Soldering is a method to join two pieces of metal together. Metals that can be soldered include aluminium, copper and tin. Harder metals like steel and iron require welding to bond them together. A soldering iron melts solder, a blend of tin and lead, to its melting point of 93.3 degrees C. Once you remove the heat source, the solder will cool rapidly and reharden, bonding with the surface where you applied it.
Plug in the soldering iron and place it into the stand with the tip pointing down. The iron will take about five minutes to reach a heat capable of melting solder.
Wet a sponge while you wait for the iron to heat up. Use a damp sponge to wipe excess solder from a hot tip. Some soldering iron stands have a small sponge and tray built into them. Remove this sponge from its tray and put it back once you dampen it.
Wipe the tip of the hot soldering iron to clean any old solder residue from it.
Touch the end of the solder to the tip of the soldering iron to tin it. Tinning puts a small layer of solder on the end of the tip; this helps the iron melt solder easily.
Heat the area where you want to join the two pieces of aluminium. Do this by placing the tip of the iron to the metal. Heating the metal before soldering ensures that you will not end up with a cold solder joint that can break easily.
Press some solder into the tip to melt it into the joint.
Remove the soldering iron and let the solder cool for 15 seconds.
Only hold the soldering iron by handle to avoid being burnt.
Tips and warnings
- Only hold the soldering iron by handle to avoid being burnt.