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Soldering-Bottoming Copper

1750-1820
Origin: England or America
OL: 13 1/2"
Iron, steel, copper
Gift of Judith and William McMillen
Acc. No. 2012-38
Soldering-Bottom Copper. Hooked iron handle.
Label:A common form of soldering copper used for every day tinsmithing, this example is strikingly similar to one recovered by Colonial Williamsburg archaeologists on the grounds of the Geddy House and Foundry.

Its handle is forged from a single piece of iron with a nicely formed hook to the handle end. At the business end of the tool, the iron handle loops around to secure a wedge shaped copper soldering blade. Peened in place with a copper washer below, the soldering head is free to rotate to any position the tinsmith might need to us it at.

Soldering is the process of sealing a seam with a molten metal that liquefies at a lower temperature, like lead or pewter. Soldering the joints of a tin vessel meant to hold liquid is a must for it to be waterproof.