I have recently purchased an Acetylene/Air Smith torch with a size
John, I beg to differ. Acetylene/Air Smith torch is not
acetylene/oxy. Using the ambient air, the flame is MUCH cooler than
To hot... propane and oxygen will make your life easyier flux my
joint, let it dry. Heat the entire piece, heat a small snip of
solder until it "balls up" grab it with my titanium tip....heat the
joint I am soldering, then apply the ball of solder and VOILA! Try
fire coat 1st then hit it quick with the torch and burn out the
oxygen in the flux Currently, when I heat my solder it lays flat
and does not "ball up" Steam clean your solder it sounds like it is
dirty then if I apply the blue part of my flame to it, it balls up
rather quickly... However, when put the ball of solder on my
joint, it sits there and does not flow.
There are three parts to a flame. The cone, white/orange section and
then the lickety bit at the end. With a 0 or 00 Smith tip, they are
good for small items, bezels, jump rings, etc.
I've used all gas, all tips in all combinations. I've used solders
from Rio, to Hoover, to Hauser and Miller, Stearns and Leach, Otto
Frei and from Germany. I also teach soldering. Awhile back, I wrote a
piece on Orchid from my years of trial and error of gold, silver and
finally platinum at Krafwerks, which was cool. When would you ever
get to weld platinum. I also fabricate with gold granulation where
you take gold up to temperatures that is absolutely scary. My
favorite? My good old Smith torch Acetelyene and Air for 90 percent
of my work. I switch to propane and oxy when I have to for some work.
Technique with your hand, preparation of parts, cleanliness and most
important, good fit.
See my notes on Ganoksin.
If you are interested in becoming more proficient in soldering, I am
teaching a three day workshop at Metalwerx.
Part of understanding soldering is how different metals heat. Copper
likes to suck heat, so does gold because of their melting
temperatures. Certain solders work better than others. Knowing what
to look for is the key.
Practice is so important. Don't worry so much about making perfect
jewelry until you master the soldering part. One way to do that is to
cut about 25 jump rings in half and solder them down to different
metals. Then solder whole ones to each other. Make silly little
sculptures. Then invest in a package of earring posts. Or just cut
some wire and starts soldering, over and over. You'll get it.
In my class, I take everybody through their paces, butt joints, t
joints, sweat solder, pinbacks, earring backs jump rings, rings that
are attached to rings, soldering on roller printed metal, and silver
depletion. If you want to fuse a fine silver bezel, I'll show you how
to do that too.
It's fun and frustrating, but that's the challenge.
M E T A L W E R X
School for Jewelry and the Metalarts
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
781 891 3854