Have you ever received wrong quality of a material you use for your craft?

I was having problems at the start of the week, Couldn’t solder a pretty seam for the life of me and I’ve been soldering now for long enough that normally it’s like spreading nicely softened butter on bread.
This was more like spreading straight from the fridge where you leave crumbs and holes as you go !

I cleaned my flux dish and used some from a new bottle, cleaned my soldering tip and checked for damage, Not them…

Realised eventually after it took me 3 times as long to solder a piece together as I had expected and then had to rub and rub with my polish to get a shine that it was my solder !
The solder was a new batch I only started this week and it was the only solder I had left so nothing to compare it with.
I use Best solder K grade 60/40 tin / lead. I only use K solder.

I ordered some K solder from a different supplier so I could compare.

While waiting for that, ater a search around I found half a stick of curled up solder from previous good batch. Not too easy to compare visually because the new stuff is in straight sticks.so
I did an experiment. Curly (old) solder worked perfectly. New solder took twice as long and not as shiny or smooth.
Conclusion New, ‘bad’ solder is 50/50 not 60/40. (More tin = lower melting point, more shine)

Have sent a piece of it back to the supplier today for them to check but don;t think they believe me.
Has happened once before but in that case was more obvious as it was 40/60 and really quite obviously dull.

Today I received my replacement from other supplier and I used it. Like buttering bread with softened butter again…:slight_smile: Thank goodness for that. It wasn’t me last week, was beginning to doubt my soldering competency. 100% the fault of the solder. I will be packing up that 2.5+ kg of 50/50 solder and returning it whence it came.

Just to double check. Here are two photos, both showing a piece of each, the solder I can’t work with and the replacement. Please tell me which is shiniest (and therefore correct K grade) in each photo. Top or bottom. ? Assuming you can see a difference.

Photo 1

Photo 2


Im a solderer too, so annoying when it doesn’t flow, any problems in the past has something to do with flux for me. Photo 1 top one is shiny, photo 2 bottom one is shiny.

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I tested and replaced the flux first. I even googled possible cause and all I got was one expert telling me it was the flux but nobody said it’s the wrong grade of solder. Normally there would be another stick to compare with, just not this time as I’d let my stock go really low before reordering.

It does look visually different. Did you try melting a small amount of both the solders onto the same piece of flat metal at the same time. That would prove for certain that the melting point of the bad batch is too high because it would take longer to melt under the same conditions?

Sam x

I was going to but my actual soldering test was far too conclusive to need it. I will in the morning before I pack up the bad batch ready to post back on Monday.

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It used to be that the different grades of solder that I got from the bullion dealer were different widths - made it really easy to spot which you were picking up - but now the easy and extra easy are the same widths. I’m sure at some point the wrong thing will be sent out and it will cause havoc.
As for your solders they are visually different (top bit in top photo, bottom bit in bottom photo are the shiny samples) so i think you’ve got a good case for rejecting the material as unfit for purpose/ the wrong thing and getting a refund (or replacement for the right stuff if you trust them to get it right).

Yes it really is so silly having the different grades identical widths. They said they store them in different places so not likely to get it wrong but as I said it happened before, different supplier, and
there’s nothing on the box they come in or the sticks and nothing to see unless you have another to compare it against.

If you do the test with the two together and video it on your phone, you can e-mail the vid to the company you got the solder from. Should stop all arguments!

Sam x

I’ll try that tomorrow. xx

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