A while back I read in jewelry artist about using magic solder tin in a project. I think this product might help me in a piece I’m working on. I want to solder about 25 silver balls around a prong/claw set cab. After I solder the balls I would saw out the piece, and then solder the bails. Without sawing out the piece I’m not sure where to set the two bails. would I be able to solder with easy solder the bails after using the magic solder or Should I try to solder bails before using easy solder, before using the magic solder?
Is this to be a pendant? I assume so since you mention two bails. Beyond that it is difficult to understand what you intend. Posting a sketch would help.
However, if the initial attachment of the balls is merely for them to act as a piercing guide, I suggest attaching them with super glue. Then after sawing a brief soak in acetone will dissolve the super glue and you can solder them in place.
If “magic solder” is the same product I’m thinking of, it’s a powdered soft solder made from lead and tin. Aside from lead being toxic, soft solders will melt about a thousand degrees (550 degrees Celsius) sooner than a silver solder would. If you flow a lead or tin based soft solder on a silver piece and then heat it to silver soldering temperatures, it will likely alloy with the silver and damage the piece.
There are also powdered solders made from precious metals though, so just make sure to verify the melting temperature of whichever specific product you have. Soft solders flow in the 300-400 degree Fahrenheit range, silver solders flow in the 1200-1500 degree Fahrenheit range.
Research “granulation” in the archives to find alternatives for magic solder tin.
Thank you, Elliot Had not heard about the super glue trick!
Thanks Will, Where can I buy powdered solders? Christina
Granulation is a great idea, Betty. Thanks much, Christina
This soft solder for stained glass work, I’d be very careful using it in silver. If the piece is heated too much the solder will alloy with the silver and spoil the piece. Also, soft solder isn’t nearly as strong as hard solder. I’d use easy hard solder if I were you.
Karen, who works with electronics soft solder for a living
You can buy it from Kieu Gray at Urban Beader or from Victoria Lansford. You can also make your own by filing your solder wire or sheet.