I have used the Garnet sand in a damp/wet state to cover the stone
in a ring while sizing (can't remember what type of stone just now
but it was heat sensitive)- this also held the ring in the proper
position for soldering. But the joint was in the air not near the
I have also seen a filigree bowl formed over 'molded and dried'
garnet sand. The sand was first wet and placed in a glass bowl, and
allowed to dry and harden. The filigree pieces were then formed and
laid up against the hard form for soldering. If I remember correctly
the person was using chips of solder. It worked great and I have
always thought I would like to try it myself.
I can see how paste solder might be harder to 'keep clean' but then
I have never been very fond of paste solder.