Hard Soldering Nickel Silver

Donna, Since I’ve left Maui Divers, I’m still making models for my
own line. I’ve been using for fabrication, old silverware
(especially spoons!) that I roll out into plate. The advantage is,
the silver plating acts like “rolled gold” and leaves a thin plating
of silver on both sides even after the metal is rolled. This allows
the solder (gold or hard silver solder) to bond really easy with
some working properties of silver. Overheating can cause bubbling
on the surface and lead to porosity so care is used not to overheat
if the solder isn’t flowing. It’s usually best to stop, pickle,
clean and re-flux (not to be confused with “acid re-flux” LOL) After
assembly, during the lapping and polishing stages, the silver is
buffed off leaving the nickel silver beneath to yield a high polish
and the working characteristics of plain NS. Yea it’s a little more
trouble that just NS (nickel silver) but I can remember the crap I
went through, like yourself, fighting good flow characteristics in
the solder. I don’t think it’s contributed to heat control as
someone else mentioned, but more of an oxide problem with surface
contamination. That goes for Rio’s solder as well. I’ve used
different solders all through my career and have determined it’s a
myriad of combined elements that cause behavioral problems,
including type of gas, heat, flux, borax coating, and solder alloys
and mostly just what you get used to. I stick to Stuller’s myself.
It’s always been there the next day!

Travis Duggan
Placitas, NM