Introduction: How to Solder Amateur Jewelry

This video is in response to questions I’ve gotten about soldering. This is how I solder all my projects. Keep in mind metal solders best when it’s clean. Also, some metals are difficult or impossible to solder the way I’m doing in this video (stainless steel, aluminum).  Good luck. Hope it helps.


MS71 (author)2016-04-19


Thank you for this tutorial. I really liked it. My two problems are;

#1. How do you solder (I'm using a Weller electric soldering iron as I cannot use a torch at this time. Stinks as most videos are for torches.) a flat surface to another flat surface? I work with metal cuff bracelets, I would love to solder say a metal filigree piece or a clockwork gear to it face down.....Id give a chocolate bar to find out. That's saying something coming from a female :) Ive search u-tube and countless sites, I know you use a torch but please please....if you can, it would be epic. Thank you for your time and I really enjoyed the video. Every second was clear and percise. Some u-tube videos take 11 min just to talk about the jump ring (groans). Major back pats sir.

A metal lover

Mrballeng (author)MS712016-04-20

I've been asked a lot about that over the years. I will look for my weller gun and see what I can do. Brent

MS71 (author)Mrballeng2016-04-22

omg that would be so awesome!!!! :) I just cannot thank you enough for even the effort. I have found no videos at all for this. All they show is doing two wires together. Boring and very not interesting to a jewellery maker. When I went to the hobby store and also Home Depot and asked about Soldering they both pointed me to the Weller, not a flame torch. I didn't know about the Flame Torch till after in videos and my Weller cost me $110 !:( I finally have a bit of energy after so long bed-ridden with illness, finding no help to tell me what to do. I cannot leave my home yet not being fully recovered. Hence also why I cannot use a flame Torch, it would be just to scary in my position if I suddenly became ill. A bit TMI but I am trying to give you a picture why some might HAVE TO use a Weller and not the torch. Your video again was terrific and I look forward to seeing more on good days. Thank you again sir and hope you have a wonderful day :)

bluemoon6 (author)2011-12-11

Can I buy the silver solder at like Home Depot??

MS71 (author)bluemoon62016-04-20

ya know I bought special ,"silver solder" at my local hobby store. It was expensive and a mess. It came with liquid flux which was the mess lol. After trying Rosin Core, Silver Solder.....just go with plumbing solder..LEAD FREE. When working w/ Jewelry always lead free. At amazon I bought, 1.1 lbs for like $22.. paste (amazon) is Nokorode 4oz (big jar) .
Hopefully you wont waste money like I did. Store clerks just want to make a sale:(
...just my thoughts.

MS71 (author)bluemoon62016-04-19

Home depot is really expensive. After going there I went home, got online at amazon...ordered, paid and it was delivered in mere days. I ended up with a huge roll of solder instead of a little bit and same amount of money. Just my thoughts. :)

bluemoon6 (author)MS712016-04-20

Thank you for the Amazon info..I am a prime member and will check there for the solder,,,

Mrballeng (author)bluemoon62011-12-11

Home depot, lowes, walmart, ace hard ware are all places that carry silver solder.

MS71 (author)2016-04-19

Im going to check out a dozen or so videos by you. So if you have something there, just fyi. Thank you again for doing all this. Most artists dislike to share knowledge. They believe its their ,"secret weapon". which is toolish but...we move. Your aces all the way. :)

bluemoon6 (author)2011-12-09

thank you so....... much--I make costume jewelry and always wanted to know how to solder and others have equipment I didn't want to buy--this was so straight forward and in anyones budget--When you said silver solder?? were you referring to the color or the solder and not the composition??? Great video!!!!!!!!

