So in my last post, I talked about some of the projects in which I’ve used reinforcing wires to add strength and support to the soldering lines, and I’ve started the process of adding in this support to my green and grey light box. Here are a few photos to show you what I’m doing. And don’t get me wrong, I’m making this up as I go along. If anyone has suggestions for a better method, definitely let me know!
When planning where I want reinforcement, I thought about it in terms of adding strength, as well as providing a stop-gap for solder along all the edges of this lamp. So I knew I need wire along every edge. In the end, I decided to cut four pieces of wire and then bend them to fit — one piece of wire would start at the bottom of the lamp, run up a corner edge, run along one side of the top edge between the side and top panels, and then overlap about an inch back down the next corner edge. I started with the one-inch overlap part, thinking it would likely be easier to fit a longer, more maneuverable piece of wire overtop of that piece afterwards:
Starting with the one-inch section on all four corners left me with long ‘arms’ that I would bend and solder as I went along:
After placing in all four pieces of wire, I began to bend and solder them along the top edge, working one at a time. I spot-soldered the edge to keep the wire in place. The spot-soldering allowed me to bend the wire in each section to keep it as tight to the corner as possible and when I go back to add a finish solder bead along these edges, it will help keep the wire from popping back up as the solder melts along. On the left corner, you can see where the wire I’ve just soldered and the wire intended for the next edge intersect:
From there I bent the length of the wire to follow the side corner along to the bottom edge. The point here is that it will overlap and help cover the next one inch section so that when I apply a finish solder bead, everything gets covered evenly. I guess I will have to see how this theory will work out for my next post:
In the picture above, you can see a pretty sizeable gap between the side and top panel, and the wire helps add bulk to fill this in so that it’s not just solder doing this job. From there, the wire that was just bent around the corner was soldered into the side-side edge, again as tight as possible. The next wire (the one sticking out the right side of the photo) will be bent around to the side-top edge, the same way I’ve just described above. And so on until all four sides are done. Up next? Adding a wire ring around the bottom edge and applying a finish solder bead to all the edges.