Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Hey! This Ain't Just About Stuff. You're Going to Learn Stuff Too!

Did you know that...
... the atomic weight of lead is 82, its symbol is Pb, its density at 300k is 11.4. Tin’s symbol is Sn, and its electron configuration is ... oh, never mind, that’s way too much information.

Solder is an alloy of tin and lead, and the proportion of the two affects the melting point, but in a strange way. The most popular alloy for almost all stained glass work, and most definitely copper foil work is 60/40 (60% tin, 40% lead... Helpful Mikey)(a titanic intellect in a world full of icebergs...Ed). Looking at the two metals by themselves we see that tin melts at 450F and lead at 621F. But something really weird happens when you combine the two- the melting point drops down to as low as 361F depending on the mix of the two.
Check this out:

Ratio tin/Lead
Melting point
0 / 100
30 / 70
50 / 50
60 / 40
63 / 37

If we continue to raise the amount of tin to lead past 63% the melting point begins to rise again to where it is 450F at 100% tin, therefore 63/37 solder has the absolute lowest melting point. Pretty weird, eh? (what, you forgot about Marv Albert?...Mikey) And you thought that ratio was a gimmick? With respect to cost, the last time Stan (Mike’s metals commodities broker) checked, tin was about ten times more expensive than lead, telling you why solder prices can vary so extremely according to the amount of tin they have.

Of course, if it has our name on it, it’s got to be the best available- that’s why you can find Fantasy In Glass Solder only at Fantasy In Glass. Check out our own brand in 50/50 and 60/40 alloys, all virgin materials (like Mikey) making them flow and patina perfectly (like Mikey).
And we just got our latest solder shipment in this week.
So we have lots of 50/50, 60/40, and 63/37.

And if you print off this blog entry, put your name on it and bring it in (one/customer), we'll give you a buck a pound off on any solder purchase you make in October!

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