I’ve lurked for a while but this is my first post…so hi everyone.
I’m an aspiring jeweler way down here in Texas. I decided to give
overlay a try on some pendants which are circular or rectangular in
varying sizes but nothing over 1 1/2" square. Everything was going
great. Pre-flowed the solder on the back of the top pieces. Cleaned
the bottom pieces really well. After soldering the top to the bottoms
on a couple of pieces I realized that for my design (areas of thin
scrollwork) I’d used too much solder and that brought a LOT of clean
up with it when the pierced/sawed areas filled with solder. So I
looked at the others and filed/sanded the solder down to get it more
level and remove areas that I knew would flow into the open
scrollwork filling them with solder.
I soldered the remaining pendants on which I’d thinned the
pre-flowed solder. They all soldered but not completely. In some
areas there is a thin line of solder with gaps at the edges. In
other areas, it looks like the solder didn’t flow at all. Some of
the areas are small but others are much larger. Sort of hit or miss.
The set up I used was a tripod with mesh screen. I heated the
pendants from underneath and every now and then on top to get them
to the same temp. I applied pressure when I thought an area needed
it. At times, I felt I almost fused the metal due to the high
heat…but that didn’t happen.
Here are my questions:
Is this because of removing too much solder in the filing/sanding?
I felt there was a good layer of solder still there for the area.
Is this because of not heating long enough? I felt I almost
Taking the pieces apart is not an option. I’m not sure adding
more solder is an option either due to the designs. Is there
something else I can do to save these pieces…they are part of a
show in December. I have cleaned the joints thoroughly after
pickling and neutralizing…I put them through the ultrasonic and
the steam cleaner.
Just thinking I need better, more experienced heads than mine on
Many many thanks!