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Safety before Beauty

photoSo no, this is not the most attractive of outfits that I usually wear in my studio, but it is most likely the Safest! This is what you will find me wearing on “solder days”.

I tend to save up 2-3 Stained Glass Projects and work on getting them all soldered in one day because quite frankly, even though this mask is safe, I prefer to wear it as little as possible!  The solder used in the production of Stained Glass window art contains a certain amount of lead. I prefer to use what is called 60/40, 60% tin and 40% lead. This mixture has a melting range of 183-190 degrees and is suitable for most projects. Most suppliers also sell 50/50 (50% Tin and 50% Lead) which has a melting (flow) range of 185-215 degrees and is admitidily a bit easier to use, but does contain a higher percent of lead.

Flux is also used in the soldering process to clean dirt, oil and even oxidation from the art piece before soldering.  Flux also reduces surface tension so the solder flows more easily, but unfortunately flux also creates fumes when heated during soldering. My mask is rated for automotive paint to filter fumes and small particles and I have the ability to change the filters on a regular basis.

Along with an exhaust fan above my solder project, and great ventilation in my studio,  I strive to create a safe environment for myself while completing one of the final steps in production for a beautiful art piece for you!

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