Learn how to solder jewelry and improve your jewelry making skills with expert tips in this free tutorial. Soldering is a "gateway" jewelry making technique that will let you take your jewelry designs to a whole new level. Soldering lets you do the seemingly impossible: take two pieces of metal and create one single piece of metal with them. Although learning how to solder jewelry is a big step, it’s one that can save you time and effort—even money. Connections that don’t involve silver solder or a torch might be easier to make in some cases, but for some designs a solder join really makes the most sense.
Whether you are experienced or new to making your own jewelry, this introductory soldering how-to is full of essential basics you will use again and again throughout your jewelry-making lifetime. There are a wide variety of jewelry soldering supplies and tools to choose from. Soldering jewelry involves adhering one piece or part of metal to another. Solder and flux are used to securely adhere metal pieces to one another. Jewelry soldering requires special soldering supplies due to the amount of heat required to affix metal pieces together.
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Access expert advice on setting up an area in your workspace that is dedicated to soldering so you can feel confident about working with hot metal, an open flame, and fuel for your torch.
Soldering Projects: Making Rings
For this easy jewelry project, you’ll use half round jewelry wire and solder wire to create simple silver rings. Follow the step by step soldering instructions and you’ll have wonderful gifts and a new skill. While it may take a bit more than an hour the first time you try this project, soon you’ll be able to make these rings, start o finish, in less than 30 minutes. You’ll soon be back for more advanced soldering techniques after you try your hand at this soldering guide.
How to Solder Silver: DIY Solder Station
Where will you do your jewelry soldering? This area must be fireproof and stay free of any combustible materials such as paper towels. You may use large ceramic tiles and lay firebricks, charcoal on top, as a soldering station, or you may use a metal soldering station. Whatever you use, keep it clean. Make sure you take safety precautions, using protective eyewear and have a fire extinguisher near your solder station. It is important to have everything you would possibly need both for soldering and to handle any emergency within reach at all times. You never know what will happen during soldering, and you have to be able to reach for a different tool or new solder pick quickly.
How to Use Solder Flux
Learn what happens to metal when you get your solder hot enough to flow, and how flux can help you predict when that will be as well as protect your metal from some unwanted side effects of that heat. Sometimes even experienced jewelers don’t relate the simple act of fluxing the metal to understanding when the solder will flow. Flux is needed for soldered jewelry, because anytime you heat sterling to a high enough temperature for the silver solder to flow, the copper in the sterling reacts with the ambient air and creates a "skin" coating which helps prevent firescale. Flux is especially useful in sweat soldering.
Solder is an inexpensive alloy, a mixture of two or more metals, usually silver and zinc. The more zinc, the lower the melting temperature, and the easier the mixture will flow in between two joins. The temperatures given as general "melting points" are not standard from manufacturer to manufacturer, and may differ as much as 50 degrees. Silver, copper, bronze, and brass are almost always soldered with silver solder. When done correctly, the silver solder is undetectable. There are many variations in solder—not only temperature differences, but also the forms that it’s sold in. It comes in wire or sheet, or in powdered form in a paste flux.
This download is essential to any jewelry maker.
If you have been creating unsoldered jewelry, either with beading, wire wrapping, or cold connections, you have probably come across occasions when things would have been simpler for you if you’d just known how to solder.In this introductory eBook about soldering silver jewelry (soldering copper jewelry too!), you’ll learn essential information to equip you with basics and ideas for making beautiful soldered jewelry. You’ll learn what solder is and how it works. You’ll find out what types of jewelry solder are available, what forms they come in, and when to use each one, with convenient reference charts that will make it easy to figure out exactly what you need. Learn more about various jewelry soldering supplies like: Solderite, soldering tweezers, torches, and irons. You’ll also learn the importance of using flux for sweat soldering.