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TurtleBay Jewelry
03-25-2004, 11:15 AM
One of our new members to the forum mentioned soldering jump rings in her glue question, which led me to post this.

Dop any of you do silver soldering, and if so, would you be willing to do a mini tutorial? I've been wanting to start down that route myself, and work some things into my bangles, but I haven't a clue where to begin, other than buying a soldering gun and some kind of flux I think...but I don't even know if there's special soldering guns for silversmithing/jewelry ppl versus what you buy at the hardware store.

Thanks a bunch!

~Danielle

!Karen
03-25-2004, 11:35 AM
I'm very interested in this too! Hope someone replies, and pictures are great if possible!!

Thanks in advance,
:) Karen

Barrie
03-25-2004, 11:54 AM
Okay you guys, I'll do a tutorial, but it will have to wait til this afternoon - I'm going glass shopping this morning! :clap: :clap: :clap:
I'll check back in later to see if anyone else beats me to it!!
Have a great morning! I know I will! :evil:

Kerensamere
03-25-2004, 09:36 PM
Please, Please, Please do the tutorial! I want to learn too! :clap:

Barrie
03-26-2004, 12:30 PM
Okay!! Done! Please click on the link below to take you to my basic soldering tutorial. It is a guideline, and I'm not sure if it is enough for what you guys want. Can you check it out and let me know how I can fine tune it?

http://www.itsmystore.com/windermere/files/Basic_Soldering.doc

Thanks!!!

mjcall
03-26-2004, 01:43 PM
Barrie

Thank you for taking the time to put the tutorial together. We should make it a Sticky.

Nice Job.

M_ :clap: :clap: :clap:

TurtleBay Jewelry
03-26-2004, 01:49 PM
Holy smokes, that's GREAT Barrie...I agree, it should be stickied.

Now I have to figure out where to buy half this stuff. LOL.

~Danielle

mjcall
03-26-2004, 01:56 PM
Danielle

Whip out your Rio Grande tools catalog they have it all. Look for the silver solder in the SS raw materials section of the RG Gems and Findings catalog.

There are lots of places to buy your supplies but RG has a rather comprehensive soldering section to at least give you an idea of what is available.

M_

Ya I know, get off the Net and get to work on your beads. :p

TurtleBay Jewelry
03-26-2004, 01:59 PM
LOL!

/wink Mike

Blah, I only have an old Rio Grande catalog, and it's the tools one. I don't have the gems and findings catalog.

~D.

mjcall
03-26-2004, 02:18 PM
Danielle

The Tools catalog is where you will find everything for soldering except the Silver Solder. Give them a call, they will send you a new set. If you go to their web site they want to charge you for them. I find all of their catalogs to be a great reference source. They aren't always the cheapest game in town but generally fair and I have never found them to be out of line on tools.

I have also found their service to be outstanding.

M_

Fyrsmith
03-26-2004, 02:25 PM
Great tutorial Barrie!
I have only one thing to add. I have a tiny tungsten pick, about 1 mm in diameter that I use to move the solder around with if it slides off the joint. It can also be used to pick up a solder chip that has fallen off by dipping it in liquid flux, surface tension holds the solder chip on the pick so you can reapply it. It has to be tungsen to avoid contaminating the soldering. I got it from a lampwork glass supplier, can't remember who.

-Don-

Charlee
03-26-2004, 02:35 PM
Okay!! Done! Please click on the link below to take you to my basic soldering tutorial. It is a guideline, and I'm not sure if it is enough for what you guys want. Can you check it out and let me know how I can fine tune it?

Barrie, that's fantastic! :clap: It's been a while since I soldered anything (like years LOL), but I do believe you've covered everything. Wait - did you mention using a pick? I used a pick - very high-tech, made from a piece of metal coathanger and sharpened on a grinder LOL - when I needed to hold something in place.

Thanks so much for taking the time to write that up and post it!! :D

Charlee

LLane
03-26-2004, 02:38 PM
re Rio Grande.... I find all of their catalogs to be a great reference source. They aren't always the cheapest game in town but generally fair and I have never found them to be out of line on tools.
I have also found their service to be outstanding.M_

Ditto... I have learned so much from reading and rereading ALL their catalogs!!!I have shopped for lots of products all over the web etc. .... but for the most part come back to them. Price is usually close enough to warrant getting from someone who I know has some of the best quality!

Seems like most serious jewler types use them as a resouce! I just wish they had their catalog on-line!

Thanks Barrie for an EXCELLENT job... I always appreciate your grace and generousity!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Peace,
Lois

DonnaBee
03-26-2004, 04:02 PM
Barrie thank you so much! We need this to be sticky, we need a "techniques tutorial" sticky thread.

Barrie, thanks again! I have never soldered. I certainly would like to get set up for it!

