How to hold jewelry pieces together when soldering?

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Monica30 wrote
on 6 Jan 2013 6:53 AM

I want to make a silver prong setting from 1 rounded base (1mm thick) and 4 wires (1mm thick) that I want to solder vertically to the 4 corners of the base. To do that I need to keep the 4 wires vertically/perpendicularly to the base and stuck to the base. I bought some clay yesterday, after reading that real clay is the best solution, and places the base on it, while the wires went inside the clay, stuck to the base's corners. While firing the piece, the clay broke into tiny pieces that jumped allover the room. I lost one wire this way.

I need to know what material to use to keep the pieces together for soldering, as clay doesn't seem to work.

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mirkaba wrote
on 6 Jan 2013 12:19 PM

Normally I would use an over sized piece of silver backing. Drill holes of the proper diameter to fit the wire, insert wires, solder, then cut the backing plate to the size I want. To do it the way you want to do it I would use a third hand to hold the prong wires in place and solder one at a time.

Gathering dust in Montana.

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BogIron wrote
on 6 Jan 2013 6:15 PM

I use a soft white fire brick and cut the prongs long and stick them into the fire brick tight to the base and then solder them, they aren't going anywhere. I use this method a lot. I use stainless steel push pens to hold other things together while soldering them. Those soft white fire bricks are great for soldering.

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Monica30 wrote
on 6 Jan 2013 7:40 PM

I need something less invasive, which I could reuse, like a compound similar to plasticine or clay... I don't know if extra hands can handle the flame. There has to be something like that.

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