In using the tin with opening on top, it is necessary to have the following soldering outfit and materials: - 2 soldering irons, fire pot (which can easily be improvised out of an old galvanised bucket or small iron drum), a small file or emery cloth, flux, sal-ammoniac, and solder. A pair of tongs, for lifting the tins from boiling water, will be found convenient.
It is necessary to have at least two soldering irons, so that the one may be heating whilst the other is in use. Soldering irons may be purchased of any weight.
Flux is used in cleaning and re-tinning tools, and is also used in sealing the tins. It is brushed around the cap before the hot soldering iron is applied and causes the solder to adhere to the tin.
Flux consists of hydrochloric or muriatic acid, (which can be purchased at any chemist), zinc, and water. To prepare take 1 cup or 1/2 pint acid and place in a glass or earthenware jar, then add strips of sheet zinc until no more can be dissolved and all ebullition has ceased. To this add an equal quantity of water. Keep in a glass bottle and use carefully. Instead of this Flux or Soldering-fluid, Fluxite, which is in the form of a soft paste and can be bought at any hardware store, can be used. Powdered resin may also be used instead of Flux, but the writer personally prefers Fluxite, which is safer to use than Flux, as, unless great care is used, the latter is apt to drop on the food, and being posionous, is most injurious.
This is used in cleaning the soldering irons, but should be kept away from all steel tools, as it produces rust.
Before using the soldering iron it should be what is called "tinned," or coated with solder to make the solder flow evenly when soldering the tins. Before "tinning" the iron, it should be thoroughly cleaned and made smooth, and all traces of rust removed by means of a small file or emery cloth. Heat the iron until red-hot, being careful to keep the point of the copper out of the fire, then dip it into the flux or fluxite, then apply it to the sal-ammoniac (which is usually sold in big lumps or blocks), and rub it well with solder, until thoroughly coated, then dip into the flux again. Repeat this operation until the end of the iron is coated evenly with solder. Unless the iron is made red-hot it will remain tinned and need only be dipped in the flux after heating before use.
Most women are under the impression that soldering is an art which only the opposite sex can acquire, but the process is a very simple one, and after a little practice women prove themselves to be as skilful at soldering as men.