Rio grande jump ring soldering machine

Hello all! Years ago I bought the Rio Grande Jump Ring electric
soldering machine. I have never perfected using it correctly . If I
am soldering a single jump ring - that just connects on one end to a
chain- no worries. However, when I am soldering soldered filled jump
rings for a bracelet (connecting the bracelet links with jump rings)
I run into problems. I ususally get soot all over the jump rings or
they “burn” or the links never solder and the jump rings get super
soft. Other days everything will come out perfect but I am not doing
anything different. I always use a touch of prix flux when I am
using machine. Any suggestions on getting perfectly soldered -
solder filled jump rings everytime I use machine with out getting
burns and soot all over the metal?? I tried going slow and low with
the heat- fast and high- its totally unpredictable to me

thanks in advance!!

Also I am scheduling more PR Classes for Jewelry Designers for
March. If you are interested in attending any of the classes please
contact me off list.

Take care all!
dedemetal jewelry
PR 101 for Designers

dede: I recently bought a Hot Spot. I’ve observed that regardless of
duration or power settings, if there is any movement or insufficient
surface contact between the jump ring and the electrode when the
pedal is depressed, the result will be sparking, burning, and/or
incomplete solder joints. Since you’re not having trouble soldering
jump rings located at the end of a chain, the solution may be to find
ways to juggle additional attachments so that you can maintain
adequate surface contact with the electrode and the best relative
position of the tweezers and the electrode.

The following things have helped me achieve more consistent results:
I use the electrode sharpener frequently to ensure that the electrode
surface is properly shaped and free of flux or solder debris.
Periodically, I clean the jaw surface and tips of the tweezers with
a soft, dry cloth. Before soldering, I sand and flux the ends of the
open solder-filled jump ring, then close the jump ring so that the
joint is tight and perfectly aligned, and reflux the exterior of the
joint. I always angle the electrode and the piece so that I can see
how complete the contact is between the two, then I depress the
pedal, maintaining firm but gentle pressure on the electrode,
tweezers, and jump ring being soldered while the machine is
activated. I found that by watching the soldering process, I gained a
better sense of how much tweezer/electrode contact is needed for each
jump ring size and and which relative tweezer and electrode positions
work best. Sometimes I use a third hand or jig to hold an attached
link or finding out of the way so I can increase the surface contact
between the tweezers, the electrode, and the jump ring I wish to
solder. When soldering a jump ring with more than one attachment, I
place the tweezers east with the tips pointing to the centre of the
jump ring, the electrode and solder joint west, the two attachments
respectively north and south. Gravity usually holds the southern
attachment out of the way, and I rig up something to hold the
northern attachment roughly perpendicular to the jump ring being
soldered. With heavier gauge jump rings, I get better results using
standard jump rings with a tiny bit of easy gold or silver paste
solder applied with a needle to the interior curve of the jump ring
at the joint. Instead of my regular flux, I use Optiflux, which is
designed for electric soldering. I keep a list of the best duration
and power settings for every gauge, metal type, and internal diameter
of jump ring I use. I keep the list and a pen in a drawer of my bench
near the Hot Spot.

I still prefer to use my torch for soldering almost everything but
find the Hot Spot really useful when I need to attach and solder a
jump ring without affecting the temper or finish of adjoining jump
rings, findings, metal, etc. Hope this helps.

I would like to thank Hanuman and all of those who help to make
Orchid possible. Thanks also to the members who so generously share
their experience and expertise. I have just begun to sell my work in
galleries and am largely self-taught. For inspiration, education, and
Orchid is one of my most cherished resources. By
consulting the archives, articles, and daily postings, I’ve been able
to learn new techniques, find solutions to fabrication problems, and
locate suppliers. Orchid allows individuals, even those who do not
have current access to schools or workshops, to benefit from the
collective knowledge of the international community of jewellers, for
which I am very grateful.

Anne M. Kelly