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Persistent Soldering Problems

I have been making jewelry for a long time and I’ve had bad soldering days, but lately it’s happening way too often in my home studio. My metal and solder are clean and I’ve cleaned them again and again. I’ve tried switching fluxes, using different batches of solders, and the problem persists. What are some other factors that can affect solder flow? Are there environmental factors that can have an effect?

Thanks!
Judi

More information needed. What gas? What torch? What metal? Use a barrier flux? What’s your flow flux?

Acetylene air. I don’t know the brand of the torch but it’s the regular kind, not a mini torch. The metal is silver at the moment. I have a few different fluxes. I started with Battern’s and switched to a Rio liquid flux. I’m out of paste flux but was wondering if that would have made a difference.

Thanks.

I would definitely use a barrier flux. Boric acid and denatured alcohol. I prefer paste flux. It melts at around 1200F so you know that the solder is approaching melting temperature.

There’s a short video I made but even compressed it was too big to send. Just under 2 minutes. I’ll ask my son how to send it. I just realized that I can send it on FB Messenger. So PM me and I’ll send it to you!

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More information? What is happening specifically? Does the solder just sit there, does it melt and not flow, does it partly flow? Is it ALL grades of silver solder? Wire or sheet or paste? What kinds of surfaces are your parts sitting on, how do you hold them together? And on and on. Lots of things affect soldering and I have run across seemingly “bad” batches of solder and fluxes both.

Ruthanne Robertson

Hi Judi,

We have an air/Acetylene torch here in our employee studio and after coming across issues, I’ve written this article about the problems that we’ve faced. I wish I knew more about your set-up, mainly torch tips and soldering surfaces, but here’s a link to the article and hopefully it will help resolve your issues:

Top 5 Reasons Silver Solder Doesn’t Flow