Manual of Instruction in Hard Soldering by Harvey Rowell, 1884


In stock


This is a 62 page book written and published in 1884. Chapters include:

Utensils and Chemicals, Alloys for Hard Soldering, Structure of the flame, Heat, the Process of soldering, and technical notes and tables.

This is a marvelous overview of hard soldering at this time with charcoal fires and early torches, including mouth torches. It is in fact pre-torch techniques described, in the sense of the gas torches we are used to today. Heating principles and soldering techniques remain the same, and are truly well described.

It covers alloys and recipes for hard soldering in brass, silver and gold in depth. Solder making is covered. Flame types and how heat works is thoroughly addressed from an observational point of view. It is interesting seeing the observations so accurate when the science was not yet there.

There is a call for better training, organized education in metal working and soldering. There is more information and understanding of using mouth torches than I have seen anywhere else. Platinum tips, ivory or ebony mouthpieces and more. They understood oxygen and its issues in soldering very well. Anyone interested in historically accurate techniques, many used since antiquity, will really enjoy this book.

There are recipes using borax and yellow ochre to prevent oxidation. Soldering techniques are well described and hold good today. Fusing is described as a method of joining, and 18k gold is used to hard solder steel.

One interesting comment about using a fire to solder is that contamination with lead or zinc is possible in a shared fire in a shop, and this can ruin solderings.

There is a good section on repairs, on what stones can and can’t take heat, and on hardening steel parts after soldering, such as pin backs.

An excellent book worth adding to your collection.

Charles Lewton-Brain © 2012

File Size: 2.68MB, 62 Pages