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When soldering metal for jewelry making, you can generally follow the same series of steps each time. Some metals have their own unique needs however. In any case, you’ll need a safe space to solder with a large ceramic tile, a fire brick or heat resistance pad, as well as an overhead lamp. Don’t forget to work in a well-ventilated area!
Prepare the metal
The metal you’re soldering should be free of grease and oils. Put the metal into a pickle for a few minutes to clean it. Then use a pair of pliers or tweezers to arrange it on the fire brick in preparation for soldering.
There are two different kinds and ways to use flux. One is called Battern’s and is applied to the area about to be soldered with a thin paintbrush. Then the solder is placed on the metal so that the flux and solder are heated at the same time.
The other way is using a borax-based flux that is more like a paste, which is also applied with a thin brush. But instead of applying the solder immediately, the metal is heated first until the fluxed area looks like glass.
Place the solder
When placing small pieces of solder onto the metal, tweezers are the best option. The solder should be placed between the areas that will best join the metal. A little solder will go a long way if placed correctly but it may take some practice.
All the metal should be heated so that the temperature for soldering is reached at the same time. Try not to point the flame directly at the solder however. Continue to keep the torch on until you see the solder start to run and then remove the flame.
Quench the metal
Using a pair of tweezers again, place the hot metal into a jar of water. If you need to solder the piece again, you’ll need to repeat the steps above.
UJ Ramelson is dedicated to providing the best quality products and service to all of our customers. Our wood carving, jewelry, and other craftsman tools are hand forged, heat treated, and tempered by our own experts. Contact us to learn more about the products we offer and how we can help on your next project.