You might try one of the tack welders like the “Sparky” welder. You
connect a lead to one piece, ground the other, position the pieces
touching, then press down a foot pedal. An electric charge passes
through the pieces, and the point of contact of the two pieces fuses
very slightly. You can break the connection easily, re-position, and
try again. It still requires a somewhat steady moment when the pedal
is depressed, but you’ll eliminate the distraction and awkwardness of
the torch. You’ll also be able to keep both your hands resting on the
table when hold the pieces in place.
When you get the pieces tacked together the way you like, the bond
is strong enough to keep them in place while you pick up a small bead
of solder, position it at the joint, and bring the torch in to flow
These machines are not terribly expensive, in the low hundreds, not
thousands, and even for jewelers with rock steady hands, they’re
very handy. By the way, what you’re doing isn’t that easy even for
those of us without physical challenges.
By the way, here’s a hint for using them. Keep a small bowl of water
handy to dip the pieces in before you tack them. Not dripping wet,
just moistened. It helps the weld happen. I know, water and
electricity… actually, these machines don’t have enough punch to
give you any kind of damaging shock, maybe a tingle, but you have to
really try for it to happen. Obviosly, you’d not want to get water
near the outlet and plug.
David L. Huffman