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Powdered solder

Hi Sandra, One thing I can tell you is the powder you saw for stained
glass is more like a grout…used for mosaics …and will not
melt.

Hope this helps a little…Patty
plj@pljglassart.com
www.pljglassart.com

I’ve only once heard about old-timers using powder solder for hard soldering precious metals. It was from a native
American sil ver worker in the southwest USA. He had an unusual
applicator device thi ngy for it. It was made of silver sheet about
half the size of a film ca nister; it looked sort of like a watering
can/ tea pot, the lid was corr ugated. He would scrape his index
fingernail over the lid while tilting t he spout in order to
agitate/shake out a tiny bit of solder. They had ma de the solder
from carefully measured and mixed filings of brass ammo car tridge
shells and old Mexican silver pesos. I’ve never seen the techniqu e
in action but wish you good luck and success.
Mark Kaplan @mark_kaplan

Thanks for the info. I am aware the true granulation is done by
fusing (I wrote the paper on Fine Silver granulation) but I’m always
interested in trying new ideas and techniques, and going outside the
traditional ways of doing things. It’s fun and interesting, and
sometimes creates unusual effects. I believe that it is important
to always be open to what is called ‘divergent thinking’–thinking
outside the box. That’s what so many of our colleagues here on
Orchid do when they create tools out of odd materials, or find new
ways of doing old things. There is such a vast amount of wonderful
divergent and creative thinking among Orchid people, and I feel we
shouldn’t limit it for ourselves in any way. Sincerely Sandra

When I do production soldering of earposts and some other
findings, We use a lot of powdered solder.

An interesting way to use it for posts that is very fast is this…
You have a small dish with liquid flux and a small dish with the
powdered solder…

Take the earpost in a pair of tweezers, dip the end of the earpost
in flux, then touch the end of the earpost that has been fluxed to
the powdered solder . This will put just the right amount of solder
on the tip of the earpost. Put it on the piece you want it soldered
to, then solder it. With very little practice, you will be soldering
earposts very quickly with this method.

Also, Another bit of info… A lot of my customers have always asked
me why my soldered silver or gold posts seem to be stronger and
don’t bend as easily as pieces they have gotten from other
manufacturers… The answer is… A soon as it is soldered…
Quench it directly in pickle by dropping it in the pickle . When you
cool it very quickly, The post stay hard… If you allow them to air
cool,or wait a minute, they become soft.

Daniel Grandi We do casting/finishing ,
soldering,assembly,enamelling, fusion ,plating , model and mold work
as well as a miriad of other processes for jewelry designers,
catalogs, stores and people in the trade. Contact us off list at
sales@racecarjewelry.com

I’ve heard that one can make their own Powered solder, just file
(and collect) some of the solder that you’re already using.

   He had an unusual applicator device thi ngy for it.  It was made
of silver sheet about half the size of a film ca nister; it looked
sort of like a watering can/ tea pot,  the lid was corr ugated. He
would scrape his index fingernail over the lid while tilting t he
spout in order to agitate/shake out a tiny bit of solder. 

The applicator Mark refers to reminds me of the applicators used by
Tibetan Buddhist monks when making a sand mandala (they were recently
at my school and we observed them in action for a week - what an
experience!). They use incredibly fine colored sand and long metal
conical tubes with their finest openings in different sizes. The
smallest had an opening not much larger than a single grain of sand.
The outside of the tube has a slight horizontal corrugation to it,
and the sand is dispensed by rubbing (lightly!) a chopstick-sized
stick or another tube across the ridges, creating a vibration, and a
sound almost like a musical instrument.

Perhaps something like this would be adaptable to the application of
powdered solder – seeing the works the monks did in sand proves
that it can be amazingly precise!

Karen Goeller
No Limitations
@Karen_Goeller

but I'm always interested in trying new ideas and techniques, and
going outside the traditional ways of doing things.  It's fun and
interesting, and sometimes creates unusual effects.  I believe that
it is important  to always be open to what is called 'divergent
thinking'--thinking outside the box. 

When I teach I tell my students to do it my way until they learn the
basics. Then I tell them to read ‘the Complete Metalsmith’ and other
books and not be afraid to try the supposed no-nos in the books. Also
it is always good to learn different techniques from other people.

