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Fine silver balls to sterling silver

I want to affix small fine silver balls to a pendant I’ve made of sterling silver. Since I assume that that fine and silver will not fuse together, what is the best method to do this? Should I melt solder onto the main piece where I want the balls to be placed or melt the solder onto the balls themselves (which will increase their size, right?). Also, can I use a diluted hide glue solution to keep the balls in place until they are attached to the main piece? Any help would be much appreciated.

First of all, do not use hide glue. Use flux, it will do the same but attach the balls better. The operation you described was sweat soldering and it is very easy. I do the exact work you describe attaching sterling balls to a sterling base but using fine silver balls will be even easier. Make the balls by simply melting a little of silver on your charcoal block.

In my experience, putting the solder on the ball itself produces a cleaner join but this can difficult if you more than 5-6 balls and the are small.

Hope this helps


One more thing, something I’ve been made aware of is using some sort of barrier flux on sterling to minimize firestain. I highly recommend if your doing any silver work to buy or make up a batch of the stuff.