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Setting up a work area

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Author Topic: Setting up a work area  (Read 2233 times)
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« on: April 21, 2009, 10:43:54 am »

I've been using the Smith little torch for nearly all of my metalworking needs for close to 25 years. It works admirably for my purposes. When I was teaching I had mostly the same torch for the students. I originally learned on the Prestolite torch which is an air/acetylene torch but it was tricky to get a real small flame for detailed soldering. I switched to the Smith unit because it works great for detailed work. Some people use Propane torch but a lot of fire districts prohibit use of propane (including in your barbecue unit) inside a dwelling/garage. The hazard is that propane is heavier than air and it settles to the floor and pools into an explosive mixture.
Most currently sold silver solders don't contain Cadmium because the fumes cause nerve damage. I always told my students that if they inherited any old silver solder (or got it from an old source) to discard it. There is a high likelyhood that it contains cadmium.
Use a pickle pot that has a lid ( a small, cheap crockpot works great). When you drop the hot piece into the pickle pot, tilt the back of the lid up and drop the piece into the pot from the back. This allows you to use the tilted lid as a shield from any sputters or splashes.
Most white pase fluxes have Biflourides to prevent the bubbling of the hot flux that causes your solder pallions to jump around. Some people get a red rash on their faces if they do a lot of  soldering in a poorly ventilated space (like a corner of a room). It is rare. I only had one case in my teaching experience (about 200 students) and it occurred because the student was doing a lot of soldering in the unventilated corner of their garage. Biflouride-free soldering pastes are sold by the same manufacturers that sell Biflouride pastes.
When using the polishing lathe it is advisable to wear a dust mask. DO NOT polish a chain on these machines. It will quickly grab  the chain and whip it around causing serious injury. I wouldn't let a student get near the polishing lathe with a chain without specific, detailed instructions and demonstration from me as to how to safely polish a chain. Jewelry pieces with sharp points that are aimed upward into the muslin buff will catch and cause serious damage to the piece and possible injury to you.
Have I scared everyone already?
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