I’ve been procrastinating with regards to finishing a piece because
I can’t make up my mind on the best plan of attack for putting it
a) Bottom Sheet: 20gge sterling silver flat sheet, almost 2 inches
square. Has a nice pattern on it created by rolling through mill with
watercolor paper. Pattern isn’t too deep, and seems to fit flush
enough for soldering to top sheet.
b) Top Sheet: Slightly smaller 22gge sterling silver flat square
piece. Plain surface, BUT, has one small rivet hole about a quarter
of an inch inside each corner. Plan is to still solder both pieces
together. Rivets are only for decor.
c) Bezel: 18kt. yellow gold 26 or 28gge bezel (I think it’s 28,
can’t recall off top), ends soldered together with gold solder.
d) Sterling silver bail. I don’t really anticipate soldering this
piece to the main to be a problem–my greatest concern is putting
everything else together most effectively.
c) Either hard or medium silver solder, depending on the best way to
Solder everything together somehow without distorting either of the
flat sheets, having the pieces slide around, or melting the bezel.
MY ORIGINAL STRATEGY:
Both Bottom and Top Sheets are about as flat as I can get them. Top
Sheet is pretty darned flat, but Bottom Sheet is ever so slightly
imperfect, perhaps about 90% flat. I have to be careful during
soldering because I don’t want the heat to distort Bottom Sheet any
further given that it is patterned, and I really can’t re-flatten it
at this point without damaging the pattern. So, my thoughts are to
CAREFULLY anneal all pieces first.
In Plan A, I wanted to sweat solder Top Sheet to Bottom Sheet, but
then there’s the issue of the bezel. My fear with that is if I sweat
soldered the two silver pieces together and then tried to solder on
the bezel afterwards, the Top Sheet on which the bezel sits might
slide if the solder starts to reflow. And then, how would I generate
enough heat to successfully get the solder for the bezel to flow to
begin with since the two larger, thicker silver pieces are now, for
the most part, one big mass of silver. I run the risk of overheating
the sheet silver mass to get the silver solder to flow for the bezel.
So, post-sweat-soldering, should I approach by focusing the heat
directly around the bezel? Or, should I heat the entire mass (again)
from the bottom on a tripod, or heat using a charcoal block? I also
thought about using the beehive kiln heating method to consistently
keep the heat on the bottom pieces, which has worked for me in
successfully soldering larger bezels to larger single sheet pieces
Plan B was to hard solder the bezel to Top Sheet, and then perhaps
use medium solder, heating from below, to solder the two silver
sheets together afterward. I’m still scared I run the risk of things
moving around (by nature or by accident), but I guess I could use
binding wire. Sounds pretty simple, but I want to make sure I’m not
I’m not worried about the pre-drilled rivet holes as those are
primarily pilot holes. I’ll drill through both pieces in the final
Thanks in advance.
Tamra M. Gentry