Saturday, 5 May 2012

Soldering Zinc

Brass, copper and zinc are heat sinks. That is, the metal conducts the heat rapidly so more heat has to be applied than for lead and tin to keep the soldering site hot enough to accept the solder.

The important elements are:

Use a hot iron. If you use a rheostat, turn it up to full. If you can, change the tip/bit to one rated at 800F – it will have an “8” stamped on the end that goes into the barrel of the iron.

Apply the flux liberally at the soldering point to ensure the area is “wetted”.

Keep the iron in contact with the came for a few seconds to heat the metal. If you are using zinc as your border around a leaded panel, make sure you do not heat up the lead came so that it begins to melt.  Keep the iron on the zinc.  It will transmit heat to the lead came without getting it hot enough to melt.

When the came is hot, apply the solder to the bit. 

Keep the bit on the metal until you see the solder begin to flow on both the zinc and the lead or onto the solder bead (on copper foil), then gently lift directly up.