How to Solder Silver

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How to Solder Silver. In the jewelry industry, silver and gold alloys are used to attach metals and stone holders to rings, necklaces and brooches. The following will guide you through using silver alloy to work on silver jewelry.

Things You'll Need

  • Work pieces
  • Silver solder
  • Flux for silver soldering
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Fire brick
  • Small oxy-propane torch
  • Bucket of water
  • Small metal file
  • Small metal cutters

Clean and Prepare Work Pieces and Work Space

Clear a space to work. Anything that might be flammable needs to be cleared out of the way. You will probably want to make sure you have a ceramic tile, a piece of fire brick, a file and sufficient lighting to see what you are doing.

Check the 2 pieces that are to be attached to make sure that they fit. This can often be accomplished by a small bit of careful filing.

Clean both pieces using some rubbing alcohol. Any oils from your hands or grease that is on either of the pieces can interfere with the soldering job.

Prepare the pieces and the solder to be used by arranging them on the fire brick. The pieces of solder to be used should be cut into very small pieces so as not to waste it and to allow just enough solder to be placed at each connection point.

Soldering the Pieces

Flux the surface to be soldered. The compound called flux allows the solder to flow into the cracks and spread over the 2 pieces to be connected.

Heat both pieces with the torch once the flux is spread. Continue heating both pieces until the flux flows. It looks like a liquid and, when cooled, will appear glass-like.

Arrange the solder on the flux while both pieces are held together. This may require a few clamps to hold everything in place. A small amount of solder will go a long way; estimate on the low side of the amount of solder you will need. You can always add some more.

Start the torch and evenly heat both pieces. The solder and pieces should all reach the melting point of the solder at about the same time. The solder will begin to flow towards the connection point, as the connection point is the hottest point in the work piece.

Remove the flame immediately when you see the solder run. Now allow the piece to cool and test the joint. For faster cooling you may drop the piece in a jar or bucket of water. Once it has cooled, test the piece and make sure that the joint will hold. If the joint appears weak, repeat the process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Err on the side of not using enough solder. You can always use more.
  • Err on the side of using too much flux. You can't ever use too much.

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