MS71 (author)bluemoon62016-04-19

They have 2 kinds of solder. Rosin Core & Silver solder. I first tried Rosin Core (which has the flux in it) but if you are soldering anything with silver in it etc...You need Silver solder + liquid or paste flux. Silver solder also comes in sheets (soft, med and hard) and you can cut to little pieces and place with tweezers or stats. I do not do it well with my iron but it works amazing with a torch. Its just about exactly what he did in his flattening it and cutting it off. :)

Mrballeng (author)bluemoon62011-12-11

Thanks for the complement and taking the time to write. Silver solder is an alloy of different metals which does include silver. Also it does have a silver color. Good luck. Don't forget to post pictures of your creations.

bluemoon6 (author)Mrballeng2011-12-11

Your very welcome and your really deserve it!!!!

silvertinkerer (author)2016-02-09

A good solder surface is a bathroom tile turned upside down. it will reflect the heat back st the piece you are working on. It also will not burn as it is a material that already has been fired fully.

kathy.tobacco (author)2015-08-29

I want to solder pre made swarovski mounts all the way around a cuff bracelet side by side. I am not sure how to solder one flat surface to another. Do I apply the flux, then the solder (what kind?), then just put a mount on top of the solder and heat it? When I do the next one will the solder run on the previous one? I want to lay them side by side. Or will the other setting mount stay tight?

JeffG2 (author)2015-06-20

Will a resistance unit or spot welder work as well as the propane torch? In other words, will the more or less instantaneous heat be sufficient to melt the solder and bond the metals? I need to bond two pieces of steel wire together (the kind that dry cleaning hangers are made from).


pgcagdol (author)2014-05-31

thanks you made it clear and easy

shazni (author)2013-10-08

Thank you sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much! I have so many ideas to try :-)
I've always wanted to try out some trees....this makes it possible! thank you sooooo much again!

-Metal Master- (author)2013-08-08

My projects are mostly rings and other things that require extreme precision. How would I do this without leaving big lumps on the piece?

Mrballeng (author)-Metal Master-2013-08-08

Check out the photo owl I made. The joints are precise. It just takes practice.

winhyatt (author)2013-01-17

hi, please show me how to solder wire to the edge of a flat surface, eg around the edge of a jewellery designs are mostly vintage and this look is a key element....i cant seem to do it right...if i dont master this the designs may just have to stay right where they are, in my sketch pad :) do i proceed if the coin is maybe 1mm thick and the wire is 2mm in diameter???

Leighhjames (author)2012-11-25

I was wondering what the difference between using a torch, and a soldering iron? I am very interested in learning how to solder jewelry, and I was curious of which is better to use! Thanks for your great info!

Mrballeng (author)Leighhjames2012-11-26

A soldering iron is more for electronics and requires direct contact with the metal to get the solder to flow. A flame works much better for this kind of craft. Good luck!

Mr.Maybe (author)2012-10-24

Great video and love your instructables but got one question. What type of solder and paste do u use? i know there are several different versions such as lead free, lead and so on. what combination do u use? Thanks

taria (author)2011-12-09

this is perfect for what I need. my only question is. the wire I use if from Walmart in the hardware section you can get a huge roll for like 4 bucks. and it's galvanized. Will this work with it? I'm only asking cause I make wire butterfly's, I curl each piece, sometimes using 20 to 30 pieces in one design and then use heavy duty super glue to hold it together, but sometimes in different weather it comes undone and falls apart. You can image having to wire wrap a nightmare like this getting into all the little holes is hard to do plus keeping it flat and not start to curl on me. Tried one and it about drove me insane even with hammering it all flat again. it looked horrid. But I need a way to keep all these curls attached to each other and not fall apart. So if I use lead free solder and the paste with the torch, will it hold? Because that is what I have and haven't tried it yet. I didn't want to take it out of the package until I know for sure, cause if it won't work then I need to take it back. Since I only really work with the galvanized wire, or the jewelry wire that I pretty much don't solder anything, that's all done in one piece and wire wrapped which is far easier then the butterfly's trust me. I know, I talk to much. Any help with this would be nice. Thanks

Mrballeng (author)taria2011-12-11

I use galvinized wire all the time. But keep this in mind. Since wire heats up so fast you have to become familiar with when the solder should be melting once you apply the flame. If you oxidize the wire the solder will not stick to it until you remove the oxidation with somthing like sand paper. So if you make a butterfly and try to solder it, you may get it to solder in one place but accidently oxidize wire in another place. It does take practice but for sure it can be done. Good luck.

iMakeItHappen (author)Mrballeng2012-02-10

You should be careful when using galvanized wire. Im not to sure if soldering gets hot enough, but i am a welder, and if you try to weld galvanized metal you end up seriously sick, sometimes even in the hospital. This is because the heat burns of the galvanized layer and then you breath it in, which makes you very sick. So, when soldering galvanized metals, make sure you are in a VERY well ventilated place

taria (author)Mrballeng2011-12-14

that's true because the pieces are really close and so much of them clumped together. now what if I do some of them together. like put a piece of solder on all the close joints and then do them like that? you think that might work instead of trying to do them all separate and risk the chance of the oxidizing effect happening to it?

