You’ll probably get heaps of answers to your question and will
have to sift through a lot of different info… so I hope mine
will be useful. I’m not writing a totally complete description
of my method; just picking out a few important point where I
think I might have a useful trick or two.
Your soldering experience may just be a hindrance you know, as it
seems you’ve done ‘soft’ soldering, with an iron. Well silver
soldering is actually ‘hard’ soldering, or brazing, like the
plumbers do to copper water pipes and hot water cylinders. Now
if you had experience with THAT you’ll have no trouble at all
with silver soldering!
Flux? I’m very particular about fluxes, preferring to use
engineering grade flux (like the plumbers use) to the standard
borax-type flux often used by jewellers. In fact over here one
of the largest silver/gold suppliers, Johnson Matthey, actually
recommends the plumbers’ easiflo flux for their silver and gold.
So do I. I use a variant of easiflo flux for gold and silver
soldering, and I use it in powder form. I use a propane/oxygen
torch, and have ready a soldering pick (stainless steel rod on a
wooden handle) coated with powder flux (heat the tip of the
steel and dip it into the flux powder), stick solder coated also
with powder flux, and I first heat the silver parts up so when I
touch the hot metal with the soldering pick the flux immediately
melys and coats the joint. When the metal is heated up to the
right high temp (near red hot) I touch the joint with the stick
solder coated with flux powder and it runs into the joint towards
If the solder doesn’t melt immediately, then the metal’s too
cool, I withdraw the solder (otherwise it balls up the end),
re-flux the solder stick, heat further, and try again.
Always keep the flame on the joint. Removing the flame for an
instant will promote the build-up of unwanted oxides.
Flux has a working temperature and time limit. After a short
while it loses its powers. My key to soldering success is being
able to RE-APPLY FRESH FLUX to the hot work - the powder flux is
great for this as it doesn’t cool the work down. It does however
contain flourides, and the fumes must not be inhaled.
B r i a n =A0 A d a m J e w e l l e r y E y e w e a r =A0
@Brian_Adam1 ph/fx +64 9 817 6816 NEW ZEALAND