I am working on some simple sterling earrings that are basically a domed circle with an ear wire soldered to the back. I see such earrings all over the place. Most look like the ear wire was filed flat where it touches the circle and soldered on. I’ve tried this on some earrings I wore to test and after a month or 2 the ear wire broke off. Is there a good strategy to prevent this? To be clear, the solder join was fine. I was thinking perhaps soldering a fairly long section of the ear wire to the earring would help? Or is my ear wire not work hardened enough to be durable? I would really appreciate any suggestions since I want to do a series of this type of earring.
First, don’t file the wire end to be soldered, use a planishing hammer to flatten and dome. Second, use as heavy a wire as the customer/wearer can accommodate - at least 20G, 18G even better if not 16 - a lot of folks have pretty wallowed out piercings and can take thicker wire than they think. Third, planish the loop right up to the disc itself; this will add a good deal of strength. Do it evenly so there is no soft weak spot from the annealing effect from soldering - any flexing at such a spot will eventually break. Fourth, nuke the whole design (which sounds suspiciously third world child labor camp) and go with an ear post soldered on about 3/16 in from the edge. This will not flex and break, and has the advantage of riding higher on the ear so it does not wobble and swing around as much when worn. Fifth, if its swinging motion they want, drill a hole near the edge and add an ear wire. By the way, its a domed DISC (3-D) not a circle (2-D).
I wasnt clear. It will be a domed disc not a circle. They will be a dangle type earring but i want to solder on the ear wire vs. drilling.
Happily I dont have issues with soldering on posts!
Thanks for the suggestion to planish vs file. That should help.