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Soldering a tiny, complex butt/edge joint


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One of the potential heart-aches of soldering is having the joint shift, during heat, after spending substantial time getting a fit as good as you can. I seldom have much satisfaction using third hand devices, or other clamps, which are difficult to get aligned, subject to moving easily and act as heat-sinks, drawing critical heat away from the joint.


I’ve used this particular approach a few times with brilliant results. It wouldn’t be useful for a multiple type production but for one or two-off I find it really satisfying. There is substantial “waste” and time involved. The waste can be recycled into other alloys.


The object is a small inlay to be a pine-cone(copper) covered with snow(pure silver). I’m not quite ready to show the overall project but thought this soldering technique might be of interest.


Essentially a holding armature is incorporated into one of the pieces being soldered. The solder will only be done where the cone joins the snow. The rest of the copper is there just to hold everything tight, and gets sawn away after soldering. Medium heat hard silver solder (about 1400F). That joint is going nowhere during heat.


The second shot show how I fluxed first and then place the solder paillons(cut bits) before final heat. The flux will blow the solder away if you don’t flux first. Another advantage seen in the second shot is the ability to hold the unit with a tweezer, which draws little heat and allows the piece to be heated from below, drawing the solder into the joint from the top down. Sweet!

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Edited by Jim Kelso
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Oh yeah, here is the actual size, more or less:

 

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Edited by Jim Kelso
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Here's another example of the same trick used to solder the gold and shibuichi bits into the feather inlay on the dagger from last year.

You can see some more photos of that knife here:

 

http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=30632#entry295318

 

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Thanks Jesus!

 

Here's a little video of the finish saw cuts freeing the inlay from the armature:

 

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OeAO3tErf1Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

hmmm, embed didn't work but there's the link...

Edited by Jim Kelso
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And a photo of the wip in context, yet to be inlayed:

 

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Edited by Jim Kelso
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