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Problem soldering jumpring onto finished pendant


#1

Hello, quick question:

I am attempting to attach a new jumpring to a finished pendant. The
original jumpring was pulled loose.

I am having a problem with soldering the jumpring onto the pendant
because the pendant itself is acting as a heat sink so I am not able
to get the ring hot enough to make the solder flow. Any suggestions?

I’m also considering getting one of the pulse laser welders for
delicate repairs like this, but if I can find a way to make this work
with just a torch, it will save me some money.

Thanks all for reading.


#2

Soldering a small item to aalarger item requires a good heating
technique. Solder flows toward heat so I assume your solder is
jumping either to the jump ring or the piece. If that is the case you
need to heat in such a manner as to bring the temperature up of both
pieces at the area of the join evenly. If you hold the flame just at
the join the jump ring will tend to heat much faster than the larger
piece and the solder will flow toward the ring.

File a flat on the jump ring so you have sufficient contact area,
this will help the heat transfer. Play the heat softly over the
larger piece and watch the flux at the join. You’ll see it change
from liquid to solid and then liquid again. It’ll get shiny as it
nears optimum temperature. Now direct the flame a lil more towards
the JR and bring that temp up.

Two basic ways to apply the solder. You can 1) place a fluxed ball
of solder to the join and then heat, or you can 2) apply with a
solder pick when the temp is good.

Advantage of 1) is that the solder will give you clues as to the
temperature environment. It might rock one way or the other, again,
toward the higher heat if you haven’t overfluxed. Disadvantage is it
can prematurely jump to the hotter piece. This might be a good
exercise to get you accustomed to balanced heating. Melt your solder
ball, dip in flux with very fine point tweezers and apply to cold
join. If you use fat tweezers the area at the tip can act as a quill
and more flux s applied. Once positioned, heat very gently until the
flux has solidified. Too much flux and when you heat it the bubbling
action can shift the position of the solder

Advantage of 2) is you can use more flux or firecoat if the
situation calls for it. Disadavntage is the solder may frustratingly
jump if your temps aren’t right. The pick can act as a heatsink which
makes you tend to overheat. Heat the pick too much and the solder may
flow up the pick.

Another thing you can try… file a flat on the JR. Then flow a
small amount of solder right over the flat. File a little again, but
this time not as much. What you are striving for here is a flat made
of solder. This way you cannot over solder and its in perfect
position and heat balance is not such a critical issue. Very often a
JR with a flat can be more aestetically pleasing than a full JR, its
just a bit more refined, but it depends on the character of the
piece.

Something that can happen occasionally… Depending on the relative
weights involved, if you solder on a flat surface, when the solder
flows the light JR can flip over to the pendant and stick in a
totally wrong alignment. In that case you need to secure the JR in
some fashion, use tweezers or, a flat head pin sunk into a charcoal
block, capturing the JR opposite the join.

Gee, that turned out to be a two coffee post.


#3

Neil thank you for the detailed explaination for using a solder ball.
Its been more than a minute since I tried the technique. I usually
just resort to using solder pallions and “gluing” them in place with
a little flux because I loose patience with the solder ball way. I’ll
definately revisit this method though.

I should have further explained 2 things about this little headache I
took on: its not my own work and it has epoxy resin “gems”. The big
problem is that I am trying not to make the pendant too hot because
it will burn the epoxy and turn it dark and weaken it (I’m assuming).
So far I’ve gotten it hot enough to smell the epoxy burn, which is
what I am trying to avoid. I think this repair would be easier if the
customer wasn’t insisting on using a 10 gauge wire for the jumpring.
A
smaller gauge would heat up a lot more quickly.

What about using solder paste to heat up a local area quickly? The
chllenge here is trying to get isolated heat to the JR. Maybe I could
try suspending the ring and pendant using third hands so that the
pendant isn’t in contact with the JR?

…seriously considering not taking on any more foreign repairs.


#4

Hello Elkka,

A quick answer to your quick question re soldering a jump ring onto
a pendant.

  1. clean the jump ring, file a small flat surface on it, then
    partially run a piece of solder onto the lone jump ring, in the area
    where the flat was filed.

  2. position the jump ring onto a cleaned surface of the pendant,
    solder side down, I use a T shaped stainless steel clamp for holding
    these rings in place.

  3. concentrate the flame heat onto the pendant, not directly on the
    jump ring until the actual pendant heat runs the solder once more.
    This will give you a good soldered joint between jump ring and
    pendant.

I hope this makes sense
Peace to all orchideans James Miller in the UK.


#5
I should have further explained 2 things about this little
headache I took on: its not my own work and it has epoxy resin
"gems". The big problem is that I am trying not to make the pendant
too hot because it will burn the epoxy and turn it dark and weaken
it (I'm assuming). So far I've gotten it hot enough to smell the
epoxy burn, which is what I am trying to avoid. 

In a situation like this, I use Staybright low temp solder. I use it
all the time for repair when too much heat is an issue.


#6

Elkka,

I understand exactly what you are trying to do. Here’s what I do.

Do you have a pumice pan? If so, you can bury the piece in pumice,
clip the bale to a third hand which just rises above the pumice and
use the solder pick and ball method. Blast the joint with a bit of
heat. The third hand will act as heat sink and the pumice will
protect the pendant.

If you don’t, here is another way. Soak some newspaper in cold water
and wrap it around the pendant with some 26 ga binding wire. Clip a
third hand to the bale and then solder. The wet newspaper will keep
the epoxy cool.

I watched glassblowers mold hot glass in their bare hand with soaked
newspapers. I got the idea from this.

