Q:

What are some useful tips to follow when soldering jewelry?

A:

Quick Answer

Some useful tips to follow when soldering jewelry include being sure to get to the right melting temperature, being sure the metal pieces fits together and knowing the right amount of solder to use. It is also important that the surfaces are clean and dry before beginning.

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Full Answer

To determine the melting temperature, the jewelry maker first needs to figure out the type of solder. There is soft, medium and hard solder. Soft silver solder melts at 1325 degrees Fahrenheit, while hard silver solder melts at 1425 degrees Fahrenheit. This shows the importance of knowing what type of solder it is. Gather the supplies needed, such as the solder, flux, torch, pickle solution, water, fire brick, tweezers and a thin paintbrush.

Get the materials clean by removing fingerprints, dirt and grease. Pickle solution is a good way to get the materials clean, but be sure to use tweezers instead of touching the materials. This transfers more grease to them. When looking at the two metal surfaces to be soldered, be sure they fit together perfectly. If not, file down one of the pieces until they fit together. If there are spaces between the materials, the solder fills the joint, which weakens the piece.

Turn the torch on and wait until it reaches the desired temperature. The solder flows toward the heat, so heat up the metal before adding the solder to join the two materials together.

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