I have been following this thread, and reading the various postings.
It’s so interesting how different metalsmiths accomplish the same
process with such different techniques. To my way of teaching, part of
the problem would seem to be not enough annealing. If you pour and
roll out your own stock, as I have my students do, then enough
annealing during the entire process is ensured, so that bending that
freshly annealed ring band into a round shape leaves it pretty much
stress-free. When the torch flame is put to the joint area, there
just aren’t the stresses in the band which cause the ends to be
soldered to move.
Many who buy their stock ready-made may not be annealing enough
during forming and shaping operations, so more annealing may be the
answer. Some have suggested annealing the band just prior to
soldering, and this seems a wise move. If the metal is in a relaxed
state, it isn’t going to move when soldering heat is applied. I don’t
have much need for fixturing (binding wire, t-pins, etc) when
soldering a band together, as once the ends are fit tightly together,
providing the metal is annealed, the solder joint should stay tight
during the heating.
A few tips I’ll mention. Once the joint is aligned, and fits as
tight as possible, it usually does not fit as tight as it should, no
matter how carefully the ends are sawn or filed. At this point, I put
the band in a wooden ring clamp, with the seam facing straight up,
and saw through that joint with my jeweler’s saw ( 3/0 blade,
normally). At the point the blade comes through the end of the tight
fitting joint, the ends will snap together, and the joint will be as
tight fitting as they can possible be. If the fit isn’t perfect, saw
I never worry about the shape of the band before soldering, only
that the joint is perfectly aligned and tight before soldering. I
look at this alignment with a 10X loupe before soldering. If you
don’t have a 10 power loupe to see these kinds of vital details, you
need one! ( Even a $5 loupe will work well for this).
Good luck with whatever technique you use.