If you don’t understand, email me off line and I will send you
picture of my setup.

-k
M E T A L W E R X
School for Jewelry and the Metalarts
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
781 891 3854
www.metalwerx.com


#7
So far I've gotten it hot enough to smell the epoxy burn, which is
what I am trying to avoid 

Aha, complications! My favorite sport. Your choices would include…

  1. figure on refilling the epoxy areas. Total drag and a lot of
    time. May not have the same look.

  2. hard solder JR to an appropriate splint or pad. This can then be
    soft soldered or cemented in place. Be quick if you soft solder. Be
    sure to have a lot of contact area for cement to be effective. I’m
    having good luck with Hxtal which I learned about here, Thanks
    Orchid. Its not purist but its a safe way out as long as you discuss
    the limitations of the piece with the owner.

  3. Karen’s suggestions are very good. In fact a heavier gauge JR
    works to your advantage here. A light wire would tend to melt easier
    under the hot flame needed for this operation.

  4. Yes laser would work very well. Rather than coughing up the bucks
    right now you could farm this one out.

  5. once, i had a really challenging job. A large marquis emerald and
    diamond ring to be converted to a pendant. NO WAY was I going to
    mess with pulling and resetting that stone. White gold V prongs!
    Oooooo, I get shivers thinking about it. (I really have to hand it
    to the original setter, Brave or foolhardy I dunno). After I cut the
    shank off I made a wire frame that grabbed the former ringtop the way
    a pronged coin frame works, was able to make the prongs nearly
    invisible by hiding and blending with the design of the ring.


#8

Hello,

I too would be very interested in seeing your set-up, can you please
send me a picture of your set-up also…

Thanks So Much
Rosanne


#9
In a situation like this, I use Staybright low temp solder. I use
it all the time for repair when too much heat is an issue. 

Even easier, just drill a hole and put a jumpring through it…


#10

Hello,

Generally when soldering something small (like a bail/jumpring) onto
something larger, I use a variation of sweat soldering. The idea is
to draw the solder toward the larger and hotter piece. This works
well when soldering earring posts too. Always put the solder on the
smaller of the two pieces. (BTW, this might not work with Argentium,
but then it’s not necessary to heat the entire larger part as with
standard sterling alloy.)

After the bail is fitted to the larger piece and flux is applied to
both sides of the joint (both pieces), warm the flux to fix it. Place
solder bits on the soldering board. Hold the bail in cross-lock
tweezers opposite the fluxed area. Heat the bail and solder bits;
when the bits ball up, touch the fluxed part of the bail to the
solder and it will “jump” onto the bail. Allow the solder to just
barely flow onto the bail. Then heat up the large part and as it
nears soldering temperature, lightly press the solder on the bail to
the fluxed part of the large piece. Watch for the solder to flow
toward the large piece and immediately withdraw the torch.

A steady hand helps, and you can rest your hand holding the tweezers
on something so that you only move your fingers to put the bail in
place.

If you’re a little shaky, let the bail cool and use binding wire or
pins in the soldering block to hold the bail to the large part. Heat
the larger piece first to avoid melting the smaller bail. As the
large piece comes to soldering temperature, move the flame toward the
bail. Watch for the solder to flow.

Works for me.

Judy in Kansas, where the walleye are still biting and instead of
hunting pheasants, it looks like the guys will be on the lake early
on Thanksgiving morn.


#11
position the jump ring onto a cleaned surface of the pendant,
solder side down, I use a T shaped stainless steel clamp for
holding these rings in place 

James, could you be a little more specific about this setup,
particularly these “clamps”? Thanks.

Allan Mason
www.silvermason.com


#12

To anyone interested, I answered this original posting not knowing
that there were epoxy resins involved. I appologise for my simplistic
method explanations but I thought that I was advising a beginer. I
have been asked to elaborate on what my T shaped soldering clamps
are, so here goes. I use 1mm thick stainless steel sheet, cut into
approximately 60mm x 2mm strips.I use stainless steel because solders
will not adhere to it and it retains a certain amount of grip when
hot. I prefer to use these clamps,rather than the third hand clamp
variety, because I can position many rings or pins onto an item and
solder them all with one heating session. To make the clamps I bend
the stainlesss steel strips into T shaped clamps as below, I use
these shaped clamps to hold jumprings and fitting pins in position
while soldering:

See some of my past work on the Orchid Gallery
http://www.ganoksin.com/orchid/jmdesign.htm

Regards to all
James Miller FIPG. in the UK.


#13
I should have further explained 2 things about this little headache
I took on: its not my own work and it has epoxy resin "gems". 

There is no way that I would attempt this repair without removing
the epoxy. It’s a silver piece, right? No way. Not everything can be
repaired the way the customer thinks it can. We’re the experts, not
them. If the epoxy cannot be removed, then maybe the piece can be
drilled and have the jump ring run through the hole. I know you are
not trying to do it this way, but you need to be realistic. Silver
conducts heat so well that you can’t get the piece up to temp for
soldering and still have epoxy in it. Sorry!

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA


#14
Maybe I could try suspending the ring and pendant using third hands
so that the pendant isn't in contact with the JR? 

Yes, I think this is possible. Drill the hole in the piece large
enough that there is air room between it and the jump ring. Protect
the whole piece, except right around the hole, with stone-protecting
goo. Have the pendant set upright in the goo, and suspend the jump
ring in a third hand soldering tweezer. Go in FAST with a lot of
heat, aiming your torch up and away from the location of the
pendant. Tip: try soldering a plain jump ring first, for practice.
You must be fast and hot. Sorry I didn’t read your whole post
carefully the first time I answered.

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA