Re: [Harp-L] Blu-Tak or Silver Solder - Staying within the lines

Because I learned it here, I can't take credit for teaching Bob to use a pencil to limit the spread of solder.  It sounds like a great idea! My method was to apply paste flux with a toothpick to the area to be soldered. There is no reason you could not do both in a belt-and-suspenders mode.

The little battery-powered soldering guns are useless for most soldering but work very well to apply solder to reeds. They are small, light, easily manipulated, and don't have to heat up.  

Easton started me using Shofu Brownies, my preferred method of tuning.


On Mar 2, 2012, at 9:51 PM, Robert Coble wrote:

> If you decide to use silver solder, use an ordinary No. 2 pencil as an "anti-solder"
> along the edges and end of the reed. I learned of this directly from Vern Smith,
> but Michael Easton (a great harp tech in PA) originally posted the idea to Harp-L
> in the 1990s. Michael learned it from his Dad, apparently as part of the dental 
> trade.
> I've used this idea and it really does work very good to keep the solder confined
> to the area that you want it to be on. If you don't use this (or some other trick),
> you might end up soldering the reed to the reed plate. It takes a minute quantity
> of solder to make a big change in pitch. An amount the size of a small round head
> on a pin will probably be too much for most applications. Touch the soldering iron
> to the area of the reed to be soldered, and then just touch the REED with the end
> of the solder "wire." As soon as the solder flows on to the reed, remove the "wire" 
> and the soldering iron. Use a fine file or some other light abrasive to polish the
> solder "blob" into a nice smooth rounded shape. I'm partial to Shofu Brownies,
> which is another trick I learned directly from Michael Easton.
> Crazy Bob  

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