Step 11: Soldering the Ring
Using a paint brush apply liberal amounts of flux all the round the seam (image 24). Solder comes in sheet or wire form (image 25). I prefer wire as it is easier to cut than sheet. When soldering it is best to use as little solder as possible; experience will teach you how much you need. It is easier to go back and add in solder than to try and remove solder once it has flooded into detailed areas. Because solder is not sterling silver every little bit of extra solder will need to be filed or emeried off, so don't use too much.
I always cut multiple small pieces (about 2 or 3 mm long) rather than one big one (image 26). How big of a flame will you need? Again experience will teach you. For a small piece such as the band ring a medium sized flame will do (image 27). Hold the flame above the ring and heat evenly in a circular motion (image 28). First the flux will boil (image 29), then go chalky white (image 30), then clear (image 31). At this point place the solder.
Ball up the solder by placing the torch directly over the solder (image 32). Use a titanium pick to move the solder around with. Place the pick behind a ball of solder, move the flame over the solder and gently "scoop" the solder up (images 33).
You will note my pick is "dirty", a new titanium pick needs to be "treated" by dipping it in flux and heating it until the flux turns clear. Now once the flux on the pick is warmed it will become sticky like honey; this will allow you to pick up the solder and move it around (image 34).
Place the solder on the top edge of the seam (image 35), then bring the heat in and gently "brush" the solder off the pick (image 36). If the solder is not in the middle of the seam give the ring a little heat while nudging the solder into place with the pick. Learning to use the pick will take some practice; the gentler you are the easier it will be to move the solder around.
Heat the ring evenly until there is a slight red glow (image 37) then go in for the "kill" by moving the flame to the bottom inside seam (image 38). Pickle for 8 minutes.