Ok, I will try to expand on it a little for you.
I found out about the plumb silver solders from an issue of the AJM
magazine, which is put out by MJSA. The article described the
benefits of the new plumb silver solders, and even had some
commentaries about working with it. It said that it was a bit more
difficult to work with than standard solder, but once you got the
hand of it, the benefits would outweigh the learning curve. The
article went on to note that currently only hard plumb was
available, but PMW was working on Medium and Easy grades as well.
Well, I was game. I called PMW and got a sample of their brand new
Medium plumb, I figured it would be a good place to start. Well, I
have made several attempts to work with it so far. My results
todate have not been very encouraging, but maybe I just need to pay
attention to it a little more. I decided to try the solder on a few
8mm Low Dome, silver shanks I was working on.
When using the new solder, the first thing I noticed was how
dangerously close to the metlting temperature of the base I was
getting. But finally the solder balled up and began to flow. But
then about 1/2 way down the joint it stopped. A good potion of the
ball was still at one end of the joint, but damned if I could get it
to move any further. At this point, though the solder was not
moving, the surrounding metal began to pool towards the center as it
was drawn away from the edge. Well, that was one ring dead.
Next!.. Ok, grabbed the next ring in line and tried again, this
time I was a bit faster with the flame, chasing the solder across
the joint. This was sort of more like doing gold soldering than
silver. The joint looked ok, and was tossed into some pickle for a
few min. Grabbed the ring, threw it on a mandrel, and went to bang
it round with a rawhide. First stroke and the seam split. Damn!.
I have made several more tries with one of the same two results.
Tough stuff to work with. That is why I wanted to see if anyone
else was using the stuff. Even the normal hard solders I have used
have never caused me this much grief. But then again,
perhaps their new solders are still a work in progress, or maybe I
just need to adjust my technique. I am going to see if I can get a
sample of their hard solder and try that as well. If you want me to
post the results, I’ll be happy to. In the past, I have really
enjoyed working with the PMW Gold and Platinum Solders as well, but
these new silver solders are damn difficult to work with.
Jewelry Designer and Craftsman
Main Site = www.firescale.com