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$ $ $ $ $
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• • • • •
Time
45 mins

Soldering for Jewellers
The first example will explain the general principles
of soldering. The edge to edge joint is the
weakest of all joints and it is worth considering
how you would make this stronger for some
applications. For example, a ‘scarf joint’ is when
the metal is cut at an angle, allowing a larger
surface of the metal to be joined, and a ‘step
joint’ is when the ends are cut with two levels,
ov e r lapping the edges. These are sometimes
only possible with thicker sheets of metal and
with practice, as precise work is required. Other
options could be considered to strengthen the
joint that affect the aesthetics and it is worth
considering how the added details will add to
the overall design. For example, the edges can
completely overlap each other or an extra piece
added overlapping both ends; this is often called
a ‘strap joint’.

Posted by The Crowood Press Published See The Crowood Press's 4 projects » © 2020 Rebecca Skeels / The Crowood Press · Reproduced with permission. · Soldering for Jewellers by Rebecca Skeels 9781785002748 published by The Crowood Press www.crowood.com
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  • How to solder a piece of jewelry. Joining Pieces Of Flat Metal - Step 1
    Step 1

    Joining pieces of flat metal

    Scarf joint
    Step joint
    Butt joint
    Lap joint
    Strap joint
    Strap joint

    A variety of joints.

    Wet or dry the edges.

    Wash your hands to ensure that the flux or
    work does not get any gr ease or dirt on them.

    If needed pin the work to the heat r eflective
    brick.

    Flux the joint.

    Place the solder so it will be easier to clean up
    later.

    Heat the work with a bushy flame, if your torch is
    not adjustable start with it a little further away.

    Remove the heat when the solder has flowed.

    Let the work cool before moving it.

    Then cool completely in water.

    Place the piece in warmed pickle solution.

    Remove from pickle when oxides and flux
    residue have gone.

    Rinse to remove any traces of pickle.

    Use a bushy flame
    Remember the equipment section of
    this book, which stated ‘the lower flow
    temperature of the pewter solder will
    create a weaker bond more like glue’ when
    using it to solder other metals. A pointy hot
    flame heats silver solder too fast, creating
    a similar bond. It causes the solder to flow,
    but not permeate the surface of both pieces
    of metal. This may be strong with a little
    wiggle test but later one piece may break
    cleanly away from the other.

  • How to solder a piece of jewelry. Joining Pieces Of Flat Metal - Step 2
    Step 2

    Ensure the edges that are going to be joined fit
    together, file them if not. Even a small gap can
    cause problems when soldering or result in an
    unsightly flaw. I

  • How to solder a piece of jewelry. Joining Pieces Of Flat Metal - Step 3
    Step 3

    f you have filed them then this
    will also clean any grease and dirt away.

  • How to solder a piece of jewelry. Joining Pieces Of Flat Metal - Step 4
    Step 4

    If the edges are flat you may still need to clean
    them. For this example, wet or dry paper on a flat surface has
    been used to keep the edges sharp and fitting
    together well.

  • How to solder a piece of jewelry. Joining Pieces Of Flat Metal - Step 5
    Step 5

    Wash your hands to ensure you do not
    contaminate the flux or work with any grease
    or dirt for the next stage of the process.

  • How to solder a piece of jewelry. Joining Pieces Of Flat Metal - Step 6
    Step 6

    Put the work on the chosen heat reflective
    surface. Here we are starting simply with a
    standard heat reflective soldering brick. Pin
    the pieces if they need to be held in place. This
    will depend on size, the heavier the pieces the
    less likely they are to move.

  • How to solder a piece of jewelry. Joining Pieces Of Flat Metal - Step 7
    Step 7

    Apply flux to the edges of the metal where it
    is going to be soldered. For this example borax
    is used. Borax may bubble and move when
    first heated, but it will also take a while to burn
    away, making it a good flux to practise with.

  • How to solder a piece of jewelry. Joining Pieces Of Flat Metal - Step 8
    Step 8

    Place a small piece of solder overlapping the
    joint; take some time to think about this.
    Consider where would be the easiest place to
    clean up the solder if it flowed a little in the
    wrong direction. For this example, the solder
    is placed at one end of the joint, as it is easier
    to clean the end of the finished item rather
    than the middle. Hard solder is used as this is
    the only joint that is going to be made on this
    piece.

  • How to solder a piece of jewelry. Joining Pieces Of Flat Metal - Step 9
    Step 9

    Heat the metal with a bushy flame; this is
    known as a reducing flame, which means it is
    using a lot of fuel and in turn absorbs the
    oxides that stop the solder flowing. The
    bushy flame will allow both pieces of metal to
    be heated at the same time to the same
    temperature. There is no advantage of
    heating it up fast with a hotter flame. Apply
    the heat to the whole piece, moving the
    flame constantly across the work as if painting
    the metal with the flame. Use the midpoint
    of the flame rather than the tip or right up to
    the torch end and move away a little if the
    metal is heating up too fast. Remember to
    heat the metal not the solder; the metal
    should be able to transfer the heat to the
    solder. If both pieces are the same temperature
    the solder will flow along the joint.

  • How to solder a piece of jewelry. Joining Pieces Of Flat Metal - Step 10
    Step 10

    Remove
    the flame when the solder has flowed. If you
    have a longer join, heat the metal slightly
    more where you want the solder to flow as it
    will flow towards the heat.

  • How to solder a piece of jewelry. Joining Pieces Of Flat Metal - Step 11
    Step 11

    When the redness of the metal has dulled,
    cool the work in water. It is advisable not to
    put hot metal straight into the pickle.

  • How to solder a piece of jewelry. Joining Pieces Of Flat Metal - Step 12
    Step 12

    Place your piece in a warmed pickle solution.
    Remember to use brass, copper, wooden or
    plastic tweezers as steel may create a reaction
    in the solution and plate the pieces with a
    layer of copper.

  • How to solder a piece of jewelry. Joining Pieces Of Flat Metal - Step 13
    Step 13

    Remove the metal from the pickle when all
    the oxides and flux residue have gone.
    Copper will look a little pink while silver will
    look white at this stage.

  • How to solder a piece of jewelry. Joining Pieces Of Flat Metal - Step 14
    Step 14

    Rinse your work thoroughly. You may want to
    also scrub it a little with a nylon brush, water
    and pumice to ensure all the dirt and pickle
    has been removed.

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