Friday, 25 May 2012

Show & Tell: Fun With The Soldering Iron

Lately, I’ve been playing around with soldering irons. I’ll admit, this was a technique I learnt at school (thanks Product Design teacher!), but seriously, the things you can do with this little tool are amazing! If you don’t already know, soldering is a technique where solder and flux are used to connect things together. Metal is the most commonly soldered, but with a bit of copper tape, almost anything will work! This is also a technique used to create things like stained glass windows (lead lights), jewelry, and metal models.

So, as I was saying, I’ve been playing around and with a bit of time and planning I’ve managed to turn out a few quite cool things. Show and tell time? Yes please! Here are some of my latest creations:

The first thing I made was this rustic- look birdcage. I know, it’s not finished yet- the final product will have rings covering the whole top half, as I’ve started to do, and I’m thinking about painting it white. It’s aimed for that kind of imperfect, lop- sided feel, like a kind of steampunk cage. It’s made of copper wire, and of course flux and solder.

The second thing I made was this Deathly Hallows necklace pendant. I must confess, I’m quite a Harry Potter fan, and I’ve been looking for one of these for ages. But if you can’t find it, make it, right? I actually decided to coat each piece of copper wire in solder before assembling it, hence the shiny silver look. And because it’ s worn as jewelry, I decided to coat it in clear nail polish before wearing, just to be on the safe side. (solder contains low levels of lead, (FYI!)

And finally (my personal favourite!), I made this quirky little oversize key. It was actually really simple- I shaped the ornate top, twisted the ends around the key body and soldered it on, then cut a jagged edge out of a piece of copper sheet and attached it. I think the fact that it’s copper really adds to the whole steampunk feel. I could imagine it belonging to a heavy lock on the doors of a gothic mansion!

So, that’s my show and tell for the day. What do you think? Which is your favourite? I'd love to hear from you!

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