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Ring mandrel for soldering question

Is there a way I can make my own fire proof mandrel/rod to hold rings
while I solder them? I would like to take wire and solder it together
in different configurations and I think sliding the project onto a
rod for soldering would be easier than putting it into a clamp.


Liz, such mandrels are available as compressed carbon or ceramic.
Check the popular jewelry equipment suppliers.

Cheers from Don in SOFL.

Ooh Liz, i shall SURELY b keeping an eye on yr blog,as i’ve made many
a wire ring, but painstakingly had to solder it cm by cm, clamping it
togetha with the teversable tweezers! Thx 4 yr post!


Make a fire clay or ceramic one

I think Stuller and Rio both sell these things.

Try a ceramic or carbon soldering rod…

Newburyport, MA

solder the wires together (hard solder) then wrap around the mandrel
to determine size, etc.



There is a fixture that’s made of carbon in the shape of a ring
mandrel. I have one and I haven’t used it in a while but I remember
that it took a lot of heat to get silver up to soldering temp. I
dunno how it works with gold.

Stuller has one:

Rick Copeland

Hi Liz,

If you are talking about jump rings, there’s no need to put them in
a clamp. They can just be laid on a fire brick, charcoal block or
some other fireproof surface & the solder applied & then soldered.


Hey Liz,

You can actually buy graphite tapered rods for just that purpose.
Check with any jewelry tool supplier. Try Rio Grande or Stuller. Good
luck! Steve

There is a fixture that's made of carbon in the shape of a ring
mandrel. I have one and I haven't used it in a while but I
remember that it took a lot of heat to get silver up to soldering
temp. I dunno how it works with gold. 

just a comment on this, and other posts that mentioned these graphite
rods. The reason they can be hard to use is that graphite is an
exceptionally good conductor of heat, so the graphite drains the heat
away from the metal almost as fast as, say, an aluminum or silver
mandrel would do. That makes getting things hot enough to solder when
on one of these, sometimes quite difficult. But there’s another
option. In addition to these graphite mandrels, you can get the same
type of tool, a tapered heat resistant mandrel mounted on a holder
for soldering, but made of a ceramic material that’s NOT a good heat
conductor. These make it much easier to get the thing hot enough to

The graphite ones do have their uses, though. Sometimes you WANT to
keep most of the ring cool. With my graphite one, I modified it with
a flat surface filed onto the top, much as some grooved mandrels are
made in steel, though with mine it’s just a flat facet. That section
of ring over the flat is not in contact with the graphite, and it’s
possible to heat it up for soldering, while the sections in good
contact with the mandrell are kept cooler. With silver, of course,
the heat sinking capability of the mandrel is little bothered by the
flat, since the silver so easily moves the heat past the gap anyway.
But with gold, it can be useful.

Peter Rowe

It is possible to buy a tapered fire ceramic ‘mandrel.’ I am not sure
if they come from America or Europe I have had 2 types, one
beautifully made and the other a bit off round.

They are expensive and break after not much usage. Though they can
still be used, of course the diameter you want is always at the
broken section.

Try buying some thin titanium sheet and form a tube or taper to your
own specifications. 1mm or 0.8mm I find titanium excellent for all
sorts formers and holding tools while soldering or enameling. Solder
does not stick to it.

David Cruickshank

The graphite ones aren’t as good as the ceramic ones. You have to be
very careful with carbon as it can make brittle white gold or
Platinum, especially when actually welding. Unfortunately, all the
ceramic style (Purchased at Otto Frei and Stuller) have been very
inferior lately. I haven’t tried Rio Grand or Guesswein’s as of yet.
If anyone knows of the old style that doesn’t crack or exfoliate the
first time you use it, please let me know.

Hoi Liz, you can cut one out of a charcoal soldering block or weave a
matt out of stainless steel wire. I used a double twisted 0.5mm wire
with 3mm gaps between the individual wires and then bent it into a
round shape. Stainless steel doesn’t react with the pickle so you
can dump the whole thing in to the pot when you are done soldering.


Hi Don. I’m in the UK. Is it possible 2 give me a name or 2 of
supply co’s, as i’m very interested in purchasing this kinda product!

Many thx!

I bought one. It didn’t cost much and was available in ceramic or
carbon. From Rio, maybe? I’m thinking maybe ten bucks or so.


it took a lot of heat to get silver up to soldering temp. I dunno
how it works with gold. 

ditto for gold. Aside from merely soaking up the heat, they also
severely restrict your flame access to the piece. And there’s an
annoying tendency for the ring to get stuck on the rod when it
contracts during cooling. Another tool that sounds good on paper but
maybe not so good in practice.

Hi Liz,

Rio Grande makes ring mandrel to be used in soldering. I cannot find
the page number in my current catalog but it is called a “Ring Stand
with Ceramic Mandrel”

I do believe they also still sell a carbon one, which is the one I
use. The base is cast iron, so it can withstand quite a bit of heat
and you can change out and replace the mandrel portion when
necessary, as mine do get fairly dirty from enamel if I am not
careful. It is also fully adjustable for positioning. (No affiliation
with Rio, just a happy customer)


You might check with Rio Grande Tools. Page 448 itemsn E and F.
These are Ring stands with ceramic or carbon mandrels. They cost less
than $25.00 USD.

John (Jack) Sexton

Hi Group,

I just take a piece of asbestos (fire proof paper- hardware store
variety) and wrap it around a steel mandrel. Wasn’t aware of carbon
or ceramic ones.