I’m sorry Simone, I didn’t realize you were so experienced. That is
one of the downfalls of forums, that you don’t really know the person
you’re writing to. I owned a big trade shop most of my life, with
tons of retipping done by all. What was interesting about that was
that I have my own way of doing it, but I would hire experienced
goldsmiths who were trained elsewhere and they had different methods
than mine. I really loved that mix of techniques within the same
I’d say that the people who got the best results did a couple of
things. One is that they always premade the tips and never used just
solder. If they were round tips they would clip off little pieces of
wire, ball them up on a soldering block, then flatten the balls
slightly with a hammer on their bench block. They would make hundreds
of them and save them by karat and size. We would do the same thing
for v-prongs, take a wire, flatten the end a bit, bend it to match
your v-prong tip, hold the long end of the wire in your tweezers to
position it when soldering.
The other thing they did when working around points is to use very
high temperature solder to attach the tips. Something like 19K white
weld solder on white gold prongs. The thinking is that the high temp
solder is much slower to flow and so easier to control, while the
low temp solder can run all over the place even when you have good
torch control, risking flowing around the point. At least use hard
solder unless there is some very sensible reason to move down to
Of course you still need to keep the heat from your torch near the
tip, while heating up the prong enough to draw the solder to the
prong, your objective being that you want to attach the new tip but
not flow solder into the seat around the point.
One of those situations where you want to think good thoughts in
advance to get the positive energy working in your favor.
It’s good to make your tips slightly over-sized so you get a little
overhang over the prong. That way you avoid the little dip in the
seam between the new tip and the original prong. That dip needs to
be filed out or filled with new solder, and you don’t want to solder
twice on points or thin out your new prong.
I imagine I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but hopefully
there was a little something useful in there.