Basic Soldering Setup for Beginners

If you are like me, when taking on a new adventure or hobby it is nice to know a good setup of tools to get started.  I really don't enjoy beginning something, getting halfway through it only to find out I am missing some key parts.
This is why I have put together a list with some explanations of what I would recommend a good 'Beginner's Solder Setup' would look like.  Keep in mind, there are many ways and tools to get a job done, but from my experience this is what I would recommend.
***Also, if you are interested in any other great jewelry tools I use on a daily, check out my other Blog/Info Post!
TorchThe Little Smith Torch is small, lightweight, can connect to portable oxygen/propane bottles and comes with a variety of flame size tips.  You will need regulators as well and I recommend purchasing some flashback arrestors to prevent fire from reaching your gas bottles in an emergency.
Pickle Pot/Solution: After soldering, it is best to soak your metal in a pickling (acid) solution to remove any surface oxidation and contaminants. This pickling solution is normally kept in a warm ceramic pickle pot. You will need some copper tongs to remove your metal from the solution as steel can contaminate the pickle.
Soldering Block and Pick: It is best to solder jewelry on some type of surface, and a charcoal block is a good beginner tool. The charcoal helps absorb oxygen when soldering, which will reduce the amount of firescale that builds on the surface of your piece. Also, moving your heated solder to your metal, you will.need a solder pick
Solutions/Liquids: Solder tends to ball up in the spot you place it, unless you use flux. Flux is a liquid that makes solder more.fluid and allows.it to flow easily into your solder seam. Also, before you actually apply flame to your metal, it is good to coat the piece(s) in a boric acid solution. Boric acid for soldering is a mix of boric acid powder and isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol burns off of the piece leaving a thin layer of boric acid which helps reduce oxidation and firescale.
*TIPS TO REMEMBER *
Always solder in a well ventilated area. Fumes from burning anything can be hazardous to your health. Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency. YouTube has loads of videos on beginning to advanced soldering and if you are like me, it is easier to watch and learn than read and learn. Soldering can seem like a scary thing when you first start. You never know until you try! I was nervous when I started,  but I kept practicing and practicing and am now extremely confident and comfortable.  Finally, have fun! Making jewelry is incredibly rewarding and you should be having a blast while doing it!!!!
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