Hi All, First of all let me express my appreciation to all the people
on this list who so openly share their knowledge and experience. I am
(so far) self-taught but have reached the point where I need some
tips and pointers to continue learning and to minimize (hopefully)
Most of our work is in silver but requests for gold items are
increasing. I have done a fair amount of soldering with silver,
copper, brass and feel very comfortable with it. The few gold items I
have soldered have been difficult. I was soldering a pair of cuff
links and some tie tacks the other day and had a lot of difficulty
getting the solder to flow. The cuff link backs were gold filled,
using Smith Little Torch (oxy/acet) and Rio gold paste solder. I
started with a #3 tip and med. high flame. It seemed like I could
just get everything almost to solder temp. but no flow, no
connection. I was concerned about holding the heat on for too long
and burning out the flux and I was also reluctant to crank up the gas
or oxy much more with that size tip. I have had occaisions where the
gas flow over powered the #3 tip and it blew out at a critical
point…clean up and start over. So after a couple of aborted
attempts, I went up to a #4 tip and med. low flame. It got everything
very hot, very fast, solder flowed beautifully but I had to bring the
gold piece up to a very bright orange-red color before the solder
flowed. The cuff links came out fine but I had a melt-down on one of
the three tie tacks. My exclamation of “f—!!” could be heard
throughout South Austin, I’m sure.
Needless to say it put a black cloud over an otherwise beautiful day
and it does stress me out a bit to have to get gold pieces with
intricate designs so hot.
Should I be supplementing the paste solder with additional flux? Is
it “normal” to have to get gold this hot? Help!
Any tips, insight, emotional support, etc. would be greatly
Black Horse Design
New Greyhound & Celtic Designs Now on Display!
10% of retail sales support rescues.