I’ve read so often that a simple plumber’s propane torch (mine is an
Ace hardware variety) is more than adequate for soldering bezels onto
sterling sheet. I’ve got a fairly large piece of sterling, and have
been experimenting all day without success. I’m wondering if I’m
doing something wrong, or if I’m asking more of this torch than it
The sterling sheet is 20 gauge, 65 mm x 50 mm. The bezel is oval,
about 50mm x 35mm. I’m using Pripp’s and have tried both medium and
easy solder. I’ve tried heating from beneath by 1) supporting the
sheet on two 1" high pieces of kiln brick; 2) supporting the sheet on
two pieces of coat hanger; 3) suspending it with a third hand. I’ve
also tried resting it directly on the brick and heating from above.
I’ve tried a small flame and a large flame. The sheet just doesn’t
seem to want to get hot enough – there’s no color change.
The other day, I did successfully solder a small bezel on the same
size sheet by supporting the sheet on the two small pieces of kiln
brick. In that case, most of the sheet could rest on the brick pieces
and the only real air space was directly beneath the bezel. The
silver reddened up nicely. With this large bezel, only the very edges
of the sheet can rest on the brick pieces, and there’s a large air
space. As you can see from my experiments, I’ve tried changing the
size of the airspace by having the sheet at different heights.
So, do you think there just isn’t enough oomph in the torch to
handle such a large bezel, or can you suggest a better way to support
it, or I am doing something radically stupid somewhere?
I’ve thought of cutting away a large section of sheet inside the
bezel to reduce the mass of the silver, though I’m not thrilled about
the aesthetics of that.
Thanks for your help!