If you are fairly new to the jewelry making game and you want to get into some metal work one of the things you will need to do is to set up a soldering area. Here are 12 Things You Need to Start Soldering Metal.
*Protection for the floor – especially if you have carpet or flooring that you care about. You might want to make sure to cover carpeting or good wood floors with heavy duty plastic (Like office chair mats ) or wood (Plywood) and make sure your table surface is protected also.
*Soldering pan or annealing pan – I have this small 7 inch Annealing pan as I don’t do tons of soldering. The nice thing about this small annealing pan is that it comes with pumice. It also rotates and sits up off of the base surface allowing for a little air to pass under and around the pan helping to keep things cool. I also like this one that comes with a clamp.
*Safety gear – I also added a one use fire extinguisher that I keep nearby. Some folks may think that is a bit of over kill but I know how easy it is to have something go wrong. You’ll also want safety glasses and leather apron. Both are safety devices you will want to keep yourself from getting burned.
*Finally, I have an extra pair of fiber handled tweezers so that I have another way of holding hot metal.
*A small glass bowl for quenching annealed or soldered metal pieces.
*A cookie sheet on which I placed my Pickle Pot, with Pickling Compund and copper tongs for putting hot items into the pickle pot. The cookie sheet keeps moisture off my table surface and gives me some place safe to lay hot clamps and tongs.
*I also have Handy Flux and some “throw away” brushes for brushing flux onto my metal. Don’t use your good artist brushes!
*And because I normally solder inside in my basement I use a Bernzomatic Micro Flame Butane Torch. It works just fine for annealing metal, drawing a bead on a head pin and soldering.
If you’d like a little more information about my set-up I wrote a post on jewelrymaking.about.com that you might find helpful.