zondag 10 januari 2021



Origanal post by MaraGVerdugo

I am increasingly interested in the creative possibilities that galvanized wire welding offers. On the one hand it is cheaper than the furniture on the market, on the other, do not forget the satisfaction that it gives to do things ourselves.
In these images you can see some examples of furniture that can be easily reproduced in miniature.

I am increasingly interested in the creative possibilities offered by the welding wire. On the one hand, it is much cheaper than market furniture. On the other hand, not to forget how wonderful and satisfying doing things by oneself is.
In this picture, you can see a few examples of furniture, than can be easily duplicated in miniature

Let's start with the materials we need and their approximate price.
An ordinary welder , you don't need to spend a fortune. Mine works at 230V, 50Hz and 60W. It cost me a little less than € 18. There are some somewhat more expensive that are interesting from the point of view of security, they usually incorporate a support that prevents us from accidentally burning any surface.

Let's start by listing the material we need and the approximate price in euros.
Soldering iron : an elementary welder is enough, no need to spend a fortune. Mine runs at 230V, 50Hz and 60W. It cost me less than 18 €, but I recommend spend a little bit more to get a better soldering iron from the point of view of safety, they can incorporate a support for the welder, used to avoid burns.

I clean the tip of the soldering iron with a kitchen towel slightly dampened with water.
In this image you can also see a can with an aluminum sponge inside . It is used to clean and protect the tip with tin when we are done.

I clean the soldering tip with a towelling kitchen rag lightly moistened.
You can also see in the picture a tin can with a steel wool inside . It is used to re-tin the soldering tip when we finished.

I suppose that at the beginning it is normal to spoil one or two tips until you get the hang of it, so I recommend a soldering iron that allows you to change the tips easily.
In the first image you can see the first tip that I loaded, in the second after having sanded it because I tried to make the most of it, but it didn't work, it immediately turned black and it was very difficult to weld. In that photograph, next to it, you can see a recently bought tip, it cost me € 0.80. The red tip is a protector that disappears as soon as the soldering iron heats up.
And finally, a recommendation, do not use the tip of the soldering iron always in the same position, because as you can see in the last photo a hole can be made.

At the beginning it's easy to spoil one or two tips, so it is important to buy a welder that allows us to change them.
In the first picture I show you my first soldering tip absolutely shattered due to the misuse.
In the second one, you can see with a bright copper color, my first soldering tip after being filed, couse I tried to restore it, but it doesn't work, because it goes black immediately and it is very difficult to weld. In this picture, you can also see a replacement tip that I bought at the hardware store, € 0.80. By heating this new one, the red protector disappears and we are ready to work.
And finally in this section, do not use the soldering tip always in the same position, because it could be drilled, as you can see in the last picture.

Tin with a resin core , it can be found with different percentage of tin and lead. The one I use is 60% tin and 40% lead.
There is also lead free tin, I think the alloy is with silver, so it will be more expensive. In my opinion it is more difficult to weld with it, but as everything will be a matter of practice. Anyway, a hardware store will be delighted to help you. The price is around € 7 or € 8 for 100 gr.
Very important, when you buy it, that it is very shiny.

Tin / lead solders , also called soft solders, are commercially avaible with tin concentrations between 5% and 70% by weight. Mine has a concentration of 60% Sn and 40% Pb with flux core welding.
There are also lead free solders, I think with a tin-silver alloy, so it is more expensive. But my understanding is that soldering is more difficult. Aniway, you can find help at the hardware store. I think the price is around 7 or 8 € the 100gr. 
Very important: when you buy it, it must be shiny.

You will also need sandpaper for metal . I don't remember the price but it was very little.
Also flux or stripper for welding , for me it is a key element if you want to achieve fast, easy and stronger welds.
In this drawing you can see liquid or creamy flux. It lasts for years, because it is used very little, so you do not buy much. Around € 4

You will need also sheets of sandpaper for metal . I do not remember the price, but it was very little.
I use also welding flux . For me, this is a key element to get quickly and easily strong welds.
You can find it liquid and as a cream (see the picture). A bottle lasts for years and costs around € 4.

I recommend a support to hold the projects, a wooden board and masking tape .

I recomend a  helping hand tool (it facilitates the work a lot) a wooden board and masking tape .

Let's now look at the soldiering process step by step. Please work in a ventilated place, especially if you use leaded tin.

Let's see now the soldering process step by step. Please, work in a ventilated place especially if your soft solder contains lead.

1- First sand the wire in the area where you want the solder. In this drawing you can see two pieces of wire. The first has a galvanized layer, whose function is to protect the wire from oxidation, but spoils the welding process. The other piece of wire, after being sanded, is much more receptive to tin.

1.- Sand the galvanized wire where you want your welds. In the picture you can see two pieces of wire, the first one with its galvanized coating that protects the wire from oxidation, but it spoils the soldering process. The second one after been sanded is more receptive for tin.

2.- Hold the wires on the board with the masking tape. Depending on the thickness of the wire, you will need to heat the wire more or less.

2.- First attach the wires with your fastening tools in order to avoid any displacement. Then, heat up the wire in that position during a few seconds, it depends on the thickness of the wire. 3.- In this step you have to work quickly. After heating the wire well, we pour the flux where we want the solder, put the tin on the wires and apply the heat of the soldering iron. The tin will be distributed by capillarity over the entire surface where the flux has arrived. We remove the tin and then the soldering iron; in that order.

3.- In this step, we have to work fast. We move away the welder for a moment and put the flux on the hot wires. Then we connect the tin with the hot wires and touch lightly with the welder. The tin will slide where we put the flux. We move apart the tin and the welder in that order

At this point I would like to clarify three things:
- First: do not apply the flux before heating the wire. Well, it burns quickly and the welds become brittle.
- Second: do not spend a long time distributing the tin with the tip of the soldering iron so that the solder is more beautiful. The longer you heat it, the worse welding you will have. If you have globs left, remember that you can sand later when it is cold.
- Last: use the right amount of tin, more does not mean better solder.

I want to clarify three points:
- First: do not apply the flux before heating up the wire with the welder, because it goes black very quickly and the welding would be brittle.
- Second: do not be too long spreading the tin with the soldering tip to get a beautiful weld. The longer you heat it up, the worse the welding you get. Remember that the weld can be sanded to soften or reduce it when it gets colder.
- And finally: use the right amount of tin . More tin does not mean a stronger weld.

4.- Let the solder cool down by itself, don't blow.
5.- When you have finished wash the piece with soap and dry with a cloth. It is ready to be painted.
6.- My last recommendation refers to how to re-tin the soldering iron tip so that it is ready the next time you are going to use it. In the video that is on these lines he explains it very well.

4.- Let it get colder and do not blow over it .
5.- Finally, wash the entire piece with soap and dry with a cloth. And it is ready to be painted.
6.- My last recommendation refers to how re-tinning the soldering iron for preserving it in good condition for the next time. In this video you have helpful tips.

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