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Paste solder and PMC


My PMC tutor really wants me to buy and use paste solder (medium),
but after all the fairly recent posts I’ve read (actually skimmed,
since I never intended on using it), I feel even more resistant. Is
there a reason to use paste solder, as opposed to another form, with
PMC? If so, what brand (must be from Rio–it’s a Rehab thing) would
experienced PMC people recommend?

Thanks, as usual!

Lisa Orlando
Aphrodite’s Ornaments
Benicia, CA


Lisa, I don’t know about using past solder with PMC but I have been
using it successfully with silver. I bought some from Beth Katz of
Unique Solutions at the SNAG conference in March. It works

Joel Schwalb


Hi Lisa, When I took an ACS course in Canada last Fall, we were shown
why you use paste solder for attaching bezels for stones, attaching
components etc. When the piece is either fired in a kiln or
torched, this is the recommended method of attachment.

I would ask the question of your instructor to explain the benefits.
I love working with ACS because it is so easy with the paste. I’ve
never tried the paste solder on my metals work, only solder bits,
but I’d like to try the solderpaste in the syringe for jumprings.

Cheers !Dinah.


I do not like paste solder, in my limited experience with it, it’s
messy and hard to control. I have the idea that it is more
expensive, but I don’t know that for a fact. (I admit to having a
personal bias against paste solder.)

There is no particular reason to use paste solder with PMC. I
solder PMC all the time and never use paste. I apply solder the way
I was taught in my first apprenticeship, using sheet solder, cutting
it up into tiny pallions, and dipping each tiny pallion in a puddle
of flux, then applying the solder chip to the whatever. (The person
I worked for did a lot of intricate applique soldering with lots of
cut outs.) I usually use a tiny paintbrush.

I have found no difference btw soldering PMC+ and soldering
sterling. You’ll often hear that you should use a little more solder
with PMC because it’s more porous. And you’ll especially hear that
in regard to PMC Standard.

So, to sum up, use whatever solder and flux you normally use to
solder sterling.


Elaine Luther
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Studio 925; established 1992


Hi, Lisa –

My preference is to use standard silver solder. The trick for
soldering on any of the silver clay pieces is that they need to be
really well burnished where you want solder to flow. If it is not,
the solder sucks into the sintered metal and fills the spaces (kind
of like water into a sponge). You will end up with a large area of
solder where it spread and a very poor solder joint.

You can burnish the piece by tumbling it or by hand burnishing a
small area with an agate burnisher or the standard metal burnisher.

I have successfully soldered on many silver clay pieces using the
standard silver solders. I do usually use hard solder as the color
match is slightly better than medium or easy, but any will work.

If you have problems, let me know and I would be glad to share what
I know about soldering on the silver clay. It is a bit different than
on other metals.