I'm working on a commissioned piece, and wondered if it is
possible to solder magnets onto silver? Didn't know if it would
affect their magnetism....
Magnetism occurs when all molecules are aligned in a particular
structure that combines forces of attraction.
If magnet is heated, the molecules would acquire enough kinetic
energy to break away from the structure and magnetism will be
weakened. The higher the temperature, the more damage to the
structure and weaker magnetism.
There is a point at which all the magnetism will seize to exist. It
is known as Curie Temperature. Different magnetic materials have
different Curie Temperatures. Some are high enough to risk silver
soldering. If you can experiment on scrap, you can determine if your
magnets will retain enough magnetism to remain useful.
I’ve never deliberately looked into it, but my guess would be no.
Ferrite magnets, juuussst maybe, but almost certainly not. Rare
earth magnets? Absolutely not, don’t try it. (The little shiny
high-powered ones) Rare earth magnets are nickel plated to keep them
from releasing all sorts of fun corrosion products. So you can’t
solder to the nickel plate. You can set them in bezels or in
press-fit holes though.
Ferrite magnets (the weaker, heavier ones) are just iron ore and a
few other oddities. I know they’re heated up to 1500 f (in inert
atmosphere) during manufacture, so they can take the heat. Whether
that’ll do anything to their magnetism is an interesting question.
Whether solder will bond to them is an even more interesting
question. I’d be inclined to doubt it. (They’re sintered together at
high heat, and are only weakly magnetic after that step. They’re
later fully magnetized by application of a gawd-awfully large DC
charge across them. NOT something you’re going to want to try to
duplicate at home.)
(The discovery channel and insomnia are a deadly combination…)
Although on that note, that “How it’s Made” show is oddly hypnotic.
And they do show how all sorts of neat things are made. Really
interesting from a machine-geek’s point of view.
Also for a different “look” at this, steel, when heated hot enough,
will NOT be magnetic. This is a “test” used by blacksmiths for
certain operations (when is the steel hot enough) for XX operation.
I believe magnets tend to loose their magnetism already at
400Celcius. So soldering is no option. The way to let them stick is
to glue them with 2-components- glue, as we call it. A nice way to
proces the magnets is to house them in tubes- and glue them tidely
in those pieces of tubes. Another secure way is to make fitting as
for a cab stone ; but in this case the magnet, and burnish it…
Hope it wil work out nicely
Greetings from The Netherlands,
Esteban Jewelry Design
You should be able to get away with soft solder, like StayBrite. The
temps involved are very low. If that’s still going to be too hot,
try JB Weld glue. It’s available from virtually any hardware or auto
parts store. I used it to “temporarily” patch an outboard motor gas
tank that had a cracked mounting flange about thirty five years ago
and it still holds gas and hasn’t even shown a bit of wear or
tendency to crack. Amazing stuff, but don’t let it setup anywhere
you don’t want it. It will be there from now until eternity.
We successfully soft-solder magnets. Gold-plated quarter-inch
diameter magnets sold on Ebay to pseudo-medical appliance makers
such as magnet mattress covers, magnet wrist bands are our starting
point. Using an 80-watt soldering iron and electronic resin-core 1mm
solder, the magnets are very quickly soldered at their edge, onto
copper strips, with 100% success. I’m sure a little magnetism is lost
in the process, but nothing substantial, because the process is very
quick and we only attack the magnet’s edge, keeping the heat input as
low as possible.
Big, hot soldering iron, well pre-heated. Clean surfaces. Quickly in
and quickly out. That way, you can keep most of the magnet’s volume
below the Curie point temperature and just annoy a little of the
If I remember some of my physics, the answer would be don’t heat
your magnets. Ferromagnetic substances lose their magnetism
completely if heated beyond the Curie temperature (about 1400 degF
for iron based magnet). Even if you don’t get up to 1400degF, the
magnetism could be damaged well below this temperature.
Could you maybe set the magnets in a shallow bezel?
We have been making lots of different magnetic devices and clasps for
over 10 years at my factory. The best way is to construct a bezel and
bezel set the magnet.
I have been setting magnets for about 30 years (well before I started
this business). The other method involves glue… using epoxy glue,
use a diamond file on the bottom of the magnet to a braid the surface
slightly. This will help bond the magnet, glue and silver. Allow the
Epoxy to dry overnight before attempting to do anything else.
Soldering a magnet will demagnetize any magnet and some high power
magnets have a nickel plated surface which will come off and is not
good to breath.
The average high power magnet has a magnetic heat resistance of
around 150 to 175 oF these are the N 42 series.
There are high power magnets that can go to 400 oF… but, thats
from heat generated in a motor or a device… not direct heat from a
Doing a silver bezel and setting the magnet is probably the best and
classiest way to do this.
*juuussst* maybe, but almost certainly not. Rare earth magnets?
Absolutely not, don't try it. (The little shiny high-powered ones)
Rare earth magnets are nickel plated to keep them from releasing
all sorts of fun corrosion products.
I’ve heard the number where NIB magnets demagnetize but I don’t
recall it exactly - I do remember it’s on the order of 200F, plus
the magnet (the metal) itself falls to pieces. And it’s
permanent… It’s not just the plating, it’s a good way to
neutralize them for recycling…
Thanks to all for the great and suggestions - I really
appreciate it! I think I’m going to go with the bezel solution. I’ll
do a blog about the piece when I get it finished, and show how I
wound up handling the magnets.
I know you can get magnets that are different strengths, but are
there different qualities of magnets when comparing the same
strengths? Or is a magnet a magnet a magnet?
There are many types of magnets and there are many different
Ceramic magnets, Various rare earth magnets such as Neodymium mags,
Cobalt to name a few…
all can have various strengths depending on the amount of magnetic
material in each type and also the strength at which they have been
charged using a magnet zapper after they have been formed or shaped.
As an example of processes done before zapping… magnets that are
nickel or gold plated were not magnetic when they were plated… they
were magnetized after plating.
Otherwise, the plater would have a wonderful time getting the
magnets unstuck from each other, in the barrel plating process which
is most likely used.