Allan- I’ve done more than my share of these over the years. When I
have very close fitting moving parts that I have to solder near each
other I use graphite from a pencil to mark the areas that I don’t
want the solder to flow. Less messy than yellow ochre and less volume
of gunk to interfere with the close fit of the hinges.
Rebuilding or replacing worn hinge tubes can be a challenge, but one
I enjoy. The trick is to have the right tools. A hinge file and
broaching pin are necessary. Often the interior of the hinge tubes
are tapered. That’s where the broaching tool comes in. You must also
be able to cap the ends of the tubes. I usually just burnish them in.
Beware though, some folks will add lead solder to keep the caps in
place. The lead must be removed before you hard solder. Plus you
must be a facile solderer to be able to solder a very small tube on a
It can be done but it can be a scary thing to do on an old piece that
has a lot of sentimental value to the customer. When ever I do
something really risky like this I make sure that my clients know the
risks and have them sign off in case anything goes wrong. You never
know what it was soldered together with or repaired with. These
things can just puke all over your bench. I also shamelessly use
extra easy solder.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.