Step 5: A little more information...

If you want to use posts on your earrings, you will want to solder them in place before polishing. Do this by putting a piece of solder where you want the post to go, hold the post in your tweezers, then heat the solder until it slumps and stick the post right on top of it, while continuing to heat the whole piece and post. The solder should flow and attach the post to the metal.

The picture on this page is a pair of copper wire earrings that I soldered together, then blackened to help hide the solder seams. Copper in its natural state will slowly tarnish to a brown color, but if you want to keep it shiny, spray it with a clear lacquer or polyurethane. Silver will also tarnish, but it is much easier to polish back to shiny silver so I usually do not use lacquer on it.

Using a variety of pliers (round nose, needle nose, etc) you can create many interesting shapes that can be soldered together. Soldered jewelry is more sturdy than wire wrapped jewelry as it can not come undone or pulled apart unless it is broken. Use soldering to create interesting chains for bracelets, necklaces, or many types of earrings.
Good luck and let me know how your soldering experiments turn out!
Appreciate the info. Can you tell me why people would choose acytalyne over propane, and how you know if a torch will do the job? Thanks.
Thank you for your instructable - very helpful. I am wanting to solder together the settings that swarovski rhinestones come in or can be placed in - like the tiffany style metal pronged settings and then solder the settings together like the example shown in the image.<br> <br> I was wondering if I might be able to use a soldering iron - if you know - possibly a low-temp? If so, do you know what type of flux and other material might be needed?<br> <br> I would attempt to solder the metal together, first, then load the crystals in the prongs after cooling.<br> <br> thank you.
I have been making jewelry for a long time now and I use a soldering iron that is made for jewelry. I recommend &quot;simply swank&quot; :)
thank you, Lysharianne, that helps. Have you ever made anything like what is in the picture? I'm also having a difficult time locating the settings for the crystal rhinestones to be set into. I've searched all over the internet for settings to fit Swarovski rhinestones and haven't had much luck.<br>Thanks again, though!
Cool Tools &amp; Dreamland Jewelry are great places to find settng or beautiful material to make ur own. Hope you found them since this post is 4 yrs old. Lol
Yes, I have made something similar. You can find settings on amazon.com or even etsy.com good luck! I hope this helps!!
I am looking to do something similar ... I already have a soldering iron, but I'm unsure of the other materials I would need to join two of the curved turquoise pieces to the larger pendant finding. Both are constructed of brass.<br> <br> What type of solder/flux and other supplies would I need?<br> <br> I would greatly appreciate any help!
<p>help...how do I make or shape the silver/copper to make a &quot;light-tight&quot; ring that I can solder? I know it must be something so basic...I am mangling my wire and becoming totally frustrated. I just want to make a simple ring, that's it. help. thank you</p>
Utube has so many videos on solder wire rings. I mess around with the cheap wire til I get the technique then use sterling silver wire to make it. I make solder rings and bracelets from wire. Also, you can find the different solder patterns techniques to use from stained glass solder videos. Hope this helps. Have a great day!
If you want to make a simple ring that you can wear on your finger, then what I do is cut the wire or rod in the length that I will need, make sure the ends are flat and smooth - file or sand them flat. Then bend the wire until the two ends are butted right up next to each other. Don't worry about making it round at this point, that will come later. If you are using very thick wire or rod you may want to anneal it first so that the metal is softer and easier to bend. If you do this you will need to pickle your metal to clean it before you can solder the joint. <br>Then flux the joint, put your solder right up on top of the join, and heat the whole piece evenly until the solder melts and flows into the crack. <br>Then, pickle and clean the soldered ring, and to make it perfectly round you will need to form it by hammering it around something else that is round. I use a steel ring mandrel - it's graduated with lines marked to show the different ring sizes. But if you don't want to make that kind of investment you can get a wooden dowel rod that is slightly smaller than the size of the ring, and lightly tap the ring around it with a rawhide or plastic mallet. If you keep spinning the ring as you tap it it will eventually become round. If the metal gets too hard while you're hammering it you can anneal it again, but be careful because if you overheat it it will re-flow the solder seam and it can come apart. <br>This is how I make the bands for rings like this one: https://www.etsy.com/listing/105212347/black-star-ring-bright-finish-with-black<br><br>Hope this helps!
Just the info i needed. I will be using silver solder paste instead of the wire with my torch. I've made stained glass for years, but jewelry is so delicate. I got the paste because it looked easier to apply. The little solder pieces look hard to keep in place. I haven't used either so I'll be trying your technique tomorrow on jump rings for 4mm rope necklace. So, as long as i don't solder the chain to the jump ring, it will be a great day.
