Problem with argentium solder

Hi all

been working with Argentium for a few weeks and really like it. But
the other day went to solder a 10 mm wide 1.5 mm thick size X ring
band. Used 2 pieces of solder over the join. The medium solder would
just not flow along the join. I have soldered this size of ring for
years in sterling.

Re did the ring join and used easy, same method, flowed like a
dream. And wow does the Argentium look good or what. On such a wide
ring I should have used 4 pieces of medium solder over the join like
I would have done with 18 kt.

Learning to fuse Argentium, so far my success rate is 50%. Did 2 5
mm by 1.5 mm size N rings today one would not fuse the other fused
like a dream Just need more practise. Torch control seems to be the
key to this. But it is worth trying till I get to 100%. I need to
observe more closely what happens with the metal. Point I am making is
just keep at it. Because the fused rings look so cool no join. My
Chinese name is hard to pronounce correctly, I said to my teacher “I
will never get it right.” He said “Don’t be lazy. You can do it. Just
practise.” This is the teacher who after I told him the co-supervisor
told me my thesis would pass said “Yes I know, now we will get it
right.” Five re- writes later and months of work he let me submit.
Markers said “Beyond requirements.”

Between my silversmith teacher and my university primary supervisor
I am never satisfied with the quality I make. I can always see how I
could have done a better job. I said to my silversmith teacher
"Silversmithing is like a calligraphy master who says ‘One day I will
get this right.’ He said “Yes.”

You will never get it “right” but your sure can make some superb
stuff in the process.

I was asked to send some photos offline to a guy who is a great Art
Jeweller and he was very complimentary on my pieces. I do send photos
offline but I never feel they are good photos, to be honest
photography is not my strength.

But I would really like to post so am getting lessons. The crystal
ball ring photo I posted was not taken by me.

all the best

Yes practice makes perfect…

All you pros out there probably already do this, but I recently
realized that when I heat the joint and then add the solder with a
titanium pick it flows like a dream and I generally used med.

Thanks for listening and hope this is helpful to others, because
Argentium is awesome and the more jewelers use it the more it will
become known and I won’t have to explain it to my customers, they
will come in asking for it and I will have it Yeah!!! Cathy Roberts

In regards to argentium solders hard and easy are much better suited
to narrow capillary joins like ring joins as they will flow better
than the medium. The medium has a much wider melting range and is
better suited as a seaming solder suited for wide joins or for
filling in gaps, under mounts etc. If doing multiple solders i’d use
the hard then the easy or medium then easy if you need the
properties of the medium.


One of the interesting things about working with Argentium Sterling
is that you do not need multiple solders the way one does with
traditional SS, since the AS does not conduct heat the same way. Like
trad SS, AS is soldered by heating both pieces of metal until they
both reach the temperature needed to melt the solder. With trad. SS,
we “heat the whole thing” because the heat spreads so rapidly through
the metal. With AS, we heat both metals in the AREA that we want the
solder to flow (or the first part of a seam)----as one does with
gold, or pewter—since AS, gold, and pewter hold the heat where itis
applied, and it dissipates and spreads very slowly. So, if you
remember this, you only need different types of solder if the joints
are very close together. Also, if there is a joint that you have
fused, that is now as if it were an original part of the metal. The
joint will not re-melt (though itis always possible to overheat and
melt an area—as with any metal.)

Cynthia Eid