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WORK The Work Magazine Reprint Project

Issue No. 17 - Published July 13, 1889


Work Magazine LogoIssue No. 17 - Published July 13, 1889 5

LEARN TO SOLDER! Regardless of trade or discipline, time or place, nothing binds all handy people together quite like solder. Seriously, it's a skill everyone should learn. What's more, the world seems to be waking up to this fact.
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Hackerspaces and maker collectives seem to be leading the latest charge. Of course, the focus is largely on soldering electronic components and PCBs for Arduino projects and sequenced blinkies.The sheer number of tutorials that you can access on the internet is an impressive indicator of its swelling popularity. I've cherry-picked two for your perusal: one in the form of a comic book; the other in the shape of a video presented by some well known Make Magazine personalities.

Soldering has been around for a lot longer than electronics, though. This week, we're lucky to have Work favor us with the first installment of a treatise elucidating the very O.G. method employed by tinsmiths and the like. It calls for heating heavy copper irons over a charcoal brazier, and making your own solder by mixing lead and tin in varying proportions. Badass. It's a shorter article than I'd like, but the promise of subsequent installments has me salivating.

Issue No. 17 - Published July 13, 1889 7

He's right you know. Anyway, because soldering can be frustrating for beginners, it follows that most people will be able to remember how they learned to solder for the first time. Joel reports that his earliest memory of soldering comes from building a vacuum tube AM radio kit while in a youth club. Personally, I learned (silver) soldering via a VHS tape loaned to me by one of my middle school teachers who happened to be a jeweler. You can too: The Complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight.

In any case, if you've got a learning-to-solder tale, I humbly request that you post it below. If you haven't got one, it's time to learn!


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Click to Download Vol.1 - No. 17 •

Issue No. 17 - Published July 13, 1889 9 Issue No. 17 - Published July 13, 1889 10 Issue No. 17 - Published July 13, 1889 11

Disclaimer: Articles in Work: The Illustrated Weekly Journal for Mechanics describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.

The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.

The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.

You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.

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07/13/2012 Sean
It's comforting to know that learning to solder has always sucked.
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