<p>Thank you for the info. Will be looking at soldering and jewelry in my art course.</p><p>Ms H</p>
<p>Excellent!!! But could i get the video tutorial for this.I think it will be more helpful.</p><p><br> <br>christmas<br> bracelet : <br> <br><a href="http://www.kayajewellery.co.uk/occasions/christmas/" rel="nofollow">http://www.kayajewellery.co.uk/occasions/christmas/</a></p>
<p>this help me alot,retired guy in jewerly business part-time,looking to do repair. thanks.</p>
<p>Hello, i want to solder earpost to a silver hollow ball with one hole. How can i do?</p>
<p>Where is the video tutorial for this? That would be really helpful for people who are just beginners like myself. </p>
<p>Hello, thanks for this article! I really need some help though - I have made some necklaces with stainless steel chain, but the jump rings are sterling silver.<br>I need to solder the 18gauge 11mm jump rings which are looped through some 7mm curb chain. First of all, is it safe for me to use a steel clamp to hold the jumpring, then use easy silver solder paste and a blowtorch on the jump ring join? Would I just need soft solder for that gauge?<br><br>And how do I clean/pickle my blowtorched sterling silver if my chain is stainless steel?<br><br>Thank you so much for the help!</p>
<p>Flux can be made with Boric Acid Powder and Alcohol. Some use denatured, I'm trying to use Isopropyl 91% solution. I'm hoping the water will be less of a contaminant than the &asymp;10% wood naptha or other adulterant used in denaturing. We'll see. But it's definitely DIYable.</p>
<p>Wow, this is beautiful work!! </p>
<p>thank you I think I can do this now. </p>
Nice tutorial. You can find all of this stuff if you are interested at: <br>https://cgmfindings.com/ <br>https://cgmfindings.com/index.php?id=6&amp;page=75 <br> <br>wire jump rings silver solder and even a some gemstone beads if inclined to add some to the design. <br> <br>
I need to make a minor inside repair to a silver tea-pot strainer basket and was thinking about using a dab of pure silver for my solder. <br>The mesh is stainless steel while the structure around the base, that needs repaired, is silver.<br>Is this the way to go?<br>Thanks in advance.<br>D
Well, pure silver is going to have a higher melting point than sterling or any kind of silver solder. The problem with this is that if you are trying to heat the pure silver onto the silver of the strainer then unless you have a lot of practice you're more likely to end up melting the rest of the silver and possibly deforming it. If you decide to go with this method I'd recommend practicing it on some silver pieces that you don't mind accidentally damaging if it doesn't go well.<br><br>Now, the other consideration is that since the mesh part is stainless steel, if you try to use it with a Sparex type pickle solution, it will contaminate the pickle and make it copper-plate anything that is silver. This can be removed using an abrasive but that is usually a huge pain in the butt and can also damage the finish of the piece. You can try a vinegar/salt pickle or a citric acid pickle, but once again I'd test that on something you don't mind messing up. I've never worked with those pickles so I don't know if they contaminate with steel the same way Sparex pickles do. <br><br>Hopefully this advice helps!<br><br>
Thanks I guess I was making it to much of a job. I just need to reattach the SS mesh to the bottom silver ring so the tea leaves stop leaking into the tea-pot.<br>Without poisoning the tea with bad metal.<br>Where is a pot tinker when you need one?
Btw simply swank makes everything you need :) you can buy the kit on amazon <br>
Thank you - I'll look for it on amazon. I'm still having a difficult time finding the settings for swarovski crystal rhinestones but will keep looking. Thanks again!
I've been making jewelry for a long time now. I started with crochet craft wire necklaces which I look back on and laugh at now. Then I started doing basic beading, and then wire wrapping, and now hammering...And I think now I'm ready to start getting serious. Soldering seemed like the next logical step, especially as I've been hammering wire to make bangle-like bracelets but always have to improvise some kind of closure, and would love to make bangles. I'd really like to be able to do rings, as well, without having to design some flourish to mask the ends. This tutorial will be very helpful in making my decision as to whether soldering is right for me. It was very well written, easy to follow, and accessible. And now I know everything I need, where to get it, and what to expect. Thanks very much.
Thanks so much for this tutorial! its been really helpful. Now that Ive done a few easy pieces I wanted to do a more complex piece. I have a bunch of brass links that I soldered into a ring using the same methods you show here... my issue now is as I try to solder the last link to complete the circle, it melts the solder off previous links. Is there a handy way to keep this from happening?<br><br>any advice would be much appreciated<br>thanks!
Sorry, I misunderstood your comment. I was thinking you were working on a chain. It would be easier to use a heat sink with a chain but you may still be able to use one. You might be able to affix the razor blade to your links with wire. You want to make sure the edge of the blade is in contact with the link you are trying to solder. As was said in another comment, solders in hard, medium and easy would also solve the problem. My suggestion is a possible fix that would not require additional solders of some sort of covering to protect the metal you're soldering. I hope it helps.
yea that could actually help also. I didnt even think of using some kind of heat sink and the blade should be pretty easy to place on the links i am soldering. Thanks for your help!