I am giving you my mentor voting point for today! Also, I will rate the tread five stars. :clap:

(To rate the thread, go to the top right of the screen and click "rate thread" if enough of us rate it, then it will show up with five stars nest to it :) )

DonnaBee
03-26-2004, 04:04 PM
(Oh, I don't have mentor voting points in this forum yet! lol)

Barrie
03-26-2004, 04:50 PM
(Oh, I don't have mentor voting points in this forum yet! lol)

LOL!! That's okay, Donna! It's the thought that counts!! :)

I personally, don't use a pick - never have - well, tried it for a while, and found that the tip of my tweezers worked just fine. I also preheat my flux, so there's less likelyhood of the solder moving around. The reason you would use tungsten is because it won't solder to the joint if the solder flows, whereas coathanger metal, steel, etc will - then you have a really ecclectic looking piece!!!

One other little trick, that I can't remember if it's on there, or not (and too durned lazy today to go see!), is to dip my snippet of solder in water before sticking it on the piece I'm soldering. The tension from the water holds it in place. Okay - honestly, I take the piece of solder in my tweezers, lick the stupid thing, and stick it on! Spit works great! But it probably isn't the best thing in the world to do, just works great for me! :D (my students giggle like crazy when I do a demo and lick the solder, because I don't tell them to do it! LOL!)

Glad this is of help to you guys, let me know if you need any 'item specific' tips. Rings are different than bezels, which are different from jump rings, etc. But this gives you a good start. Have fun!

WillowMajestic
03-26-2004, 05:37 PM
Wow ....

Absolutely STUPENDOUS!!! :clap:

Thank you so much, Barrie

Kari

Charlee
03-26-2004, 06:14 PM
I personally, don't use a pick - never have - well, tried it for a while, and found that the tip of my tweezers worked just fine. I also preheat my flux, so there's less likelyhood of the solder moving around. The reason you would use tungsten is because it won't solder to the joint if the solder flows, whereas coathanger metal, steel, etc will - then you have a really ecclectic looking piece!!!

That would make an interesting addition, wouldn't it? :D Like I said, it's been years since I did any metalsmithing. Love the 'lick your solder' tip! You have such a great way of expressing yourself - made me LOL.

Charlee

mistymade
03-26-2004, 10:41 PM
Awesome tutorial Barrie! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Can I add one step? (snicker snort snort:D)

Step #6.5 Say a chant to the solder entity (goddess, muse, spirit, whatever you want to call it) before you light your torch!LOL:D

Mine goes like this......

"Oh solder goddess...please leteth my solder floweth today...let it floweth nicely and please don't leteth my piece burn up!" LOL:D

This is probably just superstition on my part...LOL:D (snicker snort)

Barrie, you know I'm just kiddin with ya!:D Your tutorial really is wonderful!

irishinmo
03-26-2004, 11:41 PM
Barrie,

Great summation of the soldering process.

One trick I have used when there is a small gap in the seam that I am about to solder is to make certain there is tension on the seam and then saw through it once with a 2/0 saw blade. It cleans the joint and makes it an even match.

I would hang copper hooks on the edge of the pickle jar for small items.

Though I primarily worked in gold or platinum, the principles are very similar.

Will

Barrie
03-27-2004, 01:24 AM
You're too funny Misty!! But you know, it probably wouldn't hurt to have a mantra or chant! Why take chances! LOL! I drive my kids nuts, whenever I go into Vancouver to teach a class, as I'm coming around the corner to the front of the store, I say "Parking Gods, please have a parking spot for me out front of the store", 95% of the time it works! And this is a very busy thoroughfare! They shake their head in amazement, but never mock the Gods!! So yes, do whatever it takes!
Seriously, glad you guys are liking this. I too use the saw through method, especially on ring shanks. Doesnt' work with fine bezel wire, but that's why the Gods created needle files! LOL! Copper hooks on hte edge of the pickle pot is a great idea!!!
Keep them coming you guys!!! :clap:

snootyvixen
03-28-2004, 02:33 PM
Question!!! Not really about soldering, but it's about flux.

I was reading McCreight's Complete Metalsmith last night and came up with the following question: if I dip my sterling wire in flux before I put it in the flame (to make a headpin), will I eliminate the firescale problem?

Here's my experiences with headpins so far: First batch were made using my Minor. They balled up nicely but they have a little "collar" on the pin about 1/8" from the ball. I'm guessing my torch was a little on the hot side?

Second try, using a butane pencil torch (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2389350519&category=46413) - again, balled up nicely, no "collar" and an even surface on the ball - very nice!

Third try, used the gas stove - probably the nicest "balls" yet!

Now, the main problem with ALL these headpins was the firescale. I tumbled, and tumbled, and tumbled, and tumbled, but they still look like gunmetal. Oh! I had used a "pickle" of vinegar and salt (not warmed, but dunked the metal into it right out of the flame). I'm afraid that if I tumble them any more they'll become so hard that I won't be able to work with them!

