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Soldering Tips

Are soldering iron tips interchangeable?
Each soldering iron has its own tips. These tips do not fit any other iron. There is one exception. The replacement tips for the Weller 100 will fit the Studio Pro 100 iron.

Should I use a rheostat with my Weller 100 soldering iron?
No! Using a rheostat with a Weller 100 could ruin your iron. The Weller 100 has a built in thermostat, so if you want to change the temperature, you have to change the tip. 700 degrees is the standard for 60/40 solder, but 600 and 800 degree tips are available.

My soldering iron tip keeps turning black. Am I doing something wrong?
Probably not. It is possible that your iron is running a little hot, so you could trying turning your rheostat down a little. Most tips will eventually turn black, just use a tinning block to help clean them.

Decorative Edges Using Ball Chain
I enjoy doing fan lamps as gifts and have heard that some designs look good with ball chain added around the perimeter of the finished piece. I'm not sure how to attach the chain after soldering the edge. Can you offer some suggestions?

The ball chain is tack soldered to the edge of the fan lamp before finishing the edges. After it is tacked in place, do your final soldering over it. By soldering it completely to the edges, a more rigid and stable edge is formed. If you were to do your final soldering first and then tack it into place only, it's still possible to move the untacked portions and accidentally rip off the copper foil.

Foil Has Turned Green On Partially Soldered Project
About a year ago I attempted to build a 8 paneled hanging lamp with 100 pieces. It took me a long time, and I got as far as finishing the final seams on the outside of the lamp and putting patina on it. Toward the end of the project I became frustrated and put it aside. Unfortunately during this time the copper foil has become corroded and green. Much to my dismay when I try to put solder on the foil, it doesn't stick. Is there any way to un-corrode the foil without taking the entire thing apart and refoiling it? Please help!

Boy, sounds like quite a predicament! Does your foil still have good adhesion to the glass? If not, you will have to take the entire lamp apart and start foiling from scratch because even if you would clean it up, chances are that your pieces will fall out and you won't be happy with the appearance of your lamp. If the foil still does have good adhesion, then try using very fine steel wool and gently rub it over the foil so that it doesn't pull off or tear. Once all the corrosion is cleaned off, try soldering it again. If you are still having difficulty with the soldering, you may have no choice other than to tear your lamp apart and refoil. Lamps generally take several hours to solder. Next time, I would suggest that you wait to begin soldering when you are well rested and have enough time to devote to soldering your piece at one sitting. In a pinch if you can't complete all of the soldering, completely wash your piece and store it in a plastic bag and seal the bag. Don't wait too long to begin soldering again (a day or two at the most) and complete the soldering. Storing your piece in a bag will slow down the corrosion, but won't stop it completely.

Solder: Which Gives You the Best Beads
The choice of what type of solder to use is a personal one based on which you enjoy working with more. For the best and smoothest beads, this just takes practice, practice, practice! When looking at a finished piece, the eye is naturally drawn to the solder joints or intersections, so when soldering, don't stop and pull your iron out at these points; instead stop in the centers of long seams and also blend in these areas.

Tinning Filigree
I've been working with stained glass for over 15 years. But last year I tried doing some angel patterns that had filigree wings that were supposed to be covered with solder and left bright and shiny. Try as I might, they only got dull and lumpy. I was using 60/40 solid wire. Is there special solder or some special technique?

Hold the filigree with pliers and coat it liberally with flux. Holding the filigree at approximately a 45 degree angle, tin (lightly coat) it with solder. Let the solder drip off of the filigree and make sure that all holes are free of solder. After tinning the front side, turn it over, reapply flux and solder; again making sure that all holes are free of solder. If the solder starts to gum up, wipe off the tip of your iron and also reapply flux since it evaporates quickly as heat is applied to the filigree. Before attaching the wings to the angel, wash the filigree thoroughly with CJs Flux and Patina Remover and pat dry.

Join the discussion Add a comment

Karina Foster

Thursday, January 19, 2017
Delphi Expert
161 Posts
Top Contributor Gallery Artist

@jhotka The exact temperature or rheostat setting to use with a 60/40 solder can vary, however many beginners find success using an iron with built-in temperature control such as the Studio 100 or Weller 100. Both of these irons come with tips that hold the iron at approximately 800 degrees F. If you are using an iron with a separate rheostat or built-in adjustable controller, you may need to try several settings before you find what works well for you.Finishing box corners can be a challenge for both beginners and experienced glass artists. To get the strongest possible construction, it is ideal for corners to meet without an overlap. The Professional Box Maker tool is helpful for achieving this position. The void space on the outside can be filled with a bit of copper wire or ball chain, then soldered to build up the joint.


Thursday, December 29, 2016
1 Post

I am a beginner, I would like to know what the best temperature for 60/40 solder is? Plus, I am having problems finishing off the corners to boxes. Any ideas.

Jennifer Bonesteel

Friday, June 13, 2014
Delphi Expert
188 Posts
Top Contributor Gallery Artist

@VKoren be sure you're removing all of your flux after your soldering. Kwik Clean Flux remover does a great job of neutralizing your flux which helps prevent dull spots, Simichrome polish will also do a great job of shining up your lines. A lot of factors can come into play with this question; if you continue having trouble please call our customer service department and we'll be happy to work through the issue with you.


Thursday, May 29, 2014
1 Post

I am getting dull sections on my solder beads. I use foil and adequate amounts of flux. Any idea why this is occurring? Vincent

Jennifer Bonesteel

Thursday, May 22, 2014
Delphi Expert
188 Posts
Top Contributor Gallery Artist

@cassiecaraway soldered seams are not designed to be bent. The adhesive foil with a thin solder line will, as you've seen, come apart if too much pressure is applied. If you're trying to create a dimensional project, like a box, you want to solder your pieces at the appropriate angle right from the beginning. A Handy Wedge (item


Sunday, May 18, 2014
1 Post

I am recently back into doing stained glass and i have a big problem. Whenever i solder two pieces of glass together,it will come apart if you try and bend it. Is this normal? You do have to apply some force to bend them apart but Shouldnt it be stronger? I am using 60\40 solder, and i am soldering both sides.

Jennifer Bonesteel

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Delphi Expert
188 Posts
Top Contributor Gallery Artist

@kastarkey it sounds like your soldering iron is still too hot. We suggest plugging your iron into a temperature controller, taking a scrap of came, apply some flux and then test soldering it while adjusting your temperature. When your came stops melting you'll have found the correct temperature.


Monday, February 24, 2014
1 Post

I am trying to do a sun catcher project using soft lead came. As I wrap each piece and then try to solder the pieces together, the came just melts into big holes. I've never solder with the soft came before, but looking at the project, that's what it uses. I have a sun face circle medallion wrapped in the came, with nuggets wrapped in the came with the ends coming to a point looking like sunrays. I tried using a lower temperature, but that didn't help. How can I solder this soft came properly????


Thursday, December 12, 2013
5 Posts

@Eric S. Have you tried cleaning your iron on a tinning block and trying it with the new solder? If you are still having trouble please give us a call at 800.248.2048. We would be happy to help you troubleshoot.

Kathy K.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
4 Posts

@Eric S. Eric, I have found that with some irons the hot spot is actually about 1/4 inch from the tip. Not sure if this is why the solder won't stick to your iron or not but just wanted to offer that up.