Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Heating Argentium caused it to crumble and break


#1

Hello All,

The other day I was soldering a piece of flat wire onto the back of
some sheet and the solder was being stubborn so I went to give it a
nudge with my pic and it moved the piece out of position and
soldered there in place. I went back in to reheat it and tried to
move it back into position and just as it was getting hot enough for
the solder to flow again as I gave it another nudge with my pick it
completely crumbled and fell apart. Now, I am aware that Argentium
does not like to be moved when it is hot but sometimes during the
course of soldering, you have to make adjustments and I am wondering
how anyone else is getting around this?

I wound up having to remove any metal & solder residue and start
completely over, but it was a pain in the neck. Any technical
suggestions?

Thanks,
Grace


#2

Hi Grace,

In both life and metalworking, I find it easier to prevent problems
than to fix them. So, my suggestions would be in the area of
preventing miss-alignment:

  • Use something which does not disappear at soldering temperatures
    to mark the placement. For instance, I like to use a pencil to draw
    "cross-hairs" indicating placement of a post or pin finding, with a
    circle around the spot where I want it soldered. White Out/Liquid
    Paper and yellow ochre could also be used. Sharpie tends to fade out
    at annealing temperature, but Bic pens don’t fade as much, so you
    could experiment with different brands of permanent markers.

  • Use a graver to raise “stitches” to hold the piece in place.

  • Solder wire “pegs” onto one piece. Drill holes through the other
    so that placement is exact. Rivet, melt the ends of the wires, or
    solder the pegs with a lower temperature solder.

Hang in there. Each metal has its pluses and minuses. That’s why we
each have our favorites, and that is what keeps life, and this forum,
interesting.

Best wishes,
Cynthia
http://www.cynthiaeid.com


#3

Thanks for the tips Cynthia - in my case it was just easier to clean
up the joint and start over, and it’s not a problem I have very
often - I was just too aggressive with the solder pick when trying to
prod that solder to flow - maybe the lesson learned here is making
sure the solder joints and piece are very clean so the solder does
flow better!!

Grace