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Favorite solder and flux


#1

Hi, This is my first post for you orchidians. I am a
jewelry/metalsmithing student. I have been learning all the basics
which I enjoy. I am only working in silver, brass and copper while
learning and would appreciate any soldering tips you can give me. I
have been using Handy Flux (borax based) and wire solder. My first
ring with a bezel was frustrating since the bezel kept sliding. I
had to reheat it a few times to get it to be centered on the band.
Would paste be better?

Sincerely
Kelli


#2

Kelli, There are several ways that you can reduce or avoid your
problem with the bezel moving around. The first and simplest is to
preheat both the base and the bezel until the flux quits foaming and
bubbling. Just as it starts to turn transparent - stop.

Now place the bezel in position on the base and lay a small piece of
charcoal on top of the bezel. I keep several small “chunks” around
for just this purpose. None are over 1/4" thick and vary from over
an inch square down to about 3/8" depending on the size of the
bezel. I try to match them as closely as I can but it’s not real
important, 'cause it’s just a temporary weight. Gently reheat until
the flux flrows and the bezel “settles” and then remove the
charcoal. Check you position. Finish bringing both pieces up to
soldering temperature.

Another method uses small squares of sheet titanium or very well
oxidized steel in place of the charcoal. If you choose the steel you
may want to oil it or coat it with ochre or WhiteOut - to make sure
that the bezel seam doesn’t bond to the sheet accidentally. Again
check your position after the bezel “settles”, and before bring the
whole piece up to soldering temperature

My favorite method is to use an onglette graver to throw up three or
more little burs or “spikes” INSIDE of where the wall of the bezel
will be. With this method the bezel cannot slide - it is retained by
the little slivers of metal. Doing it inside the bezel makes them
"invisible"…

Brian Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts


#3
I  have been using Handy Flux (borax based) and wire solder.  My
first ring with a bezel was frustrating since the bezel kept
sliding.  

I would suggest that you heat your flux a bit, so it acts like glue
and then put your bezel down. Re-heat and apply your solder (aside

  • I also put flux on the bezel before putting it where I need
    it,heat it till the flux turns white and then put it where I want it.)

#4
    - I also put flux on the bezel before putting it where I need
it,heat it till the flux turns white and then put it where I want
it.) 

If you place the bezel where you want it, then gently heat it and
the base without flux, then add your flux (I used liquid Batterns),
you will find that it will instantly seat the bezel. I have also
managed to “seat” a bezel in place by heating the base and then
dipping the bezel in borax and alchol mix, then placing it on the
heated base and it also sticks like it was glued.

Kay