When soldering, taking the time to set up your work in the most efficient and stable way can save you time, energy, and many headaches in the long-run. Donna D'Aquino shares some of her tricks for perfect set-ups to make any soldering job a snap!
I set my work up using broken pieces and parts of old fire bricks and slate. My favorite fire bricks are the ceramic honeycomb ones. They are brittle, but also nice and flat.
I also like the soft fire brick and sometimes carve into it as well to hold pieces in place when soldering. I use something pointy like a soldering pick ground down from a coat hanger to carve into the brick. Sometimes I will cut them on the band saw if I need a thin piece. The brick can also be sanded down with rough sandpaper to make a spot flat. I also wedge pieces of firebricks and slate in between parts to create spaces and hold my work in the right position for soldering.
I use cross lock tweezers and other props (broken up pieces of fire brick) to keep things in place when soldering.
To keep my hand steady, I always am sure to have a place to rest or lean my hand while soldering. Placing a finger or part of my hand against something to anchor and keep steady is key. Important to find a place that is away from the heat flow. When setting up, one should be aware of a space to use as an anchoring spot for the hand holding the soldering pick.