How to Solder Wire Sculptures

Written by ehow hobbies, games & toys editor
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Wire sculpture allows an artist to branch out into three-dimensional art. Use of a solder and a small blowtorch enable the artist to permanently fix the sculpture so it is durable enough to withstand handling. Wire is easily obtained and can be used in sculpture regardless of its form or composition. Even scrap wire turns into fun and interesting sculpture projects.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wire
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Blowtorch head
  • Small propane tank
  • Solder
  • Flux
  • Protective eye wear
  • Gloves
  • Breathing mask
  • Metal container
  • Water
  • Torch striker
  • Piece of plywood or wooden cutting board

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Use the pliers and wire cutters to shape the wire into a desired configuration.

  2. 2

    Attach the wires to be soldered. Twist them together at the desired soldering point.

  3. 3

    Clamp the sculpture down so your hands are free to operate the torch and manipulate the solder. Use a piece of plywood or a wooden cutting board to clamp the wire sculpture on.

  4. 4

    Coat the connecting point with flux.

  5. 5

    Fold a piece of solder around the connecting point over the flux.

  6. 6

    Fit the torch head securely onto the propane tank.

  7. 7

    Put on your safety equipment.

  8. 8

    Start the torch by turning the knob on the torch head to start the flow of gas from the propane tank and clicking the striker next to the torch head.

  9. 9

    Adjust the flame so that you have about one inch of flame to work with.

  10. 10

    Melt the solder over the connecting point.

  11. 11

    Kill the torch flame.

  12. 12

    Blow on the melted solder to cool it.

  13. 13

    Dunk the hot soldered joint in a metal container of cool water to finish the cooling process and harden the solder.

Tips and warnings

  • Experiment with igniting the blowtorch before you solder the first joint so you know how the flame behaves and how much gas to give the torch.
  • Solder and flux are usually toxic so handle accordingly.
  • Keep your work space clean and free of excess debris to minimize the risk of fire inherent in the use of a blow torch.

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