How to Solder Thin Pieces to Thicker Pieces

In a few of the entries before I have mentioned the fact that when soldering, solder follows the heat and you need to pay attention to the position of the torch. This is especially important when soldering thin pieces to thicker ones. Today we will dive into this a little more.

Soldering Thin to Thick Header

 If you do any soldering, you will be confronted with this task of soldering a small loop or an earring post to a larger, thicker piece. Here’s what happens:

You add the flame to melt the solder and the solder will melt all over the smaller piece and you have a hard time getting the solder to flow to the larger piece. You add more solder, and more solder, and eventually you either melt the small piece, or you get it soldered, but have way more solder than you need and it looks “Messy”

Well, here are a couple of quick tips to help you with this task:

First, make sure there is good contact area between the two pieces you want to solder. Here, I have a small loop that I want to solder in place. I take my loop and file a flat area on it so there is more contact area. I used a #4 Barrette Needle File.

Soldering Thin to Thick (1) Soldering Thin to Thick (2)

Then add flux, and I make sure there is a good coating on both pieces I am soldering. I use Handy Flux to solder silver, but it also works great on brass, copper, and other non-ferrous metals. I add a small piece of solder to the joint and the flux helps to hold it into place.

ISoldering Thin to Thick (3) Soldering Thin to Thick (4)

Next I use my Mini Torch to solder the two pieces. On this task, I use a fairly small flame, since both pieces are somewhat light. Make sure you point the flame at the thicker piece. You want the solder to melt to the thicker piece before it melts to the small loop. You do not want the flame to melt the solder, you want the heat to melt the solder. Another way to do this is to melt the solder to the thicker piece first, then add the small loop to the solder while it is hot.

Soldering Thin to Thick (5)

Soldering Thin to Thick (6) Soldering Thin to Thick (7)

There you have it. If you are new to soldering, I would suggest getting some scrap pieces and experimenting with soldering different thicknesses to one another. Once you get the hang of this, you will never be intimidated with soldering again.

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