I have always wondered why jewelers use small clips of sheet
solder rather than wire solder. I just assumed that it was a
temperature thing and about lead solder.
Not sure how lead solder would fit in, or temperature, as a reason.
i’ve never seen any lead or tin based wire solder that I would
mistake for a moment, for any precious metal solder. In those, I’ve
used both wire and sheet solder. The sheet has the big advantage of
being really easy to cut lots of snippets at the same time, rather
than one snip at a time (cut several paralell snips into the sheet,
then cut across the resulting fringe of strips to cut of multiples.
In addition, it’s really easy to control the size of the snippet,
what with thin sheet guages, and two dimensions to the cuts that
determine the size of the snip.
'With wire, only one direction defines the amount of solder, and
most wire solder I’ve seen tends to be supplied in heavy enough
guages that cutting uniform tiny snippets is a bit trickier. In
addition, round wire snippets roll around more. It’s easier to loose
them while cutting, and in many cases, harder to get them to stay put
while heating the solder joint. When I use wire solder, it’s
generally in two places. One is drawn down very fine for use in the
laser (I laser “weld” silver using hard silver solder as the filler
wire in some cases as it takes a lot lower power settings on the
laser.) The other is when I’m soldering larger longer seams, like on
larger silver work where many many tiny snippets of solder would be a
slow pain in the rear. then, rather than clipping the wire at all, I
simply feed it into the joint. Much faster, though one needs to be
careful not to feed in too much.
And while you’re here, let me again voice thanks for PMW’s wonderful
plumb platinum solders. A revolutionary product compared to what we