This section is from the book "Soldering For Workshop, Farm And Home", by John Bonert. Also available from Amazon: Soldering For Workshop, Farm And Home - Information On Soft And Hard Soldering - Projects For The Workshop Explained And Illustrated.
Go along until the other end is reached. Try to keep the copper from touching the pasters when doing this. Now the seam is ready to be floated. Take a piece of tallow candle and run it along the seam to melt a little of it on the seam. This will help the solder to flow smoothly. Start the seam with a hot copper so it can be run without a pause. Wipe the point of the copper with a cloth. Place an edge of the tinned point on one end of the seam. The copper should be rested on the paster on one side of the seam. The copper should ride a little above the paster on the other side of the seam. This is done because some of the solder will have to flow under the copper. When floating the seam the solder must be in a liquid state and if the seam is to be smooth the solder must find its proper level on both sides of the copper. If the copper is held down hard on the pasters on both sides the solder would be pushed ahead of it and the seam would not be even. Don't move the copper along the seam any faster than it will melt the solder. When the other end of the seam is reached it should be nicely rounded and well appearing. The seam can be floated in this way a number of times as long as the pasters remain intact. A bar of solder held in the left hand can be used under the shank of the copper to help carry some of the weight. This will help steady the copper and make the wear on the pasters much less. Figure 5 shows the copper being used on a bead seam.
Run the tallow candle along the seam each time before you run it again. The beginner may have been told so often in the first part of the book not to overheat the copper that he is using it too cold. The copper must be hot enough to melt the solder freely as soon as it comes in contact with it. If in running this seam it does not have a smooth even surface either the copper was not hot enough or the copper was moved along faster than it could float the solder.
Pasters are also used as an outline and guide for making various designs such as small stars, circles, diamonds, crescents and in fact any designs desired. The same procedure is followed as for the bead seam and the designs will have the same raised effect. The only difficulty that will be encountered will be getting some of the glue of the pasters on the cleaned surface or touching it with the hands. Such spots will not tin. If the pasters are applied carefully there will be no difficulty encountered. The tinning must be done carefully so as not to injure the pasters as upon these pasters depends the sharp outline of the designs. Apply the flux after the pasters are in place. Figure 6 shows a few suggestions for these designs. Many others may be used depending on the decorative ability of the craftsman. After the design has been tinned melt enough solder on it to raise the design but not so much that it will lap over the pasters when it is floated. Before floating put on just a little dab of tallow candle and wipe the point of the copper so it will be bright and clean.
There are some school projects made of metal such as book ends, ash trays and a number of hammered copper articles. Many of these can be decorated with these small designs of solder. The five pointed star, crescent, heart and circle will have to be cut out of the paster without folding. The octagon and the eight pointed star can be folded and cut. Figure 6 shows how these pasters are folded. A dot is made in the center of Number 1 and as shown all folds are made from this dot.