You're welcome!<br><br>The easiest way to do this would be to use solders with different flow temperatures, usually referred to as hard, medium, and easy. 'Hard' solder melts at the highest temperature, and 'easy' at the lowest. There is also a 'very easy' but it is usually only used for repair work. You should start with hard solder and progress downwards so that the first things you solder are at the highest melting temperature and you get progressively colder. If you are working on silver, you want to use the highest melting point solder you can on all visible seams because hard solder has a better color than medium or easy does. On brass it shouldn't matter too much. <br>The other alternative is to get your hands on some yellow ocher. If you make a paste of yellow ocher and water and paint that onto the solder seams you do not want to flow, the ocher will inhibit the flow of the solder. If you use yellow ocher you should be very careful to wash it all off before you place the piece in your pickle because the iron in the ocher will contaminate your pickle and cause it to copper plate your metal.<br>Hope this helps!
awesome. thanks so much for you thoughts on this. I will definitely try this!
Some years back when I worked in a jewelry store I did some chain repair. In order to keep the solder from going where I didn't want it I used a razor blade as a heat sink. I took a single edge razorblade and put a metal screw in the slot in the blade so it was stand up on its edge with the screw forming another leg. I then placed the edge of the blade on the link I was soldering, about half way back of the link. This prevented the heat from reaching the other parts of the chain. I think I got fairly good at soldering fine curb link chain using this technique. I think it could be applicable to your needs.
Thank you for a great tutorial. Its been years since I've done any jewelry soldering. Its good to know a small portable torch can be used for this. I didn't want to get into the large torch outfits, certainly not in my home.
I'm 17 and wanting to start a career in jewelry design. This should help a lot :) I have a lot of 1&quot;-2&quot; thick flat slabs of rock... Hoping to use one or more of those as a soldering pad. Also need to invest in a soldering torch... Hoping they aren't too expensive. Thanks for the 'ible! This will help a lot
another good one is ...Contenti Jewelry Making Supplies<br>http://www.contenti.com/catalog.html
This was amazing, but way too much work for me. I want a bail to be soldered closed and trying to find a sterling silver jeweler is not easy. Apparently, Jewelers only like to work on gold.
I know it's been here a while, But I just wanted to say thanks for a useful tutorial on a technique that I've been wondering about for some time.
I got a welding mat at my local Harbor Freight store. They only carry a big one but I can cut it down to size and have a lot of little mats to solder onto. I am new at soldering as well but my husband has been doing it for at least 40 years so I have a personal instructor.
Hi there<br /> <br /> I'm new at this (and very grateful for your tute) what do you recommend for a fireproof work surface?&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I&nbsp;looked but couldn't find a source.<br /> <br /> TYVM<br />
If you want something that's totally fireproof, start with a metal table and cover it in a layer of kiln bricks. Or, maybe just a metal table. Or, a wood table with a sheet of aluminum over it. <br /> My current workspace is actually just an ancient wooden desk that has a 1 inch thick piece of wood for the top, and I solder on a ceramic soldering pad (Rio Grande) on top of a kiln brick. Some people will get a metal lazy susan pan and fill it with pumice pebbles, then put their soldering pad on that so that they can spin it as they work.&nbsp; I believe this is the soldering pad I have<strong>: </strong><br /> http://tinyurl.com/24klysk<br /> <b><br /> </b>Hope that helps!<b><br /> </b><b><br /> </b>
Well made. Clear photos and video.<br />
Excellent tutorial! I have read many more (I usually do that when I am about to start a project - putting it off by reading a ton of material) but yours is far more explanatory and simple to follow. One question though: When soldering copper do you use the same kind of flux and solder? Well maybe two questions... Can you use standard solder (the one used for circuits) if you are not making jewelry (I understand it is not healthy)?
Yes, the same kind of flux and silver solder will work. I've never tried standard solder, but it's my understanding that since it has a much lower melting point, if you overheat it it will just boil or vaporize off in the heat of the torch. If you do try it, I'd recommend doing it outside or somewhere with very good ventilation so that you don't inhale any fumes, especially if it's a leaded solder.
This was really informative. When people mention "soldering" my brain automatically jumps to electronics. It is great to see other uses, or in this case, an entirely new use for the technique! Thank you for sharing such a little known practice outside of the jewelry world.
don't u mean the old use? this is what they did before the had electronics lol
This is a SUPER tutorial The pictures and video were wonderful but your written instructions were the best I have seen. Thank you!
This is very helpful~! Thank you so much.
Really, fabulous tutorial, thorough and clear. I've been trying to find this info. You know, this is better presented than in some of the hard core books I've bought. Great job!
I am VERY interested in learning how to solder and out of all the tutorials I have found online this one is by far the most informative I have come across! Thank you so much! Now if I could only decided what and where to buy supplies... AH I'm still so confused and nervous but you never know until you try... Oh and BTW, I have bought from Monsterslayer.com on many occasions and they are a good company. great prices, hard to beat deals, and relatively fast USPS shipping( but it depends on what kind of shipping you choose they offer UPS and FEDEX too). They have also added a bunch of stuff to their stock so there is more of a wider selection of things. Check it out sometime.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a metalsmith and jeweler and I run my own small jewelry business. I work primarily in sterling silver, copper, brass, enamel, and occasionally ... More »
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