I do have photo's of these butterflys, if I knew how to show you them I would. that way you can see what I'm talking about.

I actually lost one the other day, it came apart and fell back behind my egg crate shelving and I can't reach it, but the other two are still hanging on the wall, along with the beta fish I made to see if I could.

oh and even though this has nothing to do with the video, how would you recommend adding to the glass beads to this? I used the super glue gel that I used on the wire to attach them, but they tend to fall off as well. any suggestions on maybe getting those to stick? they are the flat on one side type of glass dots. that people put in fish tanks or to decorate bowls for flowers and such. You know the ones I'm talking about right?

did any of that make sense?

Mrballeng (author)taria2011-12-15

Really my best advice is to give it a try. You don't have to shap the wire. Just cut a few sections and experiment. I would use quick setting epoxy for the glass dots. I think that would work. I actually bought a bag of them a while ago. I have an idea for them I'll try out soon.

urchin0705 (author)2012-01-25

glad i watched this video. i have helped my dad with soldering pipes for pluming quite a bit but had completely forgotten about the solder past.

dawn_ee (author)2012-01-02

Terrific instruction. Thanks!!

I solder a lot of jump rings for stained glass work, and have found that a pair of hemostats or locking clamps (like this are really handy - that way you don't have to concentrate on keeping your pliers tight on the jumpring while doing everything else. :)

Building Books (author)2011-12-13

thank you for posting this.

taria (author)2011-12-09

Let me rephrase that, it's the kit from Walmart that has the torch and everything in it. it says WPK2301 in the top right hand corner. That's what I have.

Mrballeng (author)taria2011-12-11

That's exactly what I use. I use it all the time to include plenty of learning and it lasted me 7 months before tank ran out. Try not to knock it over either. That ruins the ignitor.

Zachintosh (author)2011-12-05

So when jewelers create jewelery they solder each individual link? That must take so much effort lol

snoopindaweb (author)2011-12-05

Thank You. I was trained to solder mother Boards, etc, but have had trouble with metal, I see a lot I never thought of. You should get a "Ball Vice" for X-Mas..YUP.!
P,S, I won't part with Mine..HAR.! G-G

paganwonder (author)2011-12-04

Your web site ROCKS! (so does this 'ible!)

Mrballeng (author)paganwonder2011-12-05

Thanks. You would not believe how much effort it takes to start a web business.

paganwonder (author)Mrballeng2011-12-05

I have never been good at balancing creative work with the demands of maintaining a business- perhaps that is due to an aversion toward the details of business!

kondzio29 (author)2011-12-05

Nice! But what if i don't have soldering paste?

Mrballeng (author)kondzio292011-12-05

Without the paste you won't get a good bond.

Bobbie1013 (author)2011-12-04

Hi..great help..can you tell me where to get the piece that you use to hold the item when you are soldering..I have clamps but this works great!!

Mrballeng (author)Bobbie10132011-12-05

The set up you see is two wooden parallel clamps holding a pair of needle nose vise grips. You can find both at home depot or lowes. Thanks for the comment.

Mr.Sanchez (author)2011-12-04

Thnk U soo much for share...

Mrballeng (author)Mr.Sanchez2011-12-05

Thanks Mr.Sanchez. Always love to see your projects.

Mr.Sanchez (author)2011-12-04

That wood vise is absolutelly Sweeet.!!!

paganwonder (author)Mr.Sanchez2011-12-04

That vise looks to have been well 'loved', nothing more awesome than a tool with work scars!

black hole (author)2011-12-04


susanrm (author)2011-12-04

Pretty nice. But if you want to have a smaller, more directed flame that takes longer but is less dangerous, you can use a butane torch.

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