Confused about which solder to choose? Don’t be, we’ll melt that confusion away.
There are several types of solder to choose from; the most common combination for stained glass applications are tin/lead combinations.
The first number in the combination refers to the weight of the tin component and the second to the weight of the lead component:
63/37 – Best for decorative purposes; adding embellishments once the piece is finished. This solder will set as soon as it is removed from the heat source
60/40 – Produces a high bead and usually melts at around 374 F and sets around 361 F so you have a bit more time to evenly spread your solder before it sets. This solder is best used for copper foiled pieces rather than lead came wrapped pieces as the high bead may give too much dimension to a came piece.
50/50 – Produces a flat seam between joints. This solder stays liquid the longest melting around 421 F and setting around 365 F. Because of the flat seam it makes, this solder works well for both leaded pieces and copper foiled pieces.
Lead Free – Usually produces a flat seam, similar to 50/50, and consists of tin and copper; but take into consideration that the price of tin and copper are much higher than lead. Most stained glass artists like to use lead-free solder when the piece being made will be around children or is being used outdoors where there is a chance that rainwater can run down the finished project .
Consider these factors when selecting your solder and you might find you will have a really enjoyable time soldering your stained glass projects.
Check out the video below for a helpful video on soldering and be sure to visit the Diamond Tech Crafts Creative Corner for more how-to and lots of fun stained glass projects!