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Filigree jewellery solder


One of my goals for 2014 is to start making filigree jewellery

I had ordered some filigree powdered solder, and discovered that it
was made with a large percentage (about 30%) of zink.

I know that there is zinc in most silver solders, but given that zinc
can “eat away at gold and silver”, I am concerned that with the large
quantity of zinc in the solder, I might have to segregate my filigree
soldering and soldering tools from those that I use in my other
goldsmithing work.

What type of solder is typically used in silver filigree?

Are there any filigree artists out there that can discuss their
approach to soldering filigree and their thoughts on high zinc



A Modern Method of Creating Enameled Filigree Jewelry (Complete eBook Edition)
by Leon Hornstein

This eBook covers the history of the ancient technique of filigree
jewelry making and gives very clear instructions on how filigree is
made, and how it can be combined with enamel. Filigree is a group of
individual lace-like intertwined wires of gold or silver, soldered
together to form a pattern. Topics include: tools and materials,
making filigree wire and jigs, soldering preparation and technique,
pickling, making filigree jewelry, gold plating and more.

110 pages, 67 b&w photos and diagrams, 3 pages of color.


Hi Milt, Powdered solder sounds like a real big mess, especially a
high zinc solder, with a likely poor color match for silver. Use
hard solder in wire form, hammered flat and cut into 1-2mm lengths.
If you don’t already know how learn to work with a soldering pick,
torch in the left hand, pick in the right (if you’re right handed, if
not it’s vice versa). Use the torch to heat the pick to red hot while
picking up the very small solder bits, then move the flame to your
piece, when both parts of the joint are at solder flow temp, heat the
solder on the pick a bit and apply it into the joint. It takes a lot
of practice to get good at it but it is IMHO the best way to solder
filigree. And once you get good at it you can solder almostanything
without problems like solder “ghosts” or bad joints. There are some
good youtube videos on soldering with a pick if you’re not already
familiar with the technique. Best wishes, Douglas.

PS why are the spaces between words sometimes missing in my posts on


My filigree guru is Victoria Landsford. You can see her work and
advice canbe found at

She is a fabulous instructor and Victoria is a wonderful resource.

All the best,
Betsy Lurey


I’ve been doing silver filigree now for more than 7 years. I fell in
love with the look of Victoria Lansford’s work. In all of those years
I have never had one problem with making or purchased filigree
solders eating my tools. My first piece I made way back when, still
looks fine and is as strong as ever. I have not had one person I’ve
sold too have a problem either. One of the rings I made back in the
beginning I wore for 5 years straight, and other than an occasional
brush up polishing, has not even shown signs of wear. That said i can
break almost everything I touch given a year or so worth of time. Ask
my son about electronics around me. I have a aura that makes
electronics run and hide. Back to the subject.

Don’t over think zinc problems in this medium. You will be fine. The
pieces I have collected some of which are nearly 100 years old look
fine as well. Go forth and have fun.