I learned the basics from one teacher until I was reasonably
confident. Then I realized that after 6 classes with him I was doing
look alike jewellery to him. So I took some little classes by a few
other people and learned their techniques. Now I use my own unique
combinations of what I learned from them plus what I learned on my
own through melting my own jewellery :).

As long as you know enough to not make stupid (dangerous) errors
trying something that is not supposed to work actually can be a way
to developed a new technique. My own trial and errors often show me
how to do what the books say can’t be done or shouldn’t be done.

Karen Seidel-Bahr the ‘ROCKLADY’ @Rocklady K.I.S.
Creations May your gems always “Sparkle”

Daniel, What is the difference between your method using powderd
solder and using paste solder to attatch an earring post?? Thanks
for the tip on the immediate quench .

Adrienne/L.A.

Daniel,  What is the difference between your method using powderd
solder and using paste solder to attatch an earring post??  Thanks
for the tip on the immediate quench . 

Hi Adrienne, The problem I’ve encountered with paste solder is that
it is not always evenly distributed into the paste… So sometimes
you have to add more paste solder… Then, the next time you apply,
you have too much. This only becomes critical on certain types of
jobs and in most cases, I do use paste solder

Mostly, I would use the powdered solder in high volume soldering and
the reason is that I can pick up the post, touch the flux to the
post, touch the fluxed post to the solder and solder the item. This
is quicker than applying the paste solder to all the pieces and then
picking up the post and soldering it…The paste solder takes a bit
longer to get the paste flowing and the solder melted… Then,
sometimes the paste doesn’t have enough solder in it… so you have
to reapply more.

In one of my past incarnations , I had 10 solderers working for me
and the head solderer had lots of little tricks like this that
worked better for certain jobs than on other jobs…

However, for 98 % of the jobs , they were not done this way…
powdered solder has mostly become a thing of the past. Daniel Grandi

We do casting ,finishing, soldering, assembly, logo’s, badges for
military police and firedept. as well as a lot of other different
operations that most standard casting companies don’t do. We
primarily do work for Up coming designers, people who need to produce
more pieces than thay can by hand and people in the trade including
students,stores, catalogs etc… please contact sales@racecarjewelry.com
for your needs.

When I do production soldering of earposts and some other findings,
We use a lot of powdered solder.

An interesting way to use it for posts that is very fast is this…
You have a small dish with liquid flux and a small dish with the
powdered solder…

Take the earpost in a pair of tweezers, dip the end of the earpost in
flux, then touch the end of the earpost that has been fluxed to the
powdered solder . This will put just the right amount of solder on
the tip of the earpost. Put it on the piece you want it soldered to,
then solder it. With very little practice, you will be soldering
earposts very quickly with this method.

Also, Another bit of info… A lot of my customers have always asked
me why my soldered silver or gold posts seem to be stronger and don’t
bend as easily as pieces they have gotten from other
manufacturers… The answer is… A soon as it is soldered…
Quench it directly in pickle by dropping it in the pickle . When you
cool it very quickly, The post stay hard… If you allow them to air
cool,or wait a minute, they become soft.

Daniel Grandi We do casting/finishing ,
soldering,assembly,enamelling, fusion ,plating , model and mold work
as well as a miriad of other processes for jewelry designers,
catalogs, stores and people in the trade. Contact us off list at
sales@racecarjewelry.com

While at SNAG, I bought a set of little jars of powdered solder from
Beth Katz, expecting to use them primarily for sweat soldering. I got
IT, hard, high medium, low medium, easy, and eutectic.

A few days ago, Beth posted instructions for using powdered solder
to pick solder, by dipping the tip of the pick into flux then into
solder. Well, as it happened, I just made a piece that involved
making essentially a framework of copper wire. I used the pick
method to place the solder, and it was really great! By far easier
than any other way it could have been done (except maybe laser, I
guess). I could place an exact amount in an exact location, with no
fear of it moving or falling off. I could do 8 or 10 joints at one
time. I even did them with the IT, just because I could. Needless to
say, I am delighted with the product, and the method. Thanks, Beth!
Usual disclaimer.

–Noel

Hi Jeanne,

I don’t know if it is available commercially, but it is easy to
make: Lay down a sheet of smooth white paper. Then take a coarse hand
file and run a sheet of the desired grade of solder back and forth,
vigorously over the file (on top of the paper). I usually start on a
corner or edge of the solder sheet. When you think you’ve got enough,
run a magnet through the filings to remove any steel or iron
contaminants that may have come off the file. Voila! Powdered solder
on demand!

All the best,

Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)

David,

Just to let you know, powdered solder is available on a commercial
basis. Unique Solutions, Inc. has this available in all formulas.
The advantage of using a commercial product is that you do not have
to spend any time preparing the solder for use and no chance of
getting any filings at all in the powder solder. This is a definite
time saver; no muss no fuss. It is also all uniform in size. A
specialized powder solder that is available is in the Eutectic
formula. In the past the Eutectic formulation in powder has not
been widely made available, if at all, on a commercial basis, so we
are cutting edge. We also have available paste solder in all
formulations. If you have questions about powder solder, please
let me know and I will be glad to help if I can.

Beth Katz, Unique Solutions, Inc.
http://www.myuniquesolutions.com
Paste and Powder Solder for Jewelers and Metalsmiths

Hi Jeanne

Powdered solder is available commercially.

I see that you live in Kristianssand so all you have to do is to
contact Nogusra in Oslo - http://www.nogusra.no they also have the
neat “pressed charcoal soldering blocks” which is nice for making
filigree.

best regards
Berge

Good Morning to All

I have seen mention of powdered solder several times on the forum. Is
it possible to make it by filing a cupon of solder and mixing the
filings with something; or is the powdered solder people talk about
something totally different? The place I get my solder now does not
have it listed in the solder section.

Thanks Sheila, Ontario, Canada

I have seen mention of powdered solder several times on the forum.
Is it possible to make it by filing a cupon of solder and mixing
the filings with something; or is the powdered solder people talk
about something totally different? 

The powdered solder I have is not mixed with anything, it is just–
powdered solder. I use it by dipping the tip of my pick into paste
flux then into the solder, then depositing it where I want it. I
bought mine from our own Beth Katz of Unique Solutions-- in silver,
she has hard, high medium, low medium, easy, extra easy, and
eutectic (I think I got that right! Beth?)

I suppose you could powder your own, but I would worry about
contamination from the file, and the particles would be larger and
uneven-- plus, what a lot of work! I am very happy with the bought
ones-- though I will add, I have since become a fan of Beth’s paste
solders in syringes. I was bothered at first by the fact that they
behave differently from ordinary solder, including smoking a bit,
and it was difficult to judge how much solder I was applying–
that’s why I bought powders. But it just takes a bit of getting used
to them. Now, with large and small wire solder, pastes and powders
all at my “bench” (actually an ancient oak desk), I have what my
father called “an embarassment of riches”-- I feel ready for any
soldering challenge!

Noel

Sheila

I have seen mention of powdered solder several times on the forum.
Is it possible to make it by filing a cupon of solder and mixing
the filings with something; or is the powdered solder people talk
about something totally different? 

When I have referred to powdered solder, it was from filing regular
solder to form a ‘powder’ and placing it with tweezers into the joint
after fluxing and I have tried it mixing the filings with flux.
Fluxing the item first gives the best control if you are trying to
hit a small spot, mixing the filings with flux always gives me a
panic that it won’t stay in place but it some how does, most of the
time.

Preheat the piece first to dry out the flux, and see that the solder
will stay where placed then heat normally avoiding hitting directly
on the powder as it will move if the flux has not gone liquid yet. Do
not hit the area of solder while it is still powder, it will form
oxide and not flow at all. As always, if it is off a little, use heat
to pull it back to the area of interest. It will produce a very fine
joint with little overflow or webbing.

Terry

They sell paste solder already in Stuller, Gesswein,etc. I dont use
it but saw the thread and said “Yeah they make that, called paste
solder.”

Brent

Beth Katz, an Orchid contributor, has a business called Unique
Solutions that specializes in powdered solders and paste solders.
Here is her web site: http://www.myuniquesolutions.com

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com

Cynthia

Thanks, I have been making my own, had no idea anyone made it as a
product.

Terry