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Discuss Master Soldering help needed for a clean solder in the Plumbing Forum area at UKPlumbersForums.co.uk.

  1. Electronurd

    Electronurd Member

    Hi plumbers, I am popping here today to ask how do I solder a clean join? For example I am currently in the process of creating a lamp for my living room out of copper pipe. I started to solder today and realised I'm crap :smile5:. I cleaned the pipe and the elbows and fluxed, but no matter how hard I tried the solder went everywhere and I ended up with proper messy pipe joins.

    I would like to create something like the following:

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/322443512149

    as you can see the joins are spectacular and look very clean and nicely done. My question is how??

    thought I'd ask plumbers as you may know?
     
  2. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Use the flux sparingly and only a small amount of solder, you only need to hold it together it's not water tight you're after is it !

    Use propane, lead free solder warm the fitting and tube, allow the heat of the metal to melt the solder, NOT THE FLAME.

    hope that helps, You can of course use leaded solder but make sure it's clean
     
  3. mache

    mache Active Member

    Post up some pictures of what you had done, don't worry if its bad. That will give some idea of where you are going wrong. Also tell us what equipment you have and the materials your using.

    Also if your doing this you may want to post up on the electrical forum to confirm electrical/earthing requirements.
     
  4. Electronurd

    Electronurd Member

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Is there a reason to use flux sparingly?..

    I have been using butane? Not propane? Heat is heat right? Obviously I'm wrong so tell me lol.

    What's the difference between lead and lead free solder in my case?.
     
  5. Electronurd

    Electronurd Member

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Is there a reason to use flux sparingly?..

    I have been using butane? Not propane? Heat is heat right? Obviously I'm wrong so tell me lol.

    What's the difference between lead and lead free solder in my case?.
     
  6. Electronurd

    Electronurd Member


    Here is a sample join:

    View attachment 29127

    I'm not embarrassed, would just love my joins to look better than the above.

    I'm using a butane gas torch.. cheap. Lead free solder and flux with some pipe cleaning paper.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  7. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    It takes time and practice

    Sounds like you need to heat the fitting more as the solder should suck into the fitting

    Clean and flux both (pipe and fittings) once assembled wipe excesse flux off

    Heat from front add solder from the back about 1mm (length) of solder should do
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  8. Electronurd

    Electronurd Member

    It does suck into the joint. I can see it doing that, but I'm also using 3mm diameter solder is that too much?
     
  9. Electronurd

    Electronurd Member

    It does suck into the joint. I can see it doing that, but I'm also using 3mm diameter solder is that too much?
     
  10. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Yes doesn't need to be much as its not holding anything just a physical connection
     
  11. colshaws

    colshaws Member

  12. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Or any good epoxy
     
  13. Electronurd

    Electronurd Member

    I do not want to glue. I prefer to solder as I kind of like the look. Gluing is fine for some joints but not for others.

    Do you recommend getting a smaller diameter solder wire?
     
  14. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    You can do but soldering with plumbers solder is a good skill to have

    https://www.instagram.com/unequaled_heating/

    Some pics and vids to help you
     
  15. gassed up

    gassed up GSR

    Use Yorkshire fittings, pre loaded with solder, just need to flux and heat up.
     
  16. Electronurd

    Electronurd Member

    i would love joins like this guy and would love to see his video but it won't load...:32:
     
  17. Electronurd

    Electronurd Member

    Finally see the guys video. He seems to use tons of flux and just barely touches with the solder wire. I think that's where I'm kinda going wrong as I'm leaving the solder wire on till I see it coming out.
     
  18. rpm

    rpm Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Anyone used copper push-fit?

    Just asking!
     
  19. 1Steven

    1Steven Plumber GSR

    Practice and have patience.
     
  20. zzzjim

    zzzjim Well-Known Member

    Not "THAT product again" ,

    if you need an electrical connection ( Earthing for safety )

    maybe a glue is not relevant !
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  21. JCplumb

    JCplumb Plumber

    The lamp you are trying to emulate isn't soldered, that's how you don't see any snots (runs of solder), at a guess I'd say it's glued.
    nosolder.jpg
     
  22. JCplumb

    JCplumb Plumber

    The lamp you are trying to emulate isn't soldered, that's how you don't see any snots (runs of solder), at a guess I'd say it's glued.
    View attachment 29131
     
  23. Electronurd

    Electronurd Member

    Well that's what I thought and so I sent the seller a message to ask before any potential purchase and they did confirm that all joins were soldered.
     
  24. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Once it's at the right temperature you only need to touch it and you'll see it flow.
    The reason I said use flux sparingly was because you do not want to allow solder to run on the pipe outside the fitting. If I were doing your task I would flux inside the fitting with a flux brush and put just enough on the pipe to cover the length of the full socket.

    If poss, try to solder with gravity on your side !
     
    • Like Like x 1
  25. Electronurd

    Electronurd Member

    Excellent tips. I'm going to try again today but practice on some crappy bits first. I'll post any pics I have if they turn out ok.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  26. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Yes do that, I'd like to see the finished product !

    I realise you want to solder this to perfection but just in case you do have a bit on show, Emery ribbon ( fine grit), will remove solder easily and polish the copper nicely too.

    That might make it even easier for you !
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  27. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    I mean the stuff you use in engineering, do you know which I mean ?
    It comes on a roll
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  28. Electronurd

    Electronurd Member

  29. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    That will probably do but the stuff I meant is finer ( not like sand paper ).
     
  30. Electronurd

    Electronurd Member

    Ah do you think you be could post a link to it? I'm going to screwfix today so would be great to pick it up whilst I'm there.
     
  31. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  32. Electronurd

    Electronurd Member

    Found some at toolstation. What grit would you say?
     
  33. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    I think 120 should be fine enough

    You're better feeling it if you can
     
  34. Electronurd

    Electronurd Member

    Ok cheers
     
  35. Electronurd

    Electronurd Member

    Well no matter how much I try I still get a slodge of solder somewhere on a join... without fail. Can solder sledges be wiped off?

    Here is a picture of what I mean... there's always a splodge. The join is fine... but the slodge is annoying.

    IMG_0154.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
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