Soldering Stations at Penland - Lower Metals

These are the soldering stations at Penland in the Lower Metals studio.  They are empty at the moment, but generally throughout the day people are coming and going, using the torches to anneal metal or to solder, and it’s a busy area.  Penland uses acetylene and oxygen and it is mixed prior to reaching the torch so there is only one knob on the torch.  They have what I consider to be the “big” torches, you can see the racks with the various tips for different size soldering jobs.  In the right hand side are an assortment of soldering bricks, lazy Susan type pans with pumice pieces, and other items one might need while soldering.  They also have an extensive exhaust system overhead to remove soldering fumes from the area.  There is an equally impressive exhaust system over the pickle and liver of sulphur pots.

Here is my soldering station.  I use a charcoal block and one or both of the two clips when needed.  When soldering, I keep my catch tray open so anything hot that might fall will fall into the metal-lined tray.  I use a Smith mini-torch with propane and oxygen.  Mine is mixed at the torch so I have two knobs.   My torch and its flame are way smaller than the type used at Penland.  Amazingly enough, I have found it easy to switch from one type set-up to the other and find that both work well for me.