If you are new to soldering, or still a little hesitant in your soldering skills, a Soldering Pick is something you will want to get used to and learn how to use. In soldering there are many uses for a soldering pick, from moving or holding pieces that are being soldered to adding or holding solder in its place during soldering. I like to use a Titanium Soldering Pick to solder with because the solder does not stick to it as easily as a steel pick, or even a tungsten pick from what I have experienced. I use my soldering pick every time I solder to add solder to the joint I am soldering.
In silver soldering, I like to use Handy Flux for my soldering. The purpose of flux in soldering is to dissolve of the oxides on the metal surface and act as an oxygen barrier by coating the metal, preventing its oxidation. I keep my flux in a re-purposed baby food jar and the lid seals tightly and keeps the flux moist. I like it to be the consistency of oatmeal for the lack of a better example. I keep a stainless steel or sterling silver wire in the jar of flux as an applicator.
In this example, I am soldering a small silver ring together. I have filed the ends flat and flush with a #6 Equaling Needle File, cleaned the piece before soldering, and now am applying the flux with the wire applicator.
After the solder joint is completely covered in flux, I like to do is dip the very end of my soldering pick in my flux so that it has just a small bit of solder on the end of the pick, then I can pick up my solder with the flux, which acts like a magnet, and add the solder to the soldering joint I am working on. I can apply the solder to the piece and hold it or move it around with the pick while applying the heat.
Now I apply the heat to the solder joint with my Mini Torch
, watching closely so that the solder stays where I want it, right on top of the seam to be soldered. Pay attention because as the flux gets hot, it has a tendency to boil and bubble, which can move the solder or even make the solder fall off of the piece. Use your soldering pick to hold the solder in place.
There you have it, the solder flowed exactly where I wanted it to with the help of my soldering pick.
In soldering, your pick should be your best “friend”, making you look like a champ!
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Now go make friends with your soldering pick.
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