Judy's method is very good, I do a variation....it's just
experimenting and finding a sweet spot that works. There's wealth of
info/tips online if you search a bit.
Loren, I don't solder unless requested or working with smaller
gauges in 14k. I've never had a problem with my chains coming
apart....14 years, although I always offer a warning for my 22 and
24ga. chains, they are delicate. Hey, Loren, can't wait for you to
come teach your knotting technique.
Fusing Argentium is an alternative...a pinhead(or less) of paste
solder in the ring joint, then a uniform precipitation heating to
650f or whatever your paste recommends, pickle and burnish tumble.
There's a gentleman I know of that doesn't use paste, just heat
fuses. I love Argentium....finding it easier to work with, in
different ways, all the time.