I do have pickle but it's not mixed up as I don't want to waste it and I don't have anywhere to store it once it's mixed up.

So - back to the original question - will the flux eliminate the fire scale?

Vikki

Barrie
03-28-2004, 04:40 PM
What you're seeing is the oxidized copper on the surface of the headpin, and nothing short of pickle will remove it (especially if you use flux - pickle removes the flux). Okay, sanding and filing will remove it, but who wants to do that!? The biggest key to nice smooth balls is pulling out of the flame slowly, so the 'skin' on the surface solidifies at the same rate the inside does. Flux certainly won't hurt the ball making process, it will need to be pickled to remove it.

As for storing mixed pickle, you can heat it in a pyrex dish on a hotplate or stove, then store in a mason jar. Or you can get a crock pot, put the stored (in a mason jar) pickle into it and heat it as you need it. The pickle will last quite sometime. Remember to let it cool off before you try to pour it back into the mason jar.

Interesting about the gas stove! I use a micro torch from Lee Valley tools, inexpensive, works great. I've also heard good things about the pencil torch, but it won't be easy to make balls on thicker wire like 16 ga.

Oh, and don't worry about the wire getting too hard to work with, unless you go up to a really heavy guage. I sometime tumble for nearly two days (cause I forget that the tumbler's going! :) ) and the headpins are fine.

Have fun!

snootyvixen
03-28-2004, 05:01 PM
Thanks so much, Barrie! Now I feel better about the pickle - I thought I had to throw it out once I'd used it, for some reason - no idea why! LOL!

The little butane pencil torch is handy, but not as cost-effective for making headpins as the gas stove! I can see it's usefulness for little soldering jobs, but heck, I'm sure when I bought it they said you could use it for lampwork - I wouldn't like to try to make a bead with it! You'd be going through so many cans of butane *snicker*

The headpins that are hard to work are the 18ga ones - I can twist them OK, but they're a little stiff. I'm going to stick to 20ga from now on anyway, so I won't worry about 18ga any more!

I'm SO stoked that everyone shares so much information on WC, and it makes me feel good knowing that I can ask the stupidest question and no-one is going to look down on me for it :D

Thanks again, Barrie!

Vikki

Barrie
03-28-2004, 11:53 PM
Glad to help! I usually use 20 ga headpins for most stuff. The only time I use 18 is for zipper pulls and key chains. Of course, you can always make 24 ga ones when you want to use pearls too!! The design possiblities are endless!!!
Never be afraid to ask questions!! In the first 5 minutes of every class I teach I make sure I tell my students that I want questions, lots of questions!! For me, making jewelry and beads is like breathing, it just happens, so sometimes I subconsciously assume that everyone is on the same wavelength as me! So please, please, please, never be afraid to ask questions!!!

artbabe21
03-30-2004, 09:55 AM
Someone asked about this being a sticky....we're talking about how best we can achieve this without your first page being all stickies...LOL....in the mixed media forum there are stickies with links to these threads so that's what we might do here. It's sure easier when new people come in & ask things that have been asked before. But as your forum grows eventually the search function will have to be used as we can't possibly list everything we think important! Just wanted you to know we're working on it...:D

mjcall
03-30-2004, 10:19 AM
Cathleen

Great minds think alike. :) That is exactly what I was thinking about when I posted my question about “Jewelry Making 101”. I believe starting it now rather than waiting until we have tons of archives to go through makes a lot of sense. Any other votes on this subject?

M_

TurtleBay Jewelry
03-30-2004, 10:58 AM
I agree with Michael there. I think just title the link Jewelry 101, or Jewelry Basics-Q&A, something to that effect and just link past threads dealing with the subject.

Great idea folks!

~D.

snootyvixen
03-30-2004, 05:35 PM
Yup! The same setup as "Glass 101" in the glass technical forum - would be wonderful!

Vikki

snootyvixen
03-30-2004, 05:37 PM
By the way - if anyone wants to rate the thread, three is a link at the top of the thread. It gets 5 stars from me!

Vikki

lisilk
03-30-2004, 07:16 PM
Okay!! Done! Please click on the link below to take you to my basic soldering tutorial. It is a guideline, and I'm not sure if it is enough for what you guys want. Can you check it out and let me know how I can fine tune it?

http://www.itsmystore.com/windermere/files/Basic_Soldering.doc

Thanks!!!


Barrie,

Would you consider writing an " official" article for this forum ? You could probably cut and paste your tutorial into the publisher system. It's pretty easy to use.

If it was an article, we wouldn't need to sticky it. Just a thought.

Thanks,

Li

Barrie
03-31-2004, 01:38 AM
Barrie,

Would you consider writing an " official" article for this forum ? You could probably cut and paste your tutorial into the publisher system. It's pretty easy to use.

If it was an article, we wouldn't need to sticky it. Just a thought.

Thanks,

Li

I would be honored! Just let me know how it's done, and I'll get on it!!
Thanks!