Problem balling wire ends

Hi! I hope someone can help me with this,

I am having trouble melting a ball on the end of fine silver wire
(24g). It’s no problem for me when I do this when just the wire and
tweezers are involved…

here’s the problem:

I had a rectangle piece of copper (24 g) about 3/4" by 1-1/4", I
half domed this so it looked like half a tube. I drilled a hole on
each side to slide through a length of fine silver (24g) wire…
about 3/8" sticking out each side of the metal…with the idea to
ball up each end close to the metal (think Frankenstein). I can make
the ball if I start with a longer piece but I want the result to be
the ball ends close to the main body of metal.

I realize that it is probably an issue of the large metal main piece
soaking up the heat…but it seems like there should be a way to do

Thanks so much!

Hi Margaret, The way I have done it may not be quite orthodox, but
it works for me. I dome one end of the wire, slip it through the
holes, with just a small end projecting from one of the holes. Then,
instead of trying to ball the stub, I take another 24g. wire. Put a
ball on one end of it. Then I flux the ball, and carefully put a tiny
paillon of easy solder on the end of the ball. Let it dry and heat
with the torch until the solder flows… Pickle to remove any residual
flux. Neutralize. Reflux the presoldered ball, and put some flux on
the stub.

Holding the wire with the presoldered ball in a pair of tweezers, in
one hand, and my torch in the other, I bring it close to the stub, so
that the ball touches it. I then carefully play the flame of the
torch on it, and when the solder flows, I quickly remove the torch.
being careful not to move the wire, until the ball has cooled. When I
am sure they have fused, I cut off the long wire, and with a pumice
wheel, smooth the clipped area on the ball so that it is nice and

One trick I use, is to push the large piece (in your case the copper
half tube), into a soft firing brick to hold it steady during the

Hopes this helps.

hey there, this should not be a problem for you. i suggest balling
one end up before you insert it into your drill hole. then you must
have appropirate heat. this probably will not work with a plain
acetylene torch. you will need a propane/oxygen or acetylene/oxygen
torch. i suggest a mini torch with a small tip in addition so you
can concentrate the heat. then turn on the torch really high, but
with a very small heat focus and voila! get right in there with the
torch, ball it up! make sure to heat the wire and not the copper.
good luck.

I am having trouble melting a ball on the end of fine silver

The trick to balling the “second” end, next to a heavy piece of
metal, is to do it with a Smith Little torch. The tiny, intense
oxy/acet flame is so hot that it will get the protruding wire up to
melting temperature even though there’s a huge heat sink right next
to it.


Hey, thanks everyone for your suggestions. I guess I will have to buy
another torch!