Providing of course that you don't overheat. , I once tried
to solder some gold to the silver sheet that I was using and
the gold vanished. (Sucked up, into the silver, never to be
found again . .. should I have filed a lot?)
I wonder if the problem here is the way the metal is laid on the
soldering board? The ring is flat at this stage, right? Two
layers of metal.
The top layer is getting the full heat of the flame and will
tend to heat up first before the bottom layer can get up to
temperature. This top layer may get inadvertantly heated to its
liquidus, especially if there are thin parts to the design. If
it’s stg silver liquidus is only a little hotter than some
solders. Gold’s liquidus is a lot higher.
Good heat control is needed. Here’s what I’d do. Shoot me down
in flames if necessary, as I haven’t done this for a while. BUT
I’m about to do it for a job.
First, I’d do sweat-soldering, rather than trying to add the
solder any other way. Hey, maybe I’d sweat the solder onto the
top piece before piercing it out.
To prevent the soldering board acting as a heat-sink on the
bottom layer I’d interpose some mesh.
Here’s where I’m starting to think … <ulp!> The way you set it
up to solder depends a lot on the relative thicknesses of the
layers. If the bottom layer is really a lot thicker I’d consider
heating from below (big bushy flame through the mesh) in the
main, and coming on to the top (smaller flame size) after the
bottom layer is well up to temperature.
It’s not just thickness, either. Consider the relative bulks of
each piece. The design will have reduced bulk from top layer and
thin parts will heat up really quickly. So if they’re equal in
thickness still maybe I’d heat from below.
Whatever you do:
Watch for signs of overheating and be prepared to STOP
The flux is a great temperature gauge. Watch also the thinnest
parts of the metal. If the solder doesn’t flow soon after
everything has reached soldering temperature, something’s not
right, and prolonged heating or increased heating may not help
matters. If any signs of melting starts to happen, STOP, pickle,
and start again, but change something about what you’re doing.
I add powder flux to the job during soldering, as fluxes can get
depleted and lose their oxide-munching powers. Dry flux doesn’t
cool the job down like wet does. Dirty metal’s usually why people
have trouble soldering. The instinct is to heat her up till
something gives. Choose more flux instead.
Does any of this help?
B r i a n ? A d a m J e w e l l e r y E y e w e a r ?
@Brian_Adam1 ph/fx +64 9 817 6816 NEW ZEALAND
http://www.adam.co.nz/eyewear/ artworks - spectacles
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