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Choosing a Soldering Iron for Your Stained Glass Kit

Once you begin your stained glass hobby you will find that the soldering iron in your stained glass kit will become one of the tools you use most.

There are two different types or methods of making items from stained glass. The traditional lead came method is used to make leaded glass windows or other, usually larger items. The copper foil method is used to make beautiful Tiffany style stained glass lamps or other more delicate artwork. Although the materials you use to join your stained glass pieces is not the same in each of these methods, you will still need to use your soldering iron to attach, or solder, these pieces together.

Because soldering stained glass is a delicate operation rather than one that requires a heavy hand, it is not necessary to have a large expensive soldering iron. In fact a lightweight and easy to handle iron is best to allow you to easily solder the finer joints you will have between small pieces of glass.

When you look to purchase a soldering iron you will find that they are rated by their wattage. This wattage determines the amount of heat they will produce. And unless you have prior experience and intend to do large stained glass projects such as church windows as small soldering iron in the 80 to 100 watt range will handle all your needs.

One typical example of a soldering iron of type would be the Weller W100PG Professional Stained Glass Iron. Irons of this class usually are sold with a number of extra tips. These tips come in a variety of widths. This allows you to easily control the final width of your soldering joints and build up the solder so the final look is even and clean. It is a simple matter to change tips and by doing so change the width of your solder line. The different tips also vary by the amount of heat that is put out. So you can control the ouput heat based on the tip you choose.

When you are choosing between the various soldering irons for your stained glass kit try to stay with one that has iron plated tips. These tips will last a long time and are easy to clean and maintain. By taking care of your tips and making sure you strike them off and clean them before you switch to a different one you will find that they will improve in performance over time. By using them and keeping them clean they become smoother and the solder flows off them smoothly and easily.

If you are starting your hobby and looking to get your first stained glass kit, or are putting a kit together piece by piece, there is no need to spend a lot of money on your first iron. While it probably doesn’t pay to go with the cheapest one you can find, it is also not necessary to spend a lot of money on your first iron.

Look at the various choices available. Pick a mid-range iron and use that as you start your hobby. As you get a feel for stained glass work and learn more about what types of project you enjoy doing you will also become more familiar with doing soldering and using your iron. Then if your craft takes you in a specific direction you can consider getting another iron that is more targeted to the work you will be doing.

Soldering irons are included in many starter stained glass kits or you can decide to buy one individually. Choosing one is a fairly easy job as you start your hobby.