >

    I do the same. Pipe I pretty much always clean though. For flux I've been using my finger with a rubber glove. I've been trying to figure out how to get less flux than a brush. Have you ever tried Ruby Fluid?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,332
    Never heard of it Chris
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,837
    My pappy, bless his resting soul, use to stand in front of a furnace pot full of molten lead, and when the apprentice wasn't watching, would stick his clean index finger in his mouth to coat it with spit, then when the apprentice was looking, would quickly dip his finger into the molten lead, and exclaim, "OK, it's ready to pour..." So, if you see older plumbers with second and third degree burn scars on their index fingers, you know who they came up under :wink:
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
    ChrisJGordy
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,371
    @GW Yes others have told me that if the fittings are "new" that they don't have to be cleaned. Guess I am paranoid so I still clean everything.

    In fact if I have an old dirty used fitting that I have to connect to sometimes I clean it as good as possible and then heat it put solder on it and then wipe it before I assemble it and solder it just to make sure it will "take"
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,332
    Ed wow I guess if you have the time that's cool. I've heard of that, my old timers called that "tinning' the fitting. In that context we were discussing larger copper fittings like 3 or 4". I have only soldered up a 3 inch in DWV and didn't bother with the tinning protocol.

    I was on a boiler install today and was soldering. We use a mix of PP and sweat. I grabbed a copper sweat fitting and looked at it, looked at it again, looked at it a third time, I grabbed my fitting brush, it was a little too old looking. But I almost went cold turkey on it .

    My 17-year-old son is brand new, green as they come. He's a smart kid, college bound. He's been helping us this summer. The other day he totally nuked a half-inch fitting he was soldering . He said he didn't know about "too much heat", that he was more familiar with soldering three-quarter inch. I had him solder a new piece with a new fitting, this time with my supervision. When I saw the flux starting to burn away I mildly barked at him. "Move the heat!" i snapped.

    I think half of soldering is heat management. The other half is general experience.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,371
    @GW , Yeah I only "tin" if it's a beat up fitting that is questionable.

    Glad to see your son working out.

    "Heat management" and experience is what it's all about as you CORRECTLY said.

    Decisions. what size tip? how much heat? depends on where your at. Inside an ac unit or close to wood you have to adjust your experience versus out in the open or on a vise.

    Just experience and no two people do it the same