My my, what a can of worms I seemed to have opened here. If you refer
back to my original post about Casting Heads in Place�.
�After the piece is cast, clean up the cast ring and make sure the
setting fits well to the ring (with the heated head technique it
should fit perfectly). Then crazy glue the head into the cast
mounting. Pack a small amount of Heat Shield Compound around the top
of the head and ring (not a lot, just enough to support the ring and
the head). Then flux up the inside of the ring/head. WITH GOOD
VENTILATION and a mini torch heat up the seam- when the flux flows,
put a chip of solder on the seam and it flows beautifully. Crazy glue
acts as a flux- works like a dream. When it cools, dip in water, the
heat shield compound washes right off, now you can pickle and polish.
I hope this helps�.�
You may notice I said to use GOOD VENTILATION (notice all caps). Good
ventilation doesn�t mean soldering with the window open somewhere in
the studio. I use a very good exhaust system and am known to be
fanatical about safety issues.
Yes, the crazy glue keeps the solder seam clean. I also use a bit of
flux on the piece as well. The crazy glue burns out very cleanly (it
fills in the slight gap between the pieces to be soldered and helps
keep oxides from forming in this gap). When the flux flows it sucks
into the seam. Keep in mind, you start out with clean metal, the crazy
glue holds the pieces together so you can pack Heat Shield Compound or
Place-it around the setting or prongs.
From Jewelry Concepts and Technology by Oppi Untracht Page 403 "The
word flux comes from the Latin fluxus, “flow”, and the function of
flux is to aid solder to flow. Flux is any substance, or combination
of substances capable of promoting the fusion of metals joined by the
use of heat and a solder or metal filler. “Flux is used in soldering
mainly because the temperature necessary for solder to melt and flow
causes unprotected metal surfaces to oxidize readily. If such oxides
are allowed to be present during soldering, they will inhibit the flow
of solder. By its presence, flux prevents the formation of oxides and
dissolves or “fluxes” any oxides that may form.”
I was taught to fabricate cluster settings using clay or utility wax
to temporarily hold the settings or prongs together and pour
soldering investment on top , then clean out the clay or wax. before
soldering. I found this to be less than accurate (you can�t see the
base of the settings to see if they are all level), dirty (you have to
clean out the wax or clay), messy and time consuming. I no longer
have to make a frame around the piece to pour the investment into, and
I don�t have to wait for the investment to set.
Some things I often use crazy glue on. I had to solder 30 jumprings
at a 90 degree angle around a larger ring. I made a grooves with a
burr where the jumprings are attached, glued them on at exactly 90
degrees all around, packed a small amount of heat shield compound
supporting the big ring and smaller rings from the back, and fluxed
and soldered. Perfect soldering job, quick and accurate.
To make an eternity ring: Put some parchment or tracing paper on a
mandrel a tiny bit smaller than the finished size. Crazy glue the
settings and cast leaves all around the mandrel. Slide the ring off.
Pack Heat Shield Compound around the ring (also slide bits of old
broken saw blades to act as re-bar into the heat shield compound
around the ring). Burn or peel off the paper, flux and solder from the
I�ve had to sweat solder some geometric pieces, (a square within a
circle with an equilateral triangle where everything has to be lined
up perfectly or it looks awful). I have flowed solder on the back of
the square and triangle. Sanded them flat, crazy glued them exactly
where I want them, fluxed and heated it up �til the solder flows. This
works well for me.
Hope this clarifies the
Kate Wolf in Portland Maine where there is a blizzard of apple blossoms
outside my studio window.