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Soft Soldering


Clean Solder Iron Tip
The tip of your soldering iron should always be silver. If it is any color other than silver, stop soldering immediately and clean it as solder will not stick to an oxidized tip. Normally this is done on a damp synthetic sponge while the iron is hot. If the tip of your iron becomes black and you just cannot get it tinned (silver colored) again, you can use a Sal Ammoniac Block to re-tin the tip.

Hints to Keep the Iron Tip Silver

  • Do not leave the iron plugged in when not in use.
  • Do not use the iron at a higher temperature than is necessary to melt solder.
  • Clean the tip of the iron on a damp synthetic sponge as soon as it starts to change from silver.
  • Even when heating up or cooling down your iron, check that the tip doesn't discolor. If it does, wipe it on a damp synthetic sponge.
Sal Ammoniac Block
Sal Ammoniac is a toxic substance used to clean corrosion from the oxidized tip of a soldering iron.
  • First dig a small hole in the block of Sal Ammoniac and stir it up into a powder.
  • Mix the powder with some solder in the hole in the block of sal ammoniac. You can do this by transferring a small amount of solder on the tip of the hot iron or by cutting a small chunk of solder off the roll and then putting it into the hole in the block. You'll need 1/4" or so.
  • Stir the contents of the hole with the tip of the hot soldering iron. Remember, this is toxic. Do not breathe the fumes!
  • Wipe the iron on a damp synthetic sponge.
  • Use the tip of the iron to push the solder/sal ammoniac into the sides of the hole (I think of it as the same motion as creaming sugar and butter together).
  • Repeat until the tip is completely re-tinned and silver. Now, never ever let the tip be any color other than silver again!
  • As with all soldering products, it is highly recommended that you use this product in a well ventilated area. We sell a charcoal activated smoke absorber for your safety.
Here I'm making a stained glass panel in the pattern of a magnolia. Horse Shoe Nails are used to hold the lead came and zinc in place.

Click images to enlarge

Helen Wilkinson finished the magnolia panel for me. It turned out beautifully and now hangs in my studio.
06/2005 12" X 12"

This elaborate version of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' was made from a single sheet of extraordinary stained glass. I made a frame from a 6" X 4" piece of 20 gauge Copper Sheet. I cut a hole from the frame so that light could pass through the glass when the book is open. We sell 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' and other Books in Sheets.

We also sell all the Soldering Equipment you need for this project.


The gold Leafing Pen really warmed
up this charm

Sometimes the silver color of solder doesn't go with the subject of your charm. I like to use Leafing Pens to change the color to either gold or copper. The color is fragile so should not be used on pieces that will be handled a lot.

We have detailed instructions on how to make these charms in our free online zine The Muse


Christine Cox
In the collection of Fran Kovac
This book was made from our Petite Metal Journal Kit and the image was transferred onto the glass using Omni-Gel. The glass was soldered onto the metal using items from our Soldering Products Page

Christine Cox
Peter Pan
This book was made from our Petite Metal Journal Kit and the image was transferred onto the glass using Omni-Gel. The glass was soldered onto the metal using items from our Soldering Products Page. The novel "Peter Pan" is one of our Books in Sheets offerings.


Tammie McLatchie
Tammie and Kimmie Sue
Made in Christine's Soldered Photo Charms class


Lori Kleczka
260 Days Accident Free
Made in Christine's Soldered Photo Charms class
I use a Mini Bench Vise when soldering photo charms. Leather protects the glass and a pencil is great for keeping the charm level during soldering.

Christine Cox
Soldered Photo Frames
Learn to make these in The Muse


Deb Bowen


Christine Cox


Peggy Gack
Peggy made this charm in a class with Christine Cox