Wrought iron is an expensive, highly-sought after material that oozes class. Whether it’s in the form of gates, fences, balustrades, or furniture, it lends a sense of grandeur to its surroundings, while also strengthening the security of a property.
It’s a super-strong material, but not unbreakable. Wrought iron must be regularly cleaned and coated with protective products to reduce its chance of rusting, and if that doesn’t happen, you can quickly find yourself with cracks, dents, and other cosmetic issues.
Thankfully, soldering can come to the rescue. In this article, we explore the basics of soldering wrought iron and provide a step-by-step guide on how to do it yourself.
Can you solder wrought iron?
You can use solder to repair simple problems with wrought iron, like cracks or dents, or to seal broken pipes. Wrought iron items are made by heating iron to a temperature of 1371°C or greater, and then using tools to shape it and weld it together. If a small crack appears in your wrought iron, it obviously isn’t feasible to use this method to repair it. Instead, you can use solder, which is heated to a temperature of 450°C or lower and applied using a simple solder iron.
Solder is an alloy that can contain metals such as lead, tin, copper, nickel, and zinc. It’s a handy material for repairing metal because it quickly re-bonds it, covering up any visible damage and improving its structural strength.
How to solder wrought iron
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to solder wrought iron.
- Using a wet sponge, clean any visible dirt from your wrought iron, including the tip.
- Tin the tip of your soldering iron. This means covering it with a thin layer of solder, which prevents it from oxidising and ensures good heat transfer. It also extends the life of the tip.
- Secure the wrought iron in a soldering stand to keep it steady while you’re soldering. This prevents the solder from crystallising as you work.
- Heat the soldering iron, apply a tiny amount of solder to the tip, and then apply a larger amount of solder, ensuring that you don’t hold the iron to the solder for too long (high heat can damage the wrought iron). You will need to heat the solder just enough to melt it.
- Gently apply the solder onto the wrought iron, as steadily as possible. Do not touch the wrought iron with your soldering iron, as it will damage it. Repeat this process until you have applied enough solder to make the repair. It’s also recommended to work in small sections so that your soldering iron isn’t damaged by heating up too much.
- When you’re done, keep the solder on the iron until it cools, to protect the tip from oxidation.
If you care about your precious wrought iron, it goes without saying that you’ll need a good soldering iron for the job, such as the X-Tronic Model 2020-XTS. You should also wear gloves to protect your hands from being burned, and eye protection to prevent solder from flicking into your delicate eyeballs.