Soldering is not one of my stronger points,So I had to learn how to clean up a sloppy soldering job.I have seen alot of articles of how to do a clean solder joint but never how to clean up a  sloppy solder joint.So I decided to show how I do it because I figure there is alot of people out there like me that arent real clean about soldering, mostly a person begining at this craft.Hope this can help some of you out.....Bruce
I use Stay clean flux and silver solder to do this job.Make sure you get as tight a fight from your guard to blade as you can possiably get.then I soak the joint with flux.
with the torch I use a cool flame (I used to use a propane torch for years until a friend traded me this torch) I heat from the bottom side until my solder will flow,and no matter how hard I try I still get solder all over the guard
When I am satisfied that the solder is flowed into the joint properly I spray it down good with window cleaner w/ammonia to kill the acid.And to make sure I wash the blade off and coat the whole blade with a good coating of baking soda while the blade is still wet.Then I rinse it off and dry the blade.
This shows what I mean about my solder jobs being sloppy,not the joints being sloppy
I made a chisel out of a small piece of brass about 3/16 in. thick.And just quick sharpen on the grinding belt before each use.Then carefully I shave off as much excess solder as I can.Be careful and dont dig int the guard material and leave a gouge in it because this leaves a ugly pit that you cant get out and you may have to re-do the guard if it's to bad.
Do this all the way around the guard before going to the next step.
I etch my name on the blade after soldering that way I can clean it up some if needed  later.Here I start with a piece of 320 grit paper folded in half and with my fingernails as a guide I sand the solder off up against the blade on both sides.And then I put the chiesel inside the fold of the paper and clean the solder off on the ends and just bump up against the blade,This way I can keep all the surfaces of the guard flat and even.....I repeat this process down through 400 and 600 grit paper.
Now I go back and clean up the riccasso area of the blade,Making sure that I only sand in the same direction as I did when I rubbed the finish on the Blade.I usualy start this with 400 grit.I go ahead and go back over the blade again to make sure I havent left any other scratches.I do this with all the same grits I use when I hand rub the blade out the first time.
I alwys make sure at this stage I keep oil on the blade and rub this into the blade,From 600 grit and higher.I just use Baby Oil on my blades when rubbing.I find that if you do all this clean up imediatly after soldering and putting your name on the bade,the chances of getting any rust on the blade if you have to leave the blade for any amount of time is next to none(I havnt had to worry about rust in years using this method)
At this point I tape the blade with masking tape right up against the guard all the way off the tip.Then I clean up anything else on the guard that I see may need a little attention.Then I go to the buffer and buff the guard.and finish the handle before the tape comes off.Here is a picture of the guard after I finished this Bowie
I hope this can help some of you out at this stage of putting your knife together.Dont get to worried that you wont get the soldr on clean enough,just get a good fit between the guard and blade and enough solder to make a good joint,If it is a little or alot sloppy you can always clean it up with a little patience.I'm not saying that this is the proper way to solder,just that if the pefect soldering job evaides you dont worry all is not lost......Good Luck,Bruce



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