How to Solder Copper Tape

Written by kim blakesley Google
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How to Solder Copper Tape
Copper Foiled Stained Glass Lamp Shade (Stained Glass Window image by Andrew Breeden from Fotolia.com)

Copper tape is a short name for copper foil tape. Copper tape is used in making stained-glass projects. The tape provides a copper line directly between glass pieces or beside glass leading. The tape oxidises so the area needs to be cleaned with emery paper prior to soldering. The open copper foil tape should be kept in a plastic bag to minimise oxidation. Copper tape requires the use of 50/50 solder and 60/40 or 63/37 solder to prevent drip through. The 50/50 solder tin coats the seam while the 60/40 or 63/37 solder will create a raised-bead seam.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Soldering Iron
  • Flux
  • Paint brush
  • 50/50 solder
  • 60/40 solder
  • Copper foil tape
  • Emery paper
  • Soft cloth

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Wrap and place the copper foil tape in the desired position on the stained glass project. Sand each side of the seam to be soldered with emery paper.

  2. 2

    Remove any sanding dust. Paint a layer of flux over the seam using a paint brush.

  3. 3

    Place the 50/50 solder over the seam that has been fluxed. Heat the copper foil seam and 50/50 solder sufficiently to form a deep penetration between the solder and copper surface. This is called "tinning" the solder.

  4. 4

    Immediately apply the 60/40 solder for a beaded seam. Continue the heat on the solder and copper until the solder has adhered and created the desired bead.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep the tip of the soldering iron free from dirt. Re-tin the tip after each project. Using a rheostat will help control a constant temperature of the soldering iron. A cool iron can cause solder peaks while too hot of an iron can cause seep through.
  • Several types of soldering irons need to have the set screw loosened for the tip after use. This is done to prevent the tip from freezing and adhering to the shaft.

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