I need to remove a silver solder pallion from a bracelet I’m making. I read somewhere on Internet that it’s possible to do it with a heated copper rod. Unfortunately I can’t find the reference. Dies Abu of you know how to do it? Of course I can sand it but it was very impressive - the heated copper attracted the pallion. Maybe somebody among you knows how it wie is!
Thank you very much!
It might just be stuck with solidified flux. Have you soaked it in water for a while to see if it drops off. If it has partially started to flow and become one with the piece, you will likely have to grind, sand polish to remove it. I have never hear of the copper rod technique. If you ever find it, please share it…Rob
Thank you very much. I’m afraid it started to melt with the silver. It was stuck under the bracelet while I was soldering a ball.
I will try to retrieve this super trick and post it.
In the meantime I will grind/sand it !
I know excess low-temp solder which is used with a soldering iron can be wicked away using copper braiding. I suppose the technique should work for silver solder as well although you run the risk of reflowing successful seams.
There are quite a few videos on YouTube if you search Desoldering or Solder Wick.
I know the problem well. You are picking up a piece of solder, it pops out of your tweezers, you can’t find it, you forget about it and the next thing you know, it becomes a part of your next project…Rob
I read somewhere on Internet that it’s possible to do it with a heated copper rod.
Solder is drawn to heat, right? So if you heat some heavy copper wire to red hot and touch it to the excess solder, it seems likely to me most of the excess solder could be drawn off without having to heat the piece. It’s certainly worth a try.
Now I’m curious. The next time I do some soldering I’ll set up a test and see how it goes, report back.
Yes Neil That’s it! I think i will try it on scrap before I do it on my piece. But that was the principle. Can’t find the video but I keep searching.
Thanks a lot !!
I think i will try it on scrap before I do it on my piece.
Yes. Test on scrap.
There is what is called the eutectic point, where copper and silver will melt together and alloy at a lower temperature than either one will melt alone. You run a risk of having the copper alloy into your piece.
I was going to test for that.
I think it would be safer for your bracelet if you heat silver scrap to draw off the solder.
O.K. I just tried it, as follows.
Starting with 1.45mm Argentium scrap (15 ga.) I soldered a ball of IT solder to it. This being an extreme test - easy-to-melt silver and a very high flow temperature solder. Might not be the best designed test…
I heated a piece of 12 ga. copper wire until the end balled up, and touched that to the solder. The copper got coated with solder, but the solder ball did not diminish much.
So I used a very narrow and very hot flame parallel to the piece, directly on the lower end of the copper wire. It did draw off more solder, but then the solder started to flow, which of course spread it out on the piece to about twice the diameter.
Since that would have to be ground off anyway, I’m not sure how good an idea this is. With solder of a lower flow point, maybe it would spread thinly and be easier to sand off. Or perhaps if sanding was for some reason a problem, snipping off the end of the copper wire, letting the piece cool, and re-applying the red-hot copper until as much solder as possible was removed might be worth the bother.
The copper wire did not melt into the solder, so no eutectic point issue, in this case.
I think as with most things, not making a problem is better than fixing one. Not that I’m very familiar with that skill. ‘Fixing’, at least for me, generally just makes things worse.
So in your case, I would grind, file, sand, polish before trying to draw off the solder.
It was fun trying it though.
Thank you very much Neil! I won’t try it in my piece then. Thank you for trying!
Have a great weekend!
Finally it worked with grinding and sanding. Practically invisible. Thank you very much for your help Ron and Neil!
Looks good, tell us about the stone…Rob
Thank you very much!
It’s a « brecciated Jasper ». I like this stone, it can show very different patterns from stone to stone. Made of fragments of jasper that’s been cemented together. It also contains chalcedony, microcrystals. Comes in different shades of brown/tan/red. Thank you very much for watching!
I have a lot of lapidary rough that I inherited from my Dad. From it I cut and polish a lot of Jasper and enjoy using it in my jewelry. Do you cut your own or buy your lapidary pieces? You don’t see a lot of lapidary discussion on this board…Rob
That’s great! Being able to cut and polish your own stones, so you really design your pieces from A to Z. Unfortunately no, I don’t cut my stones. And I realize how important it is to choose stones with the right cut/angles/height etc. It’s something I often neglect and when I receive the stone I finally realize it will be difficult to set - too shallow, uneven edges… crack in the stone, uneven heights… Indeed as you say there are not many people cutting their own stones on the platform.
For me it would be a big investment - I consider also picking special stones on the beach and grinding it to my needs. Yesterday I found a very interesting green one. Some people also use concrete adorned by stones or gold embellishments, I find that sometimes fascinating when it’s well done and aesthetically appealing. Or modified shells! Do you have a gallery of your designs Rob?
Lapidary is a lot of fun. It does take time to learn and is an investment in tools and supplies. Having had a father who did both lapidary and jewelry, I had a head start. My motivation is the hundreds of pounds of rough stone that I inherited when he died. You can see some of my lapidary work on my website on the Custom and Other Jewelry page under the More heading. Sometimes I design the metal work around the stone and other times the stone around the jewelry. One of my favorite things to do is to cut a very thin piece of translucent agate and set it so that it is a window inside an opening cut in a silver disc. I usually use smaller standard sized purchased stones for the pieces you see under the Current Bracelet Design heading. It is also nice to be able to fix a purchased stone or remove just a bit from the girdle if you make the bezel a little tight. Look for a rock and mineral club nearby. They may offer lapidary lessons and many do a show once a year (in normal times), where you go and buy just what you want and meet people who you can do business with after the show. If you have a tax certificate, you can also get access to their wholesale room. I have been researching concrete. You can also look at colored resins to add color where you would normally use lapidary. I prefer two part resin but, have used UV resin on a few pieces where I am embedding objects like beach sand into a bezel. Lots of fun…Rob
I know the proper way to remove excess solder with braided or twisted copper wire. You can buy the braided wire or you can make your own twisted wire. Take aome thin guage copper wire. Take 4 or 5 atrands and twist them together so it looks like the end of a broom. Heat the wire until red hot and touch them just barely to the excess solder. The silder will flow up the twisted wire. I find the braided wire made for this works much better then any twisted wire ive made. They’re called soldering wicks or desoldering braids. Heres a link to one:
MIKIMIQI Solder Wicks, No-Clean Solder Braided Wicks Desoldering Wicks Solder Removal Tool, 0.1 Inch Width 3 Meter Length https://a.co/d/2qqG1KF
Oh wow! This is great!! I will give it a try with twisted wire. So it’s this detail that’s important! Not a single copper rod as I falsely thought.
Thank you very much! Be warmly thanked for this great tip!
That is one way to remove lead solder from electronic components, but I doubt that it will work on hard silver solder.