Sunday, March 16, 2008

Soldering: A Basic How-To for Automaton Makers

Tools used for soldering metalsThe photograph shown here features some of the essential tools used to solder metals together: a fan for blowing away fumes, protection for the work surface, water for cooling, a torch, solder, and flux. The photo should also show emery cloth, steel wool, or Scotch-Bright pads for cleaning the metal surfaces -- a very important step.

Charles Mak writes:
"I was looking for soldering info, since soldering, I believe, is a technique an automaton-maker should be familiar with. In fact, some works by Neil Hardy require soldering for their mechanical parts. I came across this site which offers more than just soldering technique but also a wealth of (free) information on materials, preparations, sources, etc. It's all free to view and print, but for those who prefer a 16-page color book, they can order it or download it for a fee."

Most online tutorials assume you want to solder electronics. While the principles are the same, the process is a bit different. Here is the site with free soldering and metal-working tips. (You'll need to scroll down a bit to find the start of the article.)

For a comprehensive reference to metal-joining techniques, you might take a look at Soldering, Brazing and Welding, which looks to be a great book on the subject.

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