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Filling gaps in soldered connections


I work in sterling and know that it is best to avoid gaps in soldered
joints. However I’m working on sort of free-form hollow form rings
that have very small gaps (0.15 mm or less in width) in the ring
shank assembly. Are there any techniques/materials for filling these
gaps besides scraping the ring and starting over?


Does not matter how free flowing it is. Things must fit together
without any gaps. The last sentence of the above provided solution
to the problem.

Leonid Surpin

Chris -

I have repaired gaps like this by taking a small piece of scrap that
is slightly larger than the gap. I ‘tin’ it with matching solder to
the existing seam, then solder it in place. Then grind off the
excess and finish it like its surroundings.

It’s best if the gap-filler piece can fit into the gap a little, not
just sit on top.

best regards,
Kelley Dragon

Chris, In a pinch, you can try this. On your block melt a tiny piece
of sterling and a tiny piece–about the same size–of solder.
Combine the 2 little spheres. Roll the ball around a bit to mix. Let
cool. Form it however you desire then flux it, put in place and apply
the torch only until it melts, not flows.

HTH. Gary Strickland, GJG

Try sawing a slit and inserting sheet, or drilling a hole and
inserting wire. Then solder or fuse it in.

Good luck!
M’lou Brubaker, Jeweler

I work in sterling and know that it is best to avoid gaps in
soldered joints. However I'm working on sort of free-form hollow
form rings..... 

Chris, hollow items that you want to seal up can be a pain
sometimes. Most times the gap is caused by pressure from the inside
of the hollow form “pushing” the solder out of the way so the piece
can exhale. I have found these things to help…

  1. I solder the piece as well as possible… then lay the part in a
    burnout oven at about 175 deg. F. for 5 minutes or so with the hole
    upward. This evaporates any internal moisture and helps stall off
    the pressure escaping from the inside. When you take it out of the
    oven…you have to work as fast as a cat to lay a touch more solder
    over the gap and flow it. As always with silver, heat the entire
    piece and start at the bottom when possible. This makes the actual
    solder point heat faster. Sometimes one grade softer solder (lower
    melt point) is better to use.

  2. Take a Titanium solder pick, dip it in flux, DRY IT OFF… and
    while the solder is molten, drag it over the hole…
    Ambidextrous??? It helps!

  3. Use paste flux…which I hate…and VERY LITTLE OF IT. I
    sometimes take Batterns, put it in a porcelain bowl and add enough
    borax to make a paste. a thick paste…really thick. I then
    sometimes let this dry until hard and break off pieces to use. Use a
    porcelain bowl… NO METAL.

  4. My favorite when I can… Inside the ring, usually at the top of
    the finger, I leave a tiny hole in the design. Sometimes round,
    sometimes fancy. Chamfer the edges of this so it is smooth & beveled
    so it will not irritate the finger. This will solve the problem
    every time. Not all customer or designs let this happen…but I do
    it when I can.

I had a customer one time that required about 75 of these blamed
hollow rings a month… we nearly went scrappies… that’s Texan for
insane… figuring out what to do. These are the things we made

Good Luck! Dan