The primary purpose of the two canisters is of course to hold my chasing & repousse tools. But the other goals of these projects were to:
- use a lapped seam on one canister
- use a keyed seam on the other canister
- make a post slide and twist locking mechanism
- improve my soldering skills.
I have to admit that I have never been good at soldering. Part of it is my fear of getting burned.
I spent two summers in college doing welding and brazing (mostly with copper and aluminum) and I got caught in a torch "explosion". The torch was not put on the hose correctly by someone else and then when I lit it, there were flames everywhere and it started to melt the hose. I did not get badly burned but I certainly got singed.
I am not afraid of fire nor do I have a problem with my little butane torch, or when I am annealing with my propane/air torch; my problems happen when I am using big torches and soldering. I don't like getting my hands near the flame to apply the solder.
As a result, when I am soldering big pieces I usually get solder everywhere because I won't hold my hands near the flame and then they start shaking and I just want to get it over with and have bad heat control.
Over the past 2 months that i have been working on these canisters (with Deb's help) I have learned that:
- The piece won't melt right way.
- Use lots of flux and learn when it gets glossy and up to temperature
- Place a few pieces of solder on the joint so you know when the piece is hot enough and the solder will flow.
- You can move the flame to the side to place more solder.
- How to feed the solder in using the stick soldering method (and if you aren't nervous, it wont shake and get ALL over the place)
- Control the heat and you really can see the solder flow down the joint
- GO SLOW and BREATH.
And today I have to say I did an excellent job. I won't have a massive amount of solder to clean up and I stick fed almost all of it. Right now the halves of the canister are in the pickle but below is a picture of my left hand showing the result of my time at the soldering bench.