Soldering is a key skill to add to your jeweler's repertoire.
If you're just getting started metalsmithing, don't be intimidated by the jeweler's torch. It takes a little getting used to, but it quickly becomes like an extension of your arm. It makes so many things possible in the jewelry studio that you'll soon become comfortable with the flame and excited about what you can do.
The jeweler's torch is the center of a soldering set-up that you can build at your jeweler's bench or nearby in your studio workspace. We recommend taking a course on soldering basics and safety prior to experimenting on your own.
A jeweler's torch is used to heat metal and solder to permanently join two pieces of metal together. The solder flows across the join and holds the pieces together once it hardens. A jeweler's torch is different than a laser welder, which fuses the metals together without solder.
You have several choices when it comes to the solder itself. There is silver solder paste, sheet and chip solder, or wire solder. Base metal brazing solder is also available. For 14kt solid gold or gold-filled, you use gold solder. In the Halstead Studio, we use all the different types, depending on what is best for the jewelry design.
Paste solder is a tacky mixture of solder and flux. It's perfect for small things like jump rings. Chip (also called "pallion") solder is easy to control because the pieces are small and similarly sized. You can easily maneuver pallions with the tip of your soldering pick. Wire is versatile: you can cut what you need and flatten it with a hammer if necessary.
Easy, soft, medium and hard refer to the melting points of the solder and the mix of the alloys. As you plan your jewelry design, you'll want to think about how many times the piece will need to be soldered. Use the hardest solder necessary for the first join, then work your way down the scale.
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We have a huge selection of earring findings including hoops, earwires, leverbacks, posts and clutches.Shop Now
Our product line includes machine-made styles, spacers, heishe, fancy focals, and Bali style cast varieties. We offer tiny beads for spacing or large beads for statement necklaces.Shop Now
Make sure your metal is clean.
The metal must be touching.
Use flux to help the solder flow.
Concentrate the heat on the metal, not on the solder.
Practice, practice, practice.
We recommend specific training prior to soldering gold-filled items. For the best results, use gold solder and then plate the entire piece in gold to protect the join and give the piece a shiny, evenly